Written by Lindsay Seamans
Edited by Douglas Seamans
What a difference a year and a few pounds makes!!!
No, I’m not talking about how much I weigh. With the exception of my highest weight about 5 years at 128, I’ll say that my weight has pretty remained in the 109-112 range for the past 2-3 years. I’m talking about WEIGHTS this time; dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, plates…actual weights.
My fitness journey started like many women’s; I lifted a few weights here and there, nothing over 15 pounds, didn’t squat over 95 pounds, NEVER did deadlifts, and did about 30-45 minutes of steady state cardio 2 or 3 times per week. Sure, I dropped weight, but I wasn’t getting “toned”, I didn’t have any muscle definition. I never saw any of those little dents and bumps and lumps in my muscles here and there that I equated to looking healthy. Sure, my diet probably didn’t help; still drank alcohol, ate ok but nothing compared to now, maybe a stray cigarette here and there (yes, Doug and I BOTH used to smoke). I had become skinny fat! Oh the horror!
So what happened?! I started training in Muay Thai. I wanted to gain muscle to help with my power in my punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. I wanted to be stronger. I also started checking out fitness sites. I saw women who were beautiful, strong, and THREW weights around like they were paper-weights! I wanted THAT! And seriously, if I knew then what I know now, I’d have slapped the shit out of myself…several times.
No more “working out” for me. I began to WORK THE F*CK OUT! I lifted A LOT! I worked out HARD! I stopped doing steady state cardio (running at the same slow pace or working on a rower or elliptical at a slow steady rate for long periods of time). I scream and groan and grunt and I SWEAT! And I LOVE it! And guess what started happening? My body fat percentage started to go down, and little lines began appearing. So what next? I started lifting heavier and heavier and started doing nastier and nastier cardio, and more little lines began appearing. And there’s no stopping me now!
I’m pulling out some pictures of myself to help demonstrate this difference. The pictures were taken at the same location, pretty much a year apart. The one on the left is me in 2010. Not terrible, but definitely not the best version of myself. I was probably around the same weight, 112’ish pounds, but if I were to take a guess, between 18-20% body fat. I can tell you I could barely do the 45 pound bar with no weight on it for thrusters, could maybe deadlift 100 pounds, squat 95 pounds on a good day and maybe could swing a 35 pound kettlebell. The other 2 pictures are me from last summer. Again probably hovering around 112 pounds, but this time around 14-15% body fat. And holy crap! Are those biceps and shoulders and a hint of the much sought after ab lines?! Why yes, yes they certainly are! Guess how I got there? More f’ing weight! I struggled and swore, and screamed and got frustrated, but I got up to 65 pounds on my thrusters, 135 on my deadlifts, 135 on my squat and if I’m doing straight kettlebells swings, I used the 55 pounder. That. Was. A. Year. Ago. I still do about the same on the thrusters because I have shoulder injuries from fighting, but I can REP 155-165 on my deadlifts, I have squatted 155 and I can kinda swing the 72 pound kettlebell (it sucks though!). And I think I look even better about 8 months later!
So, you want to lose weight, and get tighter and firmer and flatter? Pick up the damned weight. And no, not those little 10 or 12 pound weights. Pick up real weight! You need muscle to burn fat, and if you don’t have a lot of muscle, your cardio and weight loss will never reveal what you’re working so hard for and want to show off!
Oh yeah…and eat better and cut down on the alcohol.
PS.: Also don’t be surprised when the 12, 10, 8 and 5 pound weights disappear or become off limits to those who have been here for more than 6 months!