Why do I feel like I’m going to collapse every time I’m trying to push through the end of the slip jig or hornpipe? Easy – my power to weight ratio is off!
If you haven’t followed me from the beginning (and I’m assuming anyone who may be reading this has not!), I’m following a training plan based on and adapted from Lauren Early’s Training Book. My workouts follow her schedule, though I’m using New Rules of Lifting for Women for my strength training day. Another key component of the book is diet. If you want to be a champion, you have to train like a champion and eat like a champion.
Aside from all the usual reasons for wanting an optimal level of body fat (general health and well being, feeling good about one’s appearance), as an overfat Irish dancer I am trying to push around about 30 lbs of tissue that does essentially nothing for me. The fat is “dead weight”, more or less. It doesn’t contribute to my strength, flexibility, or dancing. It just means I have to work a lot harder to jump than I would if I had the optimal amount of body fat, like dancing around in a weighted vest. Of course, the reverse is also an issue: too little body fat or body weight and not only is the body not at its most healthy, but the dancer does not have the muscle and power required to perform well. As in all things, moderation.
So I did the calculations and for about 20%-25% body fat and a healthy weight, neither too high nor too low, I’m looking to lose between 25 and 30 lbs. I’ve gained over 15 lbs in the past year between major stress eating and a lovely boyfriend who always tells me I look good and am not fat. I can tell pushing through to the end of the dance is much harder than a year ago (partially due to learning more difficult steps, but to be honest some of it is probably the weight). My added leg width adds some difficulty as well with foot placement.
To reach my weight goal and support my training, I’m aiming for about 1600-1700 calories
per day (a 300 calorie deficit from what I’ve calculated my daily burn to be), with a mix of high protein, moderate carb, and low fat to help fuel my performance. On this plan, I should be losing at a slow but steady rate. Easy peasy, right?
I can dance, lift, core, stretch, and even cardio on a semi-regular basis, but I can’t seem to curb my eating.
There are several reasons (pronounced: excuses). I’m an emotional eater and stress eater, so it’s hard to fight the cravings. Sometimes I’m too mentally drained and just give in. I’m too tired to cook. I didn’t get home and showered until 8pm after class. I forgot to go grocery shopping, so I’ll just graze.
Might as well just own up to it. I’m lazy and unmotivated a lot. Unmotivated doesn’t work when you want to reach your goals.
So, upward and onward. Yesterday I stayed under 1600 calories and while it wasn’t the most nutritionally balanced, I did get a good amount of protein. Today I will also stay in my calorie goal, and I’ll make the effort to make it a bit more nutritious than it was yesterday.
I’ll figure this out. I’m just not there yet.