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Should you focus on Shape or Size?

Ever since I went through puberty I hated my butt!

And then I had kids…… then I REALLY hated it!

I was left with saddlebags (aka those flabby bits of extra cushion that droop around the sides of your legs not really fitting into your cute undies, or swimmers.

I always thought that I had to ‘lose weight’ to make it look better…

In fact, I was willing to try any fad diet going in my quest to get a nice bum.

Did I lose weight?

YES!!!

Did I like my butt? NO!

I actually got REALLY skinny at one point, I felt like crap, I was moody, cranky, tired and hungry, and still not happy, yet I was still convinced that I just hadn’t lost ENOUGH weight to be happy with my bootay. Insane right? If you would’ve told me back then that I’d have to make it bigger for it to look better I would’ve laughed at you. You see this was in a time before having a huge bootay was the “in” thing to have.

I’m now roughly 8 kgs heavier, a dress size bigger, and a whole lot happier!

The below photo shows SOME of my transformation, I deleted my true BEFORE photo as I hated it so much. I kick myself now for deleting it.

It has taken a lot of food, a lot of training and a lot of patience to transform my bootay, but I did it!

If I had focused on the number on the scale or the dress size I was wearing I would never have got the perky bootay I wanted.

So, how’d I do it?

Firstly, I had to increase my calories. You need to eat.

This is one of the biggest mistakes females tend to make in their fitness journeys. They don’t eat correctly nor do they eat enough. If your goal is to gain muscle (aka shape) you’ll need to eat in a slight surplus to your maintenance calories. Your meals should contain protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.

TRAIN…. more specifically, weight train…..

To add muscle (hypertrophy) you’ll have to lift some weights. This will create little tears in your muscles and force your body to respond with growth. I know there are still some girls out there who are scared of becoming bulky, but believe me, for most women it takes ALOT of time, training, and consistency to build muscle. Most women want to look ‘toned’, to look this way, you’ll have to grow some muscle.

If your goal is to grow muscle, its beneficial to keep your cardio sessions to HIIT sessions. These are simply short bursts of intense exercise, like sprints, rather than going for long, endurance type cardio as this will only eat into the precious muscle your trying to build.

REST…

While it might be tempting to stay up and fit in that extra episode on Netflix, you really should think twice. You need to get adequate sleep if you want to grow. This is when our bodies repair our damaged cells and when the majority of our growth hormone is released. And besides that sleep is essential for energy, energy you’ll need to keep training effectively.

So what if you actually have SIZE to loose too…… what then?

If you do have a lot of body fat to loose as well as wanting to create shape, you would then eat in a slight caloric deficit as well as incorporating weight training.

You see, if your deficit is too drastic (hello diet shakes, starvation diets and detox teas) you could run the risk of messing up your hormones, slowing down your metabolism and loosing muscle mass. Ideally we want to be on the most amount of food possible while getting results. This is a long term change, and crash diets are simply not sustainable.

The most important thing to remember however is to be patient and consistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are perky bootays. Enjoy your journey, celebrate your small achievements and learn to love your body at all stages.

If you’re ready to learn how to change your shape and take your first step towards your goals email me at hello@tenilleduncan.com

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