Change of Plans

Well, my bulking plan sure didn’t last long.  I feel like I’ve been on vacation for the last two months and it’s definitely showing in my physique, therefore I just don’t feel comfortable doing a bulk right now.  I don’t really want to start adding mass to a figure that already has more mass than I’m happy with, so I’m starting a cut again.

Life has been so tumultuous lately, but I think it’s FINALLY slowing down.  I’m a creature of habit, so this makes me quite happy.  I have moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to live with my parents for a while because my husband has “shipped” off to Officer Candidate School for the U.S. Army.  I’m in complete support of his decision because I know he loves the Army and we both enjoy the lifestyle that the Army forces upon you.  Plus, he’s going to make an amazing officer and the Army is lucky to have him.  While I’m here in Chapel Hill I’m going to work on getting my NASM certification to become a certified personal trainer.  It’ll be nice to have a lot of time to devote to working on myself.

So back to my cut.  I’ve signed up for a free 12 week transformation contest that will end for me on December 23rd; just in time for Christmas goodies!  Unfortunately, these past 2 weeks have been a major bust in regards to diet, so it’s going to be more like a 10 week transformation.  I’m not necessarily trying to win this transformation contest, because honestly, I don’t have THAT far to go, BUT I do think it’s good motivation to keep in the back of my mind to keep me motivated and focused.  But winning a trip for two to Jamaica wouldn’t break my heart…

For this cut I am going to be experimenting with intermittent fasting (or IF).  I’ve been reading a lot of research and reviews of it lately, and I think it’s worth giving a fair shot.  What could it hurt?  Essentially I’ll be fasting for 16 hours a day and then I’ll have an 8 hour feeding window (this is the Leangains method developed by Martin Berkhan).  Instead of having 6 small, low calorie meals a day, I’ll be having more like 3 bigger meals a day which actually fill me up and make me feel satisfied.  Plus, when I have a strict rule that I can’t eat until 1 pm, it’s easier to stick to my diet.  I’m still going to be training in the morning, so I’ll be consuming BCAAs around my workouts to help with recovery and to ensure I’m not losing muscle.  I’ll let you know how it goes!  If you’re interested in reading some more about intermittent fasting I’ve included some great resources for you below.

By the way, I just want to mention how much I love, love, LOVE my new gym!  I’m training at O2 Fitness now and I’m really enjoying their facility.  They have tons of dumbbells, barbells, machines, and SPACE.  I’m already sad about having to leave it at some point in the future… But anyways, I thought they deserved the shout-out.
One more thing, I’m currently reading Leigh Peele’s Fat Loss Troubleshoot and I’m loving it!  I’m not quite done with it yet but I’ve had a couple of “ah ha!” moments while reading it.  Leigh Peele sure knows her stuff and I have a huge amount of respect for her.  Plus, she’s a North Carolina girl!  So that just makes her doubly awesome.  Also, check out her website at www.leighpeele.com.  I’ve just signed up as a member to her site and there is soooo much no nonsense information there!  If you’re a training and nutrition geek like me, you’ll love it!
Happy training everyone!
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New Goals

Now that my photo shoot is over and I’m somewhat settling back into life in the United States (although I am currently awaiting yet another big transition in life), I think it’s time I set some new goals for myself.  I think it’s very important for me to continue setting goals so that I can map out a plan for myself to stick to.  I can’t just wander aimlessly through a diet and training program.  I need a solid plan with a final goal.  Unfortunately, I’m horrible at setting concrete and measurable goals in regards to my body.  I don’t care how much I weigh and I don’t know how many inches I want to add or lose in certain places.  I like to just work with what I see in the mirror.  Numbers are irrelevant to me unless they are calories.

So what are my goals?  Well, I’ve decided that I want to build my shoulders and glutes a little bit more.  I really like broad, nicely capped shoulders.  I think they are an immediate signal to strangers that you put extra work into your physique.  And regarding the glutes, who doesn’t want an amazing badunk-a-dunk?  I notice that whenever I diet down my butt gets a little bit flat, so the only cure for that is more muscle!

These goals are going to require a surplus in calories and some extra heavy lifting.  Thus, I’m going to have to say bye-bye to abs for a while.  It’s really hard to willingly give something up that you worked so hard for.  During this mini-bulk/recomp I’ll probably put on a little bit of fat, but that’s the price I’ll have to pay for more muscle.  Once I’m happy with the amount of muscle I’ve put on or I’m fed up with the amount of fat I’ve added, I’ll cut again.  At least I’ll have more calories to work with during the holidays and any extra flub will be hidden under cozy winter clothes.  I plan on taking it slow because I’m a bit paranoid about putting on fat (in case you couldn’t tell).  I’ve never been a “skinny” girl so I want to keep any fat gain under control.  It’s so easy to put on but it’s so hard to strip off.

Wish me luck!  It’s not the training and extra eating that will be difficult.  It’s the psychological response I’ll have to putting on weight and not knowing exactly if it’s muscle, fat, water, or whatnot. Good luck to you all in meeting your goals!  And if you don’t have any you better go ahead and set some!  Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels forever and ever.  Trust me…I know.