Pardon, have you seen my 6-Pack?
This week’s update (or as I am calling it today, “Where in the world is Amy?”): I’ll be in Toronto this weekend at Brass Bombshells and Brass Vixen studios! There are only a handful of spots left total in all of them, so if you want a spot snatch it up quick…. I can’t wait! There’s almost nothing more awesome then the energy of a roomful of people who are excited to be there and happy to learn. Except, if they were all booty clapping. What? I CAN’T WAIT! Then next weekend, I’ll be in Memphis for the grand opening party of Euphoria studios. If you’re interested in more info in any of these workshops, take a look at my schedule here with all the links you could want.
So today’s blog is to answer a question that I’ve actually been getting a lot lately. This is pretty embarrassing, but hey, it’s not like I haven’t done more embarrassing things for you readers before, right?
The question is: Amy, what are you doing differently because lately you have been looking HOT AS HELL. Okay, that’s not how it’s usually asked, but my 6-pack has been hanging out with me lately, and people have noticed. So the question isn’t really about how hot I’m looking, but more about the definition that they’ve seen in my muscles lately. I had to look pretty hard, but I found a comparison photo from exactly a year ago, to show you along with one I took this week. It’s not a very flattering picture, but it was one of the only clear ones I could find. Also, I love that my booty shorts are spandex made to look like jeans HEHE:
In both these photos, I am in a “resting state”– that is, not flexing the abs– so that it’s an easier (and really true) comparison. Uh, I guess I could have smiled in the “after” picture to make it more like an infomercial, but I forgot. And since some of you will ask, the blue sportsbra in the “after” pic is from LuLuLemon. The neon shorts are Bad Kitty Brazils, duh.
So, how did this happen?
Well…. do you remember this blog entry? Back in March, I did actually decide to start trying to eat more responsibly. It wasn’t to lose weight, it wasn’t to do anything but to try to put healthier fuel into a body that I was working pretty hard. It just made sense to me to try it out and see how it went. And as a 30+ year old, little things are really making a big difference. For instance, a hangover completely obliterates me for an entire weekend whereas it used to be something that I got over in an afternoon. My body doesn’t react the same way that it used to, and it seems much more sensitive than it used to be, so I thought I would try to be better to it to at least put in an effort to see what eating better could do.
I’ll be completely honest: For a few months, it was a struggle to get in the right mental headspace to actually think about it. I used to eat white pasta for dinner at least 2 nights a week, and I’m Korean so HELLO? White rice lover anyone? And it felt like I was depriving myself of something that I loved. Like I wasn’t letting myself hang out with a really good friend. My stand-bys for meals when I was running late, or didn’t have time, was usually starch-based– sandwiches, pasta, rice with a protein Korean-style. So it was changing my instincts for how to feed myself. My only rules were: eat breakfast. Have protein shakes after workouts. And try to eat more vegetables, meats, and fruits– simpler and higher quality ingredients.
But, surprisingly, I started noticing something amazing: when I stopped having so much processed starch, I noticed my mood swings equalized. I wasn’t getting super tired, lethargic, bloated, or wanting to take a nap after I ate anymore. My energy was more even throughout the day, and I felt more energetic. I was eating smaller meals but more often. Although I didn’t cut out grease, oils, fried foods, or deprive myself in any way, just being a little bit more aware of what I was eating made a huge difference. I still go out to fancy dinners, I still DEFINITELY drink a lot of beer and wine and mixed drinks, and I still have days where I pig the eff out on lunch or dinner (but usually am in a painful food coma afterwards that makes me a little more wary of doing it again).
Today, for example, I ate a 2-egg omelette with a sausage for breakfast. Had half a Chipotle salad for lunch (with guacamole, of course) and then a couple hours later I finished it (I get them HUGE so that it’s hard to put the lid on, so finishing it all at once is possible but makes me want to roll up and die). I had class (school), so I made a snack to get me through the 4 hours of lecture– today it was 2 chicken breasts marinated with yummy balsamic goodness, and a beet and orange and red onion salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Then I got home and ate another dinner- baked zucchini with tomato and onion and seasoned breadcrumb topping with a side of flank steak. MMMMM! So, eating like a monster, but trying to focus on fresh and delicious foods that are still recognizable for what they are– processed as little as possible and cooked simply.
Aside from the change in my diet, I have been doing absolutely NOTHING differently. So I would say that while I haven’t lost any weight (and that was never my intention), I have definitely leaned out and my energy levels are way higher than they used to be. It’s amazing! And having these benefits are all I need to keep going the way that I’ve been going. Being able to see my abs is just a bonus. I don’t know that everyone will see results exactly like this, but you will definitely see a difference.
If you talk to a personal trainer, or nearly anyone in fitness, they will tell you that 80% of results that you see in your body are from the eating choices you make, while 20% is from what you do in the gym. The idea being that you have a handful of opportunities every day to make a decision that will affect how your body runs, and that those decisions are just as impactful as WHAT you do when you actually do work out. So, if you’re working out really hard and not seeing results that you want, maybe cast a more critical eye on what you’re eating and see if it doesn’t make a difference. It’s not about a “diet” or deprivation– it’s about being motivated to be good to yourself and give yourself the fuel you need to really do what you want to be able to do.