TGIF: Getting Strong and Bendy

I started this week working with my powerlifting coach. After 11 weeks of consistent training, it was time to test my one rep maxes on the squat, deadlift, and bench. I was pretty pleased with where I'm starting, especially after going more than a year without consistent training. My numbers were a quick kick in the motivation pants.

I've also returned to aerial after a two year break. I've mostly taken aerial hoop (lyra) classes, but given my long absence, I thought I should take the fundamentals workshop this week. Which meant trying out the aerial silks. And being humbled by my lack of upper body strength. 

Four years ago, I could easily string together five or more strict pull-ups. Zero today. But it's not just a lack of strength. It's that I'm trying to pull up a lot more weight than I had to four years ago. 

All of this is to say that if I want to be my best at these two pursuits, I need to lean out (aka loose the extra body fat) and build more muscle. Which means dialing in my nutrition. Especially since many weeks I'm exhausted and I know it's from not eating enough. Or more specifically, eating too many empty calories.

So I purchased Renaissance Periodization's Fat Loss Diet template. I'll work on meal prep this week and dive into the diet on Monday. Honestly, it's a bit frightening and it looks like too much food. But after spending the last few days in the Facebook group, there is a ton of very helpful support and thousands of members who have enjoyed amazing results. It was really important to me to find a well-respected program that focuses on building/maintaining muscle, building strength, while loosing body fat. And RP is very well respected.

I'm on Day 10 of 30 Days with Adriene and love the variety this challenge offers. Excited that I've managed some kind of yoga for 12 of the last 13 days. It's definitely making a difference in my flexibility.

Wednesday kicked off Susannah Conway's 10th August Break. I'm loving all the photos on Instagram.

We've all heard of internships, but if you've been out of the workforce for a while, you might want to look into returnships.

The financial impact caregiving has on women. It's not pretty.

I finally got around to watching the Netflix comedy special Nanette. Have you seen it? No? Stop everything and go watch it now.

I've been watching the Crossfit Games all week. Can't stop, won't stop.

At 42, it's possible that I might have caught sight of a couple gray hairs. Or they're really light blonde. Crappy bathroom lighting. Honestly, I have no problem with going gray. One grandmother was completely white at 17. I count myself lucky. But what about other women? What influences their decision to go gray or not?


Jacki Hayes is a reader, writer, and artist in Des Moines, IA. She loves Marvel movies, hiking with her dogs, and reading young adult fantasy novels. In her spare time, you can find her lifting heavy things or taking aerial hoop lessons.