Fitness Minutes: (21,732)
905 3/3/13 9:22 A
Good point! So true. I haven't been able to truly identify my goals since hitting my healthy BMI. That was my main, original one. Frankly, I never had any fitness goals. Fitness has always been a bi-product of weight loss for me and I know it should really be the other way around. I need to re-evaluate what I really want (besides the absence of a muffin top). I can dance the night away now without fatigue or excessing sweating and I could always out-swim my whole family, so I need to find reasons to become better at the things I do enjoy. I guess I want stronger legs to be able to better keep up with DH when we go for bike rides. It would be nicer too, to plan some long, destination bike trips. 100 push-ups? Absolutely! Can't IMAGINE the pride that would give me. I did a mini triathlon once (called Try a Tri) and I could see myself training for something more challenging in the same category. Kayaking - YES!! But I've seen people much less fit than I be able to kayak, maybe they're just doing leisurely floats. IDK...
Anyway, yes, this has been really helpful in getting me thinking and soon enough I'll be setting some real, tangible, SMART goals once again which, I'm sure, will help me re-gain my spark!
It sounds to me like goals are the thing that are missing here.
You had some goals around fitness and weight loss when you started, and it sounds like you have largely achieved them. But without new goals, it sounds a bit from your post that you are drifting.
So perhaps you need to think about creating some new goals for yourself. As a couple of examples.
You mention walk/run intervals. Perhaps you could sign up for a 5K or 10K in late Spring/summer. This isn't a marathon, but it would give some focus for your training until then.
You also mention kayaking. So stick up a photo of someone kayaking on your fridge, and think about what it would take to achieve that. A strong core to keep the boat stabilized. Strong shoulders and arms to propel yourself through the water.
Don't think just "I want to be fit", but rather "I want to be fit enough to be able to ...."
it's your body and you get to decide what it looks like. Working out is finding something you like to do so you will keep on doing it. For me I love my weight lifting classes so I keep on going. Have you thought about some weight training........? Or maybe a water aerobics class...? I would do your homework at to what you might like doing for working out. something that gives you drive and passion.
Fitness Minutes: (21,732)
905 3/2/13 3:43 P
I teach Zumba at Curves, and will be creating a new routine during the month of March for launch in April. I love Zumba, but I don't actually enjoy leading the class.
Great ideas though. I like it. I do want a stronger body, especially my core. I'd love to learn to kayak (how did you know?) and I've been toying with the idea of learning yoga for years now, but the Zumba prep. will keep me busy for a while now.
Fitness Minutes: (34,797)
704 3/2/13 3:33 P
It sounds to me like you need a new goal!
You are a good weight for you, you have a very active lifestyle and are getting enough exercise for cardiovascular health. Losing weight doesn't seem like a good goal for you right now.
Is there something else physical you want to acheive? Run a fast 5k? Teach a fitness class? Grow some muscles? Learn to Kayak? Start Yoga?
It sounds to me like you need a new and exciting challenge!
Fitness Minutes: (21,732)
905 3/2/13 3:32 P
Thanks. I knew you'd have some great advice. Another sign of how pre-contemplative I must really be to move past this point since you're right that another six pounds is not much, but I've only set my goal as 150 to (once again) be on the cautious side. I really have no idea what I want to weigh since I haven't actually been happy with my size and shape since I was 17 (and not even then of course). I have no idea what I need to weigh to get rid of the remaining stubborn fat around my middle. I had been tracking my bf%age but was not seeing any change in that number either. I am measuring and am seeing very small changes, but as you say, things move veeerrry slowly at this point and it can be very hard to keep focussed at this rate.
Like you, I AM trying to focus on my fitness and health goals. In fact I have gone from not being able to do even one REAL push-up to being able to do 10 within the past few months of working down the stairs like the Sparkpeople feature suggested and I'm so proud of that. I'm not much of a distance runner, so there won't be any marathons in my future and all my ST is done in the form of the Curves resistance machines or body weight excercises like squats, lunges, push ups, planks etc. So, that said, I find it hard to set specific fitness goals for myself, but I sure am enjoying watching the definition form in the areas of my body NOT shrouded in fat (arms and legs).
I do want to re-evaluate my goals, but at this point, I don't really know what I can accomplish, so I don't know where to start in setting realistic ones. I have gone from size 24 and I have one pair of (generous) size 8 pants that I just bought and I'm pretty proud of that too, but I want to be able to wear pants with no muffin top. I can't remember post-pubescent time in my life that I could ever do that!
Do you WANT to lose more weight? I mean, really really want to? Because if you don't, IT'S OKAY. You're at a healthy weight. Your bodyweight presents no risks to you. You can stay at this weight - which you say is like a 'set point' for you anyway, and that's fine.
I would suggest that you take a really good, hard, honest look at what you really want for yourself. Maybe this is just where you are happiest -- able to maintain this weight without excessive effort, a place your body feels comfortable, and a healthy weight -- and if so, that's great! Congratulations and enjoy it!! Sometimes we set goal weights that are too low and we can literally waste years fighting to hit those goals for no real reason beyond an arbitrarily chosen number. There's not really any good reason to do this to yourself.
On the other hand, if you've been shaking your head and screaming "No no no no!" while reading this post... then find your motivation and DEFINE it. Visualize what you want to achieve and write it down. Make short, ambitious but achievable goals that are not based on bodyweight alone. Set several different (progressive if you want) fitness challenges for yourself like: Compete in a 5K. Then, run a 5K in x amount of time. Then, run a 10K. And so on.
