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Just an FYI - a lot of these women either get SUPER dry and lean for their photoshoots or are on gear to stay hard and lean year round.
Ok, I have a question about this. I follow Heidi Powell on Facebook and she posts seemingly spontaneous videos of her working out and just daily life and she always seems sooo ripped. Like way more even than the women in OPs photos. Most people who are really muscular don’t look that way on the daily, like you’ve indicated. What’s going on with her?
I don't know her, looked up a few photos out of curiosity, so take what I say with a grain of salt - but there's a few options, or a mixture of them here:
It's her full time job to work out. She works out likely literally every single day. The idea that she does random spontaneous workouts is just nonsense. That's just content. For a physique like that, you're on a program with a trainer. Most people have jobs or school and can't work out for 4+ hours every single day.
She eats STRICT. Those photos of her with those cereal boxes or that piece of chocolate? LOL. She doesn't eat cereal. She doesn't eat chocolate. She likely works with a coach that architects each of her meals. She likely eats very clean, very bland, very simple food that is carefully calculated by a professional. Most people cannot eat like that day in and day out.
Her photos are absolutely shopped, even if it's only slightly, to emphasize her muscles
There are spa treatments you can get, that are very expensive, to help you lean out and help display all that definition you can see on her. Many of the girls I know that look "show ready" daily go to a spa a few days a week for different cosmetic treatments, drainage, lymph massage, etc etc. Most people cannot afford to do this, both money and time wise.
The idea that any of her content is spontaneous is just fabricated by her marketing. Every single photo and video is planned, lighted, and edited. Every. Single. One. Likely planned out months in advance. Often models will get crazy lean, take several photos in one day with different outfits/hair/background and then post them over the course of week/months. Same with "spontaneous" workouts. Those are planned content, not workouts she's actually doing to impact her physique. When she's doing her actual workout, I guarantee you it's different.
Honestly, she's so ripped, she's likely on gear. So so so many of the "famous for being fit" women are on gear it makes my head explode. Gear doesn't only make you huge. It helps you stay lean and tight and jacked.
So, that being said, she very clearly works for that physique, no doubt about that. However, idea that she's selling, that you can achieve her physique by using the booty bands she's selling for 10 mins is absolute bullshit. You may think that you know this and you're not necessarily trying to look exactly like her - sure, we're not stupid. But you're still being sold and that shit still impacts your subconscious. You can look like her if you have no other job, all the time in the world to work out, money for spa/cosmetic enhancements, a team to plan your meals and workouts, never deviate from your planned meals EVER, a team to plan your social media content, someone who can shop your photos and edit your videos.
I think your first point is usually the reason why Instagram fitness people will always be more fit than the average person.
I go to the gym a lot and eat really well but the fact that I sit on my ass for 9 hours a day 5 days a week at my office job is never going to change.
A lot of these people might only have a “dedicated” workout for an hour each day, but their days are a lot more active than most peoples, and that activity really adds up over time. The workout they get from just filming a video is probably the same I get from the one workout I’m able to get in that day.
Thank you for this. I do assume all that you’ve said, but it’s nice to have someone else validate it.
Yes thank you! I follow Heidi Powell and she’s made me feel so bad because we’re the same height and weight but obviously very different haha
This is all fantastic info for any one looking at the insta models as reality. It’s not.
But what’s gear?
Just a slang-y term for steroids or performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)
Eek ok thanks for reply!
Tren is popular with men. Growth hormone is used by both men and women. Anvar is super popular w/ female fitness models. Clen is also popular with women.
Omg ok thanks.
FWIW, I am not against gear and I think if someone wants to take it, cool, do you. But I get very angry when they're dishonest and sell products and supplements and lead people to think that those supps or products are what they used to go to that physique.
Everyone needs to read this because it's true!
Anavar? Seems like a lot of women in the fitness community (who are ripped 24/7) are on a low dose of some type of steroid...
Steroids are everywhere. They have a massively bad reputation because of sports and the idea of cheating, but fitness stars, actors, models - Anyone who relies on their appearance to make money - has a really high chance of being on them. At low levels with a medical professional monitoring you, there's really no danger for being on them flr extended periods of time.
