Weight: Starting -152.2lbs – Final -133.6lbs
Measurements : Starting Waist: 32.75”, Hip: 34.75” – Final Waist: 27.75” , Hip: 34.25”
Total Weight – 18.6lbs
Total Hips – 0.5”
Total Waist – 5”
#greatexpectations, and the Art of the Long Game Lindsey Jensen (Trench Fitness Call-sign: BANGS)
“Imagine there’s a dog in front of me and in my hand, I’ve got a bone.
I’m waving the bone in front of the dog. Of course, what’s the dog doing? He’s completely following the bone. It’s like he can’t see anything else.
I take the bone and throw it into the corner. Of course, the dog’s going to run after the bone, right?
It’s almost as if he didn’t have a choice not to do it.
Now imagine, for some crazy reason there’s a big lion in front of me, just sitting and watching.
I’ve got this little bone, the same bone, and I’m waving it in front of him. What do you think he’s doing? Of course, he sees the bone, but he’s also got his eyes on me, because I’m a big bag of bones, right? So, I throw the bone into the corner. What do you think the lion is going to do?
Chances are he’s not going to run after the bone.
He’s going to take a look at it, thrown into the corner, and then set his sights right back on me.
We use this metaphor to represent two different states of mind. First, the dog mind; does what? Runs after every little bone that gets waved in front of its face. ‘Bones’ could be a lot of different things. Here the ‘bones’ represent distractions in our lives. Things that keep us unfocussed on what we need to be focussed on. The lion? The lion sees the distraction, the bone, but has a choice; he doesn’t follow it.
The lion notices it, but keeps his eye on the bigger picture.”
– The Lion Mind – by, My Body Awareness Project
Some people reading this might recognize me. Maybe they remember me as that girl who used to teach group fitness classes, or maybe as ‘mrs.cupcakes_carcass’ on Instagram, or from the occasional feature within a Trench Fitness social media post as ‘Bangs’. It’s been quite a long time since I have appeared on any of those platforms. I wouldn’t blame anyone who has noticed my lack of presence on the www’s and assumed that I’d fallen ‘off the wagon’, or lost interest in lifting and fitness. After all, it would be the natural conclusion to come to, considering the masses of posts that I used to create, and the amount of ‘liking’ and interacting online that I once did.
But in fact, the reality is quite the contrary… Trench transformations start with 12 weeks.
My first steps into the impressive Trench facility almost 2 years ago carried with them great expectations. Expectations of dramatic, practically instantaneous muscle gains. At the time I was addicted to social media, wasting hours and hours of every day scrolling like a #fitspo hungry zombie. Trapped in an endless loop of comparisons, mistruths, ‘likes’, fitspiration, sales pitches, and mind numbingly frustrating junk.
Looking like ‘DLB’ in a couple of years, 3 at most, seemed reasonably attainable. Imagery bombarding me on social media lead me to believe that such a feat would be naturally possible with #dedication, #grinding, and #hustle. It never occurred to me that some of the people that I’d been ‘following’ had been lifting for decades, might be taking performance enhancing drugs, utilizing strategic posing and filters and even Photoshop. Some might have been taking a year’s worth of photos over the course of a single ‘peak-week’, maintaining a far different, less lean physique day to day for the remainder of the year, while they post those incredibly lean images. Leaving their loyal followers to wonder what on earth we were doing wrong that we too couldn’t hold onto abs 365 days a year. #mindf%^k. Even a few local personal trainers and notable competitive athletes in untested organizations had packed on visually incredible amounts of muscle in the few months I’d been following them on social media; couldn’t I do the same with hard work and a solid plan? I was comfortable with dedicating myself to a ‘long game’ to get where I wanted to go, and in my supposition, at the time completely uneducated in the realities of natural bodybuilding, 2-3 years surely would be an adequate ‘long game’ to get me nearly there.
(Pause to allow Neil to stop laughing hysterically) #smh
I had taken to heart a lot of what I had seen online, and become pretty #delusional. It was #humbling, but eventually I had to come to the realization that what I had been eating up on the internet was not reality.
Let me fill you in on a little secret; In my opinion, fat loss is the easy part. Before you reach for that Lindsey shaped voodoo doll, or start muttering expletives at the device you happen to be reading this on, allow me to explain.
Fat loss, is the result of creating a caloric deficit. #PERIOD. Despite what that Instafamous #skinnytea #detox peddling #fitchick or #bestsellingauthor tells you, there is no #magic, there is no #mystery, and there are no #evilcarbohydrates that stop you from losing fat, or a mystical amount of broccoli that will chase the fat out of you.
