Calories · Motivation · Running · Weightlifting

Beach Season vs. The Dirty Bulk

To start, here is what I looked like in January. I had been working on cutting body fat all winter and got the start of abs just after the new year. I was thrilled with how I looked and proud of all the hard work I put into it. But then Spring and warm weather happened. Warm weather means running and running means I crave all the carbs. 

I had been intending on going back to maintenance calories after I showed off at a local convention, with the goal of working on muscle development. While my arms are doing exactly what I want them to, I noticed something about my abs; all my cutting was gone and I was back to a soft pouch instead of my firm lines.

While I describe what Im doing as a “mini bulk”, it is in no way clean eating. My winter deficit is replaced with bread, beer, and extra protein. And Ice Cream. And I definitely let myself take the bigger cookie now. 

With summer upon us, everyone around me is talking about green smoothies and slimming down to look best in a bikini. Meanwhile, Im over here thinking about peanut butter. Its a little discouraging, with progress hidden and everyone else’s schedule appearing to be the exact opposite of mine, but I know Im doing this for my eventual body, not my tomorrow body and I need to keep building just a few more months so I have enough energy for my half marathon and can still make progress with weightlifting and on my arms. As great as my legs have become, running will never get me toned arms without crosstraining. 

The important part is staying focused on my goals and keeping my eyes on the horizon. 

At least cutting in the winter will feel great when I can’t run outside anymore, and it’ll give me an excuse to turn down the onslaught of treats that takes over the end of the year. With ice on the ground, slimming down and exploring new muscle tone is the only thing that keeps me from feeling like a hibernating sloth. I will just stay inside and eat all day if I didn’t have new goals to work towards, as proven by numerous winters before. 

I am still better than when I started, even with minor Vanity setbacks. For now I’ll enjoy the extra calories I get to have and try not to be discouraged by my reflection. Changes are happening even if I can’t see them. 

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