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Since January I've been chasing the elusive goal of losing weight while adding weight to the barbell. Since the start of 2015, I've carb cycled, counted macros, counted calories, added a wee bit of cardio, upped cals, lowered cals, had all of the cheats, competed and cut a few times... and I have finally arrived at the magical "sweet spot" that leads me to believe that I am in fact a unicorn, yes you heard me right, we do exist.
It's been 57 days since I started working with my current nutritional and lifting coach (Becca who is FABULOUS). It took about 4 weeks to start seeing any results. But once I started seeing them, they became consistent.
Back in January I tried out carb cycling and kept my intake around 1700 kcals. I didn't mind it, but carb cycling wasn't my thing. It required too much thinking and planning. I just want a plan I can follow 90% of the time and get results.
Becca helped me to see that I wasn't eating enough. I wasn't eating enough calories, OR enough protein. We started with me tracking at 1800-1900 cals (with a cheat meal here or there) for a few weeks with little results. After discussing that I was likely not eating enough, Becca urged me to slowly increase to about 2400 kcals. Even though I was trying to hit those numbers, I ended up being more like 2200 kcals most days. In addition to upping kcals to 2200-2400, my goal was to increase protein from around 130g to around 150-170g+ with carbs falling around 200-300 and fat falling wherever it did.
I started at a whopping strong yet fluffy 199 lbs (both back in January and in July), panic stricken at not wanting to edge into the 200's. I'm okay being a thick chick, but something about letting myself wander into the 200+ club again felt like regression and also like there would be no stopping point. My goal is to get to 180-175, because that is my happy place. I feel the most fit, strong, and I'll be honest... HOT at that weight. :-) Plus, that is a great spot for strongman because I could cut down a class or stay a HW. It's also a great class for powerlifting. Can't wait to get there!
I'm down to about 192(ish) and seeing positive changes in my body composition. I've lost about 8-9 inches on my waist, hips, thighs, and arms. It's INSANE to me that I've lost that many inches and not very many pounds. But it's happening. I've hit the sweet spot. I'm gaining strength and muscle while slowly losing fat. I'm SO excited. Most of those changes have happened in the last 3-4 weeks after upping kcals and protein.
Who knew that feeding one's body would yield such amazing results? I see so many women starving at 1200 kcals or eating only salads and fruits and veggies and I just want to shake them and tell them they don't have to live that way!
Seeing gains in the gym is the other part of this mythical equation. I'm starting week 7 of a 10 week program and I can't wait to set PR's on my lifts. My overhead strength has increased already and I can see new formations in my shoulders and back. Can't wait to be swole! ;-)
Do you want to be a unicorn too? Check out my food diary on MFP Here:http://www.myfitnesspal.com/profile/raeannepemberton
Most days, I consume the same breakfast and lunch with some type of meat and veggie for dinner. This is what works for me. I am a convenience chick, so it has to be easy! I workout fasted, but use a pre workout drink.
I'll post a typical day below. Yes, you will see tootsie rolls, pretzels, and a few other "unclean" things. I'm over the orthorexia way of living, and loving a more "if it fits your macros" point of view. I literally eat from a can of tuna every day at lunch. My coworkers are used to it. This day ended up right at 2120 kcals, 186 carbs, and about 150 protein.
I know I won't be a unicorn forever, but for now I'm enjoying it. I'm going to ride the rainbow until it settles a bit, then reassess, and keep kicking butt.