Not Crash and Burn

Why am I Dieting if I’m Already Lean?

For those of you wondering why on earth I’m doing a diet, I would like to take some time to give the background on that. The short story is I won a transformation contest and an open contest and still wanted to get leaner. I did a crash diet which was followed by a rebound. After learning that eating too low when lean leads to rebounds, I went on to learn how to get leaner in a slower, more sustainable way.

Controlled Stumble Forward

I now live my life within striking distance of where I might need to be for an event. The look you see in photos requires work for everyone, myself included. For the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing my journey as I do this work. It’s not a clean, pretty process. It’s a controlled stumble. I’m honest and forthcoming. I hope there are insights for everyone.

Here is the full story on why I want to be a tad leaner.

Won Transformation Contest But Still Moving Forward

When I won the Turbulence Training Transformation contest, I was thrilled with my progress (and the big cash prize!) but still felt I could do better. I was still having to suck in my belly pretty much all the time and I don’t mean a little bit. I mean if I wanted to be seen in a bathing suit or anything at all fitted on the midsection, I had to suck in very hard. It’s exhausting and not sustainable. So please understand that I am not insane but this wasn’t the look yet.

Turbulence Training Transformation Contest Winner

Turbulence Training Transformation Contest Winner Naomi Sandoval

When I won first place in the Venus Index Open Contest, I was pretty psyched! My photos were finally what I was looking for. But the sucking in problem was still there, just to a lesser degree.

Venus Index Open Contest Winner

Venus Index Open Contest Winner

These pictures made me happy! This is the look I now maintain.

But What About The Need To Suck In The Belly?

Even during this photoshoot, I found I had to suck in my belly quite hard to even approach the look of a flat belly. It had to be fat. I was going to continue right on losing fat until I got all that belly fat off once and for all. And before you go on about belly fat being linked to stress hormones, yes, I thought of that and I definitely did quite a bit of internal work to address the stress levels and insomnia issues I was facing.

So I continued dieting and researching ways to cut more fat.

Does This Mean I had an Eating Disorder?

No, not at all! I never have had and never will have an eating disorder. It is absolutely possible to overdo dieting and I’m getting to that. But there is nothing wrong with wanting to get lean within a healthy range. I am confident, based upon the numbers as laid out by the Venus Index program, that I was within a healthy range for my height.

I Did a Crash Diet

I came across an actual written program on how to crash diet. This program promised that even a lean athlete could lose 2 pounds of fat a week! I was hooked! I followed the program for nearly 2 weeks pretty much to the letter. The protein levels were so high because I’m very tall and I found it impossible to stay within the calories but I was only over by a little bit. I did not lose quite as much weight as the program promised but I did hit my lifetime low weight of 134 pounds.

Remember the Goal

And did it “fix” my issue of having to suck in my belly when I wore anything at all form fitting on the midsection? Sadly, no. At this point, I teetered on the edge of unhealthy thinking. I actually believed I still had fat to lose and would have to continue dropping fat. My body had other ideas though. The result of eating too low for too long was that my body rebounded all the way up to 149 pounds before I was able to fully regain control of the steering wheel again. To put this in perspective, I had hit about 12% body fat and thinking I had belly fat to lose.

I’ve done a lot of soul searching after this educational experience and have determined that my organs simply like to cluster below my belly button and the further I take the fatloss, the bigger this “pooch” is going to appear as the rest of me dwindles. I actually look better at weights in the 139-145 pound range. Basically, it’s not fat on the belly. All that happens is the fat comes off the hips which serves the unintended purpose of making the belly look bigger. With more fat on the butt, the curve of the belly looks more natural.

Unfortunately for me, I still have to suck it in and I will never ever have a fitness model flat belly. And that also means I don’t have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to carrying extra body fat.

Here are photos of me ripped from the Venus Index Open Level 2 Contest. It is not a sustainable look. Am I sucking in just as hard as ever in these photos? You betcha! My body fat is likely around 16% here.

Venus Index Open Level 2

Venus Index Open Level 2 - Naomi "ripped"

So that is why I am wanting to drop just a little fat right now. I am fine with carrying a little extra after the holidays until it’s time to take it off. That time came unexpectedly early this year because of needing to wear a form fitting outfit at the end of the month. It’s wonderful that I live within striking distance of my goal at all times so I can do a not-crash-and-burn short term diet and then maintain at my new, slightly lower weight.

I’m a Fan of Breathing In

Will I look ripped like these photos? Not hardly! I likely be around 19% body fat by the end of this little experiment. More importantly, I’ll be carrying an amount of fat on my belly that allows me to suck it in all day and yet still breath.

Keeping the Goal in Mind

In the next post, I’ll be talking about the weekend. Saturday was a small disaster but since Friday and Sunday were forward days, I actually came out ahead! I started at 148.8 pounds and this morning was 144.4 pounds. I know, based upon how much I’ve been eating, that the most fat I could have lost was 1/2 pound. My waist is down from 27.5″ to 27.3″. My VI waist is 27″ and I know from past experience that I look better at 26.5″. So the scale can really do whatever the heck it wants. It is just noise. The mirror and the tape measure are my guides.

More soon!

Let me know if this post resonates with you. Or confuses you. Or any other thoughts that you might want to share! And let me know what else you’d like to hear about in this series.


2 comments to Not Crash and Burn

  • Tracey

    Love to see you in a bikini at that is what is more attainable for me.

    • Thanks, Tracey! That seems to be the just plodding along living life range. Maybe a bit leaner by summer and a bit less so in the winter under clothing, always within striking distance.