Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weight-loss vs. Fitness

I have a confession.  My favorite part of going to the gym and working out is ogling other people.  Seriously.  I'm not ogling in a sexual-kind-of-way though.  And I don't focus on one gender or the other.  I just find it fascinating to watch a well-developed body exercise.  The best part of watching those sleek, incredible bodies move is knowing that if I keep on the course that I've set for myself, I may eventually have one of those sleek, incredible bodies myself!  And then I'll get to be ogled too!  Wait a minute...I'm not sure I like that idea.  Hmmm....might have to think about that one some more!

My family's Biggest Loser challenge ends on April 8th.  I have no doubt that I'm too far away to win it.  My weight bumped back up a few pounds and has held steady there for the last month.  I'm hovering just under 230.  I have a theory...I don't think our bodies are all that great at multi-tasking.  I think maybe my body goes through cycles.  Right now, I'm in a muscle-building cycle.  I crave protein and have more of an appetite.  My weight is staying steady and not dipping down much.  But I am building more muscle and my clothes are definitely fitting differently.  My new jeans that I just bought a couple weeks ago don't fit all that well in the waist anymore.  I have a few extra inches there now and have to keep pulling the damn things back up before I start flashing a "plumber's crack".  Speaking of which, has anyone seen the new ruched panties from Victoria's Secret?  Isn't it bad enough that we see butt-cleavage already?  Now people are making it look even more like cleavage!

Anyway, back to the point....I'm not going to be the Biggest Loser in my family.  And that's okay.  Know why?  Because even if I'm not the biggest loser, I can still manage to get into the gym and work my ass off for an hour or more!  The last couple of days, I've been adding in some new exercise stuff.  I've discovered a machine that simulates roller-blading/ice-skating kind of movements.  It works my muscles differently.  So I've been doing 15 minutes on the new machine and then switching over to the hard-core, ass-kicker elliptical.  Based on what the machines are telling me, I burn about 1300-1400 calories during the time I'm on exercising!  Seriously hard-core!  Six months ago, 10 minutes on an elliptical would have made me feel like I was having a heart attack and would have left me sore for days.  Now, I'm barely even sore when I'm finished and it takes more than an hour to make my muscles even feel weary!  That's an incredible thing!  So what if I'm not the biggest loser?  I'm definitely in much better shape than I was in before I started all this and I have pride in my body.  I'm in awe of what my body is capable of doing!

As I mentioned above, I'm weighing in around 230 lbs right now.  I haven't looked at the scale in a couple of weeks, so I don't know just how accurate that is, but I don't feel like I've dropped much since then.  I met a woman at the gym the other day.  She was really pretty, sweet, friendly.  We started talking when she asked me about my bottle of water (I'm a huge fan of Smart Water's 1L bottles, but they're expensive.  Found the same thing at Trader Joe's in TJs brand for half the price!).  Turns out this amazing woman used to weigh 250.  She's lost 70 and now weighs 180.  That is phenomenal!  I was in awe of her and wanted to get across to her how proud of herself she should be for accomplishing that.  But it flew right by her.  She said she's been stuck at 180 for months and it's just not budging.  You know what the major difference is between her and me?  It's not our weights or our positions in our journeys.  It's the journey that we've chosen to take and the resulting emotions and sense of accomplishment.  We're on very similar journeys.  Mine is a journey for fitness and will never end.  Hers is a journey for weight loss and it ends when she reaches her ideal weight.  If she reaches her ideal weight.  I'm not saying one is bad and the other is good.  Any journey that gets you moving towards a healthier life is an excellent thing.  I think the major difference between the two journeys is where our focus lies.  I imagine weight-loss being like having tunnel-vision.  You look down the path and see that ideal number and you focus on that and how far you are from accomplishing that.  For myself in my own fitness journey, I don't focus on the end because it's never going to end.  It's one of those till-death-do-us-part things.  I can't focus on that kind of end!  So, I focus on what I can see.  I focus on what my body is capable of doing.  Instead of seeing the number on the scale and calculating how far it is from the ideal, I see the amount of work my body was able to do.  I see the slope from my back to my rear-end and how it's now smooth instead of lumpy.  I see the fact that it no longer looks like I have three sets of boobs because of the rolls around my tummy.  I see that my triple-chin has turned into a much more attractive double.  I know, it may not sound beautiful and wonderful to others, but it sounds fantastic to me!  I'm proud of myself and how far I've come.  I'm proud of what my body is capable of doing.  The biggest difference between this amazing woman who lost 70 lbs and me is happiness.  I'm happy with my body and I know it's going to keep on changing.  I don't look at the scale because it doesn't really matter.  Focusing on the scale makes it so much harder to see all the good things that are surrounding you, all the changes you're making, and all the accomplishments you've had so far.  It's like being in a forest and focusing on one single tree in the distance.  You miss all the beautiful sights and sounds around you!


  1. Your attitude is a healthy one Cindy. I appreciate that about you. I think my journey originally started out as a weight-loss one. I have always been fairly good about fitness...I maybe took off a few years pre-Bridget into my pregnancy with Joe...but then hopped back on the exercise train. The food component was my big thing...that I needed to reign in to lose some unwanted pounds. I have kept them off for over 7 years. I guess I have made nutrition part of my journey too.

    Keep it up. I am proud of you. You are inspiring so many with your open commentary about your fitness adventures. xoxo

  2. Love your attitude on this, as Reyna said, it is such a healthy one!

    I miss being active... I'm not so much a gym girl (although I like the eliptical), but I love playing sports. I used to play soccer, hockey, softball, volleyball... pretty much anything that was a team sport. These days I just don't have the time (or energy) to be part of a team and it makes me sad.

    Heck, I'd settle for a yoga class... SOMETHING, ANYTHING!

    Keep up the great work!

  3. stick with it, its what you do over the LONG term, not the short bursts. i look back, ive had injury breaks and things, but always got back to exercising and i have done waaaaay more days at the gym over that time, than those that i havent.

  4. You are an inspiration! Great attitude!