Sorry guys. Flashback Friday’s been on hold for awhile because of the holidays, travel, et cetera! But I’m back, with the story I promised–how I went from skinny fat, injured, and unhealthy, to healthy, muscley, and strong.
So, as you know, in December 2008 I was 150 pounds. I was also “skinny fat”–the phenomenon where you weigh a low number, but you’re squishy and jiggly still because you have a high body fat percentage and no muscle. Through Livestrong.com, I discovered the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women. As you know, I love plans. Frankly, I was tired of running 6 miles a day, 6 days a week. And the idea of being “allowed” to eat 2000 calories a day sounded like heaven. So, I plunged myself wholeheartedly into the program.
And here is where I post progress pictures. From last year. In a bikini. I realize I in no way live up to a lot of the super-fitness bloggers out there, but I am very proud of how my body changed over this program. Here I am at the beginning:
And the end:
(I cropped my face out for safety reasons. Also, I look like a huge tool.)
The biggest changes I saw physically were in my upper body. I still have very well-defined shoulders and biceps even though I lift only once a week or so these days. My thighs will always be huge, but they definitely got more muscular, and I think I successfully took my waistline in a bit as well. I also generally looked firmer and less jiggly all over.
But I saw even bigger changes mentally. This program taught me the following things:
- It’s okay to eat. Really. Eat lots of good food. Your body needs it to get stronger.
- The number on the scale doesn’t matter. I gained five pounds on this program and my jeans were falling off.
- Don’t be afraid of the weight room. So many women are terrified of lifting heavy weights, but I was never once treated badly by a man there. In fact, I got a lot of respect. I once had two women approach me asking if I could train them! Just go in with a plan, ignore everyone else, and do your thing.
- Never lift weights lighter than your purse. Or a Christmas ham.
- Lifting heavy will not make you sprout a peen. Women develop pretty, feminine muscles, and do not look like men without the assistance of steroids.
- And most importantly, skinny =/= healthy. Anyone can be skinny. Being healthy, to me, requires a balanced approach to food and exercise.
This book changed my life, and I’m so glad I did this program. I can’t recommend it enough.
How do you achieve a balanced healthy outlook? Do you ever struggle with it?