November 29, 2012

Insanity: Doing the Same Thing, Expecting Different Results

I had a great workout with my trainer yesterday. We did a full body workout and it was exhausting! We started out with lunges down the hallway.  My pants would literally not stay up.  They fit fine in the legs, but the waist band is way too big now.

My trainer looked at me and said sarcastically, thought you weren't losing any weight?! Clearly, I am.  I told her that I don't look in the mirror and see a dramatic difference in my body, therefore, I feel like I haven't lost weight. But she reminded me, if you clothes are fitting that much looser, you are losing weight.  Good point.

After we finished the workout, we talked about why I am not seeing more dramatic results.  She asked, "Are you resting?". Heck no! She told me that is my problem.  Who knew not taking a day off could damper my results.  She asked me if I knew anything about anorexia.  Eh, a little.  People who starve themselves, their bodies hold on to their fat because they don't know when they'll be fed again.  Same goes for people who over do it.  Sometimes the body goes into shock and starts holding onto the weight.  She told me it is so important to give your body a day to catch its breath and take it easy.  Guess that makes sense, but the thought of resting really makes me feel lazy.  Heck, I have been resting for the last two years, isn't that enough?! If only!

My trainer told me that if I am going to workout 6-7 days a week, that I need to switch things up cardio wise.  Currently, I am trying to do an hour of cardio about five days a week and lifting everyday.  She told me to continue doing my cardio, but change up the time and the intensity every day.  Three days a week, do only 30 minutes of cardio, but do hills, more resistance and really work to your fullest ability.  On the other days, do an hour of light cardio.  So light that you can read a book while doing the cardio.  Walk on a treadmill, lightly ride the bike, but do so at a lower speed and lower resistance.

Then I asked her why I have friends who can lose 20 lbs in a matter of two months and look dramatically different, yet I feel like I haven't lost anything.  Her first question was, "Well are they working out and lifting like you?".  I told her they mainly just diet and do cardio.  She said: the difference between you and them is that when they lose a pound, half of it might be muscle since they aren't lifting and barely exercising.  You on the other hand, when you lose a pound it will be pure fat because you are not losing muscle, you are building it.  Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you are losing muscle and fat, your weight loss is going to be more than someone just losing fat.

Pretty interesting. I don't know if I can express how thankful I am that I have her as a trainer. She keeps me focused on my goal and helps me realize this journey is not all about the number on the scale. Building muscle while losing fat is going to take longer to lose weight than just dieting and cardio, which is ok with me because I don't want to lose muscle and be 'skinny fat'. I am definitely going to try to make it a point to have one dedicated rest day per week and to switch up my cardio workouts.

I made a cool realization today.  My ring, which has not fit on my finger for more than two years, finally fits!  Couldn't even get it past my knuckle just a few weeks ago. It might be small progress, but everything counts!

I have been working hard and am realizing I need to switch things up and give myself a break every now and then.  It is possible to work hard, lose weight, gain muscle and take a day off once a week.  I can't do the same thing week after week and expect different results, important to switch things up.

Jess






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