Being female in a world of provocative and, let’s face it, filtered social media selfies, is tough, and the diet world is stronger than most women will ever allow themselves to be, physically. No matter what, a gain in weight for most females is uncomfortable and in my experience, this is why many choose not to pick up heavy weights through fear of becoming big and bulky.
So, how can we embrace a more positive approach to weight gain?
Here are some simple tips that can help you appreciate those GAINZ for what they really are:
Eat to fuel the body. Eat to Perform.
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of fuelling your own body for your own individual needs. The biggest reason why two people dieting can have completely different results (on the same plan) is that they have completely different fuel requirements. I train heavily and with intensity, meaning I can get away with eating a lot more than someone the same size as me who exercises less. Think about this when you plan your nutrition. If you move a lot you can eat more. If you move less or with less intensity. Eat less. Thinking about food as a basic maths equation will help take away the stigma or complications of faddy diets.
Check your body composition. Take photos.
Muscular changes and body fat composition won’t be seen on a scale. This is super important to get your head around. If you have lost fat but gained muscle, the scales may not show this in their feedback. Photos will. A body fat scan or reading will. Look for alternative markers aside from the scales. They are only one tool, so use them with some degree of caution.
Check strength and athletic progress.
Are you stronger, fitter and faster? If you answer yes, then rest assured that your body is progressing. Maybe this progression can be seen in a different way than conventional methods would wish for you to write home about. But if you are training, exercising and improving, this is a huge PLUS for you in terms of health progression.
Find an inner confidence elsewhere.
Ultimately, the ‘weigh less’ debate comes down to an issue of confidence. People attach appearance, abs, the size of their body, to confidence due to an element of dissatisfaction or unhappiness linking with how they perceive they should look. This impacts on how they view themselves and their security, and how they handle situations in life. Finding confidence by way of other means (than the scales) takes you out of this narrow, but perhaps understandable given our society, viewpoint and places less emphasis on weight and more on what you can achieve.
The weights I would squat, deadlift or pull up with 3 years ago when I weighed 1 kilo less are now weights that I train for reps and sets with. Now, this may not mean a lot if you aren’t a weightlifting fan. But let me tell you with no uncertainty, there is not one woman alive on this planet, who having gained physical strength, won’t also grow in confidence. I can absolutely guarantee it.
Being a more capable human being, creeps through into your mind set for life. Knowing you can achieve something that you couldn’t do before is what GAINZ for me is truly about.