Women Are Not Small Men: Essential Info for Female Athletes
by Stacy Simonds
I have been a professional athlete my whole life, but I am not your typical female athlete. While some athletes may look like they could easily pass for men, I’m built differently than most. My body type is often described as athletic/curvy with small hips and long legs (think Jennifer Lawrence).
While I’ve always had the physique of a woman, it wasn’t until recently that I started seeing the negative effects of being too muscular. At one time, I was able to compete against men in sports where size mattered such as wrestling and boxing.
I’m just another overpaid male bodybuilder competing against other overweight males.
It’s no secret that women are judged more harshly when it comes to appearance. Even though I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, I do feel like I need to change something about myself if I want to get back into shape. So here goes…
The Facts About Weight Loss For Women And How To Do It Right!
There are many myths out there about how much weight women lose during their menstrual cycle and why. We listed some of these common myths at the beginning of this post, but let’s get into the science of it.
Most women on their period experience a drop in energy levels and feel more tired than usual. This is due to lower levels of progesterone. Progesterone does many things in the body (such as maintain healthy bones), but one of the main reasons women have less of it each month is to make them less energetic.
Most women also gain weight due to bloating during this time. This is caused by excess sodium intake and water retention. It’s not healthy to completely cut out all salt from your diet, but being aware of how much you consume will help you feel less puffy. Especially during that time of the month!
The amount of weight you’ll gain during your period is usually around 1-3 pounds with 1-2 of those pounds being water weight. While it may not sound like much, if you were already struggling with your weight, then this is enough to throw you off.
Why not just accept it and move on?
It’s all about what you do with those extra pounds that make the difference.
I personally cannot accept anything that isn’t perfect. Even now as I attempt to lose weight for health reasons, I still can’t let go of my love for lean muscle gain. It’s not healthy and I’m probably starting to develop some obsessive compulsive disorder, but that’s a whole other story!
One of the reasons I started this website is because I don’t want any woman out there struggling with weight issues. I want all women to know they’re beautiful at any size and that they can reach their goals. In fact, I want every human to feel this way!
Is that so wrong?
Weight gain isn’t permanent and it can be fixed!
With that in mind, here are some weight loss tips for women to consider. These tips focus on beating the bloat and water retention that come with your period along with losing fat in general. I’m no expert on this stuff, but I’ve done a lot of research and gathered information from those that are.
How To Lose Weight For Women
Tip #1: Go For A Walk
There’s nothing wrong with getting some exercise during your period. In fact, any extra movement you can incorporate is beneficial to your body! Posture and sitting are also not your friends, so make sure to get up and walk around every hour or so if possible. This will definitely help give your muscles a break and increase the blood flow to your back.
Who doesn’t like that?
Tip #2: Carry Bottled Water With You
I know I already mentioned this above, but it really is important. You lose water each day and take in less than you think. By drinking bottled water instead of soda or other drinks with high sugar content, you’re helping your body to avoid dehydration. Staying hydrated keeps your skin clear and your hair shiny!
Who doesn’t want that?
Tip #3: Eat Smaller Meals More Often
By eating smaller meals more often, you keep your metabolism working throughout the day. When you eat large meals, your body goes into a sort of “sleep” mode in order to digest it all. Not only does this stop your metabolism in its tracks, but it can also cause water retention (it has to store all that food somehow!). Eating small meals keeps your body guessing and helps you to avoid bloating.
Tip #4: Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest not only helps you to stay energized so you won’t become a complete couch potato, but it also helps your body to naturally repair itself. In order for your liver and kidneys to do their job properly, you need to get a good night’s rest. The average person should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This might be hard for college students like myself, but it’s worthwhile in the long run.
Tip #5: Cut Back On Salt
Most people already know that they consume too much sodium on a daily basis. Not only does this cause your body to hold on to water, but it can also lead to high blood pressure and other issues. Try cutting back on the salt by avoiding fast food and canned foods. Instead, prep your own meals at home and make sure to add flavor with herbs and spices instead. You’ll be healthier for it in the long run.
Tip #6: Avoid Sugar
This one is a given, but it needs to be said. Sugar in any form; white sugar, brown sugar, corn sugar (high fructose corn syrup), raw sugar, and even honey will all cause an increase in your blood glucose levels. This can cause a “sugar high” followed by a “sugar low.” Not only are you left feeling tired and drained, but this can also effect your mood if it persists long enough.
Tip #7: Quit Smoking
I shouldn’t even have to say why, but I will anyway. Aside from the numerous health risks involved with smoking, it can also zap your energy levels. I know when I quit a few years ago, I had a ton of excess energy that I didn’t know what to do with. By the time I went to bed, I was ready to get back up and do it all over again. Cigarettes really are the devil!
Tip #8: Exercise
No, I don’t mean go run a mile or go to the gym. Although that can’t hurt either. I’m talking about getting your body moving in some way on a daily basis. This could be something as simple as taking a walk during your lunch break or dancing while you’re watching TV. The best thing about this tip is that you don’t even have to leave the house!
Essentially, what you’re doing here is giving your body and mind a break from the monotony of sitting or lying down. This will help to keep your muscles from becoming stiff and allow you to think more clearly. You’ll also feel happier when you take the time to move around a bit.
Whether you’re a man or woman, athlete or not, these tips will prove beneficial in some way. I hope you’ll consider them the next time you find yourself on the road to self improvement.
And one more thing…
If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment to sign up for my free weight loss guide. You’ll also be added to my newsletter list and will receive updates about all of my latest posts, videos, and more! Check out the following link and please be sure to share it with your friends as well.
All the best,
The Self Improvement Leader
Sources & references used in this article:
The media image off sport and gender by MC Duncan, MA Messner – MediaSport, 1998 – books.google.com
Heterosexuality as an organizing principle in women’s sport by LJ Kolnes – International review for the sociology of sport, 1995 – journals.sagepub.com
Is it time for a victory lap? Changes in the media coverage of women in sport by A Bernstein – International review for the sociology of sport, 2002 – journals.sagepub.com