Over the past couple of months, I’ve gone against most of what I’ve believed about training and diet for the last 4 years.
Let me put it into context. When I started weight training (what feels like forever ago!) my goal was to increase my muscle mass and drop fat simultaneously. For the years that followed my goals changed from time to time but they always revolved around body composition.
I got to the stage recently where I stepped on the clever scales that tell you everything about everything and found that half of my body weight is muscle. That’s the product of years of hard work and I know it’s not every girl’s cup of tea but I’m thrilled with that result. But then I thought to myself, how much more muscle do I want to put on?
All of this happened at the same time as my heavy lifting sessions getting a bit tedious. That has happened to me before and I’m sure happens to everyone, so you switch a few things up, push through it, or take a break and 9 times out of 10 the love comes back.
This time it feels a bit different. I’ve been trying new things, finding different ways to use my strength to practice new skills and I feel like the love has come back but it has doubled in size. It’s been quite hard to transition from lifting heavy weights 4 or 5 times per week to still doing so once or twice but also focusing on training handstands, flexibility and pole. When I say hard I mean mentally, because switching my goals from body composition to skill was mentally really challenging (and if I’m honest, I’m still not 100% there… But then again I know that I don’t have to pick one or the other).
I’ve also changed the way I eat. A couple of months ago, I decided to shelve myfitnesspal. This was a big deal for me, I’ve sworn by tracking my macros ever since I started training properly and although it has worked for me, I felt like I needed a change.
Because I’ve tracked everything that I’ve eaten almost every day for so many years, I can now get to the end of every day, tot up an estimate of the calories that I’ve consumed during the day and use that (as well as how I feel) to figure out whether I’m in a surplus or a deficit. But you know what, I don’t even feel the need to do that every day. If I’ve trained hard that day, I’ll figure out how much I’ve eaten to make sure that I’ve eaten enough.
I’ve hit a really happy maintenance period, I’m happy with the way my body looks (although it will never be perfect, but is anyone’s? Don’t answer that.) and I feel great. I’m learning new things, I’m watching my skill set improve week on week and I’m having a blast.
I always knew that there’s more than one way to skin the cat when it comes to training and diet, but this has really proved it to me and has been a really nice wake up call.
Here’s to trying new things, and doing what you love.
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