Sometimes You DON’T Need to Lose Weight

There are a lot of reason to lose weight. And as Americans, I think many of us can safely say that we need to lose a few pounds. That number varies for everyone. 2 pounds, 10 pounds, 40…etc.

I myself would like to lose a few pounds. It’s more a neurotic desire to weigh a whole number like 145 or 140 instead of 148. There is no rhyme or reason for it. 😉

According to doctors I’m still considered a “overweight.” I have not had my Body Fat measured in over a year. Honestly–I don’t think I need to.

Why?

Because while my goal might be to “lose a few pounds” if I stayed exactly where I am right now I’d be okay. I am under 150 pounds–my original goal weight when I set out on my journey.

There are some more important things than losing pounds. For example:

FITNESS LEVEL

There is no way in HELL I could have run Hood to Coast without being fit. I’m not talking about just-being-able-to-run-kinda-fitness.  Hood to Coast wasn’t just a Running Thing–it was an Endurance Thing. And a Recovery Thing. Despite my overuse injury, I recovered in all other aspects pretty quickly. Within a day and a half I was walking normally.

There is also no way I could hike the way I do without being fit. I’ve hiked as an overweight, out of shape person and it included a lot of stopping and resting breaks. Or “I need to catch my breath” breaks.

Swimming is another endurance kind of sport. Keeping my heart rate at the same elevated rate for 45 minutes while I swim without stopping takes fitness.

FITNESS BY NUMBERS

The lower your number is for your Resting Heart Rate the better your cardiovascular fitness level is. The average rate for men is 70. Lance Armstrong’s resting heart rate is 32. The last time I went to the doctor mine was around 65.

When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? If it’s in the normal range, you’re golden.

STRENGTH

Check your muscle strength. With my recent overuse injury I’ve been checked for muscle strength several times now. It’s really easy to do. Have a friend help you. Hold your leg up in the air a bit and have them push down or hold down your leg. YOU in turn try to push against it. Your friend should not be able to push your leg to the floor.

CLOTHING

I will probably never been a size 2. I’m okay with that.  Do my size 6 jeans feel a little lose? That’s the most common way I now measure my successes. The closer I get to my goal weight (basically just an arbitrary number I picked in my head) the less weight I seem to lose. The good news? I’m still losing inches and clothing sizes.

MEASURING

Sometimes you won’t see results when you step on the scale. Sometimes what you really need is it to measure. Seeing those inches disappear is a real kick! Sometimes even better than seeing a pound loss. Inches lost are usually visible. You’ll start to notice your clothes don’t fit right. Maybe you need to start wearing a belt more often. All great things.

I really recommend buying a tape measure and keeping it near your journal to log the changes. Keeping track = keeping ON track.

I wonder a lot if I could switch my thinking to “maintain and tone” instead of “I want to lose just 5 more pounds.” Just 5 more pounds…Just 5 more pounds…How many times can we say that? When do we become satisfied with WHERE we currently are?

QUESTION: Are you obsessed with a number on a scale? What would happen if you shifted that thinking to focusing on your fitness level instead?

Body Image Stuggles

My post yesterday seemed to touch a nerve with a lot of readers. I got a lot of really great comments and private emails:

Lori at Finding Radiance said:  “I really struggle with body image. Sometimes I see myself as size 8, other times I think I look closer to the old me at 250 pounds. It does seem to be getting better with time, but not sure if that will ever go away. You have to shift your focus to the positive. If you dwell on the negative, then it breeds upon itself.”

And one of my favorites from Lisa at Bike, Bake Blog: “What a refreshing post……it can be so easy to focus on the negative sometimes – but I consciously try to turn it around and focus on the positives instead. Such as – instead of “argh I have put on weight” – I remind myself that “I have done 10 races in 6 months and have never been fitter”. A little extra weight is not the end of the world?!

I took Kelly’s advice from My Healthy Passion: “I allow myself to wallow for a few days. I almost think it is healthy to allow myself to be in a bad mood. Then after some good wallowing (and usually a few tears…crying ALWAYS makes me feel better) I make myself focus on the positive things.”

I wallowed a bit and feel MUCH better today. I think having a great run yesterday helped that. It reminded me that my body does great things.

So why ARE we so hard on ourselves? Upbringing, media, poor parenting, blah blah blah…

I plan on changing that. As I stated in my post about June Goals, I’m going to think positive thoughts.

Some other things we can all do:

1. Be realistic. My body type/genetics is never going to be a size Zero.

2. Appreciate what my body can do at it’s current weight and size.

3. Don’t punish myself for overeating by overexercising.

4. I only weigh myself once a month for a reason: it’s to NOT obsess about the number on the scale.

5. Test yourself. Try something new. Be impressed with your abilities.

QUESTION: Did I miss anything? How do you think positive thoughts?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Lastly, I want to profile another weight loss success story. Please email me at 110pounds at gmail dot com.