The Number Means Nothing

scale

During stressful times, like a break-up, some people lose weight.  Not me.  I gain.

In 2007 after my ex-douchebag-boyfriend got another girl pregnant behind my back, I fell into a spiral of drinking way too much, smoking way too much and working out not at all.  Ultimately, it was this break-up that was the catalyst for getting into running and triathlon.  It had been a few years since I had been to the gym; my work-outs consisted mostly of out-drinking my friends and eating as much as I wanted.  I was always athletic and had a high metabolism so even though I ate, drank and didn’t work out, I also rarely gained weight.  Until this time.  During the course of my unhealthy relationship and the subsequent break-up, I had put on quite a few pounds.

Fast forward to last year.

I once again put on weight during the over-the-top-drawn-out-for-too-long-dramatic breakup with R2.  The difference between 2007 and 2012 is that although I had let myself go between the broken foot and broken heart, was that I luckily had not lost all my fitness.  Oddly enough, when I decided to get my butt back in gear this past December, I weighed the same amount as I did when I started my journey in 2007.   The same exact weight.

compare

                                                                                           2007                                                                      2012

Although I hate both of these photos, I posted so you can see how in both of these photos that I am heavier, but it is also noticeable that even just looking at my face, that I look fitter in 2012.  The scale read the same number but you can easily see how different I looked.  And that is just judging on my face.  (Trust me, it was hard enough to post these photos…no full body shots!)

Now, I am going to post a photo of me currently.  I have been working my tail off since December to get back in shape.  I have been on a nutrition plan and in addition to running and swimming, I have been taking barre and ballet classes.  I knew that I wanted to lose weight and get fit before Mexico, so I really buckled down.

thin

In this photo, taken only a few weeks ago, I am only six pounds less than in both of those photos above.

All my hard work and I have lost only six pounds.  But look at the difference in my face. (I really tried to pick three photos with the same head tilt.)  I am clearly more fit in this current photo.  And that is great, but the biggest difference of all?  In the two photos above,  I was not happy.  In the recent photo, I am.   That is a happy girl.  I am two sizes smaller than 2007 and a size smaller than just 3 months ago.  So while the number on the scale doesn’t reflect necessarily where I want to be weight wise, I know the number doesn’t matter.  When I look in the mirror, I see muscle.  I see toned abs.  I see a body that is being worked hard for.  I see confidence.  I see all the things a scale cannot show me.

scale

More important than all the superficial aspects, is that the scale does not measure my health.  The number tells me little to nothing about what is going on with my relationship with food or my digestive health.  The scale is also no indication of my recovery from activity, my stress level or my sleeping patterns.  If I don’t get enough sleep, it is not reflected on the scale but rather, I know by the way I feel.  These are the factors that impact my health far more directly than my body weight.   Individual weight is personalized and unique.  There is not a one sized fits all number that people should weigh.

With all that said, I will admit, I still weigh myself.  Currently, once a week and only on my own scale.  I do not weigh myself on any other scale, ever.  At the doctor, I get weighed backward.  By weighing only on my own scale, I do not have to question or obsess.  My scale is consistent to what I know my weight to be.  And sometimes, the number does frustrate me.  I am still a work in progress.  There will be confident days and not confident days.  Of course, there will be days I look at myself and say “you go girl!” and days where I think “what am I doing wrong?” but it will be based on how I feel when I look in the mirror, not based on how I feel when I step on the scale.  I will not let the number on the scale determine whether I have a good day or  bad day.  I will continue to weigh myself as a way to monitor my weight in general.  Not as a way to determine my worth.

Do you weigh yourself? 

Do you hyper-focus on the number or are you able to see past it?

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2010 Goals-Tri’s, Running and Working Out

With only a few weeks left in the year I guess it is time to lay out the yearly goals.  🙂

This is going to be a three-part post (all together would be far too long) divided up between these goals, nutrition goals and goals for my blog in 2010.

When it comes to tri’s, running and working out:

Tri:

  • Finish an Olympic Tri- I am already signed up for the NJ State Olympic Triathlon and I am really looking forward to the race.  I have only so far completed sprint distance races and I am excited about the challenge.
  • Better biking- This is obvious.  I need to not suck at biking.  I did get a trainer so I am hoping that, combined with all my spinning, it gets me more comfortable on the bike.
  • Attend more OWS– Last summer I only attended three open water swims (OWS) and it was reflected in my racing.  I am a really good swimmer, but mostly all my practice is in a pool.  My team is working on securing a lake for OWS and I really hope this goes through because I would benefit greatly.  The pool is great for drills and general swimming, but it is difficult to work on sighting and deep and dark waters.