I'm not saying this in support of steroids or anything, just to agree with you that loads of people are taking some kind of drug to look amazing.
True of female bodybuilders, not so much of random Instagram skinny fit girls. I mean I know women who look like this is real life and I doubt they use steroids
yes, but definitely takes longer to achieve goals, even assuming they know what they are doing lifting and nutrition wise specific to their own body. Which tend to get people discouraged
That’s true, there’s no quick fixes. Most people that look like that have been athletes their whole lives with good eating habits
Female bodybuilders don't stay stage ready all the time. Can some people look like that IRL? Sure
True, I think it depends on what you consider fit
No need to downvote this, it is absolutely possible to look ripped and amazing most of the time without steroids. It takes discipline and dedication. Sure a lot of the elite might use drugs, but people are trying to use steroids as an excuse as to why they aren't achieving their goals.
At least two of those pictures are photo shoots, and therefore those women would have spent time preparing (preventing bloat, shedding a few extra pounds) and using the magic of lighting and posing.
Your boyfriend is on the right track though. Those pictures are quite toned and muscular. Yes we all technically have abs, but that definition comes from a lot of work, and definitely weight lifting.
Recomp might be closer to what you’re looking for. Since you say you are skinny fat, you’ll need to pack on some muscle and then lower your body fat to see those clean lines.
However I’ve never been on that end, started out fat fat then started lifting weights to get shed pounds and get defined. I hope someone with more knowledge can answer that specific question for you!
Recomposition is so real.
I agree OP should recomp if anything, but she already has the slim fit look. She looks really lean, but she's not posing, she's in bathroom lighting, and she's probably a little bloated (I have the same issue). She's clearly not skinny fat, based on her pics.
Based on your photos, I’d say get better lighting, and learn how to pose. You’re basically already at your goals...aside from possibly not being as “dry” as some of the models in the pictures.
This so much. Also check out r/instagramreality because there's a whole load of photoshop going on besides the photo shoot prep of fitness models. (Don't mind large parts of the comment section there, unfortunately not all subs are as supportive and kind as xxfitness)
Definitely think your parenthetical is important - that place can turn into a toxic cesspool real fast
Looks like a new outfit and a photoshoot and she’d be able to recreate the top goals pic
Sorry for the dumb question but what does being "dry" mean?
not having any water retention/bloat from food. Just a 2-3 day time where you artificially lean out so you look your most defined.
It’s a word used to describe when someone has reduced their body weight by reducing the amount of water held by their muscles on a molecular level...but mostly it is used to describe someone who has a leaner, more defined look to their musculature.
How to reach these goals generally :
Lift progressively heavier weights, and lose fat. I would probably recomp if I were you. Do it and don't fuck around for 12 weeks!. If you aren't happy with the results then do a cut. For those body pics (note: not massively achievable depending on genetics, but you could absolutely be lean and defined just know you aren't ever going to look the same as someone else, or a professional model) I would go with a program a bit more well rounded than strong curves. Those women have defined abs and upper bodies. Thinner, Leaner, Stronger might be more suited. You have a good body shape, you need to lose fat and build muscle at the same time.
How to reach your goals specific to you :
Sort out the binge and restrict cycle. You aren't gonna make any progress at all if this continues to happen (see my post history). The trying and failing is down to this (possibly programming too you don't mention much about it). Trying and failing is draining, it is emotionally taxing, it makes you feel like you are putting in a shitload of effort and not getting anywhere, it gives you a negative outlook towards food and training. If I were you, I would focus on sorting this shit out now instead of later and lifting progressively heavier weights.
Can you provide more detail on recomp for a total newbie? I have about 30 more lbs to lose to reach a healthy weight, but since I started lifting weights daily, my weight loss has plateaued, despite sticking to the calorie deficit
Belt up.. this is gonna be a long one.
