No Bulk About It!

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Health, Nutrition
Tags: ,

I often hear about individuals wanting to lose weight or “be skinny” again. After I had my kids I probably said those same words more than once. I was never really unhappy with how I looked, but deep down I knew that I had better inside of me. One day I got to the point where a switched was flipped inside of me. I began reading about fitness, really wanting to understand it, not just “get skinny” as I knew was not what I truly wanted to be. What I wanted to be was strong and basically a happier, better version of myself. I wanted to get rid of the bad stuff I didn’t like (extra baby pounds included), and I wanted to add good stuff to my life too. I didn’t read a book that promised me inches lost in weeks. I didn’t take pills that claimed to block fat from being absorbed into my system. I didn’t stop eating any of my favorite things.

There are two things that I did do that really changed how my body looked and how I physically felt. First, I signed myself up for a Pilates class. This class really strengethend my core. Seriously, I lost inches within the first ten weeks and after twenty weeks I would say my metabolism changed as well as how I saw myself. In twenty weeks I grew incredibly stronger. I started to see definition in my body that I don’t remember ever having before that, even as a “skinny” teenager. I loved how I felt and I loved how I looked and I was 100% hooked.

After taking Pilates for about a year I began training to become an instructor. Through the training I was exposed to other group fitness classes, namely bootcamp and Zumba. I LOVED bootcamp the second I dropped to do my first twenty pushups. It was hard. I had to do them the “girl way”, but it was awesome. Being in that group setting really drove me to just “do one more”. After all, there was no way I was going to stop before the girl next to me! Leaving that class that day I felt as if my legs would give out underneath me. I looked like a sweaty pig (do pigs sweat??) and I instantly knew I wanted to move like that as much as possible. It was right around this time that my husband, Mike, (who has always been incredibly athletic and active) began P90X training. For those of you who aren’t familiar, P90X workout is an extreme 90 day fitness program developed by workout guru Tony Horton. It is an intense home exercise program that combines cardio workouts, weight and resistance training, yoga, plyometrics, and stretching routines to improve coordination, flexibility, and strength. It is super hard and super awesome all at the same time. I started joining in on workouts with Mike and this is where I believe the second fitness “milestone” happened. I DID BOY PUSHUPS! This was a huge deal for me and still is. I LOVE the feeling of being strong and doing something that I either never did before or I never could do before.

During all of this training I lost a lot of fat and gained a lot of muscle. Notice I did not say I lost weight, because I didn’t. Actually, I gained weight. Though a tad startling at first to the physique, (after all, aren’t the scale numbers supposed to go DOWN with all this stinkin work????), when I looked in the mirror I was incredibly happy with what I saw and I had never felt better physically. What was happening to me was that I was gaining muscle and losing fat. This is what we all want. We want to build up our muscles so we can more efficiently burn the calories that we eat everyday. I am sure that you have heard the joke, which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks? The answer being neither, they both weigh a pound. In this case, we are looking at fat vs. muscle. Although it rings true that a pound of fat does indeed weigh the same as a pound of muscle but there is a big difference in the two as well. Muscle takes up a lot less space than fat does. If you take that pound of fat and put it into a container, you would need a much larger container than you would for the pound of muscle. Check out this SUPER awesome 😉 image that really gives a great visual reference for you. Nice huh?? Fat is lumpy and bumpy and all over the place. Muscle is much easier to look at (and slide into a pair skinny jeans), and it works with the rest of our body, and not against it. So, if I haven’t made my point already, let me reiterate, MUSCLE iS GOOD, especially for the ladies! No need to fear the dreaded “bulking-up myth.” Woman do not have the hormones to get huge honkin muscles. We just aren’t genetically programmed to become that way, no matter how many pounds you hold while you sumo squat. In order to look like this pretty little thing…: major hormones are necessary as well as not having a day job, because every waking hour must be spent in the weight room. If you want to lose body fat and gain muscle in a natural, normal person way, by eating a good amount of protein to support healthy muscle growth after lifting weights and doing some sort of cardio activity, and if you are very lucky to be blessed by the God of Good Genes (oh how I wish I could be so lucky!!!), you will end up looking more like this:

That, my friends, is Zuzana, from Bodyrock.tv. Her and her people post workouts and healthy recipes daily and I highly suggest you check it out.

So, I have said quite a lot! Phew! I hope that I have busted the “bulky” myth – I despise it so much! Everyone repeat after me, muscles are our friends!!!!

🙂

Thanks to Bodyrock.tv and P90X. Check out their sites, you won’t be disappointed!

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