In this post, I made a promise. I promised that when I got on the scale (after about 20 days without weighing myself) I would honestly share my feelings about the results.
Since summer, I have been tracking my calories and generally avoiding foods that prevent me from losing weight. Those foods include refined sugar, most carbs (even whole grains) and delicious fried things. I mostly eat fruit, lean protein, and veggies. I fairly regularly enjoy more indulgent meals and less frequently have amazing meals with no restrictions. I absolutely love food and I’ve finally found a way to eat healthy without it feeling like a punishment. With the exception of a few brief plateaus, I consistently lost weight until I reached about 135lbs. My 9th grade weight.
In this time, I did not exercise. My priority was getting “skinny” (well, skinnier because I never truly believed I could be a bonafide thin person). While muscles do gobble more calories, caloric restriction and choosing the right foods for your body is the key to losing weight. It just is. I’m the type of person who becomes very protective of their success. When something is working, I avoid anything that will disrupt the positive outcome or change the course. When I plateaued around 135, about 10 lbs heavier than my fantasy weight of 125, I decided it was time to get moving.
While I knew I would benefit from increasing my strength, I had consciously made the decision to get closer to my goal weight before returning to Dailey Method. Recognizing that I was afraid to return, I justified waiting by telling myself that it would be easier if I were smaller – less leg to hoist “up an inch, down an inch”. It may have been an excuse born out of fear of failure but I was completely right. The loss of the additional 20lbs I had on my legs, hips and thighs a year ago made the classes infinitely easier. My first class with my lighter body was better than my best class after three months of regular attendance last year.
Oh and running? Well, I’ve made no secret of the fact that when I did the Couch-to-5k in 2011, I was running between a 12 and 13 minute mile. I celebrated that then and I’m still proud of it because any running was a huge accomplishment since I had never done it before. Now, in Week 6, I am running consistently under a 10 minute mile, even as the length of running increases. I’m in a different head space, yes, but there’s no denying that it’s easier to move a smaller body.
Did losing weight give me the confidence to push myself to a higher level of physical ability? Yes.
But there’s so much more to it.
When I stepped on the scale a couple days ago, I didn’t know what to expect. From my body or my reaction. My body has changed very dramatically. My jiggly legs are pretty solid these days. My arms are verging on FirstLadyesque. There is clearly a lot of new, dense muscle on my body. I love the way it looks and was very curious to see what it weighed. Was I going to see 140? Was I going to see the 120’s I was aching for when I was in skinny-mode?
My weight before the challenge: 134
My current weight: 135
When I saw that, I smiled. It was almost poetic that there was virtually no change when in truth, there has been a tremendous change. Smiling at 20 days of very hard work and no weight loss is more of a change than I ever could have anticipated. Sure, I would have loved to see a lower weight but I wasn’t bothered at all! There’s no way I would trade my current body for a jiggly one that’s 10lbs lighter. Not a chance. Oh, and I’ve dropped a pant size. Oh, and much more importantly, I. Feel. Proud.
As a measure of success, the scale is currently (and maybe permanently?) irrelevant.
For years, I knew intellectually that “muscle is more dense than fat, yadda yadda, the scale doesn’t matter.” I didn’t believe it until about two days ago. How do y’all feel about it?