I recently read an article titled “I Got Six-Pack Abs in Six Weeks. Here’s How I Feel One Year Later” and a lot of it really resonated with me.
Granted, I didn’t get six pack abs in six weeks, but I did get them over the course of about a year and a half.
I was lifting weights 4-5 days a week, doing HIIT training one or two days a week and doing a long run on the weekend. I was also tracking every gram of fat, carbs and protein (aka macros) I ate about 85% of the time.
I felt amazing. I loved how I looked. And I didn’t think it was affecting my social life too much. But, in the interest of full disclosure, I lost my period (yes, I’m talking about that again). I mean, I’m not planning on using my reproductive system but I understand it’s not healthy to go into amenorrhea.
So, I kept my workouts pretty much the same but stopped counting every macro I put on my plate. I posted about specifically trying to gain weight this past February. Well, I’ve definitely put weight back on.
I still look pretty good, though! And while my jeans aren’t falling off me anymore, they all still fit. I’m still feel awesome, can still lift really heavy and, heck I’m training for a marathon!! Someone at work recently asked if I was still following my meal plan and I said that since I was marathon training I needed to eat more. So, I do.
But here’s the rub: just like the author of that article, body image is weird after you get six pack abs and then (kind of) lose them. You think, “Oh, I have to keep it up! Everyone said I looked amazing! What will they think when I don’t look like that any more?” Or, “My love handles didn’t used to hang over these pants…did they?”
It’s weird. So weird. I can’t imagine what people who do body building or bikini competitions go through!
Still, though, I’m glad I did it. I actually learned a lot about how to eat to fuel your workouts and re-fuel afterward. I learned a lot of new recipes that I still make. I still love lifting and refuse to cut back even though I’m marathon training. But I also learned that I love wine and ice cream and pizza. However, I admit, I still feel a bit guilty when I eat those things. So, yeah, if you want to get six pack abs and you’re not naturally predisposed to them, just know you can probably do it, but it might not be easy physically or mentally to get them or keep them.
- Monday 11/7 – Lower body strength workout + 5 mile run
- Tuesday 11/8 – Upper body strength workout
- Wednesday 11/9 – 5.5 mile run
- Thursday 11/10 – Lower body strength workout
- Friday 11/11 – 2 mile run (treadmill) + upper body strength workout
- Saturday 11/12 – 10 mile run
- Sunday 11/13 – Rest