Your weight as a number is incredibly fickle. It can drop and rise daily! Even…Hour to hour *gasp* I know! :(.
We know that when we stand on our scales at home, or at the gym – we’re not just measuring muscle and fat. And according to Shape.com; That number also represents the weight of your bones, organs, bodily fluids, glycogen (the form of carbohydrate you stow away in your liver and muscles, and the waste inside your digestive tract that you haven’t yet eliminated. Given all of these variables there are three common reasons you may see a bump up on the scale, even while you’re losing body fat:
Water is attracted to sodium like a magnet, so when you consume more salt or sodium than usual; you may hang onto more water.
Solution?…It may seem counterproductive, but drink MORE water. It will help flush out the water you’re hanging onto. Potassium rich foods are also key, as they have a natural diuretic effect — great choices include a small banana, lima beans, cooked spinach, beats, cantaloupe and honeydew melon.
Sorry ladies, it’s not all glam, rainbows and butterflies – it’s life. It can cause you to weigh more until your body releases the waste it’s hanging onto. It’s not uncommon for women to experience constipation as part of PMS *Boo!*
Solution? Drink MORE water, again. And eat foods rich in soluble fiber; like oats, barley, figs, beans, chia and flax seeds and citrus fruits.
- You’re Storing More Carbs
Your body has a huge capacity to store carbs…Unlucky for me, as it’s my favourite type of food (bread, potato etc) — you can sock away at least 500 grams. For reference; one slice of bread packs 15 grams of carbs. When you eat more carbs than your body immediately needs, you’ll store the leftovers in your liver and muscles, which will stay there until they’re needed for fuel. And for every gram of glycogen you stockpile, you also put away about 3-4 grams of water, so essentially it’s a double whammy when it comes to your weight *Double boo!*
Solution? Cut back, but don’t cut out carbs, and focus on quality. Ignore refined, dense carbs like white breads, pasta and baked goods, and include a small amount of a whole grain at each meal, like steel cut oats, brown or wild rice or quinoa (great for protein, fellow vegans). A great example: a small scoop of wild rice topped with a stir-fry made from a variety of veggies sautéed in sesame oil, along with tofu or edamame beans.
Don’t worry guys and gals; it’s normal for your weight to go up and down, so if you do see a slightly increase, don’t panic!
To gain just one pound of actual body fat, you’d have to eat 3,500 more calories than you burn (think 500 excess calories every day for seven days straight. If your weight on the scale increases by one pound and you haven’t consumed an excess 3,500 calories, you haven’t actually gained a pound of body fat. So shift your focus away from the scale and toward how you look and feel. It’s very possible to see more muscle definition and even a reduction in inches when your weight in pounds hasn’t budged.
For me, I look and feel – not my best right now. Not what makes me feel comfortable and confident. I’ve gained quite a lot of weight since moving country, before I joined the gym again, and was not getting a lot of exercise. Coupled with quick snacks here and there instead of healthier meals. Thank goodness I’m vegan anyway so didn’t have the added fattiness of cheese, milk and meat, I don’t think my body could have coped.
I have gone up a few dress sizes; which to the ‘average’ person, might not seem like a big deal, but for me…I am only 5 foot 3 inches tall; which means when I gain weight, it shows…A lot. Increasing in just one dress size would look visually different on me, but as it’s a few sizes up – it’s noticable. Even to the point when my one baggiest comfy jeans that would fall down a little, now don;t fit me…At all. For example; I literally cannot do the zip up.
And when trying to take some pictures for this blog for example; it takes a fair few goes until I am able to find an angle that’s flattering. This isn’t just in terms of bodyshape, but my face, neck and chin.
Since I gave up smoking in March 2011 – go me! Having smoked since I was about 11 years old (I know – extremely bad), it has been harder to say ‘No!’ to food. Whether out of boredom or emotional eating, it’s just harder to turn it down. Whereas when I smoked – if I had a few bits of change on me and it was lunchtime; I’d go for the cigarettes every time rather than eating. Smoking suppresses your appetite, we know this. But it also causes premature aging and wrinkles, so if your vain – don’t do it..Not to mention extreme health issues.
The only way for me to eat less carbs and ‘bad stuff’ and more good stuff, is by exercising. I’ve gone through the weight lifting, pure gym-head route but for me personally, it doesn’t stick – like a fad diet, I get bored.
Fitness classes and regimes are what work for me, they are fun, motivational, and other people are in them for the same/similar reasons as you. Everyone wants to feel better. And it works! It gets your blood pumping, endorphins buzzin’ and mentally – it makes me feel better.
I’d love it to be more sociable too, but the women in my classes don;t like chatting, even during breaks – which is okay, I respect that; some needs to get into a zone.
