I hate that word – TONED. People ask me often how do I get toned. Honestly, until I lost my 100+ lbs and got into weights I had no idea that toned was a myth and building muscle meant looking good. When I worked toward having an actual PHYSIQUE versus just being a “happy weight” I realized it’s freaking HARD! Building muscle means work and if you eat all of your muscle OFF losing your weight it sucks adding it back on.
I would give anything if someone would have stopped me DEAD IN MY TRACKS when I was losing weight, made me lift heavy while dieting, and stopped me from just riding the elliptical, going to spin classes, kickboxing, and jogging for an hour every day. If I ever even lifted a weight is useless. I might as well carried groceries in the house daily and called it my weight training! Those bags weighed more than what I ever picked up in the gym.
It was a lot harder the way I did it and was a total mind-f if you know what I mean. In my head when I weighed 135lbs I would be hot crap and wearing anything I wanted. Well, I did look good and was proud when I was 135lbs. But I also had no definition, lots of loose skin, slumping shoulders, and zip shape. Oh, and I wore a size 8. Nothing wrong an 8! I love me an 8 now. It was just that at 135lbs I could have been in a 4 or 6 as I found out YEARS after losing weight and changing what I did.
This blog inspired me to write this one. Everyone should read it. My Beef with the Word Toned. The author says…
So what’s my “beef” with the word? I mean after all, it is JUST a word. But the truth is, this word gets in the way of results. It gets in the way of progress both mentally and physically. People get so caught up being afraid of the myths I mentioned above and focusing so much on what they falsely believe this word to be, that they don’t train hard enough to ever reach their goals. Think about it this way, if you are like me, you probably toss anything and everything into your large purse. By the time you’re walking out the door, the thing weighs a good ten pounds! Does lifting that purse make you “tone”? Does lifting your hair dryer, water bottle or back pack make you tone? Now if those don’t…. why would a 5 pound dumbbell do that? It won’t… and that’s because in order to build muscle, you must CHALLENGE your body with heavy weights! I constantly challenge my body with heavier weights, and by no means do I look “manly” or “bulky”.
The pictures of me in the red bathing suit I was 135lbs in March of 2007 prepping for my first figure competition. I actually had been lifting weights about six months so you imagine before that I must have had less “tone”. The middle pictures are me clowning in the gym February 2013 after six years of lifting heavy weights on a weekly basis. I’ve done several shows, over 35 half marathons, 2 fulls, and some triathlons since then.
It took a lot of work. More work than needed. I may not have needed as much surgery on my loose skin had I been lifting. Who knows. I don’t feel bad about it, but I do know I look so much better now. Guess how much I weigh? 147 most days. I am 12lbs heavier than when I hit my HAPPY GOAL weight. I also wear a size 6 now versus the 8’s and 10’s I wore at 135lbs.
Don’t look to get toned. Look to build you some muscle. You’ll never get “big” if you lift and eat in a moderate calorie deficit. I think you’ll find the road less bumpy, lumpy, and easy to enjoy.