#sorry #thetruthhurts #toomuchbroccolihurtsworse #itllchasesomethingouttayou #trustme #yourliverisdoingthecleansing #ithinkitspossibletoshitoutbraincells
If you aim to lose fat, your body must use more calories than you consume. There will be a few bumps along the way, but accurately and consistently hitting your appropriate deficit will yield a loss. A 12-week program with Trench makes this simple fact of life even simpler. Your Trench coach, with years of experience and education, will prescribe to you enough work and the right amount of food to create a deficit, if fat loss is your goal. There is certainly an art to the nuances behind macro manipulation in relation to balancing workload, body type, personality type etc….but your Trench coach has that all covered.
Listen to what your coach says, and #execute their instructions. Fat loss is the easy part. #justdowhatyouretold #easypeasy #zerouncertainty #trust #transformationtuesdayhereyoucome
If you cannot dedicate yourself to consistently following instructions for a 12-week period in order to learn a skill and create a new lifestyle to meet your goals, then, #goaldigger, I’d say you need to re-evaluate if your #goals are truly meaningful to you. #doyouevenliftbro
So now, for what I consider to be the ‘hard’ part. A pound of muscle takes considerable effort and time to build naturally. A pound of muscle also does not take up a lot of physical space. #aboutoneAcupboobsworth #ifonlyboobsweremadeofmuscle #sigh #realitysucks #chickswhoactuallylift #thereallylonggame #aremyglutesbiggeryet #howaboutnow #now #no #ugh
Now; take that beautiful pound of gloriously hard earned muscle and slice it very thinly and spread it all over your body and try to see an inspiring improvement in the mirror every month… And there you have the HARD part; #patience #signingupforthelonggame #gettingcomfortablebeinguncomfortable
Maintaining dedication to your goals, once the rewarding, relatively fast, fat loss phase is over, and the slow, unsteady, practically invisible muscle gains are underway, is the hard part. Keeping your head in the game without a visibly noticeable change to motivate you and to assure you that you’re on the right track, is the hard part.
At this stage, a lot of people start leaning even more heavily on social media. #holygymselfiestbatman #dailyabchecks A complimentary comment on a flatteringly filtered fuzzy photo here, a ‘like’ there on a sweaty gym selfie or your #amazing #breakfasthash (#isthatdogfood), can really bolster your motivation to forge ahead…for about 4 seconds. #postinganinspirationalquoteunderyourselfiedoesnotdisguiseyournarcisism
A lot of people justify their posts, stating they are aiming to motivate and inspire others with their #duck and/or #restingbitch faces, #ootd’s and #gymselfies. I can honestly say, that I personally, have not once been motivated to action by a picture of someone else’s bum in their dirty bathroom mirror. #godihopethatstoothpaste
It didn’t take me too long after starting to work with Neil to realize that my ‘long game’, based on my personal goals was a much, much longer game than I had originally mentally signed up for, and that I’d need to find a way to remain dedicated to this lifestyle lifelong to reach and maintain my goals.
I set forth a lofty objective for this challenge, I wanted to treat it like a contest prep. I knew that I would not be ‘stage lean’ in 12 weeks, but I wanted to put out the to the same level of intensity and commitment that a competitor would have. To do this, I needed to weed out the noise. I needed to focus. I would need a whole new state of mind to really make this a lifestyle, and find satisfaction in the process. I would have to find what I needed inside of myself. I felt like needed to remove as many negative distractions from my daily life that I reasonably could. The pseudo-science mumbo
jumbo, comparisons and delusions festering online had to go. #delusionsofgrandure #narcisists #constantsalespitches #hypocrits #aintnobodygottimeforthat
Surrounding myself with the people that were in the mental space that I wanted to be became my primary objective. Those that could inspire, motivate and educate me. #practicewhatyoupreach #donttalkaboutitbeaboutit #neverbethemostsuccessfulpersonintheroom
I decided that social media was having little to no positive impact on my life, and was in many cases depositing drama, frustrating delusions, masses of misinformation and negativity. I didn’t even like myself on social media. Scrolling generally had a negative effect on my mood.
