Wednesday, November 25, 2009

11-15-09: Better than the Gym

I've had a bout of the Fairbanks Funk for the past couple of days, so haven't been able to keep much down or in. While I feel somewhat weak and awful, it has given me the opportunity to really notice and admire how totally buff I'm becoming out here in the woods. Seriously folks, I've always been fairly strong for a girl (heck, even compared to most guys for that matter). I remember back in the pre-move days when I was so proud of the fact that I shifted a ton of food in 50 lb feed sacks all by myself… sheesh, that's nothing compared to what I can do now!

Back in the day, those 50 lb food buckets seemed really heavy and I could barely lift the 60 lb water containers. Now I can heft those buckets without much incident, even carry two at a time. The water still gives me a bit of a problem, but only because it's all concentrated into a sloshing sq ft cube… as long as I don't have to lift it above my waist though, we're golden. I can carry four 2x4x8 studs on each shoulder without blinking an eye. I can haul 20 ft trees (albeit "skinny ones") out of the forest and tote armloads of firewood for hours.

I've got biceps and triceps… real ones, way big enough to see without flexing and really toned for the first time in my life. My lats, traps, delts and rhomboids are pretty huge; and my abs are FLAT and even developing a bit of a 4-pack (another first in my life). My legs, which have always been really muscular, are even more muscular and have real definition… total Mean Joe Green legs!

All this work... real physical labor… has gotten me in better shape than any $1k membership or "targeted workout" at any of the gyms I've belonged to in the past. Weight and body fat are still a bit of a problem… but this time it's keeping them UP enough, not trying to keep them off. I'm eating lots of protein and fat (cheese, butter and bacon… yum, lard!) and still having a hard time keeping my weight up. I have stabilized my weight, but I'm packing on muscle so fast that my body fat percentage is getting a little low instead (muscle weighs more than fat). So, the net result is while my weight is stable, I'm still getting a bit smaller… my size 6 jeans are loose at the waist, but if I get 4s then they don't fit my thighs; and my medium shirts are baggy at the bottom, but if I get smalls then they don't fit my shoulders/arms.

I still have to watch the carbs, mostly because I'm hypoglycemic and they jack my blood sugar up something chronic, but I'm even eating more of those than I used to as long as they are low gluten (coupled with some more yummy protein and fat to slow down the glycemic load of course). Yup, I unapologetically chow down a cheese and sausage omelet with a side of bacon, maybe even a muffin slathered with butter… and my body seems to like it just fine and all my blood work is A-OK (another first). **Yes, Doc Julie, I am still watching everything closely **

Trust me, out in the bush, if you aren't feeding your body what IT wants (as opposed to what the "experts" say you should eat) then it won't give you faithful or fully-optimized service. You learn real quick what's a real body craving and what's just "head hunger", and you learn that there really isn't a way to cheat or fake out your body… no swapping in tofu or TVP when your body wants meat (moral conscience and best intentions be damned!).

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