Old dogs, new tricks

I’ll try to keep these fitness posts to one a week or so, but something significant happened this morning.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m what you might call an all-or-nothing type. Feast or famine. Pedal-to-the-metal or sitting in the garage. In other words, the finding of moderation and balance continues to be an ongoing challenge.

But I think, at long last, I might be on the right track …

Yesterday I swam a half km, then put in 30 mins/4 ams on the new elliptical and finished off with my 30 min weights circuit courtesy of Jillian Michaels. All good. On plan, on target. The goal today was to swap out the swim for the walk/run plan (because I could feel the swim in my upper body) but stick to the elliptical and the weights circuit – and then this afternoon I have my first Pilates class.

Well. I made it 2 km/15 mins on the elliptical and thought … I’m really feeling it in my quads. And running/walking is higher intensity. So I’m going to stop now and do the run, then the weights circuit. So I did. By the time I finished I was pouring sweat but not exhausted and I felt fine. As in, no temptation to beat myself up like a punching bag for modifying my original plan. I mean, really I want to be swimming 6 days a week, plus the other stuff, and I will get to that. But right now I am listening to my body, respecting it, and making adjustments accordingly. Right now I am working on an inside out approach, not an outside in. I am no longer going to impose an arbitrary workout schedule on myself. I refuse to fall into the trap, ever again, of berating myself with what I should be doing. Instead I’m going to focus on what I can do, reasonably, taking into my account how I feel from day to day. If I can do more great, I’ll do more. If I need to do less, I’ll do less. Provided the cumulative result is positive, it’s all good.

I have no doubt this sounds absurdly obvious to most of you. Probably it is. But I’m a driven Type A personality who struggles to accept anything less than perfection and brilliance in everything I do. Which makes me very tiresome, I know, and I’m working on it. I think this is an important step!

In other news, I’ve booked in for a Dexa body composition scan. I need to have some concrete info on where I’m at right now and where I should be heading because realistically I just don’t know. I mean, I look at old eps of The Biggest Loser on Youtube (they really are often very inspiring and motivating) and I see women whose scale weight is the same as mine, or really close, and they are clearly carrying a lot more body fat. Which means I’m carrying more muscle and possibly bone density. But I don’t know how much and which part of the scale weight is what. So that’s what I’ll be finding out tomorrow and that info in turn will help me craft a realistic weight loss goal. Because there’s nothing more dodgy than assigning yourself an arbitrary scale weight that seems to fit the BMI range and that stuff, but which is entirely unrealistic due to your body composition. And I think it will help me get out of the ‘slave to the scale’ mentality which can be so emotionally dangerous.

So it’s not about the scale weight, it’s about the % of body fat, and provided that’s in the healthy range the number on the scale is irrelevant. I mean, I have to keep reminding myself that according to the BMI charts Arnold Schwarzenegger was morbidly obese when he was winning his body building titles with something like 5% body fat! Or less! So yeah … time to rethink the whole approach.

And once I have that baseline, I’ll get another scan in 3 months and see what’s changed.

Ah, the ongoing saga. How about you guys? How do you deal with these kinds of issues?

2 thoughts on “Old dogs, new tricks

    • Sometimes working out time is perfect for doing your ‘head writing’ before you tackle putting the words down on screen. And truly, if you don’t safeguard your physical well being, the writing will suffer. I am the lopsided, disc-challenged living proof of that! *g*

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