People put weight on in different areas, some their bottoms (lucky! – I want more toosh!), some their bosoms (lucky! I want more bosom), some the stereotypical areas such as gut/muffin top (me), arms, thighs (me), waist (me) and some in odd areas; I’ll elaborate shortly. I remember reading an article with Mila Kunis being interviewed post-Black Swan. She was saying that since dieting down for her role on the film and ceasing filming. She has put the weight back on her body in weird areas. I can relate completely. One of the reasons it’s very noticeable on me is that I gain it on my face. Around my cheeks, it adds to the general shape of my face; which isn’t ideal as I have a round face to start with. I also gain weight on my neck/chin/double chin. This is the worst part, because you always look like you’ve ut on weight when you have a double chin. And at the moment – it’s constantly a double chin. To take pictures I have to stick my head out from my neck – not just the normal amount for a flattering picture; but a crazy amount, so much so it looks like I am suffering from a health problem! I also gain weight on my fingers, so not only do I get a double chin and muffin top, and larger thighs – bye bye leggings. I then can’t wear my favourite rings.
This – as you can imagine, portrays a strange shape, and one that I’m not completely comfy with as I am small-framed naturally. I don’t have boyish hips, but I have a small bust, an I am short, so when I gain weight, it’s very noticeable, and it’s just not comfortable carrying extra weight. It’s not as easy to breathe and walk around for long periods of time without feeling like you’re waddling.
Many of you reading this are probably thinking – “why on earth is she telling people this information?”, or “I would never disclose these details about myself”…This is exactly why. It’s important that women and men understand it’s normal. We are human, it happens.
I’m not embarrassed that I’ve gained weight, and at the same time – I’m not ‘proud’ like many people say – celebs mostly. I’m not indifferent either. I’m not comfortable with it, with the way I look, and so – I’m going to change it.
If you are not happy, and you are able to – change it, be happy. Life is too short to be unhappy.
I got heavily into the gym lastyear and started to get great definition in my abs and biceps. Now – the muscle is still there, but under some layers of fat.
I have started attending fitness classes again; such as ‘Step & Tone’, ‘Toning/Strengthening’, ‘Shape Up’, ‘Yoga’ (my favourite), ‘Pilates Abs/Pilates’ and some others sporadically through the week after work. I am working these around two new societies I am joining: a dramatics society in Doha and Qatar Photographic Society, as well as volunteering at an animal shelter.
Beauty is only skin-deep, and if you are unhappy with something, or feel like something is missing, you can add more meaning to your life :).
I decided that I would start taking progress pictures of how I get on with weight fluctuation/weight loss/muscle definition.
I already have the diet down pat, so now to up the fitness regime.
This is me, much curvier a weight than what I am personally happy at:
This is me, age 3. As a baby/toddler I was chubby. I like cute chubby kids:
This is me aged – around 14 years old. I began thinking I was ‘fat’ as I had a round face. But no matter how much weight I made myself lose, I couldn’t get my face to slim. I got over that by about 16 years old:
As a gangly teenager with blue/green hair, holding the sheep bag:
The last day of school, my weight had fluctuated again. I was taking pills for my very bad spots, which in turn made me gain weight (yes – I’m the one in the pale blue jumper. And yes – I was smoking in the picture – very bad I know):
Since being an adult, not a teenager; my slimmest pictures – that I could find, are below:
Whilst still trying to keep some pride, here are some recent pictures of me having gained weight over the last few months:
(I really had to crane my head out of my neck to avoid the double-chin in this picture).
(bear in mind I’m breathing in my bulged belly a lot here). – Whenever I eat potato or bread my stomach swells to that of a 5 month pregnant women. I have gluten issues. Which is why I am now bread, gluten and sugar free (as well as being vegan of course).
Lots of women and men experience gains and losses, celebrities like the following – for example:
Janet Jackson – AKA: Give me your abs!
Kirstie Alley (love her in Look Who’s Talking. Gorgeous eyes)
Khloe Kardashian (I think Khloe is the most attractive Kardashian sister. I know they’re not shows or bags that we should pick out who’s prettier, But if I’m being honest – I do. She has such a beautiful smile).
Mila Kunis – but she’s beautiful eitherway.
Since I’ve been back at the gym and proved my eating my stomach has been the first to notice:
After Week 1:
After Week 2:
So we’ll see. Life gets in the way sometimes, of training, fitness classes, yoga, home-cooked healthy meals – these kinds of things; we all know that. But as long as we are happy and comfortable in our one skin – that’s all that really matters. You could be a size 20, or a size 6 – whatever suits you and your life; that’s what makes you shine.
I find Dawn French attractive as much as I do Keira Knightly; they are both beautiful to me. Maybe I view people and things differently – I don’t know. Maybe Dawn French’s inner beauty and humour shine out so much it makes her as attractive as the younger leading lady Keira. Maybe I’m just not as into skinnier chicks. Who can say.
What I can say is…Be happy, be true, be you.
Also…I love baking (vegan) desserts too much to be too skinny ;)
This is one of my vegan cupcakes – banana spilt!
You can can the recipe at my foodie blog: