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T-Vixen - Everyone... Support Please!

Hi Everyone,
This is my first post on the forum. My son introduced me to T-Mag the end of April, and I’ve been reading fast and furiously ever since!

I am female, 48,5’5,150 lbs. BF is aproximately 24%, as accurate as I can be with a tape measure. I have approximately 115 lbs LBM. My goals are to decrease body fat and to increase LBM.

I have weighed over 300 lbs, and I consider myself VERY carb INsensitive. I have been under a great deal of stress the last year (family and personal challenges), which has definitely affected my body composition negatively.

 I just recently had a weight gain of 15 lbs in about four months, particulary a fat increase around my stomach and hip area. I have low energy levels as well. The stress, mental health and physical health i.e. low thyroid, issues have been addressed.

 I do FS cardio seven days a week, 45 minutes at 70% MHR, and spin two times a week. Although I lifted weights in the past, I did not have a offical routine. I have started "The Beginners Blast Off" from T- Mag. A more serious routine will help with  my health overall, I am hoping it will help with the recient weight gain as well.

 I eat aproximately 1200 calories between six meals a day. For a couple of weeks now I have been following JB's food combining. I only consume a P+C after weight lifting (early evening)  The rest of the time I am eating P+F meals, with about 25 grams of protein and 5-8 grams of carbs mainly as green vegtables, i.e. a simple salad with 1 T organic apple cider vinegar.

   In the later evening hours, if I'm craving something sweet, I eat jello I make myself with unsweetened Kool-Aid and gelatin from the health food market sweetened with stevia. I don't tolerate other sweeteners well. Sometimes I'll drink a extra protein drink with lots of ice. I also just about everyday meet my goal of 1 gallon of water a day.

   I'm not asking for a magic pill or quick fix. I'm wondering what I may be missing and I'm asking PLEASE for help and advice of a positive nature.

 I take BCAA's while doing cardio,   r ala 200 mg with carb meals, Surge after weight lifting, 5-htp and Hoodia Cactus for cravings, of course a good multi, 1000mg ester C and a couple of other supplements for general health, and I use very little caffeine. My protein is 50-50, Whey Isolate and Micellar Casein also I use 100% Whey  depending on the time and need.

   I will THANK YOU in advance and I'm anxious for your expert advice!

Janee

My very first thought is that you are doing way too much cardio, and eating way too few calories. If you are truly keeping to a 1200 calorie a day diet, and doing cardio 40 minutes (minimum a day)for another use calories of about 350 additional, you are trying to exist on about 850 calories a day…starvation diet. No wonder your body is storing fat in your lower body…it’s trying to keep you from starvation. I’m always amazed at how many cardio junkies hold on to their lower bodyfat.

My advise would be to drop your cardio down to no more than three days a week, pick up three days a week of weight training, and add AT LEAST 500 lean/clean calories a day.

It may take your body a little while to adjust. If you have been extremely heavy in the past and used low calorie diets to loose the weight, your metabolism may be real low, and your body will need to adjust, but the weight training and additional muscle will certainly help.

Janee,

It seems like you’re off to a great start. You’ve obviously done some reading up front so I’d like to commend you on that.

I guess what I’m wondering is whether you gained that 15lbs while doing your current routine or whether you were inactive at that time. Without knowing this it is hard to assess the situation.

As it appears to me, you are doing an awful lot of cardio. Combine that with weight training and you could be overtraining. How many days per week are you lifting? My recommendation without knowing your lifting schedule would be to cut back on the cardio (possibly to 4 days per week) and focus on building some quality muscle (which will also increase your metabolic rate).

Your caloric intake also appears to be rather low. Are you allowing yourself any cheat meals? In the case that you aren’t you might consider increasing your daily intake. If your total calorie intake is too low the body will store fat in an attempt to stave off starvation.

Check out the section in this article about low calorie intakes:

Although it seems counter-intuitive to decrease cardio and increase calories to drop fat, this is possibly part of the problem. Your body has been “tricked” into thinking it isn’t getting enough food to sustain your daily activities. In this case it will store fat as a countermeasure.

Does that help?

Wow…kudos on your terrific progress so far! It’s quite an accomplishment.

You’ve gotten some excellent advice. I’d also like to echo that you’re likely doing too much cardio. I struggled with similar issues–resisting the urge to think more is better–and finally settled into one to two fasted-state session(s) and two to three sets of intervals per week, which seems to work well for me. I suggest you experiment, but be patient…give yourself time to see if your adjustments work.

I also think that you, like me, are now at the part where the “easy” losses are finished, and more precision is required to go to the next level. I would encourage you to post your diet–your description of what you eat sounds right on the money, but sometimes we miss things. Detail it out for us; it might help.

Also, if you’re not doing so, start a detailed food/supplement log. It’s invaluable. Things that I monitor in my log are my daily weight, where I am in my menstrual cycle, my mood, and anything else that might seem relevant. Through it I’ve learned some terrific things. For example, I learned that two weeks before my period, my appetite escalates significantly and I do not drop scale weight, no matter what. Learning this has made this process so much easier psychologically. I now accept that this is my pattern, stick to my plan, and know that my progress will resume in the next week.

Anyway, keep up the good fight!

LS

if you’re as carb sensitve as you say, you may want to switch to the T-Dawg Diet 2.0, few carbs but will provide you with more calories, and start with the ‘how to build a t-vixen’ article.

My girlfreind is an ex-cardio bunny as well and has really enjoyed this routine so far.

Hope that helps

Hi, there, Janee!!! It’s great to see you on the forum. (FYI, Janee and I have been chatting via PM.)

Well, let’s see. I promised you some numbers, didn’t I. (grin)

With a LBM of 114 pounds, your daily protein requirements are 150g (25g per meal, based on eating 6 meals). That works out to 1.32g of protein per pound of LBM. It’s a little less than the 1.5g I typically (generically) recommend, but stick with me.

Fat requirements are .5g per pound of LBM; 57g daily, divided roughly equally between your P+F meals.

Just protein and fat requirements alone come up to over 1100 calories. Your current caloric intake at 1200 calories per day is kicking your body into starvation mode. Your body is down-regulating itself metabolically. You’re running colder and slower. You’re probably fighting cravings like crazy. We need to kick things up a bit so that your body is willing to burn fat. Right now it’s reluctant to burn anything!

So this is where the trust factor comes in. (grin) Let’s talk about carbs and carb requirements . . . and increasing your calories – (gasp!).

First off, preserving or enhancing LBM requires carbs. But since you’re carb insensitive, we’ll take carbs in at the times your body is best able to process them.

What I would recommend would be eating patterns for days you lift weights and different eating patterns for days you don’t lift weights.

Weight Lifting Days

FS Cardio
.Meal 1 P+F (25gP+15gF)
.Meal 2 P+F (25gP+15gF)
.Meal 3 P+F (25gP+15gF)
.Meal 4 P+F (25gP+15gF)
Weight Lifting Session
.Meal 5 P+C (Surge or Surge-type drink) (25gP+50gC)
.Meal 6 P+C (Starchy carb sources) (25gP+50gC)

*Note: Starchy carbs are defined as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice.

Non-Weight Lifting Days

FS Cardio
.Meal 1 P+C (25gP+20gC)
.Meal 2 P+C (25gP+20gC)
.Meal 3 P+F (25gP+15gF+10gC)
.Meal 4 P+F (25gP+15gF+10gC)
.Meal 5 P+F (25gP+15gF+10gC)
.Meal 6 P+F (25gP+15gF)

Carbs on Non-Weight Lifting days should be of the green veggie variety for all meals except Meal 1. Meal 1 can be a whole-wheat/multi-grain bread or oatmeal; nothing processed.

As many on the forum probably know, I am an advocate of FS cardio. Not everyone falls into this camp. So with a few caveats, I’ll give you an enthusiastic thumbs up re the cardio:

  1. Increase carbs and calories as specified above.
  2. Cardio should be of moderate intensity (60-70%), longer duration.
  3. Drink lots of water.
  4. Use BCAAs (10-20g) to protect LBM.
  5. Make resistance training a priority when dieting and doing cardio. Cardio does nothing to preserve LBM when dieting; in fact, it chews it up. Focus on compound, multi-joint exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, pull-ups, tricep dips, rows, etc. For the time being, don’t worry about the pretty little muscles. Focus on the BIG muscles; back, chest and legs.

So let’s talk about the transition from what you’re doing currently to the new eating patterns. I have a feeling that you’re afraid of carbs and try to avoid them as much as possible, only eating carbs when you break down/binge. It’s not a lack of self-control. It’s a brain chemistry/hormonal thing. Here you are starting weight training again, and your body is DEMANDING carbs. We’ll we’re going to include them in measured, precise amounts, carefully timed to when the body can best handle them and chosing from carb sources that are highly thermogenic and high in fiber (green veggie) and starchy carbs PWO or first meal of the day ONLY.

You very well may experience weight gain if you’ve been running low on carbs up to this point. For every unit of glycogen that is stored in the muscles, 3 units of water are stored with it. So weight gain in this case does not mean fat gain. And it’s going to take two weeks of putting the blinders on and ignorning what the scale is doing to allow your body to settle into new/different eating patterns and working out. As a newbie, you’re going to see increases in LBM very quickly the first month. A good thing! There’s going to be a lot of shape shifting going on (of the positive variety).

If you give me two weeks of blinders on, a starting weight and a two-weeks’s later weight, I’ll help you make adjustments.

Questions? Thoughts? (grin)

I think I love Tampa Terry.

In a purely platonic way of course.

Although I am not adverse to trying the “Goat-Love, rolling around in corn syrup and skittles while yodeling show tunes and being cheered on by obese horse jockey’s wearing strap on dildos and smoking cigars” kind that comes so highly rated from Timmy P.

“A strange, a perverted creed that has a queer attraction both for the most primitive and for the most sophisticated societies”

~ Harold MacMillan

Besides the above advice, here’s mine:

*Don’t make any drastic changes to your diet overnight or at first. You’ve realized this is for the rest of your life; therefore, you have the rest of your life to modify where needed, etc.

*Cut down the 7-days a week of cardio. Maintain your weight training, look into the “Fun with Women” by Christain Thibaudeau. Look into a 3-4 days a week of weights and 2-3 days a week of cardio. Also, consider (for later), CT’s “Running Man” (combo of job/run/sprints) as a way of jump starting you into HIIT.

*Food Log. Highly recommended.

*Composition: get your BF% tested to be SURE of where you’re at. Get it tested again in 6 to 8-weeks.

*If you’re craving anything at night, refer to your Food Log. See what you’ve eaten for that day; maybe you didn’t eat enough for your activity level. Or if you did and you’re hungry, you could be just bored. Boredom causes many a person to go straight to the fridge. Maybe you should “do” something, like perform pushups (which is what I do), etc.

*Remember: in the beginning this may all seem like a huge daunting task to change your comfort zone. Just keep thinking of where you’ll be in 1, 2, 5 or more years. And that’ll keep your goals in perspective.

And Patricia.

Patricia is definitely the “Goat” kind though…

“I think people should be free to engage in any sexual practices they choose; they should draw the line at goats though”

~ Elton John

Janee, if you’re looking for inspiration and a role model of the first-class/world-class kind, check out Patricia’s pics on the Photo Forum. Especially the Wonder Woman pics. You may have to do a search.

Ignore Cupcake. He’s an acquired taste. And besides, you’re off processed carbs anyway . . . which leaves all the more for me! (wink)

T squared…

Don’t forget the Protein content in my “Filling”…:slight_smile:

Sorry, I will go flog myself for that comment.

Wanna come?

“I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind”

~ Patrick Dennis

Gosh, Cupcake, all I was trying to say was that your eclectic rhetoric, razor-sharp wit, sense of humor and bombastic balderdash were acquired tastes. . . something a newbie might have to warm up to, to fully appreciate?

But don’t doubt that in all areas, you are my hero, Cupcake.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND EXPERT ADVICE

 I just exited my office and decided to see if I had any responses and  "OH MY!"   This is all definitely food for thought!  I have printed out all the replies and will be reading and rereading I'm quite sure! 

  I will certaintly read all the articles and diets you suggested, I'm a bit slow at processing and would love to be able to post more questions as I dig deeper PLEASE!

  I will say, my initial response is to your cardio concern. I have two professions, both of which consist of me sitting on my bottom all day!  I am a addictions counselor and a watchmaker. My concern is I have felt my best doing as much as 1 1/2 hours of cardio per day 60% to 70% MHR.  Its the only time I move much, except of course, household chores, weekend activity etc.

 I do have a small home gym I have put together over the years, it just seems to motivate me more, seeing it there. 

   Well thanks again, I'm off to do the reading you suggested. Oh and I do have my shots C
Best Regards,  Janee

Janee,

I sit on my ass all day at work, and I don’t do that much cardio. (Actually I think cardio’s boring and it just sucks in general)

I’d follow other people’s advice and cut down on the cardio and increase the intensity of your weight training sessions.

