Monday, February 18, 2019

Compact, Like a Car

It's been quite a while since I've addressed much in the form of what I'm doing in the healthy living arena, so I thought I'd touch on a few things that I've been working on over the last six months.

First off, weight.  Years ago I said I didn't care what the number on the scale said, because when I realized that I had lost over 100 pounds, was working out regularly and was in the best shape of my life - and was wearing size 8 pants - I was still considered overweight by that asinine BMI formula.  I stopped weighing myself and while it took a good long time for me to be completely over the idea of that number meaning anything, I finally was able to release the power of the number on the scale.

I still don't weigh myself.  I did allow my trainer to do a body scan that includes weight when I first started back at BCS Fitness for them to have a starting point, and I did another scan about 5 weeks later, but I didn't look at the scan and the only thing I know is that I was down about 6.5 pounds from the first to the second.  I haven't done a scan since; while it might tell how my muscle-to-fat ratio is changing, and it might show some weight loss, it will never be enough for me, so I just don't go there.

That said, I can see and feel changes in my body - it's becoming more compact, if that makes sense.  Recently I had to go out in the pouring rain and put on my rain jacket that I purchased several years ago.  I zipped it up and thought huh, there's room in here.  I've been lifting with heavier weights.  Riding the aptly-named assault bike no longer wears me out in the first 20 seconds (no joke, I used to DIE on that thing).  It's still not easy but at least I can see improvement over where I was.  I jumped rope!  My cardio is getting better...but lest you think I am breezing through my workouts, let me be clear:  I am not.  They are hard, I sweat and huff and puff like a fool, but I am doing them and able to get through most of them without dying midway.  Afterward, yes - usually I'm lying in a puddle of sweat on the floor, but I'm getting stronger.

With that muscle comes not only strength but more endurance, which is making me run a little better.   That's what I wanted when I first started going back to BCS Fitness - to be a stronger runner.  Along the way, I've realized that I feel better when my body gets a good workout, I feel better when my muscles start responding to what I'm making them do, and I feel better about myself - not only physically but also mentally - when I get a good workout in.  I can have days where I'm just plodding along, but come 4:15 pm, I'm with my group and my trainers and everything changes for the better.  I'm looking at my monthly payment for my workouts as part of a prescription co-pay - much like any medicine one might need to control blood pressure or cholesterol, I need this to be healthy.

I'm making small improvements with my eating, mostly because if I'm going to work that hard at BCS Fitness, I don't want to undo it by eating junk - well, most of the time.  Some changes I've made include not ordering an extra baked good with my breakfast at Blue Baker.  Jeff still gets one but I've been able to not indulge.  That said, if chocolate chip cookie dough appears at the table, I'm going to have some...come on, I have to live!  A month ago I made it a goal to not have any milk chocolate because that seems to send me on a massive sugar craving; interestingly enough, dark chocolate doesn't do that for me, so I can have a bit of that when I want something sweet and be satisfied with it. 

I was working on having an apple every day because the crunching and chewing helped to fill me up and work out the munchies that previously I was filling with popcorn, but I sliced the crap out of my thumb while cutting an apple so they are dead to me now.  Seriously, it's been two weeks and while my wound is mostly healed, it still hurts when I put pressure on it.  Stupid apples.  Stupid knives. 

Once apples were banished, I went with a "fruit first" motto - if I get hungry or snacky between meals, I have to have fruit first (bet you figured that out already, LOL).  Right now clementines and bananas are in the house - basically I'm buying whatever looks the best in the grocery store and whatever won't hurt me with a knife.  We are cooking more, and I'm incorporating more vegetables into our meals - I finally tried cauliflower rice with my Korean beef and it was good; I'd totally substitute that for regular rice.  Jeff has been into making homemade pasta, and he's having success with it, but he wants to make it at least weekly, so I'm adding in zucchini noodles in order to cut down on the amount of pasta I eat.  Simple, small changes, nothing too extreme, and over time I think they will help...or at least, not hurt, right?

I don't have a specific goal in mind with all of this beyond becoming a better runner.  I think I'm at the point in life where I'm able to accept what my body looks like because no matter how hard I might try to diet and exercise, the truth is that I'm also living in a 55-year-old body that I've put through the wringer.  It's all good.  Where ever I end up is where I end up, and as long as I'm putting in a good effort to eat right and exercise, I know I'm doing enough.

18 comments:

  1. Good reminder to all of us that it’s not the number on the scales...it’s the small changes and things we do in our life that make us healthy and strong...the weight and smaller body just follow along naturally!!!

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  2. Could you have Jeff cut you up an apple that morning or even the night before?