Recomp = eating at maintenance and lifting progressively heavier weights (progressively heavier is important). It's good for n00bies, as they will put on muscle easier at the start. So it depends on where you are at etc. It's slower than focusing entirely on losing fat (and retaining muscle) and then gaining muscle, but mentally (and trust the mental game is the one you wanna excel at) it's easier, it's less taxing on the body, you have the energy for good workouts (which is more motivating). It's just all round easier - but slower (which might also be a negative mentally as you don't see fast progress).
Extra info --
Reasons for plateaus : water retention ( muscles like water when they are being worked ), putting on muscle (unlikely if it's its been a week or two, totally possible if it's been a good bit longer). Keep going! 12 weeks is what it takes for others to see visual differences. Trust the process, it works. Take measurements once a month, fuck the scales out the window, or don't.. but really focus on measurements and how things fit once you start lifting. Don't be discouraged if things feel a little tighter at the start, that can be water retention again. Other more sinister reasons are you have lost a lot of weight and your TDEE has dropped a bit? or you are miscalculating calories, or you are just eating more and not realizing it, however because you said you just started lifting I would put it down to that and see where you are in a few weeks. If it's still an issue in a few weeks, take a look at your TDEE and CICO.
Apologies for this, but I checked your post history just I could make the response I little more specific to you. I wouldn't do a recomp just yet personally. Keep focusing on the calorie deficit and lifting/moving. You aren't gonna be able to make amazing strength gains in a deficit but that's ok, if you are a beginner you will probably make gains enough to keep you motivated. Keep doing what you are doing and trust it will work. It already has. You have done great so far. What you wanna aim for now is building a habit out of being active/lifting. Really dial in that nutritional info in your head so once you get down the a "healthy weight" you can maintain it without putting a huge amount of effort it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this out! I think I have my diet down pat and have adjusted calories for the weight I’ve lost. I noticed yesterday when I was at yoga that my ankles were swollen af, so I’m going to blame it on water retention for now..Thanks again!
No problem at all.. drink a bunch of water and it will disappear in a day or two, eating less high sodium food will help too, and for the none science part bananas (this is just a personal experience thing, just one a day, not a shitload)
True story time : I put on and lost 7lbs in over the space of about 7 hours through water retention. Did a HIIT workout, and drank a lot of water and it was gone a few hours later (I used two different scales to make sure too) That's half a stone!!!
What’s considered heavy? My kettlebell is a measly 15lbs.
Heavy is relative to your muscular capacity. If 15lbs is heavy for you for the exercise you are doing with it (considering the number of sets and reps you're doing for that movement), then 15lbs is what you should use.
If you can't complete the reps and sets, it might be too much (or you need to revisit your program). If you can complete the reps and sets with a lot of effort, you're good with that weight. If you can breeze through them, then you should get more weight.
But if you consistently use 15lbs for that exercise for that set/rep range, you'll likely need a heavier weight pretty soon to maintain effort output and promote muscle/strength growth.
There's a whole separate discussion of what your goals are and what your program is, and whether your program will get you to your goals. Having access to more equipment will likely help you achieve your goals, but there are lots of bodyweight fitness programs that are great too.
Maybe I'm just lazy or not aiming high enough, but I would consider all the inspiration photos in this album to be a pretty difficult standard to achieve. I'm sure these women go to the extremes to achieve these bodies, AND you have to have a particular body shape to begin with to achieve these exact goals. I guess I just don't see them as being particularly "easy" to reach.
Also, you need to start lifting real weights if you want the muscle definition and volume they have.
What qualifies as "real weights?" She mentioned two strength/lifting programs she was following.
Free weights require strengthening of the entire structure. Body weight stuff would also build a lean figure you’re looking for.
And you have to eat enough protein to keep, and build muscle. R/leangains might be useful for you
She has barely any muscle tone nor definition. IDK what she's doing now (i.e exactly how she is following those programs), but her body doesn't look like she's doing any progressive overloading.
She also needs to eat more for those programs. 1900 calories is nothing when you’re trying to gain muscle. She’s likely burning the muscle she has for energy.
Sometimes I feel like this sub wants us to treat each other like fragile children and coddle one another. Women aren't that weak. They can handle simple truths. Coddling someone won't help them get to their goals.