I think your excuse #4 is a bit paranoid though -- you won't ruin your metabolism by becoming more fit. What you will do, by reducing your bodyweight, is reduce the number of calories you can eat without gaining weight - but that has nothing to do with eating 1200 calories (or whatever), it has to do with a lighter body taking fewer calories to power. That's just what you get when you lose weight, of course. The only way around that is the slow, tortuous slog of putting on lean mass, and even that won't fully make up the difference for you. Something to consider in trying to decide if you want to reduce your weight further.
I think in your post you've conflated "losing weight" and "getting fit" because of course increasing your activity level is about getting fit, not about losing weight. It's a great idea always to strive to become more fit or at least to maintain one's current level of fitness, but you can certainly do that while eating more than 1350 calories/day, weighing what you weigh now, with the genetics you have, and with a healthy BMI (knocking out excuses 2-5).
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,666 3/2/13 2:55 P
Excuse #1 - Trying to start out at where you want to be for life is a recipe for disaster. Losing weight is not about the exercises we do, rather, it's about the food we eat! We adjust our diets based on the amount of exercise we do. We still aim for the same weight. You start with what you can do, right now, and avoid trying to do too much, too soon, which can lead to burnout and injury.
Make time for what you can, adjust your fitness goals here to meet it, and eat in the calorie range provided, all while reaching for a reasonable weekly weight loss goal. Your goal will be the same if you're sedentary, or if you're running a marathon weekly. With only 6 lbs to go, that means you'll be losing AT MOST a quarter of a pound a week (and that's on the upper end.
Add the exercise you want to do and can maintain for life. Adjust your goals accordingly.
Excuse #2: There's something to that. You only have 6 lbs to go... your weight is not a static number, and 5 lbs is well within the normal fluctuation range in any given day/week. I've gone up/down as much as 9 lbs in a single 24 hour period, myself!
Why not readjust your goals, and focus instead on body fat percentage? The number on the scale does not tell you how much body fat you have, how much lean muscle you have, what size clothes you wear, or how you feel day to day.
Excuse #3: Again, there's something to that; where we hold weight IS genetic. However, where you have fat deposits is more about body fat percentage than anything else. Since you can't target loss, you have to lose fat all over. See my previous answer to #2.
Excuse #4: Are you strength training? Strength training will boost your metabolism, boost lean muscle mass, improve composition, and help you look and feel better in the skin you're in.
Excuse #5: Motivation comes from within. It may be time to re-evaluate your goals. YOu may not be ABLE to hit 150, but that doesn't mean you have to accept your body as-is. Focus not on the scale, but non-scale goals like body fat percentage, fitness level (sign up for a race or a challenge!) One of my goals is to do 100 pushups. Real ones. I also want to be able to do a pull up, run a 5k, and eventually on my bucket list is a half-marathon. Will I ever compete in the Olympics? Will I run an ultra-marathon? No. But these are goals that are important to me, and will mean more to me than any number on the scale.
The scale is a fickle mistress. She is affected by the food you eat, the water you drink, your hormones, the sodium in your food, the pull of the tides, even what planet you're standing on. I don't use that as my primary means of progress.
I've lost 26 lbs. But what I'm prouder of is going from a size 16 to a 12, being able to outrun my 16 year old niece, and being able to do a real pushup. 10 of them!
Fitness Minutes: (21,732)
905 3/2/13 2:43 P
I have so many reasons not to up my activity level.
Excuse #1 - (this one is truly legitimate and I'd love some feedback on it) I want to "start as I mean to go on". In other words, I'm quite concerned that I will up my excercise to a level that allows me to lose, but I won't be able to maintain it and then ultimately won't be able to maintain the weight loss either. I have been physically active since 2010 when I started my healthy habits and have been able to keep it up, but only on average about 3 days per week at about 30 mins per day, give or take. I have changed up my activities to include things that I enjoy including Zumba, biking, swimming, walk/run intervals, Curves circuit training and body weight exercises. I know, though, that I should be doing 5-6 days per week and probably more like 45-60 mins per day and maybe even up the intensity, but as a busy mom working two jobs, I just don't think I have the time or the discipline to carry on like that indefinately. Thoughts?
Excuse #2 - I'm hovering around my body's "set point". Any truth to this concept? I don't know, but at almost 45 years old, I have been struggling with getting any lower than my current weight now for about 2 years. At the age of 23 I was at this same weight having the same struggles and this was the lowest I could get and stay. Ie: My wedding dress would fit me today.
Excuse #3 - It's genetic. My mother carried all her excess weight in her torso as do I. Even as she aged and during her palliative days; quickly losing weight, she got tiny everywhere but her tummy.
Excuse #4 - I don't want to mess with my metabolism. I don't want to have to eat so few calories just to lose weight that I screw around with my metabolism. I'd like it to keep humming, but am afraid if I go lower than say 1350 calories for any extended period of time, that is what will happen.
Excuse #5 - Well, I am healthy even by BMI standards. As the weight came off, the determination to lose deteriorated. The heavier you are, the more reasons you have to push yourself hard. Now, at the high end of my BMI range, I have become too complacent and the only reason that I want to keep losing is to become more fit and look better. I wonder if that is just not motivating enough for me.
Thoughts or comments to combat these excuses welcome.
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