Navigating the transition from a male WWE wrestler to a female fitness coach(Gabbi Tuft) has been a transformative journey marked by challenges and triumphs. Shedding muscle mass to align with her mental self-image posed unique obstacles, as traditional fitness guidance often overlooked the needs of transgender individuals.
With determination and resilience, she forged her path toward embodying her true identity, overcoming hurdles along the way. This article delves into the complexities of her transformation, offering insights into the process of sculpting both body and self-perception.
Overcoming the Challenge of Muscle-Shedding
As she embarked on her transition journey, she was surprised to find that feminizing hormones didn’t lead to the expected reduction in muscle mass. Despite experiencing anticipated changes like softer skin and fat redistribution, estrogen had minimal impact on muscle mass. Seeking advice from fitness experts, she was advised to lift lighter weights and increase repetitions to activate muscles without stimulating growth.
Following this guidance, she engaged in lightweight, high-repetition workouts and cardio sessions. While these efforts resulted in fat loss and improved leanness, reducing muscle mass remained a challenge. Frustrated by the lack of progress, she took matters into her own hands, diving into the intricacies of muscle atrophy through self-study and experimentation. Determined to reshape her body to align with her gender identity, she navigated a path toward physical transformation with perseverance and resolve.
Ceasing Resistance Training to Shed Muscle
When she began her journey, there was little research available on inducing muscle atrophy in transgender women. With existing studies primarily focused on preventing muscle loss, she had to interpret their findings through her own goals. Insights from research suggested that patients who engaged in partial bed rest maintained more muscle mass compared to those on full bed rest.
Inspired by this, she made the decision to cease resistance training, hoping that releasing tension would prompt muscle atrophy. To expedite upper body muscle reduction, she halted resistance training for her lower body as well, turning to bodyweight workouts instead. However, her transformation truly accelerated when she discovered a method to compel her body to utilize muscle as its primary energy source.
By depriving her body of glucose through a modified keto diet rich in proteins and healthy fats, supplemented with high-fiber carbohydrates, she induced ketosis. Combining this dietary approach with a calorie deficit and intermittent fasting, she forced her body to rely solely on ketones for energy. Cardio sessions on the treadmill, sustained at a heart rate of 150 to 160 beats per minute for at least an hour daily, further promoted muscle breakdown for fuel. Despite the arduousness of this regimen, the results were remarkable, as evidenced by her significant reduction in clothing sizes and visible muscle loss.
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Exploring the Depths of her ‘Why’
Losing muscle mass has been one of the most challenging parts of her transition. To embody the feminine shape she desired, she needed to let go of that part of herself.
The key to her success has been connecting with her deepest “why.” This is the deep emotion that was her source of motivation. Whatever your goals are, the critical question isn’t how to achieve them — it’s why you want to achieve them. Understanding your own deepest “why” will get you across the finish line. It’s what helped her in her journey.