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Yep.... Those Studies Were Right......

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lately I've learned first hand that some of the things I have read but was never sure about are indeed true. I would recommend you take my word for these things and not try to find out first-hand. The process stinks.

Here they are, in no particular order:

- Extreme stress really does hinder fat loss. I hired Julie Lohre as a coach. She is awesome, with the most comprehensive program and organizational skills I have seen to date. But, bless her heart, she couldn't elicit a change in my body, despite her best efforts. I was (and still am) under a ton of stress in my personal life. I am absolutely confident this stress stopped my body from letting go of the fat she was trying so hard to wrangle off of me. I only did her program for 8 weeks because I felt bad. She has limited availability and I felt her time was better spent with a client who she could actually gain some satisfaction from. I'd of worked with her longer, otherwise.

- L-glutamine powder taken either pre- or post-workout really does help with soreness. Spent all last week sore when I forgot to take it (because of the stress). And my routine didn't change at all, so it's not like I did anything new to elicit the pain.

- If I start eating refined sugars (white flour or white sugar), it's pretty much guaranteed to trigger a binge.

-Same with diet soda.

- Exercise really does stimulate feel-good hormones that help lift your mood. It's much harder for me emotionally in the early mornings since my life has encountered sadness that is not going to go away (maybe ever). And the weekends, which I take off of exercise? I'm a wreck! After I work out, however, I feel better the rest of the day. For this reason I am going to try and split my workouts up to lifting in the morning and cardio at night, just to get the good stuff going through me 24/7. And I am going to start adding in weekend exercise all I can.

- Cardio is not as important as lifting, but it's still important. I don't drop weight nearly as fast without it.

- 1600 seems to be the magic number for me. If I eat calories much below that, I don't drop weight nearly as quickly. And the lower I go below 1600, the more my weight loss stalls. Additionally, I get really hungry if I eat below about 1450. Seems my body wants the muscle I've worked so hard for FED! I've heard this. I've blogged about it. (See "Moving Past a Weight Loss Plateau" here:
). And now I have lived it numerous times.

- Stress really does give you more grey hair! (This has nothing to do with physical fitness, but it's true nonetheless.)

So there you go- I have been my own, unwilling, science experiment. Maybe my experience can help someone else who thinks, as I used to, "I wonder if that's really true?". And now I am curious- What fitness data have YOU found first-hand to be true?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GOLDIE3331
    Hello! This really explains a lot for me. In 2011 I reached the low 160's I was doing so well I actually had muscle in my arms I was so proud and I just stalled there for months. I eventually got so extremely frustrated I just started eating whatever I wanted. Now that I think about it I was not eating enough at the time I just needed to add some healthy calories to get through. I also needed to change my workout routine now that I think about it. I will do it this time!
    2070 days ago
    Completely agree with all of the above. But man do I wish the sugar and diet soda thing weren't so...definitely my trouble area.

    Great blog!
    2129 days ago
    (((hugs))) & prayers going out to you babe. I am really sorry that you have been going through all of this. Stress and sadness stinks. I have been overwhelmed with it far too much lately too:(

    Lessons I have learned and am still learning from my journey. As you'll see I agree with all of your points. Added some spirit stuff because that is a biggie for me. long post ahead…

    -We are unique and it’s not one program, one diet fits all. You need to listen to your body and it helps lead you to what works for you. Seek guidance and then work it into your program. Trial and error:)
    -Do what you love. For me it is ST. Loving what you are doing drives you to work harder and lifts the spirit. Cardio is a necessary evil for me, but I don’t have to do it daily and for an hour at a time to get the benefits. Although I still have to mix it up to keep changing, I prefer working one to two groups at a time in ST. I feel more focused and enjoy it more.
    -More is not always better. Train harder and wiser. Spent a little time doing more, more, more and ended up getting less, less, less!
    -Lack of sodium in my diet triggers crunchy cravings. I up the salt intake and cravings go away.
    -Tracking works. I don’t fixate on the numbers, but it keeps me mindful and on track with increasing my calories and the necessity of continuing with a daily multi-vitamin.
    -Eating higher clean calories keeps me losing. There seems to be a sweet spot for me. Struggling with this lately.
    -Protein with every meal or snack keeps me satisfied. I munch on veggies ALL day and if I don’t add protein in, my stomach grumbles non-stop. Also keeps my energy on an even keel.
    -A nice mix of protein, carbs and fats work. Low is kind of out of the vocabulary now. Heavy carbs like pasta don’t do my body good though. Messes with my energy, moods and triggers the eating disorder mind. Quinoa, couscous, oatmeal…work better. Less bloat, feel lighter.
    -Need my protein shake and L-glutamine powder. Helps with soreness and strength.
    -Numbers on a scale are not a true gauge. ST proves it.
    -Outside the box, but prayer and meditation is huge! I gain strength, motivation and inspiration from it. Helps with the life struggles which can seem unbearable at times. Cannot imagine not having it as a tool on this journey.

