If one more person tells me that muscle weighs more than fat, I think I may scream.
Seriously, I am thinking about putting a pound of super lean chicken breast in a zipper bag along with a pound of pork, beef, or even chicken fat in another zipper bag. I should tote it around in a suitcase with a scale (and probably some ice packs), so that once and for all people can see that 1 pound of muscle and 1 pound of fat both indeed weigh 16 ounces.
There is a difference in fat and muscle and that difference is mass. The amount of space they occupy. Muscle is dense, fat is fluffy.
In my journey, when I had lost enough weight to begin exercising, I gained weight. Immediately I was told “You’re building muscle and it weighs more than fat”. I was then scared of working out because weight loss is all about my scale, right? WRONG. The worst thing ever is to base one’s success or lack thereof on the scale.
That first day of exercise did not build me muscle. That first day of exercise moved parts of my body that had been previously rooted to the couch. The little muscle mass I had under my invisibility cloak had not only exercise to deal with, but also my body weight of over 200 pounds. Just like any structure, my muscle structure “cracked” under pressure, there was pain and swelling and the inevitable temporary weight gain. Water weight.
As a newbie to working out, I fell for the whole “women shouldn’t lift heavy weights” crap. Yes, it’s crap. As a woman, I am not a man. I do not have the ability to bulk up like a man. I will not awaken one morning Frankensteinish with my head looking quite normal but my body looking like that of Jason Momoa or Manu Bennett. It’s not physically possible because I am female, I do not have testosterone coursing through my body.
During my journey I’ve had to question everything I’ve learned or heard. If I took every bit of advice everyone had ever given me, I don’t think I would have made it this far. I would have failed because the scale does not like me. I would have never worked out again because heavy lifting is not for girls. I would have been scared to death of whole foods because they don’t have that heart healthy seal like some processed foods have.
Weight loss is complex. There are many measures of success. I hope that if my rant does nothing more than make you think about some of the advice out there, that you think about it. Look for the answers that work for your body, take what you need and leave the rest.
I leave you today with a picture from one of my “girly workouts”.