Once upon a time there was a chunky, bespectacled young woman who wanted to look like a comic book heroine. She grew up watching the Super Friends and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends instead of Strawberry Shortcake and The Care Bears, and spent her high school years (when not buried in academics) reading comic books like the Uncanny X-Men during Jim Lee’s pencilling stint (you know, when Psylocke got turned into the badass Lady Mandarin/Kwannon) and devouring cyberpunk novels like Walter Jon Williams’s Hardwired with its tough-as-nails dirtgirl assassin protagonist, Sara.
Fast forward to the present: That formerly puffy-looking geekette named Maggie is doing pretty well as far as progress goes. After reaching my weight loss goal last November, I went on a deliberate bulk cycle in order to gain muscle. I went from a low of 128 lbs (I’m 5’6″) back up to 139 lbs by eating clean, but eating a lot MORE. I’ve gained quite a bit of muscle in my upper body as I was hoping to do in order to balance out my legs and am now back on the fat loss warpath to get back down to 128 lbs.
I will be honest–it was very disturbing to see the scale keep going up even though I was doing it on purpose and in a controlled fashion. No formerly fluffy dieter ever wants to see the numbers go UP again, you know? But in my case, no gut flab, no glory in the form of arm muscles either, so bulk I did.
Here is a pic of my progression from May 2004 through March 2005:
This is a recent composite:
So I definitely put on more muscle (with some fat in my lower abs, back of the arms, glutes, and legs) and widened my shoulders enough to balance out the bottom half–I’m finally not a pear!–but sometimes when I see my upper body in the mirror I am kind of overwhelmed by even the dinky amount of mass I’ve put on in my arms. As modest as my gains have been when compared to the real figure and bodybuilding pros out there, this is the most muscular I’ve ever been in my entire life.
I had said that I wanted bigger, buffer arms to balance my mega quads, but whew…now that I have them, I am torn between loving being the strongest-looking female in the room most of the time in my town of tubby tourists, overweight office workers, and waifish beach bunnies and sort of wishing I had the more mainstream, slim arms from November, since I only stayed at my low weight for a few weeks.
I know…I’m being an idiot, right?
Maybe when I’m down to goal weight and am lean enough to see more definition and not quite so much blurry bulk from fat I will finally be able to look in the mirror and not feel that twinge of wistfulness for the twiggy arms of November. And really, it’s not the size of my arms that is bothering me right now–I really dig the muscles! But the FAT I had to put on them at the same time irks me every time I see my reflection.
Bulking may have been necessary for me to gain muscle, but yeesh, sometimes I feel so aggravated at the extra flabbage on my body. I just miss the feeling of being lean and streamlined.
Now if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go Google up some articles on body dysmorphic disorder to make sure I’m not going off the deep end.
Update: Whew…just read up on BDD, and have eliminated it as a possibility as I don’t actually hate my arms or any other part of my body really. I still have the drive to improve myself, but at the end of the day I am content with myself. I am only guilty of plain old OCD, which I’ve known about all along.
5/24/05 P&P Challenge Report
Consecutive Perfect Days = 1 :prop:
Total Perfect Days = 23/62
– 2173 calories eaten / +135 surplus
– 43.9% carb, 29.3% protein, 27.0% fat
– No unauthorized meals
– All supplements taken
– 17 cups water
– All planned workouts performed
Weekly Weigh-In: 135.8 lbs on 5/21/05 (Start weight on 5/1/05: 135.4)
Nutrition: 1600-1700 calorie mid zig zag day
1: 3×1 spinach omelette, 1/4 c. raisins
2: 3×1 spinach omelette, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal
3: Chocolate cappucino yogurt banana shake w/1 T. flaxseed oil
4: Turkey sloppy joe, 3/4 c. fiesta mix veggies, 1/2 c. strawberries
5: 3 oz. tuna, 3 c. raw spinach, 1 banana
6: 1 c. FF cherry yogurt, 3/4 c. fiesta mix veggies, 1/2 c. strawberries
Total: 1648 calories, 49.0% carb, 30.9% protein, 20.8% fat
Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil
Water: 16 cups minimum
8:00 AM P90X Abs
10:00 PM P90X Back/Biceps
11:00 OARS exercises for Life’s Odyssey challenge and 200 misc. squats for BFL Women’s board daily challenge
The Awful Truth:
1. Nothing. Back in the saddle again!
1. Made library book tracker module for HanDbase.
2. Carried 25 lb cube of ATW chocolate blend whey up to my 3rd floor apartment without falling down.
1. Create P90X HanDbase module.
2. Organize Oasis 18 prints.
3. Cook more rice and roast chicken.
4. Pick up 20lb bag of Nutro Max cat food for the boys. ($21.99 for 20 lbs at Petco.)
5. Finish Handbase tutorials 5 and 6.