Last Sunday I weighed 192. Today I weigh 189. Three pounds this week is a respectable loss. I stayed on plan every day, no junk, no binges, with only a bit of extra fat on that party day I already shared about. I walked almost every day a mile or two with the pup. I only lifted weighs one day though. This was year-end recital week for my girl, so I was super busy. I will be sure and lift 3x this week. I want my arms to feel strong!
My plan continues for the coming week: stay off the cheese (even the allowed, low fat cheeses), eat lots of salads and lean proteins like chicken breast, fish, and Egg Beaters.
I had a thought last night about bodies. I am always just thrilled to watch the dancers in our recitals and how they have trained and strengthened their bodies to move. The older kids (teens) are so energetic and flexible and toned. They dance so enthusiastically in one number and then a few songs and a costume change later, they are back on the stage dancing again. They have such endurance. I see how they have conditioned their bodies to dance and leap and move. It is just amazing.
I think back to when I was a teen and how absolutely out of shape I was. I was never allowed to participate in sports or dance or gymnastics or anything like that. My mom didn't either. She was quite obese and inactive and the most activity I ever saw her do was when we went "swimming" in an indoor hotel pool. She'd sort of bob around a bit, wave her arms underwater, and tell me she was exercising. I never saw her go for a walk... not once. Never saw her do any yard work... not once. No other activity at all. A lot of TV watching and potato chips, though. My Dad was much older than she was, and his activity level pretty much matched hers. He did work in a store so he was actively on his feet at work, but at home he was fairly sedentary. He did the yard work (with me) which was not much, and he took me bowling once in awhile. I remember him playing Frisbee in the yard with me once. But that's about it. Me? I read books, did homework, watched TV, played outside with friends, and took swimming lessons in the summer as a child. I had a bike, too. When I became a teen, I no longer played outside or rode my bike or swam. I worked an office job, walked around quite a bit, and shot a few hoops with friends. But I never, ever exerted myself by running, lifting weights, or playing any sports. Well, I take that back. There was one summer when out of boredom I began hitting a tennis ball against the side of my house and onto the roof with a badminton racket. It got me running and it was so fun and I felt so fantastic that I started imagining I would someday be a great college tennis player. I used to put on my Penn State tee shirt and my visor and play for hours against the house. I didn't understand what that exercise was doing for my body... only that I felt amazing afterwards. But that only lasted one summer; my folks were not interested in getting me into actual tennis lessons, much less encouraging me to go to college.
My body was mushy. And when I looked at the cheerleader girls and the volleyball girls and the softball girls, and how they looked so much better than I did, I didn't understand why. I thought the girls with the good bodies got to play sports. But in fact I think kids who play sports actively condition their bodies and generally look better. I wish someone had explained that to me when I was a teen. It never occurred to me that I could condition my body that way. I never knew the benefits of vigorous exercise. And now that I finally "get it," I have a 41-year-old body that is not going to condition the way a 19-year-old one will. I sometimes feel sorry for myself and my very damaged knees, my arthritic hips, my joints that need to be replaced and cannot support that level of activity anymore. I wish I had done it when I was younger. But you know, I may not be able to run or jog or play sports, but I sure can strength train, walk, swim, and bike. I bet I can get into pretty good shape if I keep working at it.
The more you weigh, the more effort it takes to move. But also, the more out of shape you are, the harder it is to move. Even at a higher weight we can strengthen and condition our bodies and make it easier to move! So instead of lamenting what we don't have, let's focus on what we can do now and what the possibilities are! Maybe you can't imagine yourself strong and toned, but I believe it is within your power. We will only know what is possible if we try!
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