Monday, August 22, 2011

Addressing a Naysayer...

Ok, I know it's not Wednesday - your traditional "hump day," but it is day 6 of my 12-day PSMF experiment. It's all downhill from here...I hope.

I've made it 6 full days so far without a carb or fat fest. My weight is slowly creeping down as is my BF% according to my crappy Tanita. 113.6 lbs, 26.0% bodyfat. I still think that's off, and I know it has a lot to do with water retention, etc., but I am still carrying a lot of softness in my belly still, so it's probably, sadly, accurate or at least close.

Anyway, as an aside from my boring protein-rich meals, I wanted to share with you all an email I received in response to my last blog. It's from a man named David.

Now, David, if you are reading this, I hope you are not upset that I posted your email. I mean, if you are going to question the validity and necessity of what I'm doing and writing about in a public forum, I thought I would open the floor for debate starting with your letter.

Here's what David wrote (edited for grammar and spelling b/c typos and misspelled words make me crazy):

I understand what your doing but really, what does it have to do with fitness and weight loss? Short term gains for aesthetics is anathema to overall fitness, good habits and total image of ones self. Your goals are your own, but this recent bout of "diet" is unhealthy and in my opinion counter-productive. What is more important, a strong woman with a body that may not conform to the magazine's image of a fit female, or that small section of that is a hindrance to the prototypical six pack. Frankly, I think you're stronger with the you, that is really you.

Best wishes and good luck with what ever makes you happy. I pray though, that you actually derive happiness from your goals.

Your friend in training,

So wonder what any of this has to do with fitness and weight loss? Let me address Fitness first.

Would you or would you not concede that a 115 lb woman who can deadlift 200 lbs, benchpress 105 lbs, do weighted chinups with 30 xtra lbs strapped to her, weighted dips and pullups with 20 xtra lbs strapped to her is somewhat fit?

I can deadlift nearly twice my weight then do 5 sets of RPT style weighted chinups and STILL do 7 or more bodyweight chinups when I'm finished. I'm not a fast runner - I am not training to run - but I can easily run a 5k right now if you wanted me to and finish in the middle of the pack somewhere.

I was nearly 130 lbs and 30% bodyfat in January of this year. I used to train like a mad woman - probably overtrained - and never saw results. Why? Because my diet was terrible. I never counted calories. I never cycled carbs. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And though I was not obese by any standard, I was setting myself up for an unhealthy future. My mother has adult onset diabetes...she loves carbs. I myself had cancer 12 years ago - you would know this if you read more of my blog than a couple of posts about an experimental high-protein diet. I am on a quest - one that will last for the rest of my life - to get lean, be strong and stay that way until I die - Which, statistics show, will likely be later in life the leaner I am.

Weight Loss? Well, I'm not sure I ever said I need to lose 'weight.' If I did, I misspoke. I'm not concerned with just losing lbs on the scale. I don't care what the scale reads if my bodyfat is low enough to see my abs - even if just a shadow of them. Whether that's 105 lbs or 125lbs, it won't matter to me. Muscle is compact, dense and, when in the right proportion, is sexy as hell and i want to build it and show it off.

To strip my body of nearly 39 years of accumulated fat and toxins, I'm experimenting with fasting and macros cycling to see what works for me with as little discomfort and muscle loss as possible. I've done the 'eat 6 meals a day' thing. I've run mile after mile after mile. I was even a personal trainer and spouted all of this nonsense to others (for which I will be eternally sorry). I bought it all - hook, line and sinker.

Not any more.

I don't take expensive designer supplements. I use creatine, whey, casein, fish oil and vitamins. That's it.

When I eat, my plate is generally half protein and half vegetables. I eat more fibrous veggies in a single day than most Americans eat in a week. Carbs, mostly in to form of complex carbs, come in after workouts and that's it. I drink water, iced and hot green tea, black coffee, unsweetened almond milk and diet soda (with vodka, of course) when I need something sweet. Tell me, Dave, how is my lifestyle unhealthy? Because I'm on a reduced calorie diet for 12 days? Puhleeeeze. My PSMF experiement has more to do with training my brain to recognize true hunger while teaching myself a little discipline than anything else. As a result, I should also shed some true bodyfat - notice I said "bodyfat" and not "weight."

