week10

What Needs Work – How much fun I have on weekends

I completely blew it this week.  In every possible way.  Honestly it was a major backslide.  I got wrapped up in my work the way I used to and didn’t get to the gym, didn’t to a proper grocery shop so I got into the salty snacks and even caught myself checking for client revisions on my blackberry the few times I did get to the gym.  To top it off I was out of town last weekend for a birthday which then lead to some really nice meals out, complete with deserts and wine…and I didn’t write any of it down.  (SHAME!)

How easy it is to fall back into bad habits is completely shocking to me.  It’s as if the last ten weeks of work never happened…  To be completely fair though, it took years to develop those bad habits so it will probably take just as long to develop the good ones and make them stick.  Best to chalk this week up to learning experience and start fresh for the week ahead.

I do have to state emphatically and for the record that I find the rate at which weight is gained compared to the rate and effort expended in losing weight is grossly unfair.

What Worked – Muscle helps burn fat

I was whining to a friend of mine about my gain this week and he very kindly said that it may be a lean muscle gain because I’m actually looking leaner.  So I took my measurements and I am down inches, which was a surprise because I always kind of thought the whole “muscle weighs more than fat” thing was just a cliché we chubby bunnies used like “no, I’m just big boned”. (I’ve tried them ALL.)  After all a pound is a pound right?

Not exactly.

I was talking to one of the trainers and my gym and the misunderstanding is in the phrasing.  She showed me these scale models of a pound of fat and a pound of muscle.  (Pardon the photo quality, I only had my blackberry camera with me.)

As you can see, the muscle is leaner and denser than the fat so even when you’re not getting the numbers you want on the scale the globulous goo may actually still be shrinking while your body is redirecting water and nutrients to your lean body mass.  That’s good, because muscle is more “metabolically active” than fat, it burns more calories.  The trick (especially in my case) is getting the calories down so the muscles can really do their stuff.

The other thing that I think I did well this week was in my choices.  The funny thing about dieting is that it really makes you a food-snob.  After all, I only get so many calories per week, I’m not wasting any of them on food I won’t love.  So, when I treat myself to a big meal, I’m not one to choose the burger and fries when I can get Thai, Indian or any kind of Mediterranean food.  Rice, noodles, lean chicken and nice big chunks of veg are super-flavourful and if I do over do the portion size, it’s more valuable nutrient rich food that will stay with me longer than a fat-saturated, deep-fried special that will just leave me wanting a nap.

Rotten bit of luck though, my favourite Thai place has closed it’s doors, which makes three of my favourite restaurants that have closed in the last ten weeks…  Lord help me, I hope that’s a coincidence.