For a while I’d been documenting my life on Instagram, having ditched Facebook a few years ago. I’d find myself, scrolling glossy-eyed, wasting hours and not getting anything positive or constructive in return. #yourdogissupercutetho. When I chose to embark upon the 12-week transformation challenge, I decided that the sometimes Photoshopped, usually attention or validation seeking, generally delusional, very often misinformed posts appearing on my Instagram feed were nothing but a total waste of my time. I was always left overwhelmed, wondering how we have become a society who seems incapable of just enjoying a beautiful or exciting moment, but feels nearly unstoppably driven to interrupt its enjoyment to post a photo on the World Wide Web. How on earth did Christopher Columbus possibly get by? #discoveredanewcivilizationtoday #nbd #100 #motivation #hustle #badass
I had a few, perhaps more enlightened friends who would tell me that I was just ‘following’ the wrong people, or needed to simply #stayinmylane. Sure, sounds simple until some #douchecanoe leaves a comment on one of the ‘right’ peoples progress photos, containing the level of intelligence you might expect from his actual #butthole…and then its ON. A quick click on Mr. Douchecanoes profile and an hour later I’d be 16 Kevin Bacons deep into some losers misguided Insta- world, having composed a hotheaded mental dissertation setting him straight. You might say I’ve got #nochill. I wanted desperately to #educate everyone. I felt horrible for the people who were posting selfie after selfie, desperately seeking ‘likes’ to bolster their fragile self-esteem.
Looking inward, I started to feel like every post I made, however skillfully disguised with humor or self-depreciation, was coming from a place of insecurity. A place where I needed a quick pat on the back, or needed to be exceptional in someone else’s eyes. Sometimes, I felt like I needed to ‘make a point’, not realizing that almost always the point fell on deaf ears. Clearly, looking inward and thinking on these personal issues would be more productive than a post about my #gymootd. I started asking myself what my motivation for posting something was, and asking if I felt that posting it would be a productive means of getting me get closer to my goals. I’d almost immediately regret posting anything, as notifications of ‘comments’ and ‘likes’ would start rolling in, and I’d feel the pressure to spend time to respond or reciprocate in order to be a ‘good citizen of the internet’. It wasn’t everyone obviously. I loved cheering on and encouraging my friends.
But I grew especially frustrated seeing ‘trainers’ and self-proclaimed ‘coaches’ or ‘experts’, locally and all over the world, posting photos and videos of themselves or clients displaying horrible and dangerous form, or transformations that happened over years presented as 6-8 weeks, or talking about how long they’ve #grinded for their #gainz (while on un- fessed-up to PED’s) (#justownit) and watching their naïve followers comment things like ‘GOALS’ or ‘I want to look like you’ , ‘you’re such an inspiration’. Obviously, I don’t find drug use in the name of vanity #inspiring and I suspected that some of their followers wouldn’t either, if they only knew. There were hordes of #fitchicks doing one ‘plan’ with a coach, or losing pounds on a pyramid scheme product and then suddenly offering their own coaching services and advice. People hashtagging things that had nothing to do with their lives or workouts, being either totally naïve to the #’s actual meaning or simply using a variety of #hothashtags as a means to gain new followers. #whatpartofyouisforsale #inspiringyourkids #lasttimeicheckedyournewborndoesnothaveinstagram #ifyouhashtagchickswholiftyoubetterbeliftingsomethingmorethanadetoxsmoothieandaP90xdvd #cringe #headexploding #youcantfixstupid #educateyourself #theinternetisnoplaceforreality #mostpeoplesmealpicslooklikevomit #hardtruth #realtalk #lifecoach #inspired #goals #vomit
I’m extremely selective with who I allow into my inner circle, #qualityoverquantityalways. Why was I so willing to share my life with strangers on the internet?
On the flip side, no one really cared to see a photo of what I had for breakfast that day. #thanksforlikingmyeggmuffinpicsanyway (36likes) #sorrynotsorryforthatpictureofmybumthatonetime (136likes)
Frankly, once they become truly a part of your lifestyle, the desire to publically announce things like your 5am lifting session, or your early morning sprints, disappears. At least it did for me. Posting on Instagram that I was at the gym working out, or getting in a quick 5km, seemed as remarkable as posting that I was brushing my teeth. #everydaytwiceaday #grinding #cleanteethftw #smile
One morning at the gym, this topic came up with a friend. Someone that we used to occasionally work out with had posted something about being a #bada$$beast or some such for working out super early that day, or sweating, a lot, or…something. My friend humorously mused aloud on what it would be like if we were posting each morning about our consistently executed, challenging, 5am workouts. Without barely a second thought, as I spoke these words in reply, the reality really hit home for me:
“A lion does not feel the need to tell you that it’s a lion. Because it’s a mother f^@<#ng LION.”
