Tomorrow…it begins October.
I am so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers. Fall…my favorite season of them all.
This morning started out with a 5:50AM rise & shine so I was able to be to the gym by shortly after 6:00AM. The workout was mostly strength training with a one mile warm-up run to start + a one mile ‘go hard’ run to finish.
I have designated October to be BRING MY SIX-PACK BACK month, as I have noticed my abs are not near as toned as they were at the start of summer (what a bummer). I guess it is just something about knowing I will not be wearing a swim suit any longer this year that has me saying “eh, I’ll pass on the abs today.” …but, NOT ANYMORE!! You should probably designate October as your month to work a little more on your core as well. Make a game-plan, then stick to it. Take before pics (I did this yesterday morning & posted to Instagram – KThealthyeats if you’d like to follow me!) and plan to take after pics at the end of the month (my hope is that I will be posting more defined abs compared to yesterday’s come November 1st!) so you can see your progress. (Progress…I love that word.)
Before Pic: Obliques still decent, but Rectus Abdominals…not so much 😦
Post workout eats included my usual breakfast shake (Le-vel Boost, Unsweetened Almond Milk, Frozen Blurbs), followed by one hard-boiled egg white, a Weight Watchers String Cheese, and a bit of Veronica’s Nut Mix:
Lunch totally rocked:
Four egg whites + 1 egg yolk, peppers, jalepenos, onion, and Goya Quinoa + Rice mix & topped with Ginger Jalepeno Sauce (made by the Ginger People & bought at Grounded)
And supper was not a chicken wrap this evening, but rather a total change-up (finally eaten at 8:30PM…about the normal dinner time these days – which I hate):
Spaghetti Squash …
Topped with Ground Turkey sautéed with peppers and onions + Wild Oats Organic pasta sauce + a blend of Italian cheeses
This meal tasted absolutely AMAZING! – Cannot wait to eat the left overs!
Have you ever heard the phrase: “Too much of anything is not a good thing.”? I have. And, have come to realize that this applies to all things – even…exercise.
I won’t go into the science behind it, but basically too much exercise can cause your body’s cortisol (your stress hormone) levels to become high (not good for your metabolism!) In addition to high cortisol levels, it is possible your body could enter into a state where it wants to HOLD ON TO your fat versus get rid of it if your calorie intake is way lower than your total daily energy expenditure for an extended period of time (usually several months or more).
I run and/or strength train almost daily because I absolutely LOVE challenging myself. And, I teaching group fitness classes because I love helping others reach their fitness goals. However, in the past two to three months my workouts have not only increased in intensity, but also in frequency. Three months ago I had my metabolism revving and was dropping body fat while building muscle…what every GYMALHOLIC ideally wants to do! Then, I decided I needed to push even harder & do even more. I went from not worrying about calories burned to feeling like I didn’t have a good day of workouts unless my total caloric burn reached at least 1000-1200. It has become a habit to score big on the calorie burn almost daily. That mindset, on top of keeping my caloric consumption at around 1600-1700 per day (what it was when my metabolism was revving and I was NOT burning upwards of 1000 calories per day) was NOT a good idea for my body.
If you do the math, that is roughly 600 – 700 calories remaining for my body to function on each day (math…yes, it is quite a big deal in the fitness world when it comes to calories and macros). Most women in my age range have a basal metabolic rate (the calories your body requires for metabolic processes to keep you alive each day) of between 1400-1600. So, I was cutting myself short hundreds of calories daily (talk about creating a stressful environment in your body, not to mention the stress of exercise on top of that!!). It explains why eating habits are important when you love to live in the gym. The body has now gone from a fat burning furnace to holding on to all fat it has (that is currently about 21.5%) – which totally stinks. My metabolism has slowed since my calorie intake was low for several months when compared to how many calories I have been expending from exercise each day. It goes to show that lots of exercise paired with not so many calories, is not ideally a good thing. It often times does the opposite to your body when compared to the results you’d anticipate for such behaviors.
In order to try to restore a state of harmony in my body (aka – decrease the cortisol levels) and reset my metabolism back to a point where I can BURN fat (and get down to my 2015 goal of 18.5-19%), I have decided to lay off the morning miles this week and possibly next. I am also de-intensifying the gym sessions, but keeping all the group exercise classes going as normal (cannot give those up!). I am trying hard NOT to worry about the total calories I expend exercising each day and focus solely on how my body feels (by giving it adequate rest + adequate fuel).
Exercise in moderation, rest, and adequate healthy calories are all three important pieces of the fitness puzzle…and fitting them all together so the body functions optimally can sometimes be quite the challenge.