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    1. Well I could but I'd rather just be mad at the apple. ;)

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  3. You've made some really great changes--nothing extreme, just practical things that make you healthier. 100% agree with staying off the scale. I don't weigh myself but I know some pounds have been creeping on. Thank you menopause. I blame wine and that is a habit I am trying hard to break. Keep up the good work! It feels good to feel good, doesn't it?

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    1. It really does - and you don't have to be fitness-model-perfect to feel good, either!

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  4. You are 100% correct - you've gotta live and sometimes that includes cookie dough! I am fairly sure this is exactly what the "experts" mean when they say make small changes that you can live with.

    One of the hardest parts of all of this (for me) is knowing I am never, ever, never going to be the size I want to be again. It's working my head around being satisfied with the actuality and not what I envision in my head.

    As you know I have made some similar changes to my exercise routine and I learned this past week that it's not a good idea to do yoga for hip mobility the day before a long run. My hips were so sore, I was literally unable to run. Of course I walked but geez! Bobby said, "Listen! You're not 40 years old anymore!" Well thanks hon.

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    1. OK so first I'm laughing at "...you're not 40 anymore" because you know the younger generation is all WILL I STILL BE WALKING WHEN I'M THAT OLD - but yes, it's a pisser when you can't throw it all at your body and have it recover as quickly as it used to.

      I think when I realized that my arms were never going to look slim and toned was when I started the process of letting go of my former self and accepting whatever I have now. It didn't happen overnight, mind you - but I'm good now. I hope you can get to that place as well, because you currently look pretty dang good, my friend!

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  5. It's never too late to make the changes and exercise. Small gains over time is exactly the result as you have found.
    My body speaks to me if I miss 3 days in a row not on my exercycle...I just feel lethargic and exercising the next day is the remedy to feeling good again!

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    1. I never thought I'd feel better when I exercise, but I do...so weird. Maybe Jack LaLanne was right all those years ago!

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  6. Haha, the Jack LaLanne reference! My dad watched him all the time. I have had a period of not much exercise because of Anaheim and now snow. I did make myself take a walk in the snow yesterday afternoon! It looks like the snow is over for the next ten days, so I am looking forward to getting back to my exercise routine!

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    1. Fun fact: At the Cabana Bay hotel in Orlando, where we've stayed, they have a Jack Lalanne fitness studio - totally retro. I have never gone inside, but really should go check it out.

      Glad your snow is going away - I can imagine how much you are ready to get back to your exercise routine!

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  7. The BMI has been all but useless in determining my healthy weight goal. I would have to be underweight to be considered a healthy weight using the BMI, so I pretty much tossed it out the window. I recently increased the weights I am using for strength training, and wooo-boy! What a difference it makes for the intensity of the workout!

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  8. You are doing everything I WANT to be doing, but I'm in a slump right now so I keep saying " I'll do it later ( like come spring time).

    Have you thought about using one of those circular apple corer/cutters? They are safe than a knife, but you cant peel the skin. But you should be eating the skin!

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  9. You are my goals....well all but the running. You can keep that.

    Several years ago when I was working out every day I felt amazing. Its just so hard to get back to that point. I'm determined to make it though.

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  10. LOL so the motto should be "SAFE fruit first"?! Your poor finger! I hate that it still hurts two weeks later! But oh man, a good clementine that is easy to open and doesn't required anything by my fingers? SIGN ME UP!

    It makes me so happy to read about how going to the gym has made you feel so great, and helped improved your running. And helped you stick with making other small changes (but always say yes to cookie dough) in your eating!

    Gah, BMI is such a joke in most cases. If I was at my healthy BMI people would think I looked way too skinny. We gotta focus on feeling good. And even better if that results in your jacket being a bit too big!

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  11. I don't weigh myself either. Yes I know in pictures I look thin. You just have to stand a certain not to show that sagging skin off your arms and the cellulite on your thighs.

    It happens to even thin people.

    It's age.

    I can complain about it or embrace it.

    All that matters is that we are healthy to do what we want to do and enjoy life (and that means indulging on our favorite foods. Go Blue Baker!

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  12. Hi Shelley! Thank you for your comment on my blog! I've looked at yours before and commented but haven't been on line much lately. I don't knit, but I love apples too, but I'm dangerous in the kitchen. Give me a knife and I WILL cut myself. I recently got an apple slicer at Tuesday Morning, this one is very safe and cuts the slices thin. I looked on Amazon and it is called Prepworks by Progressive 16-Slice Thin Apple Slicer and Corer. It works great for pears too! Don't give up your apples due to fear! :-)

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