Even though my mother (who I have casually informed of my change in diet and subsequent weight loss, as she came with me to the gym yesterday and I had to discuss it with people there) thinks she can see some difference in my tummy, I am not really noticing any difference in my overall appearance yet, though I have noticed a slight difference in a certain area. My boobs are not their bountiful self! In fact, if I have a couch-potato day (hey, we all have those every now and then, right?) they feel particularly tea-baggish at the end of the day. So yesterday I asked for some more exercises that target the chest muscles, to help them perk up a bit more while I lose weight.
That was yesterday morning. I am now really, really sore... Making me realise that I had little to no real exercises that target that area! It's a good thing I asked.
While the trainer was explaining my two new exercises, I asked him about planking since pins like these have been making the rounds on the fitness-boards recently and I was curious. According to various pinners, this exercise could also do wonders for your chest, but my trainer informed me that, while this exercise will engage a lot of different muscle groups, it is mainly meant to strengthen your core, and is not a good exercise if you want to build up overall muscle. He even told me that, with my training schedule and the 3 workouts a week I have planned, there was no real need to include workouts at home on the off-days. It was an interesting conversation, to say the least, because it was contradicting to a lot of things I had thought I learned over the past few weeks. I might keep up the sit-ups and exercises at off-days, though. It feels good to do them.
Another interesting conversation I had yesterday, was with my physical therapist. While I was doing calf raises to stretch my deeper calf muscles, the source of my injury, he was explaining about nutrients and how common knowledge about them was severely outdated. We have a saying in Holland (originating from a commercial from somewhere in the Nineties): 'Two ounces of veggies, 2 pieces of fruit, they'll keep you fit for a long time!' (that's a very liberal translation, by the way, of "Twee ons groenten, en twee keer fruit, dan hou je het een heel stuk langer uit!") However, the decline in nutrients in fruit and vegetables over the past years makes it so, that you'd need a hell of a lot more than two ounces of veggies and 2 pieces of fruit a day to reach the recommended daily intake of nutrients that are most common in fruit and vegetables. He thinks that it would be in anyone's interest to include multivitamins in their daily diet. Once again, interesting perspective on what I always thought to be common knowledge!
He also explained another up-side to my change in eating habits and diet that I hadn't actively noticed: due to the taut muscles in my calves, I got a lot of midnight cramps in my legs, at least as often as once a month. However, when I switched to a different diet and included a lot more nuts and fruit into my daily intake, I started to take in certain nutrients that counter this effect! I haven't had any crampy legs these past three weeks. (Though I must add, not thanks to midnight cramps. Those calf raises yesterday were killing, and my legs were so painful that it took a lot of effort last night to find a pose in bed to sleep comfortably.)
To make a long story short, I am still on the right track. With the help of proper exercises and therapy, I might just be able to make my goal of losing those 30 kg before the end of the year, but not only that, it'll also help me with other issues I did not even realise were caused by my bad health and habits! And that idea is making me pretty excited to see what the future will bring.