Sunday, 10 October 2010

Ripped and Pumped

The title refers to my muscles, not some heady night in a five-star hotel room in the company of half of the Manchester United squad.

I am stronger than ever. When I started going to the gym I could barely hold 'the plank' for twenty seconds, now I can last a minute and could probably push it further if required. My personal trainer is telling me he is working me way harder than before - I can't tell the difference, every session still feels like torture to me.

My trousers are loser. My body is contracting, everything is getting tighter. Under this bodysuit of flab I am ripped. And therein lies the problem, the muscles aren't getting any closer to the surface.

At the time or writing I am just 1 pound lighter than I was at the the start of this athletic endeavour. And don't give me that 'muscles are heavier than fat' shit, I tentatively proposed that theory to my trainer and he looked rather doubtful and said that this might be the case for body builders who gain weight as they build muscle rather than lose fat but, in my case (he said, with a swift glance up and down my torso) he didn't think that was the case.

I have, however, got a theory as to why my scales aren't tipping any less. I am currently taking a triple dose of progesterone. For most people only one Cerazette (a progesterone only pill) is needed - I get to neck two pills on a daily basis; couple that with the Mirena coil leaking its progesterone-goodies into my uterus and I'm like a walking hormone (just not in the way that teenage boys are, quite the opposite in fact - remind me, what is this sex drive you speak of?).

Extensive googling library research has shown that many women who are just taking one dose of one of the aforementioned contraceptives often suffer horrendous side-effects, including weight gain.

So, quite frankly, managing to maintain a constant weight and actually feeling pretty darn good on it feels like a win.


  1. Way to go! I've always had the same problem when building muscle, but I never had the progesterone excuse. It sounds to me like you are doing awesome.

  2. Good on ya. Wow.
    Just stay away from the roids, eh? And the orange tan, and you're on the pig's back..

  3. I know so little of gyms that the plank is a mystery to me. It sounds like you are getting super fit and i am impressed. My memory of the various hormone hells imposed on me by infertility and ivf are that they turned me into a fat cranky mess so I expect that once you stop the muscles will soon emerge as the poundage vanishes.

  4. Ugh. My pathetic shoulders hate the plank with a passion...or maybe it's my wimpy wrists, I don't know.

    Muscle is still more dense than fat, so I don't care what your trainer says! But more importantly, your muscle burns energy more efficiently than your fat, so you will see improvement as long as you maintain that muscle. The crappy part is that it doesn't take a lot of inactivity to cancel out that muscle tone. :( Keep up the good work - and outwitting the hormonal challenge is definitely a win!

  5. Sounds like you're kicking ass in the gym. I loathe the plank and I'm impressed that you can hold it for over a minute. My weight crept up a little while I was on meds an but as soon as I stopped the meds a good 5 lbs vanished almost overnight. So yes, I think your progesterone theory is correct.

  6. You're probably right on those hormones. But still, I'd be so annoyed to spend hours in the gym for no measurable effect...

  7. Damned pharmaceuticals. It wouldn't surprise me if they are the culprit here. Hormones have always played a number on me and it sounds like you (lucky duck) are getting a double shot of them. I think maintaining your weight (and, actually you haven't maintained, you've lost) and staying sane gets full marks.

    For what it's worth, whenever I've started exercising again after a period of what I can only describe as sloth, it always takes a long time to see visual effects. The nice flipside to that is that whenever I head back to sloth, it also takes longer than expected to lose the muscle.

  8. Stronger is great - even if you're not moving the scale much, it sounds like the size of your body is changing (looser clothes) and that is something to celebrate. Well done :-)

  9. Very impressive! Fuck that scale. It sounds like your body's going through a transformation, whether or not that number is really changing.

  10. *Writhes with envy*

    *Stops writhing at once, as it is making own flab bulge out of trousers in unhelpful manner*

  11. Total win! And it's true about being muscly and weighing more. I know this for a fact as I've been exercising less, losing my muscles but staying the same weight. Just flabbier. Bah! *shakes bingo winged fist at the sky*


  12. Way to go on the gym front! I have to say that I've never had a problem maintaining a fairly trim figure, until I started the IF stuff. Now I have 20 pounds I can't freaking lose.

    Not that I'm trying all that hard. But, harder then ever before!


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