Weightlifting: or, "Oh, my God, I'm HUNGRY"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

As you know (Bob), I'm 3/4 Eastern European. My people bred women who could pull a plow in case the Cossacks burnt the crops and they had to eat the ox that winter. Genetically, I'm designed to be muscular as all hell, and when I stop slinging the iron around is when I start packing on weight.

But weightlifting requires thought and discipline, and too often in the past I've said, "Screw it -- I'm tired/sad/stressed/what have you, I don't want to do squats, I'm just going to get on the stationary bike." Which is faboo for some people, but for me I can do cardio every day until the cows come home and not lose an ounce. Well, except for all the muscle that my body catabolizes.

So, come this year and I join MFP, and it really does make a difference being able to track what I eat and how I exercise. And by gum, I did lose 8 pounds that first month, but there were a couple of plateaus along the way that prompted me to take a look at what I was doing for exercise.

Yup -- cardio, mainly. Not good. So at the beginning of this month I started getting serious about the weights again. Hit the gym three times a week purely for weight work, bought NEW RULES OF LIFTING FOR WOMEN (awesome book, by the way), lifted heavy, ate a lot of protein.

Consequently, the scales have not budged an inch. Which I knew would happen, and is okay because I've been seeing visible changes in my arms, legs, and stomach. My clothes are slightly looser, and the tape measure (I'm only supposed to do it every two weeks, but I cheated yesterday) showed an eighth of an inch lost off my neck and hips. There might have been a corollating loss on my waist, but I'd just had breakfast so that kinda put paid to that. And I've been staying under my calorie limit -- been eating crap every so often, too, but then I eat something light and healthy for the next meal. I figure by the end of the month the scales should start moving down again.

That being said, I have noticed a rather major change in my metabolism this week. Before now, I would sometimes have to check the time to see if I should have a meal or a snack -- I didn't always get hungry, especially if I was wrapped up in a project (to the point where, 10 hours after I'd eaten something, I'd look up and wonder why the room was spinning, then think, "Oh, yeah...food would probably be a good idea").

11 days into the weights, however, and hoo boy, I get ferociously hungry every 3-4 hours. And I mean FEROCIOUS -- my gut rumbles like an express train, so much so that the cats have started to look at me funny. Maybe I'm saying something rude to them in Cat, who knows. Hunger stops me in the middle of my tracks, it wakes me up in the morning, it lets me know that my body needs fuel now, dude, and something with lots of protein, please.

As a result, there have been a few changes in my eating schedule. I've started doing egg white scrambles for breakfast (with a little bit of taco cheese, guacamole, sour cream and lots of salsa), drinking homemade protein shakes with cottage cheese, and I'm about the hit the store and go a little nuts in the dairy, meat and produce aisles. It still feels a little weird to be eating this much and this often, but the gut demands its tributes of protein and essential fats, and I must feed it before my husband wonders if its thundering outside.