I have been fighting an INFURIATING fight with *the numbers* over the last 6-8 months. The scale just WILL. NOT. MOVE. And no, I have not forgotten that I recently preached all about “focus on performance, not the scale“. I do totally believe that on the day to day- the excitement of performing new feats is what will keep you getting up early and showing up more than any scale ever will. But all those platitudes aside, we all love to see measurable change- whether it is on the scale, in the tape measure, or even in the fitting room (you know I am right).
I want to stop right here and encourage you if you are in the same boat… Doing all the right things and seemingly not seeing any progress is a really REALLY crappy place to be. Many times a change in diet or work-out regimen is enough jiggle you out of that place. But listen to me on this: stay the course and ignore the little bastard voice that is telling you to jump ship, listen to your trainer- or continue on your training plan- but most importantly- finish what you started.
So my trainer- Beth Andrews, Sr. RKC– took my measurements a few days ago. And frankly- I was disappointed. I wasn’t destroyed. I didn’t go to Dunkin Donuts or anything. But damnit… the changes just weren’t as much as I thought they should be… a quarter inch here, a half inch there. It’s progress, sure… but so so so small. Why don’t I have more to show for all of my efforts? Here are the numbers… It starts with May 2013, when I started working out at MBT after a weight gain from a fractured ankle:
Yes- from May 2013 to now is a decent amount of change… But the recent numbers are just barely moving. And the scale was even moredepressing- maybe 5-8lbs since JULY. Beth was firm that I looked different, and wanted to see where my body fat was at with the calipers. So we went thru the pinching, and the adding… and there it was… measurable change. Freaking finally:
Woohoo! Woohoo! Whoohoo!
YESSSS!!! I have been aiming for a body fat percentage under 20% since the very beginning… So I will be honest when I tell you that I may have done the Carlton when I saw that.
Yes, yes, yes… Numbers do not define you. But if you are measuring your change and progress- please let me be an example… take lots of different measurements. By *just* looking at my tape measures and the scale it would appear that I have not made much change at all in the last 6 months. However, my total body fat measures show a completely different story. Those pinches show that I have changed my body *composition*. My area and mass have not changed much- but the amount of toned muscle has increased by grannies, fat has actually been burned away and I do in fact look completely different.
Take pictures. Take tape measures. Record your weight, your fuel, and how you feel. Have your body fat measured. Record your jeans size. All of these things matter… you may not see progress on the scale or in the tape measure- but you may see it in how your jeans fit. And any progress is important and should be measured and celebrated!
Not only am I thrilled with my Body Fat progress- but I don’t feel like shit anymore. I have learned so much about how important food is, about what a balanced training plan looks like, and most importantly how to really listen to my body and decipher the signals it sends me. That said- I don’t have it all figured out- in the least! haha! I have recently started the Metabolic Effect eating plan- and made some realizations on errors in my eating up till now (mostly just not eating enough for all the new muscle, and I wasn’t paying enough attention to fiber). I have learned that as my body changes- I have to make adjustments too… In other words, the diet and exercise that worked for the obese me won’t be the same formula for the overweight me, or the leaner version of me.
On Sunday I will be running the Georgia Spartan Sprint with a good friend, and freshman to the OCR scene. It’s his day to celebrate! He has been rehabbing injury and knee surgeries and working hard for 2 years… AND TOMORROW I WILL WELCOME HIM TO SPARTA! I am so ridiculously giddy! I plan on taking some pictures to post up here for comparison of where I was last year at my own first Spartan race and now… I will blog about it all as soon as the bruises fade- AROO! AROO! AROO!