February 9, 2010

Guns n' Stuff

I realized that I hadn't taken any pics of my muscles (or lack thereof) so I tried to capture all the pertinent "befores" this morning.

Calf shot--hopefully my jogging will improve these. I am working toward a goal of 2 miles right now. I am doing it at a pace of 4.5 and incline 1. Not bad for a fluffy girl who hasn't exercised on a regular basis since high school. I also do calf raises anytime I think about it.

Here we have a baby bud of a bicep. I do all of the upper body machines at my gym at least 3 x's a week. I do 2 sets of 15 on each one.

Just abs (aka. gut) here. I have a question concerning the abs. I read somewhere that you should not do a lot of crunches and ab work until you lose most of your belly fat because the muscles will get bigger and push the fat out even more. Is this true? If it is, should I start crunching anyway?

Side view. Hope to have some obliques one day.

Son took this pic. I did not ask him to. But--we DO need a butt shot so here ya go.

Benefits of Exercising (for me)
  • major stress-reliever and depression/anxiety buster
  • great me-time to gather thoughts and/or watch a good show without interruption
  • sleep MUCH better
  • wake up refreshed and energized (most days)
  • clothes fit better
  • sense of accomplishment and empowerment as I push myself to new challenges
  • don't run out of breath going to answer phone
  • can bend over to tie shoes without suffocating
  • getting guns

By the way, I have only been working out for about 4 weeks. You don't have to train for a marathon or workout for a year in order to see or feel results. I noticed a difference after just a week or so. Exercise really is just as important, if not more so, than eating right. Just do it.


Stacey at Living by Faith said...

I totally agree with all those benefits especially the sense of accomplishment and empowerment.

Definitely not bad on the running. To me that is really good. I am also around that pace.

I am not sure on the ab question. I have also heard that. On the flip side, I enjoy watching the Biggest Loser, and they have the players doing ab exercises the whole time regardless of size. I have seen very large contestants with the vertical lines in their abs.

As always thanks for your 'real'ness which encourages me. So glad I have gotten to 'know' you.

Red Writing said...

Good point on the ab question. My gut instinct (no pun intended ha!) is that maybe it's true but you shoudl go ahead and do it anyway. Everything will even out in the long run. And you're right about seeing the people with defined abs--even when they way upwards of 300 lbs. Okay, talked me into it. I'm starting crunches.

Kelly said...

Have a comment on the abs.. I have read over and over that the way to lose belly fat is through cardio. Cardio rids the fat, the crunches with reinforce the muscle. So sounds like you are going great! Keep up the running, yoga, and crunches. It all helps!! :)

Kristina said...

2 thumbs up! You can do it! WE can do it!

Anonymous said...

You've got the beginning of a killer bicep wanting to bust loose. You can do it :)

3 Blessings said...

You go girl! Great job!

Maria said...

SO proud of you! I have missed you on Red Writing, but am glad to know that you were still busy, and might I add, very busy! You look great and I can only imagine how much better you feel.

I just found out last week that I have PCOS, and it's preventing us from having a family. Now, my PCOS is a mild case so my Dr. thinks that with a low-glycemic eating plan and exercise I will shed the pounds and put the PCOS back into check and can become pregnant on our own. I wanted to say my own, but it will take more than just me. ;)

My goal is 60 pounds...you are an inspiration to me. I am using Jillian Michaels 30 Day Sred, I love it! You may want to consider adding that into your routine. It's a great boost!

Keep up the great work, you can do it! ~Maria

Weighting Around said...

You go, girl! You're doing terrific!

Kerri & Katie said...

I love how you're basing this all on faith. My co-author Kerri & I are strong believers as well. Come follow our blog about a healthy lifestyle at www.incollegeinshapeblog.blogspot.com !!

Chibi said...

Look at those pipes! ;) I took "before" pictures, but haven't taken any since (I keep thinking that, because I haven't lost much weight, there's no point; however, I'm completely overlooking the inches I've lost).


mary @ designer of me said...

Re the abs I think you should totally go for it! Strength training is always good for your body regardless what stage you are at for weight loss.

P.S. You are beautiful!! Thanks for sharing your pics!

Minnesota Mami said...

