I’ve been stalled around 135lbs for several months now. But I have come to terms with being a size 6. Forty-three pounds ago I thought fitting into an 8 was an unrealistic fantasy! My new fantasy is to rock a perfectly flat belly with some ab lines, but not over the top and increase the dents between my leg muscles so they become visible to the naked eye. And tighten my arms and hips. I have a family reunion next month and while my family doesn’t care if I’m fat, skinny, smelly or alien, I want to wear a bikini so I can tan the midsection.
Experimenting with different exercises, I’ve come upon some useful data. There are certain exercises that will puff up the body, some that will slim it down and some that just suck.
Puff it up:
Puffing up requires expanding muscles through high resistance strength training. This is the key to a beautiful butt. Unfortunately, strength training can also puff up areas we don’t want puffy, like the belly. Strength training in the abs increases the size of your belly. The phenomenon is no different from bicep curls making the biceps bigger; bicep curls do not make arms smaller. If your belly (or whatever) is already thin, by all means strengthen it. Any strength training that creates an intense burning or gentle tearing in the muscle is essentially causing it to expand and get more buff. I learned this the hard way. My abs are really tight and ripped – just below this thick layer of fat that keeps hanging around. In fact the fat layer seems to protrude more than it used to because its base is further out, atop the now expanded abs. First world problems. Strength training combined with slimming exercises and dieting will handle this.
Slim it down:
Low resistance motion for some duration burns fat without puffing up the muscles. Heat the body and fat will melt. Run on flat land rather than uphill. The greater resistance up hill is enough to tear/expand muscle. Low or no resistance stationary bikes are great, elliptical machines are great, jumping jacks are great, Zumba is amazing. The goal is to heat the body and sweat without ripping yourself.
Exercises that suck:
Any activity is better than none, but if you don’t feel your muscles tightening, they aren’t tightening. To see fast results, push your body to feel tired and sore as these are indications of change. Also remember that the more fit you become, the more strenuously you must exercise to create change. Walking while you weigh 150lbs is less of a workout than when you carried around 170lbs. To defeat soreness, drink tons of water. CalMag (a calcium-magnesium drink) helps too.
Find your happy medium:
Most of us want tight arms, legs and waists with nice round breasts and butts. The most ground I’ve made on this was by jockeying strength (in the back, legs and butt) with low resistance cardio. What I recommend is “Ninja Running.” It’s a combination of running, then jogging up and down hills and on flat ground. Start off on flat ground, maybe around a city park. Jog for a couple minutes to warm up the body. Sprint for about five minutes with all your might then reduce to a comfortable jogging speed once you start sweating. To speed up the heating process, wear tight clothes with additional thick clothes on top such as spandex pants and a tank under sweats. Hoodies are great to make your face sweat. After about ten minutes of steady jogging on flat ground, head for the hills. San Francisco is the best for Ninja Running. When you run uphill, try kicking your own butt with each heel. It really tightens up the lower back, butt and hamstrings. Always maintain good posture in exercise. When you get back to flat ground, jog normally. Going down hill, do high-knees. That means pull each knee up so your thigh is perpendicular to your torso. You’ll be moving pretty slow and might look dumb, but the high-knees make going downhill easier on your joints and tighten the lower abdomen. I’m not going to lie, I love showing off my butt-kicks and high-knees as I cruise past doormen and trolleys. The fact of someone watching encourages me to kick my own butt all the way up the block.
I hope this helps!
P.S. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I love my mom. She’s fun, kind, beautiful and she’s mine.