    2129 days ago
  • IRP1114
    Exercise has definitely kept me sane through tons of stress! Right now keeps me from letting my boys drive me nuts on a daily basis. But in the past has helped as well. With everything from years of living with in laws, tragedies leading to extreme sadness in the family, business failure, sudden unemployment of hubby and his two brothers all at the same time while I was pregnant, and other high stress moments from a combination of things.
    Can 100% agree with you on this! Hang in there girl. Life can be so hard on us sometimes... Everything happens for a reason. You will find a way to overcome this sadness in your life. Just focus on all the blessings in life right now. And of course keep exercising! And sharing your wonderful tips. emoticon
    2130 days ago
    Hey Nancy,

    Good insights here! Sorry to hear you have been under so much stress lately. I have been too busy to spend much time on Spark but I do miss it and your great info.

    Hang in there and keep exercising. There are times I feel exercise is my only link to sanity!

    Not sure about the grey hair issue. I probably have too small a sample size to reach any conclusions LOL!
    2130 days ago
  • GYMRAT54
    Thanks for sharing with us what you're going through and what you have learned.

    I'm sorry for the stresses in your life. It may explain why my gaining back the weight I lost. I've been stressed lately, myself. I found when stressed, I eat. I don't know what my daily calorie requirement should be at to lose weight. Should look into that.

    I know the endorphins from exercising help improve my mood and deal with stress, whether it's strength training or cardio. I really like the idea of splitting up the workouts. I used to do my workouts mid-afternoon after work when I was working. Now that I quit that job, I've been doing my workouts in the morning. However, by mid-afternoon, I start to drag. I'm wondering if I should do a both a morning and mid-afternoon workout to get me through the morning and through the afternoon. I also noticed a difference in dealing with stress, my mood and my weight when I picked up my ST and reduced my cardio.
    2131 days ago
  • CICI510
    I am so sorry that you are going through so much right now! I agree with the gray hair! I am only 31 but after the horrible few years I've just overcome I am getting gray's sprouting up everywhere!
    2131 days ago
  • ILOVEJIM851991
    I agree we are all a little different. Workouts help my stress level but my husband has told me he can't live with me if I don't take a stress b complex every day.
    2131 days ago
    I'm sorry to hear about your stress levels being up. I hope that your assessment that your sadness will never go away is wrong.

    Please know that you are quite an inspiration to many, and me in particular! emoticon emoticon
    2132 days ago
    Perhaps the stress chemistry that hinders weight loss under stress and causes grey hair are related?

    Or maybe ... you're just getting older. And as I told my older brother when he pointed out that my hair was grey early ... Well, I didn't actually SAY much. I just drew in a breath, said, "Yeah, well." looked at his balding head of black hair and ran my hand through my full head of prematurely grey hair, allll of it, and let the matter drop.
    2132 days ago
    Thank for sacrificing your body for us.
    2132 days ago
  • ROCKMAN6797
    So sorry that you had to serve as the guinea pig for these studies but happy that you are sharing them with us.
    I have learned that lifting weights really does wonders for the body! I have been about the same weight (190-194 lbs) for the last year but lifting on a regular basis has really changed my body in remarkable ways. I am losing belly fat and it appears to be going to other places like my arms, my legs, and my chest! I realize that my daily cardio schedule helps a lot with regards to the belly fat issue but I think the upper body strength I am gaining does not hurt as I stand up straighter and am continually holding my abdominal muscles in place. Weight lifting has literally been a godsend, an activity that I find very rewarding!

    BTW, I agree, stress does lead to more grey hair!

    2132 days ago
    I'm sorry you are going through so much stress and your body is taken a toll for it. I totally get it. I wish you easier days ahead.
    2132 days ago
  • TANYAP71
    I have found that my vitamin D supplements are absolutely necessary for weight loss. Maybe for maintenance as well. When I stopped taking them in March/April my weight crept up a few pounds. As soon as I started taking them gain the weight came off. If I forget to take it on vacations I gain a lot more than I do when I take it through vacations. If I keep up with my vitamin D my body seems to recover 'naturally' from any splurges... even a week long one.

    I definitely see the mood effects of exercise and make sure I don't go more than 2 days without a HARD workout.

    Some of your experiences are not the same for me... which is something I think is important for everyone to realize.... our bodies are different and will behave differently. We all really need to pay attention to our bodies and learn what they need to give us what we want from them.

    2132 days ago
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