March 13th, 2009

Linda Hamilton-T2

It's Friday!


And I was even able to wake up early in the morning to make it to my 6 a.m. spinning class. Bonus points because I went to bed late after last night's rapier practice and diner at the Diner with the gang.

And speaking of dinner. I am still struggling to make the caloric intake that I need to sustain my fitness program. And by this means, I am still not eating enough.

No, guys, I can assure you I am not starving. And I have not decided to go into an anorexic fit or anything like that. Au contraire, I need to eat more in order to lose more fat and build more muscle.

All in all, I am not doing too bad. However, after the last evaluation on Wednesday, Courtney (my PT) and I noticed that I was still not gaining any muscle, even though I have been trying very hard to increase my caloric intake.

Part of the problem is that if you are trying to eat stuff that is high in fiber, low in calories, low in fat, complex in carbs, and high in protein, and keep the balance between them, chances are you will have to eat huge amounts of food to get those numbers. And I simply can't eat that much.

The other problem may be the hidden sugar in things such as yogurt and peanut butter, both of which are fabulous resources to pack in the calories, carbs and protein quickly and efficiently. (I am switching to organic peanut butter, the kind that you must stir, if I must have any of that. Fat is good. Solid fat is not.) And sugar is a killer and it's hidden everywhere.

Of course, when I raise the subject, I start getting remarks of "Hey! Come share my ice-cream! You'll reach your calories in no time!"

Well, ice-cream or a taco salad will get me the calories, all right. (Have you seen how many calories a taco salad has? Scary!) However, it won't build the muscle and it will make my body pack in the fat. No good.

So here I am, still trying to find the perfect formula. We arrived to the conclusion that not only I needed to watch the sugar, but that my caloric deficiency was too high compared with my exercise level.

What do I mean by that? Let's suppose that I burn 2500 calories per day between my exercise and my lifestyle, and I consume only 1300. At that level, you run the risk of your body thinking "I'm starving! Must store that fat!" Which may explain why I am not seeing any muscle building, and I even gained a bit of fat in two weeks. Ironically, the best way to combat that is to eat more, not less.

The good news is, I still managed to shrink my waist and my butt. But it was entertaining to play detective to figure out where had all the fat gone. It turned out that it had taken residency in my chest, thighs and arms. It was barely a quarter inch, but it was fat and not muscle.

So it's back to the drawing board, but now we have a clearer picture of what I need to do.

So tomorrow I am doing my first Birkam Yoga class. It will be a new experiment on my expanding my program. I am very excited. If this works, it will be a step in attaining the flexibility I crave. I have no problem lifting weights or doing cardio. Stretches? Not so much.

Here's to hope.

In the meantime, I shall continue struggling to make those calories.

Who would have thunk that eating that much would be so hard?