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December 20, 2022

181 | Progress Photos, the Scale, Metabolism, Supplements & More

Truthfully I think pregnancy and witnessing my body as it goes through a pretty intense transformation as brought up more reflection on seasons I’ve experienced and pursued in the past. And that has me thinking more about things like physique and the scale than maybe I normally would.

So, while I don’t sell physique changes or weight loss, I do think topics like progress photos, the scale and metabolism are very relevant even outside of weight loss or aesthetic goals. Let’s discuss.

Pro progress photos and seasons

Taking progress photos can help you learn how to pose, better seeing and documenting the work you’ve put In. Even in seasons were I had no aesthetic goals, only performance goals (which is most seasons for me), I have taken progress photos. I enjoy seeing the physical changes that happen – the adaptations that take place from training. I am in the business of muscle, and muscle changes over time based on the stimulus we provide.

Learning how to pose, how to make the most of your gains is fun in my opinion. It’s not that these even get posted or shared with anyone. I literally just take them for my own reflection because I enjoy looking back on seasons, whatever they may have been.

Now if you tend to pick yourself apart or have a negative past with taking progress photos or tracking your physique, perhaps you don’t document via progress photos. That’s certainly not what I would want for anyone.

As I said, for me, this comes from a place of curiosity and gratitude. No value or often even a goal is tied to these.

There are seasons I wish I would’ve documented my physique more and now I have no photos to look back on for those periods. It doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. It would simply be nice to have them in my timeline.

So if you do or don’t take progress photos, take what will from this section of the episode. Play around with them, have fun, learn how to pose and then glean a whole new appreciation for people who can because it’s not easy. 

The scale, metabolism, and weight lifting

I personally use the scale as an objective tool. When tracking macros or through parts of pregnancy, I weigh daily so that I can see weekly averages and the over trend vs one weight per week – which could be a deceivingly high or low day.

If you’re wanting to weigh yourself whether you’re gaining, maintaining or losing weight, remember that scale is a measure of WEIGHT, not fat to muscle ratio. Getting your body fat tested may be mores what you’re looking for.

I really enjoy factors like how clothing fits, or progress photos (how your musculature and shape is changing) vs weight.

As far as metabolism goes, I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do know that more and more research is coming out myth busting the inherent decrease in metabolism with age theory.

I think it’s worth looking at what other factors might be happening with higher age – not blaming metabolism or age but acknowledging changes WITH AGE – less movement, shittier diet?, higher stress?

We know that increasing muscle mass is a way to increase our caloric need and our overall thermic effect. Meaning muscle is more metabolically active and demanding that fat tissue is. Muscle is beneficial for metabolic functions as well as immune function. So, looking at ways we can increase muscle is great but also, not counting on muscle to increase metabolism by 100%.

We want to look at increasing TDEE – more walks, better circulation, more movement through your day in general. This might be the way to the feelings you associate with a faster metabolism. Leave age out of it, lift weights, walk, move and see how you feel?

My fav personal supplements

First off let’s be clear that supplements will not win over a shit diet and sleep. This should be clear at this point in 2022. But they can make your life easier. That’s what they do for me personally. They provide ease, and enhance what’s already happening.

For me, my go to regular, *mostly* daily supplements are:

Whey protein (20g), creatine (5g), pre-workout, magnesium before bed.

We can kickstart muscle protein synthesis by using our muscles, weight lifting, and eating dietary protein. Most people are not eating enough protein to match their goals of wanting to build strength, muscle or improve their physique. High quality protein supplements can help with that.

Creatine is created naturally in the body. It is what helps us create more ATP which is what helps our muscles contract. When we break down ATP it becomes ADP and Creatine provides a phosphate to ADP to make it ATP again, in order to be used for more muscle contractions. We can work harder for longer. Go team.

Pre workout is sparing for me but I do 100% notice less fatigue when I take it – even the non-stim one. For me its the beta-alanine.

And then magnesium before bed for a calming effect but also it aids in muscle contractions. Many people are deficient in magnesium, and my recovery is always better when I take it. For me, particularly at night.

There you have it – a few topics I don’t normally hit on. But are within my scope – I simply don’t consider these an area of expertise for me. I do however think my people, that’s you, can benefit from learning about and exploring these areas within your performance focus in the gym.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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