I wanted to do a quick check in since I finished my first phase of The Modern Women's Guide to Strength Training and I'm about to go on a (swimsuit) vacation.
I enjoyed the program so far. In the past phase there were two strength workouts per week. Normally I might alternate them to make it three strength sessions in a week, but I decided to experiment and leave it at two (if I did that, the phase would conveniently end right before going to Chincoteague). I simply added another cardio session or sometimes backed off and did a yoga session. One time I pulled out my old Piyo DVDs. My cardio consisted of long walks, medium intensity sessions on the bike or elliptical, and an occasional Zumba program on the Kinect.
Gallbraith suggests adding intervals to the end of strength sessions to accelerate fat loss. Her idea of intervals isn't just getting on a machine and riding faster and slower. She has users doing some intense but bizarre combos using strength equipment such as sled pushes and pulls and battling ropes. This month I was alternating between pushing a plate across the floor with farmer's carries.
The bad news is that July has been a terrible food month. I had the Fourth of July, my birthday (with more than one celebration) and just plain laziness in food choices. On the good side, the farmers' markets are full to bursting so when I ate well, I ate really well. My meals are often full of fresh produce. The upshot is I gained a pound, but it was only a pound. I think the new program is helping.
Although I am still seeing fat sliding downhill all over my whole body (I sometimes feel like an oozing flesh volcano) I am also feeling some solid muscle underneath it all. My mother told me I look like I lost weight.
I learned something taking this month's stats. Tape measures are as unreliable as scales. I kept wondering why whenever I buy clothes according to my measurements, everything is huge. I can't have lost that much weight. This morning I pulled out two tape measures. I realized my measurements are totally different on both tapes. I have a fancy, retractable tape measure that came with the package when I bought my bodyfat calipers. I also have a tape measure that came with one of the BeachBody programs I bought. I assumed the BeachBody tape was the wrong one because it was the one that recorded me as smaller. Of course BeachBody would tell you you're smaller. The company wants you to believe your body is shrinking. Then I looked at the fancy measuring tape. There is a plastic notch on the end of it to help you pull it out of the container. The first inch seems hidden inside the notch. The tap starts at 2". All this time I thought I was so much bigger, but in fact the measure is off by an inch!
So this week's more accurate stats:
I will not be doing the program on vacation. I have decided to take a week off from formal exercise, but try to stay as active as possible. I will rent a bike and use that for my main form or transport. If I have nothing to do, I can take a bike ride. I will also swim, ride, and SUP.
Food will be the tough part. One can eat healthfully in Chincoteague, but the leanness of the meals is directly proportional to how much one likes seafood. Since I don't like seafood and won't be partaking of Chinoteague's abundant fresh shellfish, I will be eating burgers, steaks, fried chicken, and whatever else I can find that isn't fish. I will need to stick to the eat slowly and eat only until satisfied rules and hope the physical activity compensates.
Once this interlude is over, I will start on the next phase. It has three workouts per week, so I will be back to doing three strength workouts per week. I will also change the interval programs I do.