Sunday, September 29, 2013

Eating and Training to Add Muscle

I have absolutely no desire to look like a bodybuilder, yet many people think I do, they are just "uneducated" in the sport and think that all women with muscles are Bodybuilders. I am trying to add muscle, still. 

The last month has been a whirlwind for me, it's month two of adhering to my new diet, I am no longer eating chicken, broccoli and brown rice meal after meal.  Oh I still love those things and eat them every week, but I eat so much more than that! I think it would be easier to tell you what I do NOT eat.

Most packaged and pre made foods. I will eat Greek yogurt, breads and cheese, but no boxes of low fat chips, crackers, snack foods. I don't eat sausages, although I probably could and I am not a bacon eater by choice. I still refrain from drinking much alcohol, although Layne has taught me how to incorporate it if I want a glass or two on occasion; I prefer to save it for special events, I feel better without it.

Things I am enjoying that I really rarely ate for the last several years: Greek yogurt, fruit (lots of fruit - especially watermelon and apples), cheese, fatty meats (all cuts of beef, lamb, pork, chicken), breads, English muffins, toast and jam, olive oil on foods, pasta, french toast, you name it!

I just have to meticulously account for everything I eat and it must be timed correctly around my training. 

I have learned so much about how my body responds to certain foods and amounts, there is no need to be a martyr, you can live your life, compete or just look amazing! 

I shall never, ever, ever again be one of the competitors who starves herself and eats only the few staples: Tilapia, broccoli, asparagus, brown rice and yams. Never will I be a cardio queen! I never really was anyway, I always knew that a lot of cardio is bad for your body and makes you look drawn, tired and depleted, and I have always believed that someone who does hours of cardio just doesn't have their diet dialed in correctly.  

However,  I used to enjoy doing cardio more often than I get to now. I used to like hitting the stairs across the street from my house! I am currently only doing High Intensity Interval Training two times a week, and the duration is so short it leaves plenty of time to spend on abs, something I always skipped! 

The pictures above were taken 3 weeks apart. On the left (September 8) I was 126.5 pounds; on the right (September 28) I was 126 pounds. Almost exactly the same weight but in the right I look much more muscular and shapely. My shoulders are rounder and more prominent, and do I even need to say anything about the infamous glutes? 

It's a combination of the hard training and lifting I do everyday: my trainer, Roy Ganju, the owner of BodyComp Gym, is pushing me to lift heavier and heavier now that I am eating more; and the food, the variety and the timing of it all. I never realized just how important the timing was. 

I must say that I feel better and look better than ever. My weight fluctuates but is still lower than when I started working with Layne Norton, I believe I have lost bodyfat, but it's odd how much bigger, fuller and more muscular I look.

My emotional state is better, David is always telling me that (is he dropping hints???). I am happier, I feel much more freedom, although the daily meal calculations are still quite a job for me. I just have to plan ahead a couple days.

No longer do I have the massive food prep days, since I don't eat the same thing everyday it's not realistic or necessary. And, Layne changes my macro-nutrients every week, so I prepare my meals two days ahead, that's it.  I still cook a lot of chicken at once, or rice but not at all like I was doing in the past.

My squat has really improved, and this has no doubt helped my glute development, and that's in part due to an injury I sustained back in July. I developed plantar fasciitis again, I last had it about 10 years ago and it took two years to heal.

I am squatting lower, my back is better aligned and I am squatting heavier. I don't discuss "one rep maxes" I am talking reps here! I am squatting 170 pounds now!!

I have been taking some heavy duty anti-inflammatories, icing my feet 15 minutes daily with water frozen in coke bottles.

And I am rolling them for 15 minutes daily on lacrosse balls. Stretching, I am doing a lot of stretching too.

In addition to that, I have to sleep with night splints on. These are basically hard casts that go from my toes, along the bottom of my feet, up to my knee. I place my feet and legs in them and then wrap them with ace bandage. My foot is in a constant stretched position, all night long. The doctor had them made for me and he is confident this will "cure all my ails" 

For someone who sleeps naked, this is a very, very uncomfortable event, let me tell you!

But, one of my issues for years has been very tight calves and poor dorsi-flexion, these night splints seem to be solving the issue! I can now drop down to the ground, right into a squat, almost like a child! 

Below you can see the progression as I wrap my feet and legs up before bedtime, this is a nightly ritual now for four very long weeks! 

The end result below, nothing on but my casts on my legs! David and I laughed and laughed this first night, and I have since learned to wrap them up very quickly on my own. 

Sleeping as I said is difficult, and then of course there is the whole getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night issue too!

But I think about people who may not have a choice and have to live with something like this (or actually worse) every single day of their lives, for me it's a temporary setback, and I can wear regular shoes during the day. I will survive this event in my life.

 10 nights down, 18 to go! then watch me squat!