Guest Blog Post featuring Kyle Fox
Follow him on instagram at @kylefoxfitness for workouts videos, tips, training, & more!
Being an accountant is challenging enough as it is, especially when you are a tax accountant like myself. You must be knowledgable about both state and federal rules, know state apportionment and depreciation of assets. But let’s be honest, I don’t want to talk about it anymore than you want to hear about it. I will tell you though, that staying on top of your nutrition during a regular work week is a tough task. You have to have a lot of mental strength to overcome the feelings of wanting to crush junk foods all day, drink sugary drinks and coffee, and sit all day in your cube.
I just made it out of a busy season for my job; busy season for a tax accountant can pretty much be summed up by saying you have little to no free time and are working around 50-60+ hours a week. That was my life for about a month and a half... basically end of July to September 15th. During this time, I was not able to workout as much and was not able to dedicate a solid amount of time to my nutrition as I usually do. Let me just say, it was a struggle.
Here is a quick rundown of what a normal busy season day would look like:
Now lets get into the nutrition side of things. Typically, my fellow accountants will snack all day on high carb and high fat food options while not really getting the protein that they need. Along with that, there are endless take out lunch and dinner options that typically look like good meals, and don’t get me wrong they are, but looking at them from a macro standpoint, the proportions are whack. They end up being super high in fat and more carbs than you need in a day. But fortunately, I was able to sway my coworkers into choosing healthier options and actually not snacking aimlessly all day! Rather I gave them basic nutrition facts that I’m assuming gave them some awareness of their eating habits and now there are less unhealthy snacks eaten and hardly ever take out! Ok, we had to order take out twice because those nights we were working until 10-12 at night, you can only imagine what that must’ve been like.
If I could change a few things or provide some insightful tips that would help during that period of time and apply them looking forward I would have to say they include:
“I don’t want to get bulky."
“I don’t want to look like a man."
“I don’t want to get too big.”
I hear these statements from women far too often and it kills me inside every time. It’s this fear instilled in women’s minds that is complete bullshit. Trust me, you aren’t going to turn into the hulk by starting to lift weights. It takes a TON of hard work, dedication, and a solid training program. Building muscle takes time. It takes most people years to build the muscle you see on their bodies. I have been working hard on my body since 2011 and still am not as “big” as I want to be.
A lot of women feel that muscles are masculine. But NEW FLASH.. if you are a woman, than you are a woman. Simple as that. Having bigger muscles doesn’t make you any less feminine. I embrace my muscles and to me, they are beautiful. They remind me of everything my body is capable of. They make me feel strong both mentally and physically. I am proud of my body. I worked hard for this body.
Some may think I am “too bulky” or “too big for a woman.” They might say they “never want to be as big” as me. But that’s their opinion. Other women are a lot stronger than me. Some tell me how tiny I am for how strong I am. It’s all about perception. Society tries to tell women that we should be skinny and that skinny is beautiful. But lately, there has been a huge increase in women embracing their inner strength. I 100% thank CrossFit for that. Seeing the games athletes on TV has opened on so many women’s eyes to the most amazing idea: you can be strong AND beautiful.
I am challenging the stereotype every single day. I train hard for my body. I love my muscles because they remind me of what my can can DO, not just what it looks like. I eat more food than I ever have and I lift more weight than I could have ever imagined. My body is a work in progress. Yes, sometimes I have insecurities. We all do. But I try to push them aside and remember what I am capable of. It’s empowering to know I created this body through hard work and good nutrition.
If you don’t like my body or want to look like me, that’s fine. I am not concerned with your opinion. I am doing this for ME. Guys, it may not be attractive to you to date a strong woman. That’s fine too. But keep your opinion to yourself. Reality is, we all have our own perceptions of beauty and how we want to look. You are never going to please everyone and you shouldn’t try to. Speaking for all of the strong women out there, we are proud of the strength we have developed and don’t need the approval of others. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I want my muscles and my strength and my body to inspire other women to view their own bodies differently. I want them to understand that it is possible to be strong AND beautiful AND feminine AND muscular.
