Say What? Protein Powders?

No. No. No. No. No protein powders.

At least, that’s what I thought before this week. For the past two months, I’ve been on a lifestyle changing journey. Ultimately, I’ve been trying to shape myself and my life to reflect my passions and ideal life more. A part of that is to lose all the weight I’ve gained in college. And so far, it’s been a success. Before spring break (we don’t speak of what’s occurred during spring break), I was nearing the 10-pound mark.

However, upon coming home for spring break—whether this is coincidence or not—I suddenly experienced incredible fatigue. Mostly leg fatigue, since I’ve become a runner. Not even five minutes in and I’d be tired. My legs felt like someone came during the night and surgically replaced my bones with LEAD. If that’s the case, I’m blaming the protein powder junkies. They knew I was going to write an article about this and influence millions of readers (canyouhearthesarcasminmyvoicerightnow). I’m calling it right now.

But seriously, what the fuck, body? You’re roll, you’re on a roll! You’re losing weight, eating healthy. Are you trying to sabotage me??

Just so you’re up to date, my workout regime was: all-body weights 3X a week for 30 minutes, 25-30 minutes of cardio (usually running).

Thankfully, I was talking about this phenomenon to my uncle, otherwise I would’ve chalked that up the “Michelle is not an athlete” column and called it quits!

He, and a bunch of savvy internet articles, informed me I was not getting enough protein. Now, I had been vegetarian for three years and had just started eating meat again this past summer. I had never even encountered this level of fatigue before. Not that I’m advocating against vegetarianism. Groove on, yo. I’m just saying that for those of us that are building lean (or bulky) muscle, more protein is definitely necessary.

Charlotte at Wild Things RUN Free says that some of the signs of not getting enough protein include: headaches and fatigue and loss of energy. Oh man… I’ve been wondering why I was getting more headaches lately—nothing to do with hangovers, of course….

So, now what? Don’t only bodybuilders drink protein shakes? Am I going to be one of those people shaking those bottle shakers like bodybuilding maracas? Am I buying into the industry that sells me completely useless shit?

Also, see this picture on the right here? I got it from a site called PUMPJUNKIES. PUMPJUNKIES. If that’s not concerning I don’t know what is. AM I GOING TO BE A PUMPJUNKIE??

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Well, I like to conduct SHIT TON OF RESEARCH before I part with any money, my dear little friends. First of all, if you’re a woman and you don’t want to build up bulk, this will do nothing. Like people have said time and time again, women do not build up bulk. We all invalidate this by pointing to any women bodybuilder, so the key word is “easily.” We do not bulk up easily. We build lean muscle first, which is definitely what you want so that you can spike your metabolism.

Now, I had to tackle WHAT kind of protein powder to get. Good thing I get my rocks off learning pointless new things. And I’ll give a quick rundown.

Two categories: animal-based, vegetable-based

Within animal based: milk protein derivatives, whey (most popular), goat’s milk, egg white.

Within vegetable based: soy, rice, pea and hemp proteins.

If you’re also thinking of protein powders, choose your poison above and then google best brand of that category.

Remember, not everyone needs protein powders. According to WebMD:

  • When you’re growing
  • Starting a program
  • Amping up workouts
  • Recovering from injury
  • Going vegan

Since I was only some of one of the above, we have to remember that these cases are individual. Apparently, my body just needs more protein than others.

On a final note, when I was researching, this popped up:

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YOUR?? People. Are we all skipping 2nd grade now? Or are the people who are googling this younger than 2nd grade?? I don’t know if I want to be in a world where almost-2nd-graders are trying to bulk up.

What’s your stance on protein powders? If you do take protein supplements, how have they changed your workouts? 

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Weight-loss Update: Nothing is Happening, But I Like It!

A few weeks ago, I realized that I was joining ranks with the seriously overweight. And, logic said to follow that up with diet and exercise.

Ok, it can’t be that hard. All I have to do is eat healthier and exercise daily.

Wrong.

2 weeks later and all I’ve managed to do was de-bloat from drinking eating too much in Europe, which, surprisingly, was 5 pounds.

What I think I look like when I box

What was I doing wrong? This worked the first time.

Let’s rewind. I was fat my sophomore year of high school and built up to being so fat that I was out of breath from eating. It happens. Let’s move on from that embarrassing fact. Seriously, let it go. In the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, I lost 15 pounds just by eating only when I was hungry—not even eating healthily! Also, I had weekly one-hour one-on-one badminton coaching sessions that worked me so hard that I puked. In addition to running 30 minutes every day. 

(I’m starting abuse that cross-out function.)

Ok, maybe it wasn’t that easy to lose weight then either. But I swear, there are higher forces working against me this time.

I stay within my caloric limit sometimes. I exercise like every other day.

I’m too fit, I told myself as I struggled to finish my first and last mile, I need some extra oomph to my workouts. 

And in came Insanity. And then the whole-body soreness that followed the next day… from doing the fit test. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Insanity, the fit test is done every two weeks to track your progress. It’s only half the usual work out time.

I persevered for three days, through the soreness and through my mental wall. This is great! I thought, I’m probably shredding so much fat! 

I gained a pound.

Whatever, it’s a pound of hard work. I probably lost like 2 inches from my waist.

Gained an inch.

On the fourth day, I used a Groupon for the boxing club near my house. And halfway through the one-hour session, while I felt like I was going to hurl or die, I remembered something:

What I actually look like—guy on the left.

I enjoy having my ass handed to me during hard workouts like these. Yes, sometimes I couldn’t go the necessary distance that they required, but I remembered that I liked the feeling that I was working hard. I love walking out of a difficult workout sore, knowing that I pushed myself as hard as I could. That next time would be better.

I remembered my true goal. It wasn’t weight-loss, although it may be a resulting side effect. It was being fit; being strong (emphasized by the hot pink boxing gloves and pink hand-wraps that adorned my hands).

It’s time to kick the scale to the curb.

Not the tape measure though—are you crazy? I need that.