Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Well, at the risk of repeating myself… I’m going to repeat myself.

Sort of.

I’m just going to start it with a simple statement and we’ll move on from there.

Losing weight and losing fat are two different things.

Tons of people want to “lose weight.”  That’s what they say, or something to that effect.

“Yea, I’d like to lose some weight and get back into shape.”

Hell, I said it.  Maybe I’m messing with semantics here, but what I really wanted to do was lose fat and I’d be willing to bet that that’s what most people want; to lose fat.

I had to learn the hard way that losing fat and losing weight are two entirely different beasts.  Certainly, at the size I was before, losing weight really was the goal.  That involved losing fat and some of the muscle I had built up over the years.  There was no way I could possibly change the fact that I had to lower my numbers in general to get healthy.

That being said, for people who aren’t nearly as bad off as I was, I think there is way too much emphasis on the numbers on the scale.  I’ve probably put on ten to fifteen pounds in the last few months (depends on the scale I borrow, since I don’t own one).

Yep, I gained weight.  But you know what?   I’m okay with that.

Along with those ten-fifteen pounds I’ve added wide grip pull-ups to my repertoire of exercises, I’ve put up higher numbers on all of my compound lifts, I’ve gained tons of endurance both muscular and cardiovascular, I’ve gotten faster during sprints, and I’m finally starting to see the outline of that six pack dream I’m chasing.

You can’t tell me that losing weight is always the answer.

We know muscle weighs more than fat per pound.  So why is it so hard for people to grasp that gaining muscle and adding a few pounds because of it is not the end of the world?

The damn scale.  The damn TV you’ve got next to your scale telling you what you should weigh.  The damn social network that scoffs anytime you mention “health.”

All of these things tell us that the number on the scale is more important than how we feel.  Well, I’ve gained weight, guess how I feel?

FUCKING AWESOME.

Seriously.

I wasn’t always this confident about that particular feeling.  When I first happened to chance a look at a scale and saw that I was heavier, I had a panic attack.  I even regressed a little and starting cutting calories thinking I had messed up somewhere.  I’m not supposed to be gaining weight.  I’m going to end up like I used to be.  I’m going to undo everything I’ve worked for the last two years.

You know, panicky stuffs.

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Luckily, I didn’t do too much damage to my progress before I figured out the truth.  I was in the middle of doing pull-ups and realized that I wasn’t struggling like I used to.

How is it I’m heavier and doing more than I’ve ever done?”

“Oh…dammit.”

It’s not easy to be someone who was overweight and see the scale go back up.  It’s probably not easy for anyone to see those numbers creep up.  It makes you feel like you’re headed in a direction you swore you’d never go again or would never go at all.  But if you take a second to stop and think about it, you may be heading exactly where you need to.

I think the best way for people to avoid the minor crisis I had would be to really think about their goals.  Define what exactly it is you are trying to accomplish and then find out what that goal actually entails.

Trying to lose fat.”—> Okay, I’m going to lose some of my strength/muscle mass.

“Trying to get stronger.” —> Yep, I’m gonna put on some pounds.

“Increase my cardio.” —> I’m going to want to puke after most of my workouts.

The truth is that I had been kind of winging it up until this point.  I made healthy choices but I wasn’t really sure what I was aiming at other than, “Be healthy.”  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it can have an impact when you start to see the numbers changing in either direction.

Realistically I know that not everyone is going to rid of their scale.  It’s just not done.  We judge our progress by numbers and, I admit, seeing numbers reflect our hard work is incredibly satisfying.  So, in lieu of that, maybe we should put more thought into how we feel off the scale than we do when we’re on it.

-Moody

I’m for serious. It’s telling you a whole bunch of stuff and, if you’re anything like me, you probably aren’t listening nearly as much as you should. Much like when you don’t finish the “honey do” list — fellas I’m looking at you; if you don’t listen, you’re gonna have a bad time.

So, onward to the background:

I had been doing my HIIT/turbulence routine for a few months and decided that it was time to change it up. My doctor had told me losing weight is no longer my problem and that I just needed to lose the excess fat.

This, my dear friends, is wonderful news. This means that I can start lifting the way I want to; which is to say really heavy. My goal so far was, “lose weight” my goal now is “get jacked”. What I want to do is put on quality lean muscle without the fat. I’ll continue to burn fat during this period, but it’s more of a bi-product of the muscle building. What I hadn’t fully anticipated, though, was that I would need to alter my strategy in the kitchen just as much as my strategy in the gym.

