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"Why I don't make cardio my focus..."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Of late, I'm encountering people who are struggling as I was after two months here in 2008, and my heart aches for them. I offer the following for those who are willing to listen, and perhaps transform their own journey.

Okay. The first time I focussed on 'weight loss' (January 2008 when I first registered on SparkPeople) I did what was suggested to me by SparkPeople: I was walking an hour a day (6 km), staying within my calorie range (1200 - 1500), my macro nutrients ranges (carbs, fats, protein), and eating clean (no processed food) as I always have.

I lost 16 pounds by the end of February, and then...
...and months...
...nearly 48 months, in fact.

I kept walking and eating within range.

I eventually got frustrated (end of March).

I considered I may not be doing enough, so I joined a couple of challenges.

I became very bewildered (end of April)... people all around me - 400 plus '40-50 somethings with 50-99 pounds to lose' - doing the same things I was (some not even as diligently) continued losing day after day, month after month.

I got