I Will Always Have My Inner Fat Chick Part 3
The Saga Continues
As I wrote the first two Hubs I realized I'd hit a rut. I was getting my exercise, but at a meandering pace. I personally blame heat in the 90s, which is plenty hot for me with our high humidity, but I knew I could do better. Then I looked at my diet. Although I was doing well calorie wise for the time there was either too much fast food (and I count hot dogs, junk food and frozen meals as fast food) or way too much veg and not enough protein.
But after I realized that every body is different, truly unique, I realized I could still change what I have now, so phase two began. Sculpting what is here, building up muscle tone and definition and bumping up the calories so I can continue walking and lifting weights.
Please bear in mind that this Hub is not a diet plan, nutrition advice or anything else of that nature. If you are inspired to begin a new lifestyle (diets don't work, remember?) please see your doctor to check for any underlying health conditions and see if s/he can point you in the right direction.
Not getting help at the doc or clinic? Try finding a good nutritionist who understands your lifestyle, goals, activity level and preferred diet be it omnivore or anything else. While I do still advocate whole foods and a fairly clean diet these are not commandments and my idea of what works and what works for my specific body may not work for you.
As always, all writing and photography are my original work. All videos and links are used for informational and educational purposes only. If you own the content of a video and want a link and credit or something removed, please contact me.
Every Body Is Different
Truly different. I am back into my weightlifting to try and build my body, and besides watching my nutrition and sleep patterns like a hawk now as it is important to fuel the body beautiful, I am also reading articles and watching videos by trainers, bodybuilders, nutritionists, doctors and so forth.
And what I've figured out is that my body is an omnivore body. I can build up strength easily and I can either loose weight quickly or put it on quickly, and that is without radically altering my diet or activity level. How do I know I'm omnivore? While some vegan and even raw vegan meals are fine I run best on a rich and varied diet of dairy, meat, fish, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. You know, the stuff doctors, nutritionists, trainers and the government tell us to eat but we won't because it doesn't taste good or is all a big conspiracy theory?
And I'm also eating cleaner. By that I mean I haven't seen candy in a while though I still occasionally use agave nectar or cane sugar as a sweetener. I have nothing against candy or soda, only it is empty nutritionally and as of now I'm trying to build clean, lean muscle. That said? Yes, I was invited to lunch and yes, I had, gasp, a lunch meat sandwich, soda and chips. So yeah, I won't avoid it if you put it in front of me, but I try and not keep it in my house either.
And by adding back in dairy, meat and other proteins in the form of plain Greek yogurt, whole eggs, and whole milk I feel much fitter. True, I can only afford the fattiest cuts of red meat, but I drain off the fat and as they are fatty I don't need to cook in oil.
Those are about two to three times a week, sometimes less, sometimes more. I listen to my body and wherever it leads I follow.
I've Upped My Calories
I've been upping my game with my workouts the last two weeks. Those meandering walks have become brisk and the weight lifting seems to be taking off like wild horses. And before you get excited, I didn't add on anything. Still one daily walk, five days a week and lifting light weights for three. But I noticed that although I was eating clean and had upped my calories from 1,500 to a cycle of 1,600 and 1,700 days there were days of 1,900 and 2,000 sneaking in there with no weight gain.
As I dragged through my last two workout days last week, remember, nothing terribly different and got on the scale to find a three pound loss putting me in the underweight range I knew I needed more calories. I had other symptoms as well and as I journal everything I eat and do I will be able to see the results in a week of where my new count takes me.
Please keep in mind every body is different and mine fluctuates like anyone else's. If I end up gaining too much and my clothes are suddenly way too tight by Sunday, I'll adjust my plan accordingly. But the extra calories should help fuel my body for better walks and lifting with less chance of injury. The well-fueled body simply runs better.
And thanks to a friend on FB, I don't have to guess. I got my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is what my body would burn even if I stayed in bed all day. and there are plenty of formulas to get yours, then other formulas to get your actual calorie range, but that does not substitute checking with your doctor or nutritionist.
My calorie goal to maintain would be 2,137.84 and to gain, and keep in mind this is for me, 2,637.84. I'll hit somewhere in the middle most days, but keep in mind I should be hitting at least 2,100 most days. I tend to never hit on target so if I say 2,100 it will end up being closer to 2,200. Half the battle is figuring out how my sneaky little mind will instantly add about 99 calories to a round number and say "close enough".
