Extreme dieting,,, working out in an extreme way and staying extremely fit is impossible to live forever. I guess I should speak for myself! Let me share what I did to my body and how it revolted! (I think I am really writing this for me,,, I feel like I need to journal this to process just exactly what I've done!)
This past summer I got my body fat down to 12%. Now, granted I was not ready to compete in body building but I was as "lean" as I've EVER been in my whole life! I did it, just to see if I could do it! It was a lot of hard work. At least one hour of cardio, and lifting for 1.5 to 2 hours a day in the gym and then sometimes more cardio (walking/jogging) in the evening, to equal 3-4 hours of working out a day, everyday. Ahhhh, but that was the "easy" part! Also, for over 3 months I ate pretty strick: calories around 1400, low carb and high protein and if that weren't enough, I threw in a 28 day, high protein, all liquid diet (VDiet). I lost 6% body fat in 6 weeks! Looking back on all that craziness I would say, it wasn't that hard,,, it really wasn't. Yes, I was a little whiny, but really, if I can do it, anyone can do it. So, now you have the background so what's the big deal!?
Here's the rest of the story! I, cold turkey,,, took an 8 week break from everything. NO workouts at all, and I ate "healthy" but I ate whatever I wanted and didn't keep track of my calories or carbs! This wasn't totally by choice; I had surgery and couldn't workout (that's a whole nother blog), but I should have done better to stay on my eating plan. So, at the end of that 8 week break I had gained 6-8 pounds and who knows what my body fat went back up to, but by the way my cloths fit so TIGHT, I'm guessing back up to about 20%. I was too scared to get my body fat checked! I really think the extreme flip flop probably made my metabolism take a nose dive and the FAT deposit on my thighs, butt and belly went crazy in a BIG way! In that 8 weeks I gained 2 inches in my thighs, butt and belly! WOW!
So, why did I do it and what am I going to do now??? I don't know about you, but I'm impatient. When I want something I want it now! Losing 6% body fat in 6 weeks is way too fast! My body was in such shock with the diet, the workouts and all of the many supplements I was on, I jacked up my system! Hormonally, I was a mess. I didn't even get my period all summer! But, I was happy at the time, that I had accomplished my body goal, in such a short time! Another point I might add is notice I had to go to such extreme to get my body to respond! I had been eating healthy and working out for 3 months and it didn't change much. But kick in the EXTREME and watch me change!
So, my new challenge is to learn to accept my body just the way it is. I will still work hard, pushing myself in the gym and making healthy food choices but I do NOT have to maintain 12% body fat...I'm not competing on a stage in bikini and so I should probably stop competing against myself! It just isn't "normal" for my body to be 12% forever~
Moral of the story: Don't be EXTREME just be a hard working YOU and LOVE the body your in!