Hey girl! Good idea re: the 'zone' photos...and those muscles are starting show...and that will only become more and more defined as you get stronger and the pounds continue to melt away. YAY!

I was doing crunches right before I read this post, so then I thought 'uh-oh'...but I agree with your readers and your comment here...the fat is melting off, right? so if it pushes the fat out a bit in the short run, it won't be there long...and when that fat goes away you'll have a great set of abs! Hopefully me too! :)

We ARE doing this!

Holly @ Making Over Me

Googie said...

My brother told me that I should do cardio for the fat and then when I start seeing tummy under all of my fat, then I should start the crunches. This is coming from a guy who has a whole home gym in one of his guest rooms. I love the pictures!! I should do the same. I think that if we lived closer to each other, we would be such great buddies!!

Red Writing said...

Really Googie!? Great. I had psyched myself up to do the crunches. I think that if I had some muscle tone there that youwoudl be able to see it--at least at the top. Maybe I'll focus on the upper abs and wait a bit for the lower.

Yes--we would be best of friends. Please do take some pics and post them. I am feeling a bit exposed!!

Anonymous said...

You are looking great!

For the abs, I would focus on over all core exercises especially stabilizing ones like planks and side planks, bicycles, pelvic tilts, etc. And really focus on holding the abs in throughout the day and especially when you are doing any exercise. You want to train your abs to be strong, not big. You can see any one's abs if they are lean enough.

And the big people that you can see there ab lines.... you don't want that. That means their fat is under the muscle which is very unhealthy and a lot harder to lose than subcutaneous fat.

You said you just started working out, so I would stick to big muscle groups. For example instead of spending a lot of time on doing arm exercises, do a back exercise that will burn more calories while you are doing it and afterwards and will ALSO be working your biceps. Like a lat pulldown or assisted pull up or Dumbell rows. And for triceps do some incline pushups on a smith machine or bench press. That way you are working your chest, shoulders and tri's.

You want to work from the inside out, if that makes sense.

Diet is 80% of the weight loss equation, so that is key. But strength training will change your shape. If you only diet, you will just be a smaller version of what you already are. So that is great that you are doing both. You are on a mission, I love it!

Frannie said...

Sorry ahead of time for the long comment to follow. I'm a rambler!

Ab strength is a really important aspect of the healthy equation. The reason you see them doing it on the Biggest Loser (and the reason personal trainers will always encourage some ab work regardless of your size) is because having a strong core is important in pretty much everything you do, in exercise or in life. Whether you're running, or lifting kids and twisting around with them, or bending down and lifting something heavy off the ground, your stomache muscles are part of the equation in keeping your back stabilized and healthy. In short, if you don't keep them strong, it will be easier to hurt your back.

If you're eating right and doing cardio, ab work will not make your stomache bigger. I do ab work regularly, and I am regularly losing inches off my waist (my stomache is one of those areas I track inches on every week, it makes me feel better when the scale mocks me!).

One tip I remember from a long time ago, to keep your abs from getting bigger, make sure you really activate them (like you're getting ready to be punched in the stomache) rather than just going through the motion (whether you're doing crunches or running or doing squats, always have them activated, not relaxed and pushed out). This will train them to be more compact. Try a couple slow-mo crunches with your abs activated and again with them normal, really focusing on the muscles as you crunch up. Can you feel the difference? There's a good chance that anyone who's stomache is getting bigger rather than smaller after crunches either: 1) isn't watching their diet, 2) isn't doing cardio, or 3) isn't activating their abs in when they do ab work.

Additionally, think about it logically -- Can you think of any athletes who have huge abs? And they do ab work all the time. If it doesn't make their stomache big, why would it make your stomache big?

You might not be able to "see" the results right away (in terms of having an eight pack), but if you train them all (plus your back) you'll "feel" the results (in terms of not suffering silly injuries or back pain, and having improved posture). That said, you should train your abs at least once a week (preferably more, though), engaging upper and lower abs, as well as obliques.

(Also, if it makes me sounds more trustworthy, this information is from three years of exercise science classes. =D)

Hope that helps!

ConstanceB. said...

Hey... I didn't know I was coming to a gun show. get it??? bad joke. i know.