And do eat more! My strength rapidly went down when I was 1300 cal/day, and I can’t imagine anyone surviving on 1200 cal/day or so! (Once I started eating again, my strength came back)

Stella

Janee, there are different schools of thought regarding how much cardio is excessive. But excessive is a relative term. What is excessive for one person is optimal for another. Can 7 days a week of cardio push you over the edge and into an overtrained state? If your calories are too low and your resistence training too intense, yes, absolutely.

But let’s talk about using cardio as a tool for managing body composition (i.e., your LBM to FM ratio). One of my priorities while dieting is to protect my metabolism. I don’t want it slowing down.

As a general approach, I don’t like to cut calories severely. I’d prefer to create a slight caloric (food intake) deficit and create an additional deficit with exercise.

But there’s another reason I do daily FS cardio. Liver glycogen upon rising is somewhat depleted. Blood sugar is low. 45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio further depletes liver glycogen. Sure I burn a few calories, but that’s not why I do it. I do it to put myself into a fat burning mode. My meals that follow FS cardio are P+F meals. No insulin spike. I’m using diet and cardio as a one-two punch to manipulate the hormonal aspects of fat loss.

Additionally, I lead a pretty sedentary life in general. The FedEx man or a farmer or construction or warehouse worker is going to challenge his aerobic (and anaerobic!) systems during the course of the day far more than I do with 45 moderate-intensity cardio sessions.

And my final argument? (grin) A lot of BB’ing competitors who are trying to take their BF down really low will step up the cardio the closer they get to competition. Excessive/obsessive? Maybe. Nonetheless, my daily FS cardio sessions are an important tool in managing MY body composition. Your mileage may vary. (grin)

Honestly, Janee, my greater concern is your LOW caloric intake and the lack of carbs in your diet. Using carbs judiciously can really crank up your metabolism. And let me give you a personal example. At one time, about the time I discovered T-Mag, I was trying to survive on 800-1,000 calories a day. I was doing daily cardio and lifting weights 5 days a week. I took a BodyGem test, which measures the number of calories a person burns daily sitting in a chair. If I remember, it came in around 1700 calories. I was convinced I’d gain 20 pounds overnight if I started eating 1700 calories. Bur I was going to prove that darn test wrong! (grin) Surprise, surprise, but I started losing weight again.

So that’s why you’re hearing the common theme of cut cardio, increase calories. You’re long overdue for a metabolic overhaul. And starting back with your weight training is going to be a very good thing.

Janee,

First of all welcome!

Really good advice has been given to you and I just wanted to help calm your fears.
Once I started to listen to this very same advice, I started to show more progress.

We are so brainwashed into thinking that low calorie and lots of cardio is the only way to get thin. The carbs ingested at the right time and adequate protein throughout the day to stoke the fat burning fires really does work. I had a huge fear of carbs after low carb’ing it for a few years. Oatmeal is now my friend!
It takes some time to switch mental gears but once you do…you will be happy you did.
The learning process can be so much fun!

Look forward to hearing how things are going for you.

Alicia

Just wanted to say welcome. I was going to offer some advice (i.e. more calories), but I see Tampa-Terry and Patricia beat me to it.

Glad to have you on board here.

[quote]
A lot of BB’ing competitors who are trying to take their BF down really low will step up the cardio the closer they get to competition. [/quote]

I disagree with this statement.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around 9 times a week of cardio (7 days a week + 2 spinning sessions) for 1-1.5 hours on only 1200 calories.

Dan “Holy Shit” McVicker

While I’m not Thunder, maybe I should add why he may disagree with this statement:

This strategy may cause some issues with a competitive bb’er as a contest nears.

*Flatness. As in, those days of carbing prior to stepping onstage won’t do a damn thing. And a competitor will still look flat as a pancake.

*Loss of much needed LBM. Which will then cause the competitor’s metabolism to slow. And you don’t want that prior to a show. You want to continue to train heavy and begin to rely on HIIT; especially posing practice as a show nears.

*The goal of a competitor is to come into the show full and lean. A full plate of daily cardio, increasing the amount even, as a show nears will “deflate” that goal.

I’m sure Thunder’s got more to add :-))

But I’ll also say that this type of mindset may help even someone with no intention of competing in a BB’ing show.

Even if someoone were to train with weights MORE, and cut down their cardio-time in half (if they were performing cardio 6-7 times a week at 30-40 minutes a session), they would STILL see results. Especially a newbie. Now, I’m not knocking cardio; cardio is good to build/increase a individual’s capacity so that they can move into HIIT territory later. So, cardio ain’t entirely bad. :-))