So it was hard to convince Kalai to put an update photo on the website. Why? Well, she is not an attention whore like I am. She was doing this mostly as a personal challenge. But I reminded her of two things:
1. On the 29th, she’ll be standing in a bikini in front of a crowd of strangers. On the 30th, she’ll be doing a professional photo shoot at a commercial gym.
2. And drastically more important, I believe her story can help a lot of women out. You see, Kalai is not a fitness professional. She works in program administration and finance for the University of California, San Francisco. She lives a real life, not in fitness-fantasyland. What women often read about in the fitness magazines are figure girls who do 2 hours of cardio a day, 7 days a week, and eat zero carbohydrates for months to get in shape.
One, I don’t believe that’s the healthiest, or even most efficient way to get in shape. Two, the audience doesn’t read about the metabolic damage, post-contest weight rebound, and subsequent lifelong struggle with yo-yo’ing associated with these extreme approaches. Three, that’s not functional for women who have jobs that require mental acuity. Four, there is a difference between a lifestyle plan and peaking. Drastic measures don’t work for permanent results. A training and nutritional plan needs to be functional if it is going to be effective in the long run.
Kalai got great body composition results by weight training 4 days a week for 45-50 minutes, eating a lower fat, moderate protein/carb diet (1:1 ratio) — we chose this approach because she was primarily engaging in anaerobic activity (there are different dietary approaches for different lifestyles and goals), and NO formal “cardio” sessions, especially not 2 hours a day. Nothing crazy or extreme.
Whether that is enough to win some random trophy is yet to be seen, but it was enough to get her healthier and into the best shape of her life — which is the most important. And its maintainable. Alright, we’ll probably go back to cheating on junk once a week — Sunday night is our favorite (I miss you M&M’s) — but she will certainly be able to remain within striking distance of her new all time best.
Doesn’t that sound like a more reasonable approach ladies? Doesn’t it sound better than crash dieting and extreme training programs to get you into some type of shape you won’t be able to maintain anyways? I don’t know, that’s up to you to decide.
Here is her progress photo:
And here is the scary thing: Kalai is actually retaining water in this photo due to reasons she didn’t want me to mention. Maybe we’ll take another one in 5-6 days when she is being nicer to me (haha, just kidding babe). Genetics? Nope. Its science — a true understanding of hormones, metabolism, and the physiological processes related to body composition transformation.
We are launching our new site in February. Kalai will be writing on the site, and she is excited to share with you her first-hand perspectives on her physique transformation experience. I can write about the science, she can translate that into real world principles you can apply in your everyday life. She is also excited to pull from her educational background in psychology to give you new ways of mentally and emotionally approaching the fitness game. Stay tuned.