Hello everyone! In my last post, I shared I would be working with the lovely Katie Corio on my next fitness phase! I’ve been steadily using Beachbody products, which have gotten me quite far, and plan to continue doing so (especially with my favorites: Hammer & Chisel and Body Beast)! However, I wanted to seek the expertise from a successful coach to help me tailor my results while ensuring I stay healthy.
In the interest of being totally transparent, I wanted to share how my training program with Katie is going along with some struggles I’ve had up to this point.
Since I started using Beachbody products, I’ve been able to reach many milestones along my fitness journey. The 21 Day Fix/Extreme helped me shed close to 20 pounds in seven months by incorporating daily workouts and getting my eating in check. I then fell in love with strength training using Hammer & Chisel and Body Beast, which is also when I discovered macros and how to track food using them. The Beachbody container system was key in helping me lose weight by understanding portion sizes, but I love the idea of flexible dieting and doing away with “clean” and “dirty” foods.
At the time I started tracking my macros, I had already been dieting for close to a year. In other words, I was eating at a caloric deficit for about 10 months. While the diet allowed me to lose around 30 pounds at that point, it also began to seriously affect my hormone levels. In short (men….you may want to avert your eyes….), my periods had already been becoming a bit irregular, and in March 2016, had totally stopped. I wasn’t too concerned at first, but fast forward to the end of 2016, and I began to get a bit worried. I checked with a few doctors, who all said I was the picture of health, but I knew it wasn’t normal to simply not have periods for 10 months. My biggest worries were around my bone health, which is why I was so happy when the DEXA scan I recently underwent showed my bones to be very strong.
Anyway, the lack of periods was also one of the reasons I began reverse dieting in May 2016. I knew I needed to get my calories up so my hormones levels would normalize. In December, things looked to be going in a positive direction as I did have a short period. My calories at this point were around 2,200, but I had also started putting on quite a bit of fat. As such, I dropped my calories again following the holidays, which (unfortunately) prevented my periods….again. This is when I decided to work with Katie. Since I’m already pretty lean, I need to really focus on the science around macros and hormone levels to reach my goals in a healthy manner. I am not experienced enough in this area, so I was ecstatic when Katie began accepting clients.
While I’ve lost 30 pounds, I still carry quite a bit of fat in certain areas. I don’t like how it looks and would love to tone those areas by building up the muscle underneath while slowly burning the subcutaneous fat. I’ve been toying with a few macro settings since January, and have seen some positive results, but since I’m still eating at a caloric deficit, I know I’m preventing my hormone levels from improving. I’ve mentioned this all to Katie, who also admitted my situation challenges her. This is why I haven’t been able to post details about my training and nutrition plans….they keep changing as Katie learns more about me.
At this time we’re changing up my macros to have a focus on carbs. When I had my short period in December, my carbs were at 260. However, I dropped them back to the low 100s at the start of the year. Since I need to remain lean for July, we’re increasing my carbs….but only to 195 on my high days and 175 on my low days. Fat will remain consistent at 51, and we’re dropping my protein down to 125. The reason for this: carbs are also used in muscle building. While protein is the main start in building muscle tissue, carbs provide the body with energy. If the available carbs are too low, the body doesn’t have enough energy to function at 100%. We think this is what could be the cause of my issue. I’d been eating high protein/low carb for close to a year, and when combined with my 6-day training programs, limited the amount of energy my body could use to perform other functions. This meant I wasn’t building muscle like I had hoped, and it also caused my reproductive system to begin shutting down.
I’ll still be eating slightly under my maintenance calories to remain lean through July, so it’ll be interesting to see how my body responds to the extra carbs. I’m expecting a few pound weight gain during this week as my muscles begin storing the carbs as glycogen and water, but hopefully those carbs will eventually go towards muscle building due to my training program.
It’s all about science at this point, so I’m curious to see what the next few weeks will bring!
As for my training program, Katie sent me one, but forgot I was working out of a home gym. 🙂 As such, some of the exercises need to be modified as I don’t possess the equipment needed. In the meantime, I’m still doing what she sent me, which includes 5 days of training and 2 off days. There are optional cardio and ab circuits, but I’m mainly been focusing on the ab-work. However, since I’m gearing up for the Beachbody Classic, I intend to begin doing some cardio using a combination of Hammer & Chisel and Body Beast cardio workouts.
Okay….so sorry for the long post, but like I said, I want to be totally open with y’all! I’m loving the learning process of how the body uses energy, so I hope you’re finding it at least somewhat fascinating as well!