BMR Calculations: Best One I've Seen Yet!
I Love My Nonstick Pans!
I've had these pans or a set close to it forever and use little or no oil depending on fat content. A huge savings in calories, fat and cleanup afterward, I consider them a must have of every cook's kitchen.
I Command My Body To Go
Story time, two stories and they will make sense. Back a while ago my family, meaning my parents and I, belonged to a gym. Now I loved hanging out in the weight room and two things would happen there that are serving me now. One was a gentleman who while I won't go into details, a lot of people either pitied him and treated him as though he was helpless or they told him they admired him. He was simply there to be all he could be, despite walking with an assortment of metal braces on his limbs, back, etc.
I did admire him. He had to be in excruciating pain but he never once complained and he never once took the easy way out. Even the biggest lifters looked up to him. But the second type of person was all too typical of many types of gym members.
Now we had our own little room to go work out in, and most lifters tried to be fairly quiet. We never even left the room unless finished, but you'd see non lifters come in, try and pick up a weight to impress us and find it mysteriously jammed to the weight rack. Well, we who love iron are mostly sweet people, we are. So somebody between sets would go over, get both weights of whatever size they wanted and hand them over.
And nobody laughed at these people, everyone starts somewhere and I was the chronically light lifter who never could seem to break through to the next level with free weights. But these people who came in to impress us, instead of accepting advice or placement, they left pretty quickly, because they'd come in to make fun of us and figured out something fairly quickly. The weights were never mysteriously jammed or stuck. They just couldn't lift what they thought they could.
Why do those two stories matter? Because with my fibro every movement hurts. There are walks where my back aches, times when even with my piddly weights it takes everything I have to lift them and there is pain. More pain, one article suggested than normal folks would feel. But as it is normal for my body I've learned to embrace it.
Trust me, Im not into pain. Pain still sucks, but knowing it will be there helps me embrace it.
Are You Eating Enough?
One of my all-time favorite fitness mags along with the classic M&F and Flex. Solid nutrition and training advice and a sound approach that doesn't rely on crash diets, crazy fads or dangerous advice, I give it two free weights up.
I Never Give Up
When you are in pain and tired, or you hear about it taking decades to sculpt the strong body you want now, it is very easy to quit. Hey, I've done it myself countless times. I'll get to a certain point and then just accept I must look like that the rest of my life. But I don't have to. OK, maybe there is a one in a billion chance that my genetics won't let me get any better or trimmer than I am now, but I don't think so.
When we worked out my dad and mom finally joined me on the weight machines and free weights if I'd join them walking and on stationary bikes. Fair enough. And although their nutrition wasn't top notch, (back then we seriously didn't know any better, OK? ) it was still fairly good and dad was becoming a buff dude and he had huge and I mean huge potential for growth.
So did mom. So if I go by them there are sound genetics there. Now what I can do with them through a fairly clean and mostly whole foods diet and regular exercise remains to be seen. But I am excited to find out and already have my winter workout plan so I don't backslide like I did last year.
Because I can finally look in the mirror and see progress being made, a waist, shapely legs, and killer traps and delts, at least in my mind. And I want to keep that and sculpt it a little bit more. So, as much as it hurts, as hot or cold or whatever it is outside, I get moving.
I'm really excited to be moving on with this new phase in my life. The bacon cheeseburger patties have been replaced by freshly ground meat and steaks, but I understand they are always an option. I'm getting my carbs from whole food sources mostly, but do include a bit of pasta or other carb rich food from time to time.
Milk, yogurt, eggs and seafood round out the reintroduction of beef and hopefully chicken, but there are still plenty of veggies and yes, even some naturally vegan or vegetarian meals, but there's nothing forced about it. My main concern now is what the heck do I do about trick or treaters?
My family has handed out bags of candy for decades and it seems downright mean to not give anything or to force my healthy choices on them and I don't feel like picking up little packs of raisins off my front lawn. But I've got over a month to decide and as I rarely get kids all I have to do is not decorate this year....
Just kidding, I shall think of something the kids can enjoy and I won't eat all in one sitting. And not all candies are created equal, but that's another topic entirely. I'd love to hear from you and where you are on your journey and encourage you to never give up! Yes, it is hard, yes, it hurts, yes, it can be a challenge to eat clean. But in the end you and I are both striving towards better versions of ourselves. And that is something that makes all the pain and hard work worth it.