Hi everyone, I thought I should do a quick update on my current goals and training situation so that you can understand where I want to get over the next few months and where my starting point was.
After my summer break and the end of my competition season I decided to take a different approach to things with my training and my goals. During the past months i had lost quite a bit of weight due to the many important competitions and the training and stress that came with them. This wasn´t necessarily bad for me at that point because especially as an endurance athlete lower weight is sometimes an advantage because you have to carry less weight around and i really noticed that running felt far easier than it had before. I felt like i had reached just the perfect competition physique and the results also supported me with that impression. But never the less, many people mentioned my weight loss to me because before that point I never really had the slim appearance of a runner and it was therefore really obvious to people even they hadn´t seen me in a while. That didn´t really bother me mostly but when my coaches started telling me that i should make sure to gain back some body mass after the competition had ended, i became more mindful of the change that had happend, even if it was unintentionally. I started to recognize the downsides of weighing less and just being smaller… Even if it had helped me with my running, my swimming performance was not as good as it had be previously. I felt like i didn´t have enough strength in the water and not enough energy to sprint in my training sessions. But I also noticed a difference in my every day life as i was always freezing and had less energy than before. All these things additionally to the advice from my coaches and there fear that i might injure myself or become sick really quickly, I decided that i wanted to gain some weight over the next months and see what changes that would make to my performance and energy levels.
In Addition to that I wasn´t satisfied with my physique anymore even if i had reached my used-to-be “dream physique” at which I was very slim and athletic. That upset me quite a bit because I realised that the way i looked at that point didn´t make me feel more happy that before. That showed me that the way i look didn´t have much influence on my mental wellbeing and that on the conterary i didn´t feel as happy and fulfilled as i wanted to even if i had reached my physique goal. Something needed to change and i started to think about how i wanted to feel in the first place instead of how i wanted to look. So i decided on some new goals that i wanted to reach and that simultainiously matched with my intention to gain some weight back because i no longer wanted to look small but instead strong and energised.
This is why i decided on the main goal of GROWTH in general over the next few months. I want to grow more muscle but also focus more on my mental wellbeing and do more of the things that make me happy and fulfil my body. First of all i want to do more training sessions that i enjoy and cut out those that i don´t enjoy as much or that just bore me eventually. Before i had never taken the time to go to the gym more than once a week because i didn´t have the time with all the running, swimming, shooting and so on, even if i really enjoyed going to the gym and doing some resistance training. Now i simply make the time and try to go to the gym three times a week and try to work on building muscle especially on the legs. But in order to achieve that i need to go into a calorie sulplus where i eat more than my maintenance calorie intake (but i will make a blog post regarding lean bulking as well). Additionally i cut down on my swimming sessions and just go swimming one or twice the week to maintain a level of endurance and strength. Right now, just after a few weeks i feel so much happier and energised because i just do what makes me happy. But never the less this will be a much longer process because i need some time to get into the right state with my food intake in the first place. I realised that it is quite hard to start eating a lot more food in order to be able to build muscle because i am not used to it anymore and simply not that hungry. But on the other side i definitely need to eat more because i think i am still not having my maintenance calories every day. Because i struggle with this a lot i decided to use a technique called reverse dieting where you up your calories each or every two weeks in order to give your body time to adjust to the increasing amount of food that you eat. I am really looking forward to see if that helps me and gets me to where i want to get which is to eat intuitively just the right amount of food to fuel my body. And i mean who doesn´t want to be able to eat more food ; ) In Theorie i will be able to increase my calorie intake for quite a bit until i reach my maintenance and this is when my weight will start to go up. Then i assume i will be carrying on for a bit as i want to put on some weight but i will seen when i get to that point. And this will take some time…
All in all I defined a few goals for the next few months that are really important to me and i think will keep me motivated :
- build muscle – especially on the thighs
- become stronger – being able to lift heavier weights
- eat more (reverse dieting) – to be able to built muscle and have more energy
- listen to my body and do what I enjoy doing
- make time for my social life – don´t stress about training as much because mental health is as important as physical
Please let me know if you want to know more about the reverse dieting approach and for whom this can be helpful or if you have any other questions. I will keep you updated on my progress and how this worked out for me so stay tuned ; )
I am also thinking about doing a physique comparison in a few months to compare the differences and to see if i reached my goals or moving towards them, do you think this would be a good idea?