Sunday, May 5, 2013

To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

Hey readers!  Sorry for not posting last week.  Nothing was wrong.  I just didn't have anything profound to share, and I'm thinking that's not a bad thing.  I feel like my new lifestyle is taking hold and cementing into place, and sometimes I don't have much to report. 

Or it could have been because I did my longest, long run as part of my 14 week training program for the Cleveland Half Marathon (TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY! YIKES!), and it completely tired me out.  10 miles.  I think it went well.  I felt like it would have been better if I had water available to drink though out.  I was quite dehydrated after finishing so I talked up on water to rehydrate. The half marathon has many water breaks so I feel I'll be okay.  Plus, when I finished I felt like I could still continue, and at that distance, I would only have 3 more miles left. I definitely feeling better about the Half.

This past Saturday, I ran my first 5K and I finished in about 43 minutes. I'm not sure of my official time.  The results will be posted soon, and I'll make sure to share those when available.  I'm glad I got a bit of practice running with a group because it does make you start off at a faster pace.  I was able to slow myself down and find my pace to finish the race comfortably.  I was hoping to beat my indoor treadmill time (42 minutes), but that last hill was tough, and with the wind against me, it slowed me down.  No worries.  I'm pleased with my finish. 

I am pleased.  Interesting.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm really pleased with what I've been able to accomplish so far.  I've lost a substantial amount of weight.  My energy is up.  My chronic conditions are under control.  I'm
building muscle.  I'm stronger and faster.  But... The scale isn't moving.  In fact, it hasn't moved for quite sometime.  I'm straddling between 210 - 220.  Not really moving.  So, should I be proud of that?  No movement.  My weight is stationary.  So, is that it?  I mean, should I throw in the towel since I'm not going to meet that 160 pound "Magic Number?"
And where did I get that number anyway?  How did I know 160 pounds was going to be my "Magic Number?"  I basically pulled that number out of my ass thinking I'd probably be most happy and healthy at that number.  It sounded good at the time.  I figured I'd look pretty hot, too.  I don't know.  I'm shrugging as I'm typing this. 
So, If I never reach that "Magic Number," does that mean I failed?  The scale doesn't lie, and that's what I've been using as my measuring stick.  What am I getting at?
Perhaps, I chose the wrong measuring stick.
Usually, I weight myself mid-week to see if I'm "on track."  If I see a one pound loss at that point, I'm super happy, and continue with the week.  If I don't, I'm sad for a bit and keep trucking along.  Lately, I've been indifferent and slightly disappointed that I've been all over the place.  I've tried so many things to try to keep my body in "weight loss mode," and it just won't cooperate.  And although the scale hasn't moved, other things have happened that makes me feel I'm still moving forward.
My run times are getting better. I've finally found my run pace. I deadlifted 225 pounds... an all-time best. I snatched 40 pound kettlebells on each hand... another all-time best. Push ups improving? Check.  Planks improving?  Yep.  Finished my first Metabolic class.  Check.  Do my clothes still fit?  Yes.  I'm wearing a size 14 comfortably. Yup.  All of that, and the scale still hasn't moved.
I made a huge mistake, and I think I finally accepted it this week.  On Thursday, after my Krazy Kettlebell workout with my Worldclass Trainer, we lied back on the lovely artificial turf outside on a beautiful Spring afternoon (I love working out outside).  I'm basking in the sunshine and enjoying the sweat of my labor (it was a kick ass workout).  I posed a question to her, and I value her advice greatly.  I told her I don't think I'm going to weigh myself anymore. I don't feel that my success should be measured by an arbitrary number pulled out of my ass.  Perhaps, my success should be measured in how fast I can run.  How high I can jump.  How heavy a kettlebell I can swing, and how much I can deadlift.
She came me the "DUH" look, which I surely deserve.  She said she doesn't weigh herself at all.  She doesn't own a scale.  The only time she gets on one is if she goes to the doctor.  Success is not measured my the scale.  It's measured by your accomplishments.  Set fitness goals...not weight loss goals.
She's right.  I can't throw everything I've accomplished away just because the scale says so.  My day shouldn't suffer because I gained a pound from yesterday.  My week shouldn't be an utter failure because I gained two pounds.  The scale only gives you a point in time measurement.  That's it.  That's all it does.  It doesn't measure how much water you are holding or how much muscle you've gained.  It just gives you a number, and I'm TIRED of living and dying by it.
I haven't weighed myself in two weeks.  Yes. I'm still freaking out a bit. I sometimes want to weight myself just to make sure that cookie I ate didn't make me gain 8 pounds.  And REALLY!  Is one cookie going to make me gain 8 pounds considering I work out hella hard SIX times a week?  That is unhealthy behavior, and I know it.  So, I'm stopping it.  No more scale.   I don't know when the next time will be.  One week?  One month?  Who knows.  I just know there is a Better Way, and the scale isn't it.

A true measure of success... Doing things you never thought you would be able to do.  

Update!  My official finish time 43 min 23.4 sec!