So, at the onset of this 12 Week Challenge, I ditched Instagram, the last of my social media outlets. #donttalkaboutitbeaboutit #ifyouhavetotellmethatyourareabeastyouarenotactuallyabeast #byebyenegativenancys #yourphoneshouldntownyou #takeyourlifeback #idontneedyoutolikemyselfieineedmetolikemyself
I do love the educational and inspiring posts and often recipe ideas on the Trench pages, so once a day I google ‘Trench Fitness Regina’ and enjoy a moment or two reading their social media posts for that day. #nopressureguys #keepitup #justaddmyliketothetallyinyourhearts
At first it was hard. For the first few weeks of the challenge I was nearly constantly jonesing for my voyeuristic hit of other people’s publically posted personal lives. #whatwouldyourmotherthinkofthestateofyourbedroom? #mydogmaiawasabadasschickanddidnthaveinsta #shealsodidntcarewhatyouateforbreakfast #unlessyouweresharing #withher
It’s embarrassing to admit, but grinding away without the ‘you look amazing!’s, ‘you got this girl’s, ‘likes’ and other positive reinforcement from practical strangers was actually a big adjustment for me psychologically. Sometimes I felt very alone. I had become accustomed to getting a digital kudo every time I threw together a photo worthy burrito-bowl for lunch, or snapped a bicep flex in the gym mirrors. #thestruggleisreal #bro
But wow…did I ever have more hours in the day.
I had a plan for the 12 weeks of these ‘newfound’ hours. I took cues from those in the fitness industry that I looked up to, and started reading the books that they had written, read and suggested.
I started listening to informative podcasts while I drove, and while I did my food prep. I soaked up information from seasoned experts in natural bodybuilding and coaching such as Eric Helms, Jeff Alberts, Alberto Nunez, Brad Schoenfeld, James Krieger, Bret Contreras, and Alan Aragon. I signed up for all the reputable research reviews that I came across. Through reading the reviews I started to be able to more critically examine and understand research on my own. I tuned into the YouTube channels of Omar Isuf and Paul Revelia regularly. I submerged myself in learning as much I could about the body and its systems, about competitive mindsets, sports psychology and success in general.
I put myself in #goodcompany #neverbethesmartestpersonintheroom .
Doing so not only kept me in a fairly constantly motivated and engaged mindset, but helped me to shake off years and years of misinformation. #eyeontheprize
I started learning about and practicing the arts of meditation and visualization to keep myself calm, driven and focused on my goals. #thelionmind #psychologicallyinvincible
I dedicated myself to working smarter, not harder. I choose to learn only from those who lead by example and have achieved greatness in my eyes, by constantly learning, practicing what they preach, and reaping the rewards. #nevertakeadvicefromsomeonewhoisntwhereyouwanttobe
I decided that life’s little annoyances and minor mishaps did not deserve any real estate in my mind. I’d briefly acknowledge them, because #shithappens, then set my mind to #onwardmode; back to my goals.
#positive #constructive #winningeveryday #empowered
It was amazing the freedom I felt. My general anxiety levels dropped by more than half within days. For the last 12 weeks, I concentrated on the relationships in my life that mattered. I also concentrated on looking inward, and taking care of myself.
Part of taking care of myself also meant rewards.
Throughout the challenge, I scheduled a weekly relaxing 1⁄2 hr. bubble bath date with myself.
Every 4rth week I treated my #muscles and mind to a rejuvenating 90-minute massage, and a small treat of a new workout tank, or tights.
I fueled myself consistently with foods that made my body feel great, but also made me happy. Some days that meant egg whites, chicken & asparagus, or sushi. Some days that meant pizza, chocolate mousse, gummy bears, burgers or burritos that I worked into my daily numbers. Most days were a satisfying and effective mix of both. #iifymforlife #truefreedom
I focused on feeling #abundant, on feeling ‘full’. And because of this, and my modest rewards scheme, even when I may have felt physically hungry due to the caloric deficit, I hardly ever felt deprived or hard done by. It was so refreshing to shake the feeling that I wasn’t good enough, strong enough, lean enough or muscular enough that social media was feeding in me. #attitudeiseverything
I measured and tracked my intake precisely every single day, completed every workout with as much mental focus and intensity and purpose that I could muster on that day. #somedaysarebetterthanothers
I set and adhered to a strict bed time routine and got adequate nightly sleep, (830pm: #tuckedin, 4am: #upandatem, 5am: #liftallthethings #andsometimesrun #cardioisthatspanish, 730-5: #workinfortheman 5-830pm: #eatplaylove #247 #repeat).
