“Fitness is like climate change”
I’ll apologize in advance for the Siriusly longest post I’ve had so far I think. But I think it’s another good one. Should I say co-authored in part by Chris Topher?
I told Chris I was stealing this lovely nugget of a gem that he came up with, and while he said it was fine, I’m backtracking and giving him credit where credit’s due.
I was in a fairly good mood during the day. I got to sleep in a little, had a good laugh at a comedy routine on Netflix, had a great personal training session at Experience Momentum. Even enjoyed the WOD. In fact I more than enjoyed it- it was super-mondo fun with Kate Stein, Marie and Chrissie and I competing against Chris, Brent Kuester, Danny, and Giancarlos. We lost, but just barely (it ended up being 7 rounds for the boys and just 10 reps short of 7 rounds for the girls- soooo close!). And then a few of us joined in with Bob Park‘s 5:30 class warmup, with his special ladder of coordination exercises. So all that should have easily trumped the “devastation” that followed. But if you know me…..
I decided to measure my body fat. And so begins my ultra long digressive saga about my fracking body fat.
In September of last year I started a Thanksgiving Shred so I would feel confident and smoking hot in a bikini while vacationing in Hawaii for thanksgiving. I had hoped to get down to about 18-19% body fat. I started at 21% so while I knew it’d be hard, I thought it was doable. I busted ass, performed a different exercise challenge and killed that, tried paleo for a month, and ended up on the week I was leaving at 22%.
Meh. I wasn’t all that upset. I still rocked out in my bikini and skimpy dresses. And felt damn good! I knew I’d get my ass in gear when I got home and make 18% fat my goal for 2015.
I don’t know if December was just unkind to me or if I ate candy canes and fruit cake in my sleep, but it was rougher than I’d like to admit. My willpower to resist temptations, especially at work, has seemed to plummet. But I accounted for these splurges and entered them and even with the added treats, I was hitting or even going under my caloric goal. So, I shouldn’t worry? Right?
Well I worry because it seems the second I STOP worrying is when my fat comes back with a vengeance.
So I measured myself. And got 25%. TWENTY-FIVE!?!?!
When I started Biggest Loser last year, I was around 28%. By the end of April I was at 22% and for a quick moment during the summer I was actually down to just below 20%. It probably had to do something with me giving up breads, cereals, and artificial sweeteners (which I still avoid to this day). But now I’m all the way back up to 25?!?! What kind of bullshit is this?!?!
I’ve noticed my weight has also been creeping up. But one things I’ve been really trying to do is stop worrying about the stupid scale, so I’ve been weaning myself from weighing myself daily to every three days and hoping to stretch it out to once a week. But when I saw the scale read 165 lbs, I freaked the F out and my anxiety has started me weighing every morning again. Wasn’t I JUST 155 last month? I mean, I know I’m trying to gain muscle but I am seriously seriously doubting that I gained that much in 4 weeks!
So I looked at MyFitnessPal to see where I’ve been going wrong. And as far as staying on target for calories, I’m not going wrong. I have consistently been meeting my caloric goal everyday for the past month. Even when I sneaked goodies, like pie. I did see two things that sent red flags: 1) I’ve increased my intake of red meat. I have allowed myself this “luxury” because I discovered a place that provides locally sourced, grass fed pasture raised beef and bison. But it has increased my intake significantly and that’s a good amount of fat. And 2) I’m not being anal retentive about logging my meals and (I guess this is 2.5) my macros have been pretty wonky.
But I am eating better. I AM working hard! So why am I not just not seeing results, but feel like I’m regressing?
So Chris was pissing me off with all his positivity. But he did say something that struck a chord with me. He made a connection to fitness and conservation.
“Isn’t looking at the scale and calibrator and basing your entire outlook on what it says each day a lot like saying climate change isn’t real because it’s cold. Today. Where I live?”
I stared at him.
“What?” He asks.
“Yes. Fine! Yes, it’s exactly like that!”
Yup. Our fitness journey is like climate change. One day’s reading is not the finality of where you are or where you are going.
And like climate change, one should look at all the information and find underlying trends:
- My size 6 pants still fit
- I am definitely getting stronger
- Weight is up
- Body fat is up
- Trying to balance budget on groceries and eating clean, lean, and Green. Each month I get better at it, but it is REALLY hard!
- Work has added stressors
- I am eating more red meat
- I am not measuring precisely every minute item I put in my mouth
- I have weaker resistance to temptation
- I am snacking (even though lightly) later at night
- I am averaging only about 75 oz of water a day
- I am sleeping on average 5 hours a night
- I spend more than 3 hours a day on Facebook or Netflix.
- I am not taking weight loss supplements anymore (I see this as a positive though)
- I don’t have a specific challenge participating in like Biggest Loser
I know it’s a pretty exhaustive list. I also know I can’t change EVERYTHING on that list overnight. And frankly, that’s a lot like climate change also. We will not fix all of those issues at once either. But if we take a couple issues at a time and just like fitness, healthy lifestyle, and the idea of 100 Ways of Fitness, create better long-lasting habits, we will see progress and we can make this a much better world.
….I hate it when Chris is right….