Women – I should actually say, some women – have a real fear of lifting weights. When I tell people that I prefer my BodyPump workouts and my weights rather than endless hours on the treadmill, they look at me as if I am crazy. I have a feeling that they think weight lifting turns you into some pumped up, bronzed hybrid of Fatima Whitbred and Arnold Schwarzenegger…well, I have news for you…
Lifting weights – and I only lift fairly easy going ones at the moment – makes you feel immense. I can’t describe it really, but I call it the ‘Lara Croft’ effect – I feel like I could kick ass! In a previous era, as a gym-goer, most of my personal training sessions were focused upon lifting weight and creating resistance. My body became more toned so not only did I feel better but I looked better; my clothes seemed to look more well-fitted and I wasn’t wobbling as much!
I won’t bombard you with pictures of women who lift weights. What I will do is tell you that I have seen some amazing before and after pictures on Twitter recently of women who has totally changed their body shapes using weights. Some of whom were not overweight in the first place, yet weigh a tiny bit more now…but the difference in their looks is amazing. They look tighter, toned, defined and glowing. So although some of them might weigh an extra 7lbs or so, they wear smaller clothes and look fantastic – honestly!
For me, being healthy is far more than a number on the scales. If someone told you that you could be a healthy size 12 – or 10 if you are desperate to be a 10! – but that you wouldn’t necessarily reach the goal weight that you have in mind, would you take it? I know I would!
Being strong is quite important really from both a health and cosmetic perspective – have a look at the points below regarding the benefits of weight lifting…
Helps increase after burn – high intensity strength training can actually help you burn extra calories for hours after your workout
Prevents loss of lean body mass which happens when you lose weight via diet, and as you age
Burning calories – strength training doesn’t burn as many calories in one sitting as cardio, it does contribute to your overall calorie expenditure due to the after burn mentioned above
Changes your body composition, which helps shape your body and keep you healthy
Strengthens bones and connective tissue along with muscles
Keeps you strong and active as you get older
Improves coordination, balance and may help prevent injuries
One of the things that I noticed recently was how much easier I was finding it to shift bales of hay at the stables…and carrying the shopping in from the car. I also helped lug around a couple of wardrobes the other day and managed to get a lid off a jar when everyone else had tried and failed…although they did tell me that they had loosened it off for me!
The confidence – or that Lara Croft effect – you get from feeling strong is pretty addictive in a good way. I don’t lift heavy weights, yet the number of repetitions I do means that I feel the burn! Yet as much as I struggle and curse my way through BodyPump, I feel amazing afterwards; as if I can achieve anything. This confidence is such a boost and is helping my mind as well as my body become, and stay, healthy.
If you are tempted to try out weights yet worry about getting bulky, then fear not. Us women do not possess the level of hormones needed to bulk up. We are all different shapes and sizes and some of us naturally have higher muscle density; to get the bulk that you fear, you would have to train so bloody hard and probably change your diet to suit that training. Gaining muscle is not an easy thing to do…yet toning and sculpting your body can be easier than you think.
Have a quick look at this thread on My Fitness Pal which shows some pics of women who lift weights. Some of the transformations are great! I haven’t read all of the comments as I was too busy looking at the pics…I think you will agree that they look great and they have a glow about them too.
That’s it for me then – I won’t give advice as to how to go about lifting weights, other than to say to speak to a personal trainer or someone knowledgable about that kind of thing. I will say, ‘just do it’ – go for it and see what difference it could make for you…my bingo wings and arms are looking more toned already and that is really after only four weeks of proper focus.
So then, the usuals…
Last night we were woken in the early hours by what sounded like an explosion. We couldn’t work out what it was, but could then smell smoke and had to close the windows. This meant we ended up hot, had to turn the fan on which makes a right noise, and couldn’t sleep! Apparently what we heard was a huge blaze miles and miles away from us in the Midlands. My car actually had soot on it and we live probably 50 plus miles away from the scene of the blaze. The sky also looked rather ominous as dawn broke…the smoke cloud covered the Midlands apparently. Anyway, it has been a fairly uneventful day, apart from my other half’s company deciding not to pay him – what joy when we are trying to manage on one income. My Mum came to the rescue which I am grateful for, but also incredibly pissed off about as I hate borrowing money from people! This situation has caused huge arguments today between my other half and I as he does not want to annoy his company…argh! He has done the work and needs paying, and if I have to visit fecking California to unleash a can of whoop-ass on them, then I will! So it has been a delightful day – can you sense the sarcasm?! I should probably manage the money differently but we dropped over £45k with me not working and it is hard to manage that kind of deficit at times. Financial worries were a contributing factor to my binge eating – just as the cost of the binges caused financial issues…vicious circle – and so issues like this make it a testing time for me. No binging for me though – I don’t want to do it, but I haven’t got any money for the shopping anyway! Tonight I will probably be stropping around whining about having no money.
Breakfast: 2 Alpen Light bars (1 x HEB) and a banana.
A good food day. I tried some posh balsamic vinegar on my salad today and it was rather! Considering it is syn free, I think it will be a regular addition to my salads. The Ryvita was immense too – you can’t beat it with Philly on top! Dinner was just the leftover soup along with some roasted butternut squash. I decided to throw the radishes in the Actifry too and they were quite nice!
Exercise: 3 x 10 minute treadmill sessions.
I was a little concerned as to how I would feel this morning given my treadmill session yesterday, and so was pleasantly surprised to have a lack of aches and pains…all of this exercise is paying off! Today was a scheduled rest day, but I still like to do a little bit before my total slob day tomorrow.
Thank you for reading my money moans…
Weight Loss Bitch xxx