So, during my last post I left you with a discussion of my fear of being metabolically damaged. Over the course of the last week, I have spent a significant amount of time researching and attempting to locate the best possible way to “fix” this issue, as well as the best way for me to get back on track with feeling my best.
Are fitness programs the answer?
There have been several things I have considered. Bodybuilding.com continues to be a valuable resource and I trust the research and professionals that stand behind this site. When I think about the type of physique that I really want and what I consider to be healthy and fit, I think of the physiques of a lot of the Bikini Competition participants and female figure competitors. Albeit, I completely understand and realize maintaining this level of fitness all the time is irrational. Even the competitors have an “on” and “off” season. I consider these types of bodies to be strong and admirable, and that’s what I would like to strive for.
When trying to level out and correct my metabolism, I considered the programs featured on Bodybuilding.com to help maintain an appropriate fitness level, as well as have a guide for nutritional intake. Many of these professionals seem very competent in these areas.
Jamie Eason’s program and why it’s not for me.
Jamie Eason is one of these amazing fitness professionals who also just so happens to have an amazing body. Her program, the Livefit Trainer, has been very successful for a lot of individuals. The program consists of 12 weeks, split into 3 phases. During phase 1, the focus is strictly on building a muscle foundation and for this reason, consists of only weight and resistance training with no cardio. The next two phases begin to start incorporating weight and cardio training.
I have tried this program before, but found it very difficult to stay consistent. As much as I love the idea of having a program to follow, I also know myself. I know my perfectionist tendencies cripple the motivation I have for these programs. If I miss one day or stumble in the program slightly, I then develop an attitude of, Well I’ve already messed up, might as well eat this cookie now! I know it’s not practical or rational, but that’s usually what happens.
There is also part of me that really does not like the idea of a program right now. I think I need to focus on reducing stress evoked from calorie counting and program planning from my life at the moment. I have had a lot of stress on myself lately from school and work, and adding one more thing in my life to stress about right now seems contradictory.
Back to Basics
That being said, I’m trying a back to basics approach. I know what has worked before and why it was working. I have been far too focused on restricting and counting calories for a long amount of time, which has resulted in metabolic damage and less energy to fuel my body and workouts. I also know in order to correct this imbalance I slowly will need to add calories back into my diet in healthy ways, through plenty of complex carbohydrates, vegetables, learn proteins, and healthy fats.
As for my “plan” I really am just aiming for balance as I go forward. I know I haven’t felt like myself in a while. I’ve been tired, exhausted, and stressed. A lot of the stress has came from freaking out about what I am eating and how often I am exercising from day to day. So, for now, I’m DONE with all of that. Instead, I am going to aim for balance and try to focus on just moving some most days of the week and eating a clean diet. After all, abs are made in the kitchen and diet is 80% of the work!
Here is my proposed “plan” or I would rather think of it as a guide. A lot of these things worked for me before, and some of them are new things I am incorporating based on my research.
** Reduce overall carbs from “bread” products, limiting most of my carbs to sweet potatoes and grains.
** Focus on consuming carbs early in the morning along with protein, and tapering as the day goes on. Early in the morning to “jumpstart” energy and later in the afternoon right before the afternoon workout.
** Have only one “cheat meal” a week, and one “sweet cheat” per week. I will be saving these for the weekend unless I use them throughout the week.
** Consume as many vegetables as I want, especially green veggies.
** Aim to drink at least 1 gallon of water a day, or 5 Cambelbak bottles.
** Focus on bodyweight strength training, circuit workouts, and HIIT training. Reserve long run, steady cardio to two days per week unless training for a race.
** Reduce fruit intake to no more than 3 fruits a day. Although fruit is healthy and friendly food, it still has sugar in it that needs to be utilized in exercise.
** Reduce overall sugar intake, focusing on consuming more proteins and healthy fats.
** Aim to be active at least 4-5 days a week.
** Incorporate meal planning to assist with always having healthy meals available and ready. I will be developing a meal rotation plan to make this even easier. I will share when it’s ready!
** Above all, I am going to work on being more CONSISTENT. I feel this is an area for much improvement and I cannot expect results if I don’t stick with anything for at least a month or more
So, if any of you ever struggle with finding a routine, motivation, or figuring out what works for your body, then I hope this was helpful. Again, this is my opinion and the purpose of this discussion was mainly for you to see the thought process that I have been going through when trying to figure out what my body needs and what will work for me. If anything, I hope it has inspired you and maybe given you some ideas or tips.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Stay tuned to see what my meal planning looks like and how this new “plan” is working out for me!