I eat broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, blueberries, strawberries, pork, lean beef, bison, seafood and chicken. When not on PSMF I eat Greek yogurt and tons of cottage cheese, natural peanut butter, sweet potatoes, brown rice and a plethora of additional vegetables. I do LOVE Oreos - they are my vice. I take a multivitamin, fish oil and calcium, when I remember, due to the suppressive dose of synthroid I'm on from the cancer. (As an aside, check out this blog post about the effect of fasting on my medication dosages.)

Where am I going wrong? Would you be more comfortable if I was blogging about my latest obsession with Bavarian Cream Doughnuts? Would it be more acceptable if I logged dozens of miles of running each week while complaining about the repetitive stress injuries I'm suffering from due to overtraining? Tell me Dave, what would be acceptable?

How is a long-term eating and training program that I have sustained since I started in January - with no lapses - deemed "counterproductive?" How is getting strong as hell at the same time I strip off unnecessary, and unhealthy, bodyfat "counterproductive?" And exactly what part of these past 8 months worth of my blogposts archived here ----------->>>>>> give you the idea that this is a short term goal aimed and improving aesthetics?

I'm getting strong. I'm getting lean. As a byproduct, I'm going to look hotter at 40 than I ever did at 20 and you see something wrong with that? Am I missing something?

Tell me, Dave, did you read any of my blog posts or just this one you commented on? Because the PSMF is just a 12-day think to kick start fat loss - it's not something you continue in perpetuity. That doesn't mean I wouldn't go another round in a month or so, but PSMF is not intended to be a permanent eating lifestyle. Maybe you just misunderstood....


For all of my readers - if you have a stand on this issue - for or against what I do and how I'm doing it, I welcome your comments. Please do not hesitate to weigh in - I ask only 1 thing before you do so, however. Before submitting any comments, ask yourself if you're making a constructive point or just being a nay-saying PITA.

Thanks everyone. I'm tired. Day #7 has literally just begun!

And, Dave, I truly thank you for opening this debate. I'm sorry I was harsh; it's been a helluva day and I'm hungry. :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Jenn

You need not answer to the Dave's of this world. There will always be a Dave out there, saying what your doing is wrong.

I think it's pure jealousy, they have given up in life, and need to grab a hold of the highly motivated, and try to pull them down as well.

All I can say, is you are very motivating, I enjoy your posts, and your progress. Don't let the Dave's of this world slow you down.

Anonymous said...

I just want to throw a few things out there, in no particular order:

1) I am fascinated by what you are doing. I'm not passing judgment good or bad, but I think it is very cool to watch you experiment with different techniques to get lean.

2) I am a guy in my mid-40s, in pretty good shape, who has struggled to get muscular AND get lean. I can do one, or the other, but not both. So, I think I have a healthy respect for how hard it is to do what you are doing. I guess what I'm saying is that you are doing really well, and you should feel very good about what you have accomplished. Getting stronger while losing fat is VERY difficult. I'm not sure it is even possible after you reach a certain level of strength or bodyfat.

3) Regardless of where you have come from, you look awesome right now. Not many people at your age look as good as you do. My guess is you are in the 99the percentile for a 40-year-old female. So, you have to ask yourself just how much further into that 99th percentile you can push yourself. At some point, genetics, and the payoff (or really, the lack thereof) kick in. Hollywood stars and models can make a lot of money by looking good. The rest of us aren't so lucky to have a huge payday to reward us for the VERY hard work involved in transforming a body. If you don't get any further (and I actually think you will at least get closer to your goal and eventually see some of those abs), you will have still succeeded.

4) Don't be too hard on Dave. I think he was sensing a lot of frustration on your part, and just wsa suggesting you should be happy with who you are. That's fine I guess, but not very helpful to someone who is clearly driven to transform herself. Just ignore him, and recognize you are an inspiration to many people. I've forwarded your website to a number of women who have asked for advice.

Good luck, and keep posting!

DS said...

I agree with you. Excess fat is useless in a society of over-abundent food. You are clearly not obsessed about losing weight.

I'm in the same boat; trying to lose the love handles and see the abs I've never seen. I'm getting closer thanks to Leangains IF. I'm real interested to see how your PSMF jumpstart experiment goes. I've only done 1 consecutive day of that style of eating (ex: Monday, after I ate a lot of excess food on Sunday).

Essential fat for a woman is about 10-13%, and female athletes carry 14-20%. This is the range you should see abs in. Why are athletes so lean? Because fat does not contribute to performance. Speed, agility, etc are all hindered by excess fat.

Lean and muscular is healthy and sexy! Stick with it, you'll get there!