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Becoming a powerlifter - Getting into my stride.

It's been ages since I updated on my powerlifting journey, so what's been happening?

I did my second competition
Last July in fact. It was the Gloucester and Wiltshire Championships. It was good to get out and compete again, and I felt well prepared by Ryan from Project Barbell.

Good news: I put 40kg on my previous meet total. Which I was pretty happy about.
Annoyances: I was disqualified on my 100kg squat (a pb I'd never even attempted before) for reracking the bar too fast *DOH* and my third deadlift was a bit sloppy. I got 6/9 lifts.

I came away from that meet realising I needed to work harder at getting my head in the game, and not being either stressed or distracted in the competition environment.


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My favourite #squat #bench and #deadlift from yesterday's meet. Thanks to @breaking_barbells for filming @ryangriff_projectbarbell for coaching and handling @swindon_barbell_club for hosting Fab day. #powerlifting A post shared by Claire Salem
Recent posts

Step away from the New Year weight loss.

I was helping my son get ready for school this week, and we discovered that his school trousers would no longer do up.

"Oooh, looks like you've done some growing in the holiday!" I said, to which he retorted;

"Well, yeah... it IS 2019"

Of course. Silly me. How could I not have considered that.

On reflection I realised that this is exactly what I would like to say to most people who come to me concerned about festive weight gain.

Why the New Year Diet?
There's two types of New Year dieters.

The first type had resolved to get on a new health kick, to address some unhealthy habits or lose a bit of weight, probably before Christmas. But they left it until New Year, because that's a nice milestone to work with and starting a new regime in the chaos of the holidays is just asking for trouble - it's easier to build routine and discipline when things have calmed down a bit.

The others have gained weight over the holidays, and are now worrying about losing i…

Here's the best calorie counter in the world... and it's free!

How many calories should I consume every day?How many calories am I using in my workout?Why am I not losing weight when I appear to be in a caloric deficit?What's the best app for calorie tracking?

I'm not going to answer any of these questions. We, my friends, are going to throw those all out of the window. Because they aren't the right questions.

Calorie tracking is notoriously inaccurate. It's almost impossible to calculate your calorie intake with any useful level of accuracy. And unless you have an exercise physiology lab, you aren't getting near with calories out either. The best you can hope for is that the inaccuracies cancel each other out and you end up in the right ball park.

Calorie counting is also laborious, boring and potentially invites obsessive, disordered eating behaviours.

[It's sometimes a useful tool as an advanced level strategy for athletes under supervision, but not most of us who are simply trying to maintain a healthy weight.]

But mos…

I'm going to help you find the best diet for you!

It's the most common question people ask me when they find out I'm a Nutritionist:

"What's the best diet?"
So today, I am going to tell you... You are welcome.

The best diet for what?
So the first question I will ask is... what are your goals? What are you actually trying to achieve?

Gym culture tends to revolve around bodybuilders, because it tends to glorify that aesthetic. But a bodybuilder's eating habits are really not very helpful for someone who is working out 3-4 times a week and trying to lose weight.

Eating for performance is a very different beast from eating for weight loss, and both of those can be very different from eating for good health.

[for instance the protocols I would use to help a physique competitor cut fat for stage are very different from how I would handle a non-athlete wanting to lose fat for health; and also very different from how I would support a weight-class athlete, like a boxer or powerlifter, cut weight for competition.]

Whe…

Getting it done

My goodness I've been up to my ears recently!

A bunch of work came to a close, I took on some more, and then some other stuff came up and turned what I was expecting to be a fallow period into a flurry of tasks and deadlines.

And because of this, the several blogs I have on my to-do list, remain not done.

But I thought I would check in quickly and talk to you about how I get through those mad to do lists, and avoid getting bogged down by small stuff - because it was a hard lesson to learn.

Left to my own devices, I am both a procrastinator and a perfectionist. I want things right, but sometimes that means they don't get done.

I also suffer from social anxiety. In some ways this is an advantage when I work primarily in connecting with people, It makes me mindful in the way I communicate, and empathic with their uneasiness when it comes to the deep talk. It also means I really need a kick up the butt to reach out, or to get communication done, I need it to be right. Is it tactfu…

Diet and weight loss cliches that can get in the sea.

I've been increasingly ranty lately. I suspect I'm reaching that point in a woman's life where "behaving" is a less appealing option. And while it is true that I like to be measured, balanced and not throw the baby out with the bath water, there are still plenty of things about the fitness industry that still get on my wick. So buckle yourselves in....

Diets with names.
Ok, just diets really.

A few days ago a friend messaged me and asked "what to you thing of "The ____ diet?" I get this exact question a lot, it's not a surprise.

My first reaction though, before even looking it up or seeing what it entailed was.... it's rubbish. I don't even need to see what is in there, it's a scam. [Note: I did check, for science, it was rubbish. Both nutritionally and in terms of sustainability. This is an empty victory for me.]

Why?

Because someone gave it a catchy name. Why does a diet need a name? It's not like you need to call it when it…

I'm an intelligent grown-up, so why can't I eat like one?

Nutrition is complicated.
The rules change all the time. One minute we are told a food is bad, the next it's good. It's like scientists can't make their minds up!

Fat does't make you fat. Sugar is toxic. Undereating puts you in starvation mode. But you can "hack" your metabolism with this one weird trick.....

Of course all of this is false, or at least such a gross reduction of the truth that it is open to extreme misinterpretation. Put it out in plain sight and it becomes very clear that it doesn't hold water. So why are we believing this? Why are people telling us this, and most importantly; why as educated, intelligent adults who are perfectly capable of identifying a healthy plate of food, are we still struggling to consistently eat well?

The rules of healthy eating.
Healthy eating is not at all complicated. It's actually so obscenely simple that when I spell it out you're going to go "well tell me something I didn't know" and r…