Running:

  • Get the 2:10:00- My half-marathon goal time for 2010.  I have 5 definite 1/2’s planned and two maybe races…a possibility of seven total chances to meet this goal.  It will require me to pace at @ 9:55 for the entire 13.1 miles.  To date, my best time is 2:27 so this would be a substantial difference!
  • See a 28:??- I don’t care if it is 28:59, I just want to get under 29:00 for a 5k.
  • Brave the cold- I have a 1/2 planned for February and one planned for March.  I really hate the treadmill but usually choose it in the winter because I also really hate the cold.  I need to suck it up and run outside.  I am limited because of the dark nights but the goal is to do all my weekend runs outside and if I have a chance (like a day off) use that as another opportunity as well.
  • Up the mileage- My goal for 2010 is to run 650 miles.  By the end of this year I will have run close to 400 miles.  This is since March, when I started keeping track, so it is not an exact number given that I had actually started running again in February.  400 seems like nothing in comparison to some runners, but for me, that number is huge!  Up until two years ago, I never thought about running at all…then to run almost 400 miles in 11 months…huge!  I think 650 is a completely attainable goal, yet something I will still need to be diligent about in order to meet.

Working-out:

  • Get Strong- I usually strength train 2-3 times a week depending on what my training schedule looks like, but I want to make it a point to focus on my strength training this year at least three times a week.  This way, I can dedicate each day to a specific work-out for my arms, legs and core.
  • Stretch it out- I am so bad at remembering to stretch before work-outs.  I am really good with it before and after runs, but for some reason always forget before any other work-out.
  • Push-Up Challenge-I am going to begin this challenge right after the new year.  As of right now I can do about 8-10 comfortably in one rep…yeah, I have a long way to go!!!  I work my arms out pretty good as it is, but I am looking for more definition and think this is a good avenue to explore- time to get my arms jacked!!!
  • Sit-Up Challenge- I am not tracking this one in the same way as the push-up challenge…this one is all my own.  My goal is to complete 500 crunches a week.  A while ago I tried to do 200 a night, but that is just unrealistic for me.  And it was overkill.  500 is a good number for the week because I can commit to five days/nights a week without a problem.  Hello six pack…here I come!
  • Pilates- My gym has a pilates class once a week at night and I am going to make it a point to incorporate this into my weekly routine.  I was going to start going last week but with finals and now Christmas, it is just too much.  Therefore, I will be starting the week after Christmas.  Hopefully it goes better than yoga did!
  • No Overloading- Sometimes I get so backed up that I end up sqeezing too much into one work-out.  My goal for 2010 is to work-out/train four to five days a week as consistently as possible so that I don’t get into the habit of overloading myself again.
  • More two-a-days- I love two-a-days but I definitely slacked off on morning work-outs once it started getting cold.  I would much rather kill two work-outs in one day and free up another day for myself, so this is something I am going to re-focus on after the new year.

That is all for now…I am sure I will add to this and I assure you I will be re-visiting it at different points throughout the year, but for now I think this is a really good start.

Stay tuned for the nutrition and blog goal coming up within the week.

What are some of your 2010 goals when it comes to training and working out?

 

So about yoga…

I fell asleep in the child pose. I am not kidding. 

No TiaRT again because it’s all about technology and I am always about 5 years behind when it comes to being up to date on technology.  I don’t even own a garmin (gasp!).  I simply use a regular pace watch with a heart monitor. Booorinnng.

Anyway, back to Yoga.  I was really looking forward to class; after a full days work and a game (we won!) in the cold, I was even more in need to relax and stretch out.  The thing is, class isnt until 8pm which makes for an even longer day and later night and I knew if I didn’t go right to the gym from my game, I wouldn’t go.  I had a few errands I could have ran but instead I went early and did about 40 mins on the stationary bike. 

Finally, it was 8pm and class started.  I have never had this instructor before and honestly, I didn’t like her method.  Yoga is slow paced on its own but this girl had us moving at the pace of the slowski turtles- it was torture.  It was unchallenging and boring.  About halfway through I thought about leaving, but I think thats rude so I decided to stick it out- but then during the three-thousandth child pose (no joke…child pose like every 10 seconds) I fell asleep. You know…not in REM or anything but for enough time that when I realized I had been sleeping, they were in a new pose.  Yeah…forget sticking it out…I was out of there!  Ended up leaving about 10 minutes early.  Got home, got things ready for today and then enjoyed @7  hours of sleep. 🙂

 

Spring Break starts in 6 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m just a little excited!