Your boyfriend is right you need more muscle. To build muscle you need progressive overload and building muscle takes a lot of time. You need to be consistent. Pick a program and stick with it. Do strong curves for example and keep challenging yourself, then you need recovery time to actually build muscle.
I don’t think you have enough muscle for cutting to make a difference in your aesthetics. So eat maintenance and work on building muscle to get closer to your goals.
They're not even that difficult, just your average skinny fit chick.
The first goal pic, maybe. the rest, though? If you really think they're not difficult goals, you might want to read through this. You have to make a lot of sacrifices (and it's okay if you're not willing to make them!)
I have to say based on how you described your cycle of "failing"...you are being extremely hard on yourself for just being the way that you naturally are. I think you should work towards self-acceptance; like others have said you're basically at your goal already. You are fit and healthy and you honestly look great. Don't punish yourself for being human.
That is a great article! Thanks for sharing with me. I think I am too hard on myself but I also know that I could try harder as well. I think fitness is the one thing in my life I’ve consistently “failed” at. And so it’s the one thing I wanna get right eventually. Idk maybe I do need to re-evaluate some things for sure. Thanks for this perspective!!!
No problem! I'm going through the same thing myself. I definitely believe that working towards improving fitness and health can coincide with accepting our bodies the way they are :)
A few people had alluded to this, but I think the most important thing you can do for yourself is take care of your mental health. You describe your eating behaviors as restricting and binging. Reaching your aesthetic goals isn't going to make that go away and it sounds like you are dangerously close to having an eating disorder.
I couldn't let your post pass by without saying something because people I love have struggled with eating disorders. I hope you're able to reach your goals and take care of yourself!
Aw thank you! I definitely think I need to work on that stuff after getting outside perspective. Thanks for looking out for random internet folks like me!!
If you’ve tried cutting and tried recomping and neither have worked, take bulking seriously. Lift really heavy. Eat to build muscle. See if leaning out again after that gets you closer. This isn’t too complicated, but the obvious next step doesn’t seem to be what you want to hear.
I second this and agree with OP's bf. Adding muscle should be your first step. It can be discouraging to see the number on the scale go up or not have skinny jeans fit during a bulk but having adding muscle mass first increases your BMR and then can make cutting/recomp after easier. At the moment, 130 lbs at 5'6" is pretty average weight and just cutting right away can be really hard (i.e. cravings, lethargy, poor sleep quality).
I’ve definitely considered bulking but I think just since I already binge sometimes I’d just end up overweight. I think that’s the main reason I’m terrified to bulk is I’d rather be skinny fat than just fat. Bad “logic” I know haha
If you want to test the waters, can you try upping your calories for a month to see how it goes? There will be a normal uptick in water retention as you train harder since water is essential to muscle repair and building.
FWIW, I had similar starting stats to you when I started bulking in October. I also have a history of bingeing and I also used to restrict to about 1200 calories a day. I also float between 125-130lbs consistently, although my extremes in the past 3 years have been from 114-135lbs. It can feel crazy to purposefully gain weight, but 6 months in I'm so happy I did. I wanted to eat as cleanly as possible at first, but it is so hard to get enough calories in that will have chocolate or cookies almost everyday (about 250-300 calories worth). I mainly eat protein-dense meals with whole grains and fruit and vegetables. Eating like this has reduced my bingeing so much. I'm usually too fulll to binge, and I have room in my diet to add in treats. Plus, the increase in energy allows me to go harder at the gym and recover better. There were a few times I questioned it, but
I went from 128lbs to 134lbs in 6 months, so it's definitely a slow bulk. I still wear the same pants as before. I lift 5 days a week with one conditioning day (or a peloton ride), and I eat about 2500-2700 calories a day. I dropped a jeans size in December, and they still fit now. I'm going to keep bulking another month or so, but at this rate, it's been more like a gradual recomp. My abs are the leanest they've ever been, even though I don't train them much. My quads are cut, my butt is lifted, I have a hamstring sweep, my arms have definition when I'm relaxed. You have a great body already, I think you'd see your progress better in better lighting. But, if you want to go bulk, go slowly and be patient. With your body frame, you could definitely achieve your goals in months. There are tons of free programs out there, but I personally loved following PWR the first 3 months of my bulk. Just make sure you do a structured program and are regularly increasing the weight.
