Woohoo!! It's Friday, ladies and gents!
The theme of my blogs this week has been scales do not apply. At this stage in my fitness, I don't care what the scale says. It's not going to tell me if I'm meeting my objective. I'm at a healthy weight and bodyfat percentage. That's pretty awesome.
But what if I want to firm up and tone up?
Losing weight and losing fat isn't enough. I need to get buff. And if I get buff, the bathroom scale is going to hurt my feelings. It might go up.
Goodbye, bathroom scale.
So then how do I tell whether I'm getting more buff?
Pretty much all of my objectives require non-scale goals: bodyfat monitor, tape measurements, how much I can lift and how my clothes look and feel.
My diet and fitness goal is to eat nutritious food and lift heavy things.
This week I haven't lost a single pound. And I don't care!
Here's what's happened in its place:
- Tummy is tightening up. The clean eating has reduced the bulge and poofiness, and the pinch factor is getting smaller. I'm a long, long way from having six pack definition, but I am getting a flatter runway.
- I'm bottom heavy, so I always see changes happen in my upper body first. One of my old sports bras doesn't fit anymore, which means the 'girls' have shrunk (boo). However, the 'girls' have more lift, which looks better on my petite frame anyway.
- My back muscles are looking RIPPED! Seriously. I was shocked when I saw them in the mirror. I was posing like a bodybuilder so I could check them out.
- I can see tendons and muscles in my arm moving when I grab something. Shrinking bodyfat is full of surprises.
- Clothes are feeling great. I fit in size 4/6, but I've been wearing mostly 6s because they've been more comfortable. Really, when size 6s are your 'fat pants,' things are going well.
Here was my plan:
- No calorie counting. I track my food simply so I could monitor the nutritional quality. I didn't intend to count anything, or try to stay within a range. If you are curious, however, I was eating about 1600-1800 calories per day. I don't want to lose weight. I want to change my body composition, and I can only do that by eating a lot of calories. Calorie restriction and muscle growth are incompatible.
- Ate when I was hungry, and stopped when I was full. With my increased fitness activity this week, I was hungry all the time. No problem. I didn't fight it. I ate healthy food when my body wanted it.
- I ate only high quality, nutritious food (with the exception of the pizza, which we will discuss in a minute!). Chicken, salmon, tuna, beef, pork, eggs and veggies of all colors of the rainbow. You know those big packs of lettuce at the wholesale clubs like Sam's or Costco? I ate one whole head of romaine lettuce for lunch every day with my protein serving. If I got hungry in between meals, I ate hard boiled eggs or a cup of greek yogurt. Being hungry was not allowed.
- The only dairy I ate was yogurt. I didn't eat cheese. This was to reduce bloating.
- No grains. Small amount of potatoes a couple of times in the week. Tonight I'm having a sweet potato with my ribeye, zucchini, and green beans.
The only deviation in my diet was last night when the DH brought home pizza. I was studying for an exam, and he was in charge of dinner. Sigh. I ate two of the smallest slices.
I like pizza as much as the next American, but last night I wished it was a fresh rotisserie chicken instead. Heck, I would rather have KFC because I could have peeled off the breading. I ate the two slices, and I was reminded how easy it is to overeat junk. I didn't feel nearly as full or sated as when I ate my salmon burger at lunch.
When you eat highly nutritious food, you don't need to eat as much.
My fitness routine is probably going to raise some eyebrows. I'm going pretty old school with compound exercises. Dumbell raises, lateral flies, bicep curls, and tricep kickbacks with a small weight combined with squats and lunges. It is a small 4lb weight because I am a wimp, not because I'm scared of muscle. I WANT muscle. BRING THE MUSCLE!
So my weights are puny because my upper body is puny. However, it is time to move to bigger weights. I'm no longer feeling the burn, so that means I have adapted as far as I can go with this level.
I haven't been doing much cardio. Again, my cardio is pretty old school. Jumping jacks and jump rope. Oh, laugh if you want. I want to see YOU do them. Rocky jumped rope!
No matter what exercise I do, I do it until I can't raise my arms or lift my legs anymore, or until I can't possibly do one more pushup or plank. If my arms and legs aren't burning, then I accomplished nothing. Waste of 20 minutes or an hour.
Then I rest and let my body repair until I don't feel the burn anymore.
It just works.
Everyday I'm feeling a little stronger and more capable than the day before.
Every time I do one more pushup than the day before, I know that's progress.