Many of you know that my sisters and I were Division I athletes for 4 years of our lives. Each of us have had different experiences with our bodies as we put them through the workouts and diets of our college years (it's possible that beer was in its' own food group during those years). I find myself smiling as I read the twins' experience during softball playing compared to Marta's and mine. It truly is proof that EVERY body is so different from another. Even 4 girls with the same genetics have had different affects on their health from diet and exercise.
Here are the things that I believe truly influence the way your body will look:
1. Metabolism. Marta and I have a naturally higher metabolism than the twins. I don't believe that it has always been this way (influenced by our body types) but as we have gotten older I think that our metabolisms have maintained a higher rate, where as the twins declined more quickly. Tip for you: find your RMR (resting metabolic rate). This is the rate at which your body burns calories at rest. My RMR is around 1,520 (probably higher now that I'm preggers!). This means that if I were to lay in bed all day, doing NOTHING, I would still burn around 1,520 calories in 24hours. Find your RMR using this online calculator. Of course you want this number to be high.
2. Muscle. Marta and I put on muscle MUCH faster and easier than Adie and Haley. This also influences your metabolism. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will burn at rest. Choosing a workout based on your body/muscle type is important. I tend to do light lifting for high reps paired with moderate exercises and yoga throughout the week. When I was doing my VERY intense, high impact, workouts paired with HEAVY lifting, I was puffy and THICK! Now, I'm longer and leaner...and 20 pounds lighter.
3. Diet. Of course! The four of us have pretty similar diets, but each of us have out own tricks and habits that we know work for us and our bodies. I like to have a diet high in good fat and protein with little to no grains or dairy. Part of this has to do with my Celiac background. Many grains and dairy proteins have a similar effect on the gut as gluten, which is why I try to stay away from them. This has reduced my PUFFINESS immensely! When I was living off of boxed Mac n' Cheese, pizza, and beer in college, I was creating inflammation in my entire body!!! Sugar, grains (even whole grains), and dairy all create some kind of inflammatory response in the body (yes, in everybody), which is why I try to limit them. Of course I pile the cheddar cheese on when my mom makes her famous pot of chili and treat myself to a bag of gummy bears or a gluten free cookie once in a while...multiple times a week actually. But being aware of what your putting into your body and knowing what the response from your body will be, will help reduce how much and how often you eat those inflammatory foods.
Now, I saved the pictures for last. You can see just how puffy I really was! Notice I'm saying "puffy" not "fat." I was NOT fat. I was STRONG and inflamed. Here goes:
[caption id="attachment_825" align="alignnone" width="604"] On the far right[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_827" align="alignnone" width="453"] Austin and I 2009 Halloween...check out Austin's muscles ;)[/caption]
Here are some more current pics of me leaner and less inflamed:
I hope this post will helped you understand that every body is different. Just because something works for your friend (or sister) doesn't mean it will be right for you. Try new workouts and foods (or cutting out foods) and see how your body responds. If you have ANY questions about inflammatory foods, workout changes, or RMR, PLEASE ask! I've been through it all! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment. Have a happy Throwback Thursday!