TL; DR: If you're scared bulk very slowly, pick a progressive overload program, enjoy your gains!
I’m around your size. When I bulked, I was able to gain muscle so much faster, and feel amazing. After about 6 months, I only gained about 7lbs or muscle (and fat, you will gain some fat) but was able to shed it and go back down to maintain.
Yes! In struggling with this too. I’m 5’5.5 and 135 (down from around 175) and feel like I would need to really, really step it up to move from average to any of the pics you posted. Definitely would need more muscle and know I would maybe need to up my calories, eat lean proteins and up my weights but there’s part of me that would rather stick to my current skinny fat and not “risk” just getting fat. Not the best logic I know, but I can relate.
Oh man that “logic” has kept me here for 5 years! But it seems so solid until you think about it and then it seems really really dumb hahaha
Eat better foods to keep you full. Track your macros and eat tons of protein and vegetables. You definitely need to put on muscle to look like that.
(Long comment sorryyyyy)
Okay, first of all, your body is bangin. As someone who is 5’2” and shaped like a ruler, I think your curves are awesome. Also, you can totally tell you’ve worked on your butt at the gym (I’m guessing strong curves?) because you’ve got an awesome shape going on there.
I know what it’s like to be constantly trapped in a binge cycle (I’m in one right now gahhh) and feeling like crap and so far away from your goals. So here’s my advice:
Make your goals realistic. You can admire other “fit chicks” but do not make someone else’s body your “goal”. You are not them, so even at your fittest, your body is going to look different! I always have to remind myself of this one because even though I’d love to have long, lean legs, I’m short af. They’re probably always gonna be thicker than I’d like, but I’ll try to make them as toned and lean as I can (with a sustainable lifestyle).
Start a program and stick to that program. You’re not going to get specific results if your jumping from one thing to the next. The structure of a program can help too... for me it helps me get to the gym even when I don’t feel like it, because ITS IN THE PROGRAM IM GONNA BE SO BEHIND IF I DONT DO IT lol. I recommend something that includes weights 3-4x a week, nothing crazy. You can add in cardio later if you feel like it, once you’re able to stick with that consistently.
Diet is, as you know, the biggest part of fat loss. This sucks for someone who is prone to binging (me!! But let’s be real dieting sucks for everyone). I’ve noticed my best results when I don’t focus on “dieting” and instead focus on NOT binging. Like, just eating like a normal healthy person. As soon as I decide I want to cut back a bit, just the thought can lead to a binge (which makes no sense, wtf, I literally don’t even need to start the diet for it to happen). It’s emotional. So, three healthy meals a day, focusing on getting enough protein (and enough means just that, enough. You don’t need crazy amounts of protein) and if you need a treat at night, eat a treat. A small bowl of ice cream, or some cereal (Reese’s puffs omg drool), whatever. SAVOR IT, THEN STOP AFTER YOU FINISH. I feel like once I have controlled the binge urges for a while, it gets easier to eat healthier in general and I don’t even need a dessert a lot of the time.
That is a great outlook I love that! Thanks!
I’m just gonna come out and say this. Bc I’m In the same boat as you. (Workout for 5 years and crazy fluctuations and still skinny fat) I think u look great! We are roughly the same Weight (I’m ~135-140) though I’ve got a few inches in height more than you. But you already got nice curves and that longed for thigh gap! My body type is just straight and I’m trying to get a thigh gap again without forcing my legs to make it and without losing some ass since mines already kinda small to begin with lol and my problem area is that I have a pooch that I’m not proud of lol. So with that said, idt you have a lot of work to do.
