Bad Carb-ma. What did I ever do to you, carbohydrates? You were my secret lover for most of my teenage years. I worshipped you in all your forms: rice, pizza, donuts, ice cream, errant sugar packets at restaurants. Sure, we had a bit of a falling out a couple years ago, and when you saw me again, I was looking fitter and thinner and happier, but it was a trial separation. You knew that, right? Now I’m lifting weights and trying to build muscle and I need you again. I need your energy and your structure. And what do you do, when I’m relying on you the most? Bypass my muscles, go straight to my liver, and get converted into fat. Are you *trying* to make me leave you again?
It’s been a week-and-a-half into The Body by Science workout plan, and I guess I’m seeing some results. My shirts are fitting a bit tighter. My body fat is wavering a little bit, but I guess I see the same amount of muscle definition as when I started (more on this later). And picking The Terrorist up (literally, not figuratively) seems much easier than it did two weeks ago. Still, the authors of the book conveniently predicted my frustrations at seeing steady but very slow results, and urge trainees to stick with it for at least a couple months, to make smart food choices, and to track progress on actual performance, assuming that with added capacity will come added muscle mass.
Me: “It seems kind-of gimmicky.”
The Terrorist: “Ya think? I want to work out for 12 minutes a week and look like a fitness model, too, where do I sign up?”
Eating’s been the big conundrum, and as many of us know, nutrition is 80-90% of changing your body composition. I try to save my carb binges for my workout days, on which I shovel down potatoes and chicken breasts and milk like nobody’s business, old school bodybuilder style. The rest of the week? Pretty low on carbs, pretty high on fat. I’m eating pats of butter for fun. And then I wonder about the old-time strongmen who got big and strong without worrying about carb ratios and protein cycling, just lifting heavy shit and chowing down on big steaks when they were done.
Maybe that’s my ticket to reaching the real goals of my workouts, which is to get stronger and put on some muscle, without getting flabby in the meantime. The Terrorist suggests: “You should do some yoga with me. So your joints don’t get all stiff.” So I did, on Sunday, the worst case scenario being that I get to see the girl drenched in sweat, bending herself into impossibly sexy positions. Which happened as predicted, while I downward-dogged through gritted teeth, a spastic hamstring and aching quadriceps. It’s been three days and I still can’t walk straight. Am I trying it again this coming Sunday? Probably. It’s a lot less creepy than going to a yoga class by myself, that’s for sure.
(This is as flexible as I get…)
So the plan for the coming two weeks: two more Body-by-Science lifts, lots of calories from fats and protein (2500-3000 a day), about 100 grams of carbs a day on “rest days” and up to 300-400 on training days. I’m up to 170 lbs, probably around the same body fat as a few weeks ago, and I’d like to stay there as far as weight goes, but who knows? My diet really has been pretty awful and inconsistent, about 75% of my meals are “paleo-friendly”, and I munch on something sugary 2 days a week, so I’d like to tighten that up.
Or I could just lighten up and stop trying to tinker with my perceived flaws all the damn time. But come on, you forget who’s writing this… No, in truth, I’m happy and calm and serene for the first time in a while, and every day that goes by with The Terrorist makes me feel closer to her and less worried about acting stupid or imperfect in front of her, so long as I’m showing her my true uncensored self and sharing my passions with her. I couldn’t even tell you what number date we’re on. I stopped counting.