Monday, August 22, 2011

Where did my muscles go?

That's a joke because I've never had much muscle! Being in my 40's now, I've been noticing that my upper arms are rather flabby and wobble when I raise them.  This is not cool!  It's too hot in the South to stay covered up in the summer.  Added to that, I've never worn a bikini either, but after twins and the lovely "seersucker" stomach I got in the process, I don't wear one piece bathing suits.  Now I wear  a complicated, double fabric Miracle Suit tankini (it's last season's so I can't show it to you - unless I take a picture of me in it and that ain't happenin'!).  These two things in combination have me back on the exercise wagon.

The only time I ever followed a real Diet Plan was after all the kids were born and I weighed around 180 lbs. I don't own a scale, so I don't know for sure but it was definitely the biggest I've been when not pregnant (I was wearing sizes 14 and 16). I purchased a Suzanne Somers book, it was one of those high protein, no carb diets and it totally kick started my metabolism and I lost a lot of weight quickly.  That kind of diet is not for long term use, in my opinion, and I ate reasonably after a couple weeks and got to a size 10 and was pleased.  She also reinforced by belief that chemicals in food you cannot pronounce are not good for you.  The more "diet" the food the more chemicals they add to make it taste better.

After that I had personal food revolutions. I went vegan for about three years and was quite healthy (good cholesterol was high, bad cholesterol was very low).  Vegan for me didn't mean just not eating animals though and it's really complicated when you start to think about which is more important, not eating animals or not eating chemicals?  I remember going to a restaurant with a vegan friend and she was so excited because they had "vegan" ice cream.  I asked what was in it and she said, "Who cares? It's vegan!"  Well, I care.  A lot. No chemicals in my food please. Also at that time there were more soy proteins available by some major brands (e.g., Morningstar Farm) that I was buying. Come to find out they're made with genetically modified soy beans.  Geeze, this eating thing was getting complicated!  Plus,  I'm not into defining myself by labels anyway so I stopped being vegan.

Now, I eat non CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) meat - I don't eat out much, either - organic fruits and vegetables, limit the many ways corn products invade my food systems by eating grass fed pork and beef, and buy directly from farmers whenever I can.  The fluids available in our house are water and local milk (and the milk is just for breakfast). The junk food in the house consists or tortilla chips and bagel chips. I know, it's not good and I'm trying to figure out an acceptable alternative for the peeps, but they already feel like aliens in the food world at school and their dad's house. (And I have a Crazy Lady reputation - you should see the reusables I use to pack their lunch - poor peeps.)

All that sounds pretty good, right? Where on earth am I headed with all this? You can't be svelt without working at it. Damn. Ok, there are a few people out there and I know them, but by and large if you want muscles you need to work for them.  I've decided it's worth it and I'm willing to do it from here on out.  I signed up to receive newsletters from after I heard Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum on The People's Pharmacy talking about sugar addiction.  One of the newsletters had a link to a woman who is a fitness guru but is on the same food and health page I am (rare!) so I checked out her website, bought a book, and am starting week number three of interval training and weights.  I'm seeing some muscles in my arms, my abs are tighter,  my clothes are fitting better, I have more energy, and it feels great!  The only downside is she's a celebrity fitness trainer, but since I don't have cable or tv reception at my house, I didn't know that. The woman is JJ Virgin, the book is Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy (I'm a little embarrassed about the title, but I didn't write it), and it's working for me! The best part is my 45 minute walks are over.  With interval training there's a lot more bang for your training buck, which I appreciate.  The weight routine is manageable and you don't need lots of equipment.

When I get really brave I'll post a picture of me before and after.

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