Thursday, December 30, 2010

Becoming Superhuman
After reading hundreds of diet/fitness books over the years, I finally found the BEST book. I feel almost euphoric, it's like it was written for ME.  I just told Mike, "I feel like I've been released from my prison."  He was like, "I didn't know you were in a prison." LOL  I laughed and said, "you know.. my FOOD prison.."

What I meant, is that for YEARS, I have felt out of control with regard to my body/weight. There were good and bad days/periods, times of success and failure, loss and gain... many different eating and exercise plans.  Through it all... even when I DID lose weight, I would feel like I wasn't going to hold onto it.  Like the next binge was going to pack on 5 pounds and result in a downward spiral toward fatsville.  Because of this fear, I NEVER had cheat days... well, maybe once or twice a year... and when I did I felt awful and guilty and didn't enjoy it.  Not a way to live!

The last time (prior to Christmas, 2010) I REALLY overate was 5-15-10! I almost passed out from a food/salt overdose.  I told myself  "never again."

After Emmy was born, as most of you would expect, I went back to my obsessive regimen of food preparation, restriction and exercise. Round and round the running track at school, like a hamster on a wheel.  Don't get me wrong, you all know how much I love running - but a big part of me was wondering, "What's the point."  I mean, I know running and exercise is important and essential for cardiovascular and mental health (and I would continue to do it for those reasons alone) but I am beginning to learn that the weight loss effect is negligible - and when you do "chronic cardio" you actually may be sabotaging your own body.  "The 4-Hour Body" takes a less-is-more approach with respect to exercise.  Doing simple, effective exercises and high-intensity interval training can have an effect as beneficial as endurance training, according to many studies! Isn't that amazing???

Leaving the hospital after having Emmy last August, I was already down to 135 pounds.  6 weeks later, I had dropped another 13 pounds.  After that, the weight loss stopped... despite miles of running, plyometrics and a very strict diet.  What was the problem?

Too much exercise, not enough calories, not enough water, not the RIGHT kinds of nutrients, essentially.

For the past six weeks, I did not lose an ounce.  Mind you, I was running about 25 miles a week, doing plyometrics 2 days, and eating around 1400 calories a day.  Many of you may be saying "What the hell, you're 122 lbs...why do you want to lose more WEIGHT..." Well, I don't necessarily want to lose "weight."
I want to lose fat. My bodyfat scale tells me I am 20%...I have heard the scales aren't very accurate, but at least it's a rough estimate.

What I want, is a SUPERHUMAN body. A body that makes people say, "what the hell have you been doing?"  And this is exactly what Timothy Ferriss talks about in his book "The 4-Hour Body."  I want ripped abs.  I don't want to be a competitive bodybuilder or anything - but I would like to make my body the best functioning machine it can possibly be - and this book is telling me how to do just that... in specific steps.  AND...I don't want to spend hours and hours working out. I want to engineer the best functioning body I can.

The book has shown me how to eat more, do less exercise and spike calories once a week to boost fat loss. I have only been following the diet for 4 days - and have already dropped 2 pounds... and that is including a HUGE Christmas Day binge food-fest!

Here's how it works. Throughout the week, I eat  protein and slow-burning carbs (vegetables, black beans, lentils, spinach). I don't eat fruit or dairy. On the "free day," anything goes!!! I have also reduced my exercise... running only about 3 miles every other day and doing other exercises such as kettlebells, pushups, lunges and core work on the in-between days. My workouts rarely exceed 30 mins/day.  I will be monitoring my progress with the tape measure as well.

Having a weekly cheat day makes it easy to stick to the diet all other days of the week - and I don't feel guilty about it, either, because I know it is helping to reset my metabolism to ensure it converts T4 cells to T3 cells in the thyroid! Who would've guessed a weekly caloric spike would actually boost fat burning?

Also, I am no longer a slave to exercise. I have long heard that short bursts of intense exercise can be as effective (or even more effective) as long distance training. I plan to put this to the test for myself as I am training for Grandma's this spring. 

I am so excited about this.  I feel like it's a plan I can live with for a lifetime.  Much more to come!