Last night I laid on the bed debating my choices, I could clean my house and fold my mound of clothes lying on the bed or I could work out. I was worried if I did both that I would end up not getting to bed on time and I desperately needed an early bed time. So I waited for an answer to hit me, some kind of inspiration and suddenly I noticed that the husband was cleaning. While I had been debating he had been lighting the BBQ for dinner and starting the dishes. That made my choice for me. I hated leaving the house up to him but I also really needed to jump back into my fitness routine. So I pulled on a pair of shorts that have now gotten a little bit tight and slipped on my tennis shoes. I was going to rock my Boot Camp DVD.
SILLY SIDE NOTE: Bella Rue LOVES to be involved in any fitness DVD that I am doing. She crawls right up in my lap and gets all up in my face. Makes the stretching period a little more interesting when you have to deal with a mini dachshund all up in your grill.
You don’t realize how much strength you lose in such a short period of time till you stop working out for a month. In May I was working out sporadically and was still able to complete this whole workout without needing breaks or modifications. Last night I started pouring down sweat within a few minutes, my ankles started hurting and I found myself needing to do the modifications. So very frustrating to see how much endurance and strength I lost. I looked like a complete hot mess by the time I was done.
That is the face of a women super upset about how much strength she lost over a month of not working out and tons of stress eating, oh yeah and gaining a pesky 18 pounds. But I will tell you this, seeing how much strength I lost was a harsh reality slap and I packed my gym bag for today. I am determined to not lose anymore endurance or strength. No wonder my hip, ankles and back have been hurting again.
After my workout the husband fed me a healthy dinner (have I told you how thankful I am for that man?!)
and I put myself to bed at 8:30 p.m. with my book. The lights were out at 9:15 p.m. and I woke up this morning actually feeling somewhat human for the first time in two months. I forgot what it felt like to feel good when I woke up instead of feeling horrible.
So I have been reading articles on genetics lately. I am fascinated with how big of a role that genetics play in our bodies and fitness. I happened to stumble upon this article
while logging my food on Sparkpeople. Great read. I came to the conclusion that I have a hybrid body between an Endomorph and Mesomorph. I have wide shoulders, bigger stronger legs and I can build muscle actually pretty quickly (probably a little due to the testosterone from PCOS) but my waist line is soft and chubby, I will probably never have a 6 pack and I am okay with that.
One of my favorite parts of the article is where she explained that she put her body through an amazing amount of stress trying to lean out for bikini competitions because genetically her body wasn’t made for it. It just clicked a lot of things into place for me in my head. Most people’s ideal of healthy has to do with long, lean muscles and a 6 pack of abs. But for some of us that isn’t possible. We are not genetically built for that. I came from a family of women who are bigger. We are softer, rounder and have to work really hard to lose weight. There are a few cousins that came out tall and slender of course but for most of us our weight is a constant struggle. I also come from a family of health problems, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. And I have PCOS, which comes with its own slew of weight loss issues and makes it so I tend to gain weight around my midsection. I won the lottery over here when it comes to genetics obviously.
My mom started running to fight her genetics. She saw that there was a history of a lot of heart problems and cholesterol problems that ran in her family and that she needed a way to fight those things. I find myself constantly worried over genetics and what I was given. I am already on high blood pressure medication and I am only 29 years old. I have PCOS, which they don’t know if it is genetics that causes it or something else that happens when I women goes through puberty. I have high cholesterol and actually have been fighting that since I was a teenager. I worry a lot and that is what ultimately pushed me towards becoming healthier in the first place. I didn’t care about bikinis, I cared about controlling my PCOS and controlling my genetics.
This is also why I don’t believe in fad diets. What works for one person, won’t work for another. I have met plenty of women who can eat pasta without it being a problem. I have even talked to women with PCOS that eat whole wheat pasta and it works for them. I for one can not. I have found that eating non processed foods and cutting down on my sugars is what really helps my body lose weight. Whether that is due to my genetics or due to my PCOS, well I will never know. I just know what is working for me. When I was eating Paleo a couple years ago my blood pressure had dropped, my cholesterol was healthy and my PCOS symptoms were barely existent. Mainly because I was eating strictly proteins and vegetables with every meal. I wasn’t eating pastas or starches or processed anything. I was eating meats (all meats, including red meat), vegetables and some fruit. It is the best I felt and the best my body felt. I was even losing weight at a steady pace without exercising. But like most emotional eaters, when stress came back into my life, so did the eating of processed junk food. Is it in my genetics to emotionally eat? I don’t know. I just know it is something I struggle with on a daily basis.
Above all though my ultimate favorite part of the article was her 6 tips for any body type:
“1. Eat real food 90% of the time. This means whole, unprocessed food that is as close to its natural state as possible. A healthy amount of real food can do wonders for your body.
2. Lift heavy things 2-3 times a week. Strength training is important for many reasons, especially for women. Lift weights for joint health, stronger bones and better posture, as well as the maintenance of your muscle mass and overall confidence.
3. Walk for leisure often. Walking is a fantastic low-level exercise that can aid in recovery, improve your sleep and help you relax and de-stress. Getting more active each day can help you turn off genes that encourage you to store fat.
4. Find ways to manage your stress. Stress is an absolute killer, and if you don’t mange yours properly, you are opening yourself up to a host of health issues. It’s also been linked to increased fat storage in the body. Find ways to manage stress effectively, whether it’s going for a walk, getting a massage, or having positive interactions with friends and family. In short, take a few minutes each week to take care of YOU.
5. Get quality sleep. Lack of sleep is another big health problem, because when we aren’t sleeping well, our bodies aren’t repairing the damage we did to ourselves during the day and we sure as heck aren’t recovering from our workouts. Shoot for 7-9 hours a night in a cold, dark room, and do your best to hit the sack before 11 p.m.
6. Love yourself. Stop comparing your body to other people and start embracing your unique size and shape. Variety is the spice of life! Be grateful for all the things your body can do. Remember: You are more than a body or a number on a scale. “
I am working on incorporating these 6 things back into my life after two months of binge emotional eating and beating myself up for not having more will power or different genetics. I know that fighting the bad part of my genetics, fighting PCOS and gaining balance within my body is my ultimate goal above anything like having a 6 pack. I don’t want to compete in a bikini competition. I don’t want to become a personal trainer. I just want to feel good in my body and enjoy life. I want to be able to ride horses again, I want to not feel so self conscious, I don’t want to struggle with PCOS symptoms and I really do not want to worry about if there are weight limits on the vacation I am planning. I just want my life back.
I think my Yogi tea said it all last night.
How do your genetics dictate how you eat/workout?