Oh sure, in theory I knew I needed to change a few things, but I didn’t think I would be able to feel a difference and that I would just eat more of the good stuff that I had been eating.

Never have I been so wrong.

I came out of the gym on the first day of my new routine ready to fall over, feeling like I was gonna vomit. I went home and splayed out on the couch feeling miserable for myself. About 20 minutes into my self hate, I sat up and said “a sweet potato sounds delicious.”

I do not know why I said this, but I listened. I took my miserable ass to the kitchen and grabbed a sweet potato I had already baked, heated it up, and I nom nom nom’d the hell out of it.

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It was like Popeye and spinach. I felt awesome. Then the lightbulb went off over my head and I felt like an awesome idiot.

My body had essentially been consuming itself because of the intense workout I had done. It NEEDED fuel, in this case, it needed carbs.

Since then, I’ve done a suitable amount of research into what I need to do to fuel my body correctly for my new goals. I feel a million times better after my workouts and I’m seeing genuine progress.

A few things I’ve learned:


1) Your body needs fuel, this I knew from losing weight. Carbs, Fat, Protein. Your goals decide how much of each. When your goals change, however, your fuel needs to adjust as well.

2) Pre-workout meals and Post-workout meals. Timing is everything and everyone is different, but for me these variables can be the difference between an average workout and mind- blowing workout.

3) Track your macronutrients. Carbs, Fat, Protein. I’m not saying you need to weigh your food or obsess over every little number. Just have an idea of what your putting into your body so that when you need to make changes you have a stepping off point.

So, take a look at your goals and really try and pay attention to how you’re feeling. You’re body knows exactly what it needs, all you have to do is listen.

-Moody

Your Goal, Your Rules.

Posted: September 23, 2013 in diet, fitness, health
Tags: , , , , ,

Over the last few days I’ve had some interesting run-ins with various articles and, in most hypocritical fashion, I think they’re full of it.

I’m only mentioning this because there’s a chance that if you read my blog you also read other fitness related things on the interwebz and if you read what I did, well, things got uncomfortable.

These particular sources of frustration pointed at two of the most glaring problems that people attempting to be healthy run into, at least in my eyes.  The worst part is that, once again, they come from the fitness community itself.

1) Telling you that your way, in regards to how you eat, is wrong because they feel their way is better.

2) You’re goals are unrealistic (because I can’t reach them so you shouldn’t either.)

The first is the easiest to address seeing as I’ve already touched on it in an earlier post.  Moral of the story: just make good choices.  There’s plenty of information out there on how to eat healthy. If you feel good about how you’re eating don’t let someone else knock you down because they do it differently.

The second point, however, is where the real source of my frustration lies.

Your goals are your goals.  If your goal is to be absolutely shredded, jacked, and have a six-pack then DO IT.  If your goal is to drop a few pounds and just be a little healthier then DO IT.  If your goal is to run a marathon then DO IT.  If your goal is to eat a box of Krispy Kreme’s then DO IT… but maybe only once.

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There’s a pattern here.

Whatever your goal is, you need to figure out how to reach it.  For the person (aka me) who wants the first goal I listed up there, they are going to have to make much different choices than the person who wants to drop a couple of pounds and keep it off.  The same goes for the person with the goal of running a marathon.  When you set an actual goal, not just a theoretical “wouldn’t it be cool if” thing, but a real life “I’m gonna do this” thing; when you do that, you have already started the process of figuring out what you need to do to get there.

Generally, what “you need to do” involves making a whole bunch of smaller goals that work toward your overarching goal.  Take me for instance; yep, I sure do want a six-pack.  However, I am realistic enough to know that I’m not going to get it overnight or even in the immediate future.  What I do know, though, is that to get there from here I need to work my ass off and eat right.  So I AM.  I make lifestyle choices that get me closer to my goal every day.  I have milestones that let me know that I am, in fact, making progress toward my bigger goal.

Besides, I’m lazy at heart and since this goal is fairly long-term I won’t have to come up with a new one anytime soon.

The problem is when someone questions your goal.

“Is that realistic?  Like, do you actually think you can do it?”

The next time I hear that, somebody is getting judo chopped and I don’t even know what that actually is.

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 Really, though.  I will.

There is a more civilized answer, though, and it is a resounding, “YES”.  So: set your goal. achieve your goal, tell everyone else to screw off.

Moody