Patience is a virtue. Unfortunately it’s a virtue I just don’t have. Ask anyone, when I decide I want something, I want it now. My kids have learned that if I tell them twice, its taken too long. The truth is, I am my own worst enemy when it come to patience. Now, Lets talk about my current frustration stemming from my lack of… say it… patience.
Three years ago, I was about 160 pounds, wearing a size 14 pants and XL shirts were skin tight. Maybe 160 pounds doesn’t sounds like much to some but at my barely 5 foot 1 height I carried it all between my shoulders and knees. And if you’ve known me for more than 2 years you have heard my story probably numerous times and if you haven’t check out my earlier blogs. I’ve documented my winding road. It’s been a heck of a journey.
Now, current day. Still barely 5 foot 1 but now I weigh somewhere between 115-120 pounds. I’m struggling daily to put on the weight. Not the weight I took off. Heck, that fat is gone… FOREVER! No, I’m looking to add lean mean muscle. Yea, I want to be the girl that when you see her you say, “Yea, she lifts”. I’ve got a great lifting partner, my husband, and I have the equipment at my disposal. So the only thing left for me to do is lift. And let me tell you I do. I lift my everything my little arms can lift. I squat everything my knees can handle and I am determined to make this happen.
So you’re asking yourself, is she is she impatient because it takes a while to build muscle? Well, yes, it is taking me a while to build this muscle. But let me tell you the other part of my goal. I want nice, defined, poppin’ abs! Yes ma’am. I want a 6 pack. I want to be the chick with lean mean muscle and sexy abs.
Let’s talk about how you build muscle. You lift, you eat and you rest. You can’t build muscle on limited calories. You have to have protein to feed the muscles. You have to have carbs to feed the energy for your lift. You Body needs the good fat. Most of the time, when you are doing serious lifting you eat more than your body needs to make sure you are giving those muscle what it needs to grow. And where does the access go? Let’s face it, a calorie is a calorie. And calories not burned or used to rebuild, gets stored. If you’re lucky and you have an endlessly fast metabolism you are one lucky person. I am not that person. The extra calories run to my waist and hips just looking for a chance to attach themselves. So to build muscle I need to eat more. Yes, I need more of the right foods but more none the less. However, because I want abs as well, I am in a whole different game. This is where it gets fun.
Ever heard the phrase that Abs are made in the kitchen? Well, it’s the truest statement I have ever heard in my life. I’ve been working my behind off, literally, for the last two years. I have toned and shaped my legs, arms, shoulders, bum bum, but even after doubles and sometimes triples, weight lifting and cardio, I still had excess skin and fat around my middle area. Right over my damn abs! Not enough that you can see it when I’m wearing clothes but when I am in a bikini or a sports bra it sticks out. Call me crazy, but it’s enough to drive me nuts. I have dreamed of flat abs my whole adult life and after working and working and working on my body, I still don’t have them. For me, it’s just not going to work unless I do something about it.
And what would I do? I eat pretty good most of the time. I indulged in pizza and sweets and whatever else I wanted on occassion. I mean after all, I weigh 120 pounds. I don’t need to lose weight, right? Well, let me tell you. Losing weight and losing fat are two completely different things. Right now I’m looking to lower my body fat percentage so I can actually see my abs. I feel them. They feel defined and popped as hell! I just can’t see them. Frustration takes over when I think about it… so I’ll keep writing.
After much research on the subject and contemplating with my fellow fit buddies, I decided Carb Cycling is the way to go. Now, there are many many different ways to carb cycle. The extreme you go to will depend on what your goal is, and why. A lot of Body Builders use Carb Cycling before big shows to fine tune their body. Well, fine tuning is what I need so a month ago I started my newest journey.
Carb Cycling: Three days of low carbs followed by one day of high carbs to replenish. Then repeat. It’s used for rapid fat lost while still maintaining and building muscle. During Carb Cycling you don’t starve yourself by any means. I eat 5-6 meals a day and my calorie intake is the same as it would be if I wasn’t carb cycling. The difference is the type of foods I eat. I obviously keep my carbs to a minimum yet I bump up my protein and good fat. I limit my carbs to only whole grains, veggies, fruits, and legumes. Now, I could continue to talk for hours about carb cycling. I’ve read and read and read about it so I understand the concept yet I still don’t quite understand everything.
Now, all the protein I take in is definitely helping my muscle growth but my workouts are not as effective if you ask me because my energy level and endurance and strength is lessened by the lack of carbs in my diet. Which is why I don’t feel I am building muscle as I should be. And it frustrates me, but I guess I have to make sacrifices for what I want.
Back to my original topic, I have rambled on and on enough. Patience. I am four weeks into Carb Cycling. Four long weeks. I am use to the meals and it’s a no brainer planning my meals and calculating my protein, fats, and carbs now. I don’t crave foods I shouldn’t have but I don’t have abs yet either. I am closer than I was but still have a long way to go. My original plan was to do this for eight weeks. As of tomorrow I’m half way there and I don’t really know if I’m half way to where I want to be. I know I said I’d give it eight weeks. But some people cut faster. Some people drop their body fat percentage quickly. Some people get abs in half the time. I am obviously not some people. My core and abs feel tight and you can feel my abs. But they are still covered up. My frustration roots from that stubborn fat over my abs that is fighting me all the way. But patience or no patience, I will win this fight. I will have my abs. I will prevail.
So I will try a bit harder to have patience. I will give it the full eight weeks. I will only threaten to quit a maximum of once a day and I will always listen to my good friends who tell me it’s working, to stop worrying and let the program work. If you are one that constantly listens to my “obsession”, I appreciate you.
For those of you battling the same fight, stay strong, and have patience. Remember, it’s worth it. You are worth it.