Holy cow! I started lifting heavy 12 weeks ago! How time flies. I am shocked at how much I've fallen in love with weight lifting, how it has changed my body, and how it has changed me psychologically. It's pretty effin cool.
About a week ago, I had a fitness assessment at my gym. It's free for members, and included using the BodPod, which is pretty much a rocket ship shaped like an egg that uses science and lasers to measure your lean body mass. I knew going into it that I would also do a mile run and a push up test in my fitness assessment, along with some other measurements.
My expectations vs. my reality
Body fat percentage: Expected 30-25%. Measured 22%
Mile run: 9:30. Measured 8:42.
Push ups: 12. Measured 16.
So I exceeded my expectations in every area! I told the woman who measured me that my goals for the year are to bench 100, squat 150, and do a pull up. They now include an 8 minute mile and 20 pushups in a set. I can do it!
The coolest thing was getting my true metabolic resting rate. It was 1349 just to keep me alive. She said that even if I were sedentary, I would still need to take in about 1700 calories just to live. This was so eye opening. Any time I diet, I tend to limit myself to 1500 calories a day, no matter how much I exercise. Ridiculous! Ain't nobody got time for that. So I bumped up my consumption, and I'm much more interested in getting in macros than worrying about calories. It's been an amazing shift in my thinking.
That's what I mean by a psychological change. Not only do I look forward to going to the gym, but I've stopped thinking in terms of losing weight/cutting calories and started thinking in terms of making gains/getting stronger/getting in all my macros. I'm more worried about not eating enough protein than I am worried about eating too many calories. I am more interested in the weight on my squat bar than I am the weight on the scale.
I'd be lying if I said that there isn't a definite aesthetic component to all this. I started weight lifting in the first place because I wanted to gain muscle and burn fat and look like all the fitness competitors I follow on Instagram. And I still do it for those reasons. But now I also do it because I am in a competition with myself to get stronger, to rep for my girls in the weight room, and to feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I leave the gym. Talk about progress!