3 reasons why my body comp went in the wrong direction

This past week, I met with Zach to do my body comp. The last time I had my body comp done was in December.

My latest body comp went in the wrong direction.

My weight is up, my body fat is up, and I gained inches everywhere — except in my hips, which defies explanation. I suspect there is SOME muscle gain. I am, stronger, but muscle doesn’t explain the increase in body fat.

Zach stared at the results with a confused and exasperated look on his face. “Are you pregnant?”

“Nnnnoooooo!”

“Well, I had to ask because it could explain this.”

At the time, I had no explanation. But after thinking about it for a few days and talking it over with Andy, I think I have pinpointed the problems.

  1. Too much sugar
    SXSW was my downfall. I had been doing pretty good with avoiding excess sugar until March 9. I planned to indulge a little. I ended up indulging a lot. The sugar addiction came back with a vengeance, and the eating continued well past SXSW.
    Then, it became easy to justify “celebrations,” as my son calls it. He always wants to celebrate something with a dessert, and I fell into the trap.
    Heed my advice — beware the sugar beast.
  2. Too much stress
    I set a number of professional goals at the beginning of 2012. The good news is, I’m workin’ it baby! I’m very happy with how things are going for my career. However, the side affect has been a busy schedule that keeps my adrenaline at a level I haven’t felt since I produced newscasts.
    All that adrenaline and cortisol is wreaking havoc on my body because it’s telling me to hold onto and store fat. Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf have both written about this.
  3. Not enough sleep
    Beth likes to point this out often — I don’t sleep enough. And it’s true. I have passion for what I do, whether it’s working out, creating websites, or being a mom — and often I find I don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything without cutting something. That something often turns out to be sleep.
    I don’t talk about how tired I am because I’m so used to the feeling and because people don’t want to hear it anyway. But I am chronically sleep-deprived.
    Unfortunately, sleep loss limits fat loss, and according to research, people who lose out on sleep produce more of a hormone that makes you feel hungry.
    Conversely, sleeping more can help you burn more calories.

Any of this sound familiar? I’m sure I’m not alone here.

The question is — can I fix this?

I know I can tame the sugar beast. I’m already on my way there. I get offered sweets all the time, but I politely refuse or I gratefully accept and share with my wonderful and appreciative family.

Reducing stress is a little more tricky, but completely doable.

Sleeping more is going to be the hardest to changes, but that’s mostly because I’m stubborn. I don’t want to give up anything. I love my early morning workouts, I love my jobs, I love my clients, and I love my family. I don’t want to give up any of the time I devote to these.

Obviously, I have some tough decisions to make. Stay tuned.

My priorities

It’s been 3 1/2 weeks since I tightened up my nutrition and set new goals for myself.  While body fat isn’t really one of those goals, I decided it would be good to see where I am.

I should have done this at the start, but whatever.

Zach found the form with my body measurements from 2 years ago.  What an amazing change over the past 2 years! I have shrunk!

It was fascinating to see how I have dropped so many inches all over. Literally, EVERYWHERE is smaller.

And no surprise — body fat is down, too. I’m now at just over 20% body fat, which is down a couple of percentage points from when I did the I AM Challenge this year.

My favorite thing that Zach said was that I was looking “veiny.” That made me laugh. 🙂 No really — he gave me credit for working hard, said I was looking good, and told me to keep doing what I’m doing.

I expressed my frustration at what I perceive is a lack of strength and gains, and in his own way he reassured me that things will change. He told me to just lift heavy stuff – just focus on that (which is what I’ve been trying to do). And then, he told me when I come down to the other gym and start doing the Oly class I’ll get strong — I won’t be able to help it, because that’s what they do.

I think I’m figuring out what I want and what I need to do to get there. Part of that has been setting priorities.

One of those priorities is sleep. Sleep has been haywire (“Cindy, that’s bad girl,” Beth has said when she looks at my log). But last night, I specifically went to bed early and got nearly 8 hours. I’ve got to do that more often than not, but it’s a start.