September 19, 2012

Healthy Step 12: A Little Protein Never Hurt Anyone

I’ve only been working out now for the past two weeks, yet physically I’m starting to feel better than I can remember.

I’m now twelve weeks deep into this life transition of going from a greasy couch potato to a veggie eating hunk, and my confidence is at an all time high.

A couple of week ago, I reported back that working out was harder, and finishing a work out was even tougher than that.  Then, last week, I went on to talk about how much better I had gotten just in those seven days of getting back to the basics.

Now, twelve weeks into my diet, and two weeks into an exercise routine, I can confirm that a healthier lifestyle does in fact make me feel better.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit to eating some pizza and hibachi steak this week, but I also need to throw in there that it has been countered with a good portion of fruits and vegetables.

This weekend, I took another new step by heading over to GNC and grabbing a few workout goodies to try and kick my body building exercises to the next level.

After walking into a store that was clearly over my head, I realized I still have quite a ways to go, and quite a bit to learn.  This store is fill with so many products that it would take a lifetime to understand what they all do.  I knew once the saleswoman tried explaining how things worked to me that I should have paid closer attention in Mrs. Roberts’ chemistry class.

I spent about an hour trying to really digest what steps I needed to take in order to lose that stubborn fat, and ensure that when I work out I was not working off muscle as well.

Apparently, working out everyday is not necessarily the best way to build muscle.  I guess there is truth to the saying, “too much of a good thing.”

When your body starts losing fat as an energy, it turns to muscle, which is why I walked out of that store with a thing full of protein.  This little ingredient helps to give your body something other than muscle to burn while you’re working on those washboard abs that haven’t started to pierce through the cinnamon bread gut yet.

Not only did I get talked into buying protein, but I also bought some “Thermo CLA” stuff, and another little pill that helps shed the water weight you build up when throwing down that clear liquid in your gullet that tastes nothing like coke.

I’m still not exactly sure what this Thermo CLA pill is suppose to do, but I do know it helped be get one extra pull up on the pull up bar, and about 5 more push ups.  Essentially, it’s a pill with a caffeine boost that also helps burn fat, and curb a little appetite.  The pill, despite its size, isn’t the hardest thing to swallow though before my workout routine.

Let’s get back to the protein shakes.  This protein shake is chocolate flavored powder that you mix with water.  It very much tastes similar to chocolate.  But, imagine if you took a tiny piece of a milk chocolate bar, melted it, and then diluted it with a bunch of water.  Then, instead of syrup, you are actually drinking small chunks of powder along with it.  This stuff is gross.

This is becoming a reoccurring thing in this blog, but I had another one of my classic gag moments.  A few years ago I use to drink protein shakes, and they were the most awful thing I have ever drank.  However, I had heard over the years that those drinks had gotten surprisingly better.  If only those people would’ve marketed more to me as “barely better,” I could’ve been more prepared.

I smelled the chocolate this time around, and was excited, then put it to my lips, and spit up chocolate goop like a new born infant.  I decided then that chugging it was the only way to go, but boy was I wrong.  I was about two breaths away from having to run to the toilet and heave out the water-flavored chocolate milk.

The next day, I knew a little more of what to expect, and decided that maybe chugging it wasn’t the way to go.  As I drank this protein shake, or shall we say watered down chocolate solution, I decided to take the new route and sip on it.  After about 30 minutes of sipping, and realizing I was getting no where with it, I went ahead and chugged it down one more time.

I’m hoping this gag thing is all beginner’s bad luck, and not something where I’m going to need a burp rag every time I have to throw down some protein in the mix for my workouts, because that would be a little demeaning.

Despite being a newbie to the whole GNC health nut products, and understanding that I know nothing about working out, I’m starting to bear a few fruits from my labor.

People have taken notice that I’ve lost some weight, and better than that, I now fit into a medium at H&M clothes, rather than the large I bought a couple months before.  I also feel myself making a habit of working out.  I am looking forward to the part of my day now where I nearly kill myself doing workouts designed for 21-year-old females.

As the habit sets in, and the gag reflex grows older, I hope that this journey continues on the track it is on now, because although it is an uphill climb, I am starting to see a little light at the end of the tunnel.

Image Credit: Elena Schweitzer / Shutterstock

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