I researched and invested in a ‘white noise machine’ to improve the quality of my rest, drank more than enough water, made adjustments to what and when I ate when necessary, and enjoyed nearly even single sometimes hungry minute of it. Incredibly, I felt balanced, and for the most part, the 12 weeks felt easy and flew by. My household even managed to welcome 2 new puppies into our lives during the challenge, and while it could have been a major struggle #sleepdeprevation #pottytraining #poopfactories, I had a plan, and we quickly developed a routine, turning this new challenge into a situation that I derived satisfaction and pure joy from. #cutenessoverload #puppykissesarefatfree #puppieslikemeditationtimetoo #pawsitivelypeaceful
People would ask how the challenge was going, and my response was always about the same: “It’s going great, Neil gives the direction and I execute. It’s really simple. When I start to feel too uncomfortable I know I need to recalibrate my meal timing, or increase my intake of some high volume lower calorie foods to feel more satiated, or both.” #chickswhohatesalad #nobodyreallylikeskale #chocholatechipscomefromatreeright #peanutbuttercookiesareplantbased #neilknows #eatyourf&*kingveggiesBangs
I focussed on feeling confident and fulfilled without the craving for ‘likes’ and encouraging input from ‘friends’ on the internet. Setting my intentions, scheduling my workout and food prep times and executing my plans no matter what life threw my way, made me feel successful, confident and fulfilled. #winfromwithin #flexibleandunbreakable #youdontcancelontheboss #proud #inspireyourowndamnself
I focussed on furthering my relationships with my people, the ones who meant enough to me and me to them to coexist in real living Technicolor. #ifyouwanttogettoknowmecomegettoknowme #youcanliftwithus #5aminthetrenches #itsadate #trenchunicorns
I let the workouts motivate me. By incorporating a progression model directly into your workout plan, your Trench coach sets you up to enjoy hitting new personal bests regularly, whether it be a heavier lift or more reps. Getting stronger at things you once weren’t great at, is an incredibly rewarding thing. I challenge anyone to work towards picking something up that weighs half as much as they do and raise it safely over their head and just TRY not to feel like a superhero. #theonlyequipmentmissingattrencharethecapes
I gave 110% to each aspect of the challenge, and made adjustments where necessary, which to me, means that I’ve already won, no matter what the public outcome is. #allidoiswin #gainzfromheadtotoe #wellmaybejustheadtocalves #notoegainztospeakof #yet
I saw this challenge as a way for me to begin unveiling to myself the hard work that I’ve put in over the last few years of ‘12-week transformation’ plans with Trench. A ‘check-point’, for all intents and purposes. I used this time to work with Neil to bring my fat levels down as far as we responsibly could within the timeframe for the exciting (to me) reveal of what I had so far been able to achieve on the muscle front. From the onset, I viewed this as a reward for the time I put into myself over the last few years, and an opportunity to develop some new positive interpersonal habits. I feel like a new person inside, and I think the photos speak for themselves for the outside.
I consider all my time spent at Trench as the best investment I have ever made, physically and mentally. #fitnessisascience #saveyourbeliefsforchurch
Now, we’ll continue to learn, and to build. I’m excited to do so, having lost the added mental weight that social media was burdening me with, and the increased clear headspace, and productive #metime that I have achieved in taking my life back.
I know I can do whatever it is I set my mind to, even (maybe especially) without the #likes #fitspo and #motivationmondays. Let’s call the end of this 12 Week Challenge, one of many refreshing water stations on the epic course of my lifelong, ‘Long Game’. #alwaysaworkinprogress
Trench provides a person with all the tools they need to create a strong, healthy body and lifestyle and to reach whatever their goals may be. These tools, the staff, and the Trench Fitness environment gave me the inspiration and confidence that I needed in order to create for myself, a lifestyle of balance, full of progress, satisfaction and meaning that I never thought was possible. At Trench, I am not the exception. Invest in yourself, and you won’t be the exception either. Results ARE typical.
If you’re truly open to learning, checking your ego at the door, and being open with your coach, then you will be successful at Trench, and at whatever it is that you feel is worth playing the long game for.
You could even keep your Instagram account. #whytho
Be the lion.