After a weekend off from the business of work and life, I’m sure a lot of us need some Monday Motivation. I had a great weekend spent with friends and family. Friday, I went down to West Chester & celebrated my old college roomies birthday with dinner. Saturday, I completed the Wodapalooza qualifier workouts, we had a running seminar at CF Q, and then I went down to CrossFit Explode for saturday night team training with my badass fit friends. Sunday, I enjoyed a lazy day with my boyfriend, grocery shopped, and ended the weekend with my favorite treat: OWowCow ice cream! It was a great weekend! BUT, it’s back to the grind. Monday’s are my busiest day of the week but I woke up with nothing but positive vibes and I’m ready to tackle today & this week!
As I was reflecting over the weekend and the first week of the Wodapalooza qualifier workouts, I realized something.
You are only as strong as you THINK you are. I am only as strong as I THINK I am.
“We only have the physical capacity to be as strong as we mentally think we are."
This is SO TRUE. I see so many women (and even men too, but specifically women) in the gym who don’t know their own strength, fear a heavy barbell, or just don’t think they are capable of lifting the heavy weights. As a coach, I see my athletes regularly. I know how they move a barbell. I see and assess their form daily. I monitor their weights during a strength cycle. Often times, some of these athletes (some who have been coming for 2 years now) are still using the same weights.. using 55-65lbs in their workouts but never any more. But that weight is EASY. They move it effortlessly. I can tell that it isn’t heavy for them. But that weight is comfortable. That weight is safe. That weight is familiar.
BUT, as a coach, I see and I KNOW they are capable of more. They ARE stronger than they think they are. Luckily, it’s my job to train them every day. So, I give them a little extra push. If they are going to try and scale their weight down for a workout where I know they are capable of more, I give them that push to lift a little more, do a couple extra reps, and hold themselves to a higher standard.
One of my athletes is guilty of the above. She approached a partner workout and was wanting to scale the weights down to her normal 65# barbell. The workout called for 95# thrusters and 105# power cleans. Her partner wanted to use the RX weights. So we pushed her to try the RX weights. She CRUSHED the workout. Her form was perfect. The barbell looked light. She moved with purpose and determination and strength. And after it was over, she left the gym with the biggest smile on her face. She was so happy that she was did so well with those heavier weights. And so was I. I knew what she was capable of but she didn’t believe in herself. She didn’t know her own strength. She feared the heavy barbell. But since then, she’s been increasing her weights, lifting more, and still crushing the workouts. This has been so awesome to see.
As for myself, I know I have been feeling like my lifts have been pretty average. I often cut myself off at a certain weight (depending on the lift) because I feel that I am only capable of that much. For the 6RM bear complex, I was nervous. I didn’t think that I would be able to handle anything over 115lbs. I practiced stayed positive and believing in myself. I crushed 125lbs. At about rep 4, my mind started telling me that it was too heavy, I couldn’t finish, I needed to drop the bar. But I pushed those negatives thoughts aside. I knew I was stronger than I wanted to believe. Same thing happened Saturday night at team training. We had a workout with 10-1 of heavyish power snatches. I normally baby myself and would cycle that weight in sets of 2-3 or even singles. I was nervous but I approached that barbell without fear after a mental pep talk. I was hitting sets of 5+ in the beginning and never went below a set of 3. I couldn’t stop smiling afterwards. I AM stronger than I think I am some days. Sometimes, I have to push myself to add a few pounds when I am maxing out a complex or a lift. I push myself to use the RX or RX+ weights even if they seem scary. Sometimes, you surprise yourself and this leads to those PRs!
The point is, we have to believe in ourselves. We have to put pressure on ourselves. Convince your mind that you are capable of more, that you CAN lift that weight, that you will crush that heavy barbell. If we approach the bar in fear or with doubt, we won’t get that PR or hit that weight. Your mind and perspective play a huge role.
Now, it’s your turn. Go up to the barbell with determination, positivity, drive. Be fearless. Believe in yourself. Vision yourself lifting that weight. Your mind and your body work together. You ARE stronger than you think.
I am passionate about creating a healthy lifestyle for myself & helping those around me.