Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Why you can't live your life by the scales

I'm sure we have all been here at some point in our lives!

You may or may not know that I have undergone a transformation over the past 18 months. When I got very unwell with adrenal fatigue 4 years ago, I gained 20kg in one year. My efforts to lose it were fruitless while I was still unwell, and every time I lost some weight I gained it back (plus a bit more). I was also going through an emotional rollercoaster because I was working in a stressful job where I got made a scape goat, and this made me loose my self belief. 

I also thought I lacked willpower, but the hormones in my body were constantly screaming out for salt and sugar, so I stood no chance! (If you want to know more, Dr Libby goes in to great detail about what happens in her book, Accidentally Overweight) Having very little energy to cook for myself would see me reaching for easy options, despite trying my hardest to be healthy.

I took a year off work to recover and rest completely, and had some traditional Chinese acupuncture which helped my recovery. I started lifting weights regularly in June 2014 and haven't looked back since. I always had it in the back of my mind that my end goal was a sculpting comp, but I did a bit too much too soon and got burned out and injured in November 2014. 

I went backwards for a while, then started training again in January of this year. To be honest I wasn't making much progress in terms of fat loss because I was having a good time over summer with all the visitors, trips away and parties. But I never missed weight training and have been making good strength gains all year.

At the end of April I went and had my body fat percentage measured. I was only half a kilo heavier than I am now, but my body fat was 32%. I was quite shocked at how high it still was and was feeling a bit overwhelmed with how far I still had to go to be competitive in a sculpting competition. I was also still lacking energy and needed daily naps, so I wasn't sure if I could manage it.

A couple of weeks later, a chance meeting got me onto an amazing supplement called Juice Plus. I started taking the magic capsules and had such a massive energy boost, which gave me the confidence to commit to my sculpting comp. I made the decision to enter the Hamilton comp on the 3rd of October.

Since then I've been more diligent with my diet and have only had alcohol a few times. To be honest I was very nervous that I wasn't getting anywhere because the scales weren't changing much. They went up and down a bit but they stayed pretty much the same as what they were when I had my body fat measured in April. Even my measurements didn't change very much, and the progress pictures I take are in poor lighting and with a phone camera, so it's often hard to see the changes happening.

But great news! I had it tested again and I'm down to 22%. This means I've lost a whopping 6kg of body fat AND gained 5.5kg of muscle in the last 3 months. I've also been called an athlete twice in the last week, and the world powerlifting champion who trains at my gym told me yesterday that I look really good and "those are big weights!" WOOHOO!

So try not to live your life by the scale. There are also other things which can affect weight such as water retention and hormones. If you really have been letting your food and exercise slip, it's never too late to start. 

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