And just like a lot of ppl said, these models do a crazy type cleanse or are on something before their photoshoots. Now that’s not to say that it’s impossible to achieve that aesthetic but a lot of these pictures of even “normal”fitness models are some what “doctored” in the sense that they know the right poses and lighting for their angles. It’s taken me a long to realize this and with the help of r/instagramreality
So I can tell you what has been helping me as of late with my binging. For awhile I used to snack so much at night and it would show in the morning and pretty much throughout the day bc I have an insatiable sweet tooth too :( but this past Monday, I decided to use my fitness pal and track my macros just to gauge how much protein and whatever else I’m getting. By the end Of the day, I found that I unwittingly have been eating as tho I have been on the Keto diet that day and decided to just kind of go with it and see where it can take me Along with getting back into INtermittent fasting and continuing my regular workouts. And since Monday, I’ve noticed my cravings went down. My willpower to say no to sugar went up. My bloat is down (big proponent to my problem area) and my energy is also up. I think you just gotta experiment with what works with your body. I used to think that I don’t need to really do keto bc I’m not needing to lose an ungodly amount but I have found that it is helping me with keeping my binge demons at bay (MCT Oil + coffee is a god send). Maybe as first steps, get your diet /body fuel into check then since you already know how to workout, once your nutrition is good do your workouts. Lift a little heavier and push yourself. And RESIST the urges to binge lol! But also enjoy life and indulge every now and then right? Lol I hope everything I wrote isn’t just word vomit and I hope it helps you in some way. Good luck girl!
This does help thank you!
Im 5'7", 143 pounds and for the last 3 years have plateued like anything 😭 I wouldn't say im "fat" but you can definitely tell I like cake when you look at me. I got so disheartened recently, im a university training to be a nurse too so sometimes I don't always have the energy, time or money to sustain what I want to achieve, however reading this comment and all the other comments on this post I've realised my mistakes. I always used to do the same thing at the gym and never really bothered lifting 'heavy' until recently, and my diet is always something that lets me down, im such a massive foodie and I have such a massive sweet tooth... This post and these/this comment(s) have really helped my confidence and just made me realise im not the only one and that im being too harsh on myself and it's just given me the little boost I need. Thank you all for making me realise im not alone. (
“You can definitely tell I like cake”
Well we all struggle sometime, some way. But pressure creates diamonds so push yourself!
Don't be too critical of yourself tho. You'll get to where you want to just pray for focus and do it.
I'm trying as well:)
Luck to us.
i dont have any tips, just came to say you have a lovely body, girly!! i hope to look like you someday! 😍
Aww thanks 😊
I am exactly like you, skinny fat, except with no hips and butts,and more belly fat. But guuuuurl, your hips are to die for and i love your waist! I hope you get around to finishing your goals!
I was thinking that too! Her hip shape is amazing.
What time of day were these pictures taken?
If at the end of the day, that look is completely normal. Our stomachs expand as we eat, especially if you're drinking enough water and protein. In these pictures (especially in the first one) the models suck in their stomachs, push out their butts and take the picture first thing in the morning. If you're more curious, check out the hashtag #30secondtransformation on Instagram.
It was post workout post water so I guess maybe that adds into feeling kinda eh. Plus I had cereal last night so all the carbs haha. I will check that hashtag out thanks for the recommendation!!!
Also, you need a structured program with progressive overload. My favourite is Wendler 5/3/1
You should start lifting weights. I did, it’s been awesome.
Fix your posture & learn to pose -- and you're there. Don't underestimate the accomplishments you've made with your body, despite the food struggles. Maintenance will be great for you.
Thanks! I do think a lot is probably posture. Years of being not super confident will screw that up haha I think after reading these comments maybe I need to work more on my mind set: thanks
I can totally relate to you! Been in the same boat. I started actually noticing a change in my body when I joined a crossfit gym. I hate lifting heavy and don't have the discipline to do it on my own. If you do great! But you definitely need to do more and heavier weights to reach your goals.
you look great anyway! i think if anything you could get away with eating at a slight surplus and lifting heavy to gain more muscle and that 'fit figure' :)
I'm the same height as you with very similar stats. Right now I hover between 130-135lbs. I'm not sure how your maintenance calories are 1900, when I plug the numbers into the tdee calculator I come in around 1600. Maybe I'm making a mistake? I do agree with the other posters that your inspiration photos are unrealistic and most likely photoshopped/trying to sell you something. Anyway I do understand the frustration and what you're trying to achieve, I looked very similar to you when I started.
