I gained weight.

One thing I’m struggling with right now is the fact that I am gaining weight.

About 8 pounds.  I know…you’re thinking 8 pounds…hmmm.  That’s not a lot.  But for someone who started this fitness journey at 100 pounds, this weight gain is really freaking me out.  I guess it’s because most people measure their fitness achievements in weight loss.  Maybe I didn’t have anything to lose?

I know that I have been eating really healthy, have cut out alcohol-ish (except on special occasions), and have kept my daily caloric intake between 1300-1700 calories.  I also workout about five times a week, and this isn’t the typical “get on the elliptical and sweat a little” workout; if I’m not doing Les Mills BodyPump, BodyAttack or CXWorks, then I’m running at least a 5k or lifting on my own.

I’m not 100 percent sure, but I’m pretty sure that this weight gain can can only be attributed to muscle growth.  And maybe because I’m working outside for a few hours everyday in the heat – I’m drinking more water and I feel like my body is swelling…can a person’s body swell from warm/hot temperatures?

Anyways, aside from trying to eat healthier and in a way that will fuel my activity level, my workouts have intensified in the past year.  I know I’m gaining muscle; the way my body is cut is very different than it was last summer.  I actually have abdominal muscles now, which protrude a bit on my tiny stomach.  This is new.  When you go from being skinny and having no stomach to having muscles grow where they have never been, it’s a little weird and I’m not exactly sure how to feel about it.

My body has changed (and is changing) into what I can only describe as an “athletic build”.  I was never “cut” before, and now I can really make out the definition in certain areas without flexing.  During BodyPump, I look at myself in the mirror and ask, “Is this the girl who used to despise fitness?”  She is now obsessed.  She now has definition.  What happened to this girl who was afraid to sweat?

I’m also so much stronger and faster.  I never thought I would be capable of doing some of the things I do in the gym or on runs.  And to be quite honest, I didn’t even know this level of fitness existed.  Now, I’m really getting intense in my workouts and pushing myself to the max.  And I love the way it makes me feel.  I love being fast.  I love lifting challenging weight in BodyPump or not taking a break and going all out during Attack.  The pool of sweat on the floor is proof that I’m working hard.  It’s like I’m proving that I can do what once wasn’t possible.

But I’m still adjusting to the changes I see in my body.

If I showed you a before and after photo, you might even think, “Hey she looks BIGGER after“.  So I have this dilemma because I don’t feel like I’m being a good fitness example.  Sure, I’m strong and my endurance is great, but I feel like there’s nothing to show in terms of weight loss.  I’m also not eating like a rabbit, because I am a foodie, and I workout to be able to enjoy good food (yes, like pork belly and fried things).  This means that I’m not all muscle because my dietary habits aren’t all carrots and celery.  You get what I’m saying?

So that’s my dilemma.

Question: Are there any tiny people out there who have put on weight and muscle since working out?  Did it bother you?  Was it visible?  Did you change your routine at all?

On a more positive note, at least I could probably reach the required weight to give blood now – 110 pounds!

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Adventures in INSANITY

Fitness is a huge part of my life.  It really affects my overall mood and I don’t know what I would do without it.  In the Fitness tab, you can find my progress in workouts/race training/and nutrition.  And here I will start with my adventure into INSANITY.

I’ve discovered that working full-time and long commutes in the NoVa area leave me little time or motivation to make it to the gym.  I still love the gym, and still will be going because I’m a huge fan of Les Mills classes, however, I have been looking for an alternative workout routine that I could do outside of the gym.  If I go to the gym after work, I don’t get home until around 8 PM and after making dinner, it’s time for bed.  I don’t like doing this every day of the week.  I do like to have some sort of life outside of work and gym.  And I surely don’t want to wake up super early to commute to a gym, shower there and then go to work.

So after hearing some good things about INSANITY, a Beachbody program taught by Shaun T. (Who is Shaun T.?!?), I decided to give it a try.  I’m usually not a huge fan of fitness DVD programs (Are they gimmicks? Will I really see results?), but I figured I’d give it a try after one of my friends started the program.  Side note: I tried P90x with Tony Horton, but he kind of annoyed me!  P90x is probably a great program, but when your instructor annoys you…I digress…so as a positive, Shaun T. does not annoy me, he pushes you, but he’s really sweet and is quite attractive!

INSANITY starts with a Fit Test, which sets a bar for which you can improve upon every two weeks.  After doing the fit test, I was drenched in sweat, my heart rate was super high after the 3rd exercise (there are 7) and I had to take a break.  So I like to think I’m in great shape, in fact, I had a trainer tell me I was in better shape than like 99% of her clients.  I know I am in good shape.

If you are in good shape, INSANITY will challenge everything you thought about yourself.  It’s a lot of plyometrics and challenges you by elevating your heart rate to really high levels, which I guess builds endurance and burns calories.

After the Fit Test, I had Day 2: Plyometric Cardio Circuit.  Let’s just say I’ve never sweated that much in 45 minutes, not even in cycle class.  The sweat was literally dripping off the tip of my nose.  It’s really challenging, especially the exercises you do in plank position; my wrists are really weak (I have really tiny wrists and pretty small bones), so I had to take a few breaks to stretch them out.

So yay! I’ve done two days of INSANITY and I’m looking forward to everything else it has to offer.  Just to note, even if you are in excellent shape, this will challenge you, you might have to take a few breaks, and that’s okay!

I’m hoping to track my progress weekly, and I’ll be adding some pictures of progress as I go.  If you’ve gotten into INSANITY adventures, tell me how you’re doing – I’d love to cheer you on!  WISH ME LUCK!

Happy Sweating!