Gaining Weight Is Cool!
[ct_leading]We all do it, stare at that fit girl wondering how her waste is tiny, stomach is flat, and her big butt is perfectly sculpted on top of tiny legs![/ct_leading] I recently discovered the magic trick to this body. It was a hard lesson to learn, but more valuable than ever. There was a time (recent time if we are being honest), where I thought I was eating enough and eventually the big butt and toned body would just come. FALSE, ALL LIES! If you do not fuel your body properly you just keep withering away, and I am living proof of this! When I first started my fitness journey my goal was to lose weight. I was focused on heavy cardio and tiny meals. Eventually, I got down to the weight I preferred, around 110lbs. After I achieved my goal of cutting down, I switched to the mindset of putting on muscle. Yet, I still tried to eat at the same little amount I was, and expected the muscle to magically come.
Don’t Fear the Scale!
[ct_leading]What was I thinking? [/ct_leading]I was too nervous about gaining weight. I genuinely feared it. I would step on the scale and see 113lbs and freak! HELLOO! I was trying to put on muscle. The number on the scale should go up! This took a while for me to come to terms with. I thought I could stay a 110lb cardio bunny and still develop a toned, muscular body. I was working my booty off in the gym each morning but my arms stayed the same, my butt would not grow, my stomach would not shape and I could not increase the weight I lifted. It was so frustrating.
I would think, “You’re eating so healthy and working so hard what’s the problem?” EATING, RIGHT? HA! I finally took the time to count my calorie intake to see just where I was. I was shocked! I was barely eating 1,000 calories a day! Do you know how insane that is? I was so blinded by the idea that apples and salads would get me muscles and a flat tummy. 1,000 calories is not enough for anyone. But, the combination of weight training at the level I was and not eating enough is dangerous. Of course I was not going to see any changes. I was not giving my body anything to make changes with. So, I made a major diet change recently and the #bodypositive results I have seen in the past 2 months are incredible.
Eat Babes Eat!
When I was not eating properly my daily meals would look like:
- Breakfast – Bowl of cereal, cheerios w/almond milk (after my workout).
- Lunch – Some sort of pairing between tuna with lettuce, avocado toast, fruit bowl, or an apple with almond butter.
- Dinner – A salad, maybe some chicken and rice and that’s it.
That was my day. I would snack a lot because my body just needed food and I was not listening. I was not paying attention. I had blinders on combined with a lack of knowledge and a fear of gaining weight. After all, I had worked so hard to reach my target weight. How could I jeopardize that by eating too much? A big thank you to my boyfriend for fighting through my stubbornness, showing me the way and getting me to eat more.
Today my daily meals look like:
Breakfast – Protein shake, bowl of cereal, fried egg on whole grain toast and avocado toast Somedays I will add fruit, a smoothie, or protein bar. (After my workout).
Lunch – I may have a burger, with the sides of tuna and lettuce, avocado toast, fruit bowl, with a homemade smoothie, baked potato, brown rice, quinoa etc.
Dinner – I have whatever I meal prepped for that week, usually a variation of chicken with rice, green beans or broccoli, sometimes steak. (I’m living on a college student budget, so steak is a real treat!)
What’s my point with all this food?
[ct_leading]My point is, I am eating! Eating right! Eating more![/ct_leading] My old meals have now become my snacks or side dishes. I rarely look at the scale now but I do know I fluctuate between 110-115lbs occasionally pushing 120. My calorie intake is higher than before and man the results irrefutable. Before you even question it, trust when I say my stomach has become flatter and better shaped, my legs are still small and toned and all the areas I want to grow are growing!
How? Why? No way! Oh Rules!
I know what you are thinking, “You mean more food equals a flatter tummy?” Yes baby girl, but it comes with rules as usual. Eating more does not include eating more ice cream, pizza, chips etc. It means adding healthier and adding filling, substantial foods to your diet.
More Food = More Results
Make sure you are getting all the good fats, carbs, and protein. Eat more and more of it! Your body begins to become used to your new eating habits and schedule, so it uses what it needs from the food you eat and rids itself of the extra. When you are not eating enough for your body it holds onto everything you feed it because it does not know when it’s going to receive those nutrients again.
Enough fuel let’s your body rid itself of extra calories, helps with muscle growth and shapes that flat stomach you crave. However, do your research and listen to your body! The amount I need to eat may be very different from what you need to eat. (As I have discussed previously every body is unique!) To give you some perspective into my daily routine, I workout 6 days a week, mixing heavy and light weights while incorporating 10-20 minutes of cardio regularly. I always make sure to hit each food group in my meals including:
- Good Fats
- A little bit of carbs or starches.
Side dishes I love to include:
- Baked Potato- add pepper or salt for flavoring. Avoid using cheeses, sour cream or butter.
- Almond Butter- paired with an apple, banana, or rice cake
- Salad –My salad recipe is unique and delicious
I also drink protein daily. Currently, I use Women’s Best and so far am thoroughly impressed with it. In the one month I have used it I have seen it shape my body, allow me to lift heavier and make my muscles more noticeable. Hopefully, after long-term use, I still feel the same way about it! Eating more is great. I am always full. I experience less head-aches (I suffer from migraines) and feel energized.
Talking about energy, I currently do not take pre-workout. Pre-workout is simply a drink designed to give you energy for the gym and a great muscle pump. (Kind of like a coffee specifically made for workouts.) A common way people describe it “Tunnel Vision”. They become solely focused on the weights, their workout and all energy is used for just that. I don’t use pre-workout only because I feel I am energized enough without it. Although, I am looking into BCAA’s which help with energy, replace electrolytes and aid in muscle recovery. (I will keep you guys updated!). Be patient as you pay attention to your body and learn what the perfect amount of food is for you! It took me a while to find the perfect balance and I am still not flawless. Some days I eat too much, some days too little. You do not have to be perfect you just have to be patient and determined. Remember your #bodygoals should be focused on #bodypositive. Eat right and learn to love your body.
Cardio Bunny to Weight lifting Queen
Yes! I said Queen because that’s what you are! Cardio is important and sometimes that long distance run, 30 minutes of cardio or a small salad is just what you need. That’s okay! Just balance it with weight lifting and proper meals. I promise I am living proof this works. So much around us has us programmed to fear food and gaining weight. But screw that! Don’t let society tell you what’s best. Listen to your body. Magazines, models, tv personalities, and social media do not know what your body needs. Take the time to do what I did and figure out what your body needs to become the healthiest version.
Without the recent changes I have made I would not be where I am right now. Let the photo for this blog speak for itself. In the picture on the right I 100-110lbs and on the right, today I fluctuate between 110-115lbs some days I am pushing 120 and I love it.. I am squatting my body weight, rowing over 50lbs and planking with 45lbs on my back and I have so much more to achieve. Find your self-love, eat and lift beautiful because gaining weight is the new black.