Friends, you may have noticed that I have lots of new photos up on this website, showing off my new muscles. I started this blog last January because I made a resolution to get the muscular body of my dreams this year.  Why this year?  I turned 40 this past June.  Of course I didn’t reach my goal of creating the muscular body of my dreams in a mere 5 months, but I had made progress by my birthday and that was all I needed to encourage me to keep on going.  It’s been over 10 months of hard work now and I wanted to show (anyone who’s interested) that eating lots of vegan protein and working out properly and consistently really does work!  When I started this blog in January I was thin and lacking in muscle tone. Unlike many bodybuilders who you have seen in magazines or online, I do not have a background in gymnastics or professional dance or anything that builds muscle.   What I’m saying is that when I started in January (look back at my first blog entry’s photo), I didn’t have any of the muscle that I have today.  I was what they call “skinny-fat”, which means thin with no muscle tone and cellulite (although you won’t find any photos of the cellulite, a lady’s gotta keep her dignity).  I was also not very strong when I started 10 months ago.  But over these past 10 months I have increased the amount of weight that I can lift on a steady basis and am now much, much stronger than I was.  For instance,  I started off doing about 50 lbs on the hamstring curl machine, but now I’m curling around 130 lbs!!!  That’s progress!!! Every muscle on every exercise has improved 100-150%!!!  When I began I had a very flat little butt, but now I have a nice curve back there.  It’s not perfect yet, but I’m making progress and I know that if I continue, I will have the butt of my dreams in a few more months!  I had no calves 10 months ago, but now I’m proud to say that I have definition and firmness and a nice looking curve developing there also!  Again, I’m not to my goal yet, but I see my progress and I know I’m on my way!

I hope that the photos I have posted will inspire you to work toward your goals too!  I am living proof that it is possible for anyone, no matter how little muscle tone you start with or how old you are, or what your genetics are like, to build the toned, muscular body of your dreams!  It just takes creating a plan and going for it!  Even if you get off track (Lord knows I had some set backs these past 10 months with an injury to my arm and lots of family visits and career stuff), just get back on track again as soon as possible and do whatever you can to not let yourself get too far off track again. (See my “do something” workout entry from August 10).

Whatever your personal challenges, you can do it!  And I am here to help you.  After all, you have helped me immensely!  I started this blog so that I would be consistent and not give up.  And, your comments are what has kept me going so many times!  So, if there is any information or advice that I can pass along to help you, just send me a comment any time and I will respond right away!  I will be honest about my motives—if you are vegan, I want you to be muscular!  And I will do whatever I can to help you!  It’s the best representation of veganism that we can make for the world! And every new vegan saves over 95 animals lives each year!  Now that’s something worth blogging about!


2 Responses to New Photos—Look How Far I’ve Come!

  1. Lea says:

    Hi Brenda!
    I’ve just read through all your blog posts and it has really helped me. I’m vegan and I’ve been bulimic for 7 years (I’m 22). They recently found out that I have a metabolic disorder which probably played a big part in my eating disorder (mainly due to the inability to lose weight while eating healthily and low-fat while not starving myself). So here I am, overweight and desperately trying to recover from this crappy eating disorder and of course sports is awesome for everything/whole health, body and mind. But normally going to the gym has meant to me: running on these machines until they tell me I’ve burnt 1000 calories. This really conflicts with recovery of course, so I have been thinking of focussing more on working out on the machines. I love the feeling of it and what mostly has kept me from doing it was “oh god, bulking up even more! I’m fat as it is!” and all the bullshit. I still have a gym membership and want to go there 4 times a week to do something on my muscles and help my body grow stronger, not weaker like working out has mostly been for me in the past (clearly undereating, working out like crazy and then eating crap is not really what a body wnats). I was still concerned about growing too much muscle and becoming too bulky but after looking at pictures of natural female body builders, especially people who don’t train 3 hours a day or so, I’m confident that I won’t bulk too much either way. This scare tactic to keep women from getting strong is so horrible! Thanks for your blog, it has helped me make the decision to try it out!

    • Brenda Carey says:

      Hi Lea!
      Gosh, what a great message to get! Thanks so much for sharing your struggles! I know that there are many women who struggle with eating disorders and are confused about working out and the fear of “bulking up” and I know that people like you sharing like this really helps so many other people! So thanks so much for that!
      Lots of cardio with no weight training and starving yourself just does not work. You are so right! Without the underlying muscle tone you will always have flab. As for the bulking up thing. Since you’ve read my posts, you know by now that it is not something I fear. On the contrary, I work very hard to try to add larger muscle to my frame. It adds definition and it’s really beautiful and feminine. Also, everyone needs to know that I have been lifting as heavy as possible since January (about 11 months now) and you can just now barely see little muscles showing here and there (and they’re really tiny). The honest to God truth is that it is very, very hard for women to become muscular. It is hormonal. We just do not have the testosterone necessary for big muscle growth. It does not matter if you spend all day in the gym, you will never get “man muscles” unless you use steroids. Unfortunately, most female body builders have a history of using steroids at some point in their past to get larger muscles. Even the so-called “natural” body builders only have to have been off of steroids for 7 years. That does not mean that they didn’t take them years ago when they built their muscle and now they are simply maintaining that muscle with a vigorous workout routine (also, once the hormones get really imbalanced, they tend to stay that way, at least a little bit, forever).
      That is the ugly secret of body building—steroids are rampant. Fortunately, there are new categories for body building competitions for women that just started a year or so ago. The categories are called “bikini” or something like that and the women in that category have ripped abdominals, nicely defined legs and arms, but they look like women. I think that this category may cause a big change in the female body building community where we will get to see what pure hard work and 100% natural muscle looks like on a female body without all the ugly, bulky, manly steroid-driven muscles.
      Perhaps you, Lea, will be part of the next generation of natural (vegan) female body builders! You are well on your way! I am so proud of you for seeking out this healthy way of connecting with your body! Please keep me posted as you progress, I am your biggest fan!!!

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