I actually agree with your boyfriend that you probably need to build more muscle before you attempt to cut. Personally I'd focus on a recomp while maintaining a strength routine. Double check your calories and really push yourself in the gym and I'm sure you'll make progress. That's what worked for me at least.
I think those are sedentary stats? Not too sure though. Thanks for the advice!! I appreciate it.
I highly recommend you start tracking macros if you don’t already. I used Avatar Nutrition for some time until I worked out how to calculate mine on my own, but it is a great way to track your progress, have a goal you’re working towards (whether it’s a cut, bulk, maintenance, reverse diet) and eliminate all the guess work about your nutrition. The team at Avatar will do that all for you, and all you have to do is hit your macros. Pair this with lifting heavy in the gym, and you’ll have your desired physique in no time. Speaking from experience.
Love yourself first. Your post sounds like you don’t love yourself at all. You will never be at peace with your body as long as you swim in self hatred. I recommend using your body for something else that just contemplation.
This is why you still haven’t find peace with your body nor achieved your goals. After 5 years most people are close to their genetics ceiling but you definitely still have some room for improvement.
Everyone here who loves their body don’t binge, don’t feel like crap because of food. They think “i love nourishing my body. I love how I look. I’m my own body goal”.
Regarding your goals, i think your upper body looks great but you will have to train your glutes and legs hard!! And maybe some shoulders too . I would go for strong curves gorgeous glutes
OP, you look great. You're not at all skinnyfat.
If you want a more muscular look, I think you can get there with heavier weights. I modified the hell out of Strong Curves, in part because of injury and in part to add upper body stuff, and it's been a kick noticing my muscle growth, though it's a lot more noticeable when I flex.
The woman in your photos are all posing and well lit and probably PSed. They don't look like that every day all the time. You'll be able to add muscle to your body, but you're never going to walk around looking like a magazine photo. That's just not the reality of the human body.
Honestly you are goals!
It looks to me just you just need a short cut but it’s not super necessary. You clearly have tons of muscle and you are quite lean, but dropping a few fat %s will let all your muscles show through better. It sounds like you have some unhealthy eating behaviours though (binging and guilt) so I’d be very careful with how you would do that if you do at all. Lastly, I agree with everyone emphasizing the models’ lighting, poses and photoshop play a big role in how they look. I highly highly recommend you get a spray tan (always helps show muscles better) and a professional photo shoot with someone who photographs athletic people well. I can assure you that it will really help give you a self-confidence boost to look at. Also you’re at such a good place physically, that it’ll give you something to aim towards if you ever stop being as fit. Good luck!
Thanks!! I hadn’t factored in being pale haha that does have an effect. I’m thinking a short cut to just feel a little better and then maintenance maybe. I think the eating habits are definitely something I need to work on :)
If you've spent 5 years and still haven't hit your goals, something is way off. With each failed cut/binge cycle, your metabolism becomes more and more efficient at getting what your body needs from a restricted nutritional intake. It might be that you need to "reverse diet" for 6 months, get your metabolism back on track and then get your macros dialed in perfectly. Calculate your Protein intake at 1g per lb lean mass, multiply the grams by 4 and that's your calorie intake from Protein. The reminder of your calories can be split 80/20 carbs/fat, 70/30 carbs fat etc to make up 100% of the remaining calories after you have deducted your protien intake from you daily calories, carbs being 4 kcal per gram and fat being 9kcal per gram. Re-evaluate the nutritional intake when your weightloss stalls. The protein intake should be sufficient to prevent muscle catabolism whist in a 500 calorie deficit.
Lift heavy for sets of 3-5, this will send your CNS into overdrive. Include HIIT on rest days.
My advice would be to get a coach, Kate Errington IFBB Pro is fantastic and has worked wonders for my wife.
If you can't afford a coach, download Layne Norton's contest Prep Guide, this has help me tremendously.