Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weigh In and Bodies

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!

14 comments:

Forty Pound Sack said...

My mom encouraged exercise but I, too, felt like you had to have the "good body" before you could play sports. We had a favorite game - kick the can - that I played with the neighborhood kids. That was probably the most exercise I got.

Princess Dieter said...

Saw the doc this week and getting X-rays. My knees and ankle aren't the only bad things. The stiffness and pain in knees and coccyx herald an anticipated dx or arthritis for THOSE areas...sucks monkeybutt. So, Icommisserate.

But you're right. I see a difference in my body with exercise, even with the hanging skin and fat and age. The muscle underneath gives some support and architecture, so I know I look better (though I'll never look GREAT) than if I had no pre-emptively begun training before losing actively. I had this terror of the hanging skin (which we discussed years ago), so I decided to exercise even before I managed to get my diet under control. I wanted something UNDER There to make things better....

I achieved some of what I wish. But yes, we live with the consequences of disordered eating...and it hurts. But we gotta just do what we can as we can...regrets for past errors and stupidity ....get us nowhere other than motivated not to repeat them. That's what they must be used for: not to go back.

Let's get stronger.

And good for the 3 lbs. A very, very excellent loss.

Princess Dieter said...

Oops, "hips and coccyx"...correction. My hips are painful and stiff ...

Duong Nguyen said...

I remember when I was a chubby 5th grader, my older sister would tell me that I should exercise.

When I asked her why, she would respond with "so you don't look fat". Me being in 5th grade at the time, I didn't care about looking fat.

Had she shown me that I could have built a muscular, athletic body instead, I would have been interested in that!

Oh well...I did eventually learn that though and have been able to build the body I have today :)

Anonymous said...

Right on, Lynn! I took up strength training and heavy weight lifting AFTER the age of 45. No matter the inactivity level of my "youth", I'm changing that now and I've never felt better!

Anonymous said...

41 isn't that old at all. I truly believe with a lot of hard work a person in their 40s could be in way better shape than a teen. I know in my mid 20s I'm way more fit than I was at 19 :)...and my mom is incredible shape and still wears juniors clothes at 59. It's all about dedicating yourself to a certain lifestyle and sticking with it for the long haul.

Shelley said...

I started WW in january 2011 and have only dropped 38 lbs so far. I was so out of shape, I started by walking to my mailbox and back. And worked up till I could walk a mile. I have RA and it really hurt my feet, so I started riding a bike. I have fallen off the diet wagon this weekend and eaten myself silly. I HATE myself when I do this. BUT, the more I have exercised, the better I have felt and the more I wanted to move. I don't want to be Jillian Michaels, I just want to be healthy enough to enjoy my children. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see what happens if you stick with this mindset for the next ten or twenty years. I am sure we would all be astounded (or at least, admiring) of all that you are able to accomplish. Look at how far you have already come! I bet you didn't anticipate a lot of these things at the beginning, and I am sure once you are at your goal and are maintaining it you will be an entirely new place, with new benefits and abilities you didn't know you'd gain. Keep it up, Lyn!
Marie

Anonymous said...

Three pounds is a great result! Sometimes it helps to see somebody else progress as inspiration. Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition does a good job of this, stressing progress over a longer period of time. If you're interesting, check out the show Monday nights on ABC at 10pm/9c.

Sarah from Onmyweightohappiness said...

Good job on the loss this week!

t said...

yeah 180's!!!

timothy said...

i grew up on a farm so i "worked out" daily as a child/teenager then i moved to fl and discovered air conditioning and cable! it's been downhill ever since physically! LMAO (don't i wish that was literal!) great post as always sweetie and hopefully a wake up call for any parents to make their kids MOVE!

Diandra said...

You're right. My sister, with almost 100% "optional weight", is one of the strongest and longest-lasting people I know. She can bench-press her own weight, has a great sense of balance and her own body and never tires. She used to take fencing lessons, riding lessons (for theater) and practices Oriental dance, and although she doesn't look that way, she's in better shape than many thin people I know.

Lynne said...

Great job with the loss this week. I don't LOVE exercise, but I've always done something -- and I try and set a challenge for myself that is NOT weight/body dependent. I would not recommend running the Boston Marathon at 200lbs, but I was 40 and it was on my list - big body and all. Set your sites high and challenge yourself beyond what you think is possible!!