No one begins a journey at the half way mark. Everything is a process. The idea of taking supplements might be brand new to you. I was never that kid whose parents forced them to take the Flintstones chew-able multivitamins. I was actually envious of those kids. The vitamins looked and tasted like candy. However, I did have to choke back vomit once a day as I munched on Tums calcium tablets due to a milk allergy. Fruit flavoured my ass. Orange, yellow or red – they all tasted the exact same – disgusting. That was my one and only foray into the world of supplements until just recently.
I refuse to break the bank to live out my new healthy lifestyle. I like to get the most out of my purchases – who doesn’t? When I learned of how important the role of protein would play in my diet choices, I knew that eating three or four chicken breasts a day wasn’t going to be the most cost efficient way to get it. I remember shopping at GNC for the first time. Thank god for the friendly staff members who humored my thousand questions about how to use protein powders. I remember being so scarred of how they would taste. They aren’t super cheap and I didn’t want to invest in a crappy flavour. I felt like the weight of the world rested on this decision. I went with an orange flavour that made claims to be ideally mixed into water. I was so new to the supplement world that mixing it into anything else would have been too much for me to handle. Baby steps, right? As time has gone on I have become more comfortable with using them. I even bake with them now and I have become an expert smoothie maker. My flavour combos would blow your taste buds away! Move over Booster Juice!
As I would come to find out, protein powders are the equivalent to training wheels on a bike. It’s a safe starting point for supplements. You don’t need to be aiming for weight loss or muscle growth to utilize them though. There are so many more different types of supplements on store shelves and many would argue that the bulk of them are completely unnecessary. Like everything I have come across in my journey, I have done a lot of research about the decisions I choose to make. That absolutely (and especially) includes supplements. The sales people will try to talk me into purchasing a lot more, and being a bit knowledgeable before stepping foot into their territory allows me to make the most informed decision.
I was adamant that the fat loss I would achieve would come from dietary changes and not from gel capsules in a bottle. I never wanted to become physically or mentally dependent on a product like that. I wanted as organic a result as possible. So I stayed clear of a lot of what’s out there. Even detox tea products all seemed like such scams to me and honestly all seem to be forms of diuretics than anything else. I got very far into my health and fitness journey without the need for anything more than the protein. Throughout the past year or so, a picture has started to form in my mind. It has gotten clearer over time. It is a picture of my body. Rather, a picture of how I want my body to look. Knowledge is indeed a powerful tool and once my mind realized that, it was off to races. If I want something, then I know that I have the ability to put in the time and work to get it.
I mentioned in a previous post about my view on muscles. Woman and muscles to be exact. In my opinion, tone and definition of my muscles is something I want to have. My food choices certainly help make getting them a reality, and when GNC reached out to me with an offer to try out some fitness Accelerators, it was the right time for me to say yes.
In order to reach my goals I have to up my game when it comes to workouts and training. I have to be honest, it was mostly fat that I lost this past year but some of it was muscle. It is unrealistic to think that I would lose just fat alone. I have been prepared for a while that the time would come when I would want to build back up my muscle and my strength.
Before GNC‘s offer came along, I did some initial research into additional supplements. Things like BCAA’s, pre workout and post workout out supplements to help with the repairing of muscles that break down during workouts. I learned that there are more ideal food choices to eat pre and post workout and that there are products available to aid in stamina to help you push out more reps in your exercises. A supplement called Leucine, was one that I was really excited to try. It basically makes it easier for me to work harder. Leucine specifically helps to build lean muscle and aids in Protein Synthesis. It helps to quickly repair my muscles that get worn and torn during my workouts.
For the past month and a half I have been using Leucine Accelerator a couple times a week when I weight train. I have noticed a pretty decent increase in strength and I couldn’t be happier. I have gone from using 10 lb weights for certain upper body exercises, to 15 lb weights. I also find that I am not as sore the next day following some of my more intense weight sessions. I am able to recuperate faster. And that allows me to work harder again, sooner. All of this just adds to my self confidence and not only makes me look stronger but feel stronger, getting me closer to my next fitness goal.