This is a continuation of my Blog Post, Gaining Weight To Lose BodyFat. Find it here: http://www.tessavanwade.com/2015-challenges/gainweighttolose/
For years, in my mind, I was supposed to fit the virtues and look of a woman. Somewhere deep within, this meant small, pretty, dainty…and strangely…fragile. Yes, fragile or weak was something that subconsciously I was trying to obtain. I can’t say why, but it was just one of those things to which there was no answer.
So when I started to gain weight by working out more and eating plenty of clean food, it was difficult to wrap my brain around gaining weight while gaining muscle. In my warped brain I was feeling as though I was being pulled away from the very woman that I assumed I should be. The first time I stepped on the scale and was up fifteen pounds, yet I looked better…was so frustrating. For the first time in my life, my cellulite was disappearing…I looked more muscular, but I was smooth. Yet I weighed fifteen pounds more. Ugh. I had lots of muscle. Ugh. I should be small. I’m already 5’8…I don’t want people to think I’m man-ish. Ugh. Continue reading
I lost quite a bit of weight right after getting really into working out. For someone who is 5’8 and whose body loves muscle, I was down to 130. Yet the thing that baffled me was that I didn’t have the look of my body that I desire. I had the weight that I thought would bring me the body I wanted…why wasn’t I getting what I wanted?
For example…I have sound legs–truly substantial thick legs. I always have–well before I ever had any trouble with weight. So that just shows you that this is my body. I am capable of leaning out pretty well on my arms and waist, but my legs just never seemed to get it! There was this idea in my head that if I could just get down on the scale then I would have to eventually lean out all over, right? Yet no matter how much weight I continued to lose, I could not lean out my legs. They would get smaller, yes, but not leaner. In fact, they would be softer and have more cellulite. Yet I continued to try. I ate beautifully (in hinds sight, I wasn’t eating with enough strategy…I’ll explain later) and I was working out with intense weighted circuits. No matter what I did, the cellulite was not changing. I did not understand!!!
It was only when I got so sick of eating perfectly and working out for an hour a day, with no results, that I let go of the concept for a while. Clearly other people know more than me.
This woman, Michelle Lewin, knew more than me. (she’s my favorite because I have almost the same body type…thick legs and a smaller upper half)
Ashley Horner knew more than me.
Jamie Eason knew more than me.
When I was eighteen I started cutting my plates in half. One of my favorite things to eat was Fettucine Alfredo at a wonderful little restaurant in Visalia, California called Rosa’s. They had the richest, most amazing Alfredo sauce. At one point, whenever I went with my new boyfriend or friends and I would order it and immediately cut it in half. (Just a quick fyi: the Kid’s Double Mac and Cheese at “Macaroni Grill” is 1070 calories…sickening, right?). Eating only one side of my plate was enough for me to lose weight almost immediately. At first I would be hungry after dinner because my stomach was used to taking in the entire plate, but soon my stomach shrunk and it wasn’t as hard as it used to be. Even though I was still eating food that I shouldn’t have been eating, at least I was eating less of it…you gotta start somewhere, right?
I started this without scales or knowledge of serving sizes.
You can only imagine my surprise when I started actually figuring out serving sizes. I was already eating half of what I used to and I still wasn’t at proper serving sizes. Good Lord, how much had I been eating before?!
I remember having a conversation with a client and we were discussing his milk intake. HE LOVED MILK. He would drink multiple glasses of milk a day. I asked him once, “Have you ever figured out one serving size of milk?” He answered no. Next thing I know, he comes back to me after separating out actual cups of milk. Turns out this client was taking in nearly twelve servings of milk a day.
I think sometimes we just aren’t prepared to find out just how little we actually need or how many calories are in the amount we are actually eating.
So since we are doing a Portion Control Challenge for January, I want to make sure to let you in on some realities of changing your serving sizes.
1. You will be hungry– If you are changing up the amount that you eat and it is different than what you are used to, there will be some times when you will feel hungry!! This does not mean you are starving yourself, this most likely means that you have stretched out your stomach and it needs to find it’s original size. The left over space that has been stretched out from years of overeating will send a message to your brain that you are hungry. Does it mean you actually need the calories? No. Unfortunately this is something where we just have to sit on our hands. This is NOT a call to drop your calories too low! That will only hurt your efforts. But it does mean we need to be aware when we have taken in enough.
2. It will take some time at first to measure your food– Eventually you will not need to measure and everything will be very easy to understand, but at first things need to be measured. This helps for a couple of reasons. A.) To figure out how much is too much, but also B.) To figure out how much is too little. I was surprised by how much meat I needed to eat. This is the only time that measuring helped me figure out more than what I was taking in.
3. Measuring doesn’t have to last forever– One or two weeks will cover nearly everything you eat. Once you have it, believe me…you won’t forget it.
4. It’s important to teach kids this when they’re young– AND without emotion! Kids need to be fed proper portions even as a child and they need to not worry about it emotionally. It needs to simply be a knowledge they have…just like math or science.
I’m looking forward to this month and hearing about the success stories!! Please make sure to send them in.
You’re strong and you can get through this journey. I truly believe that if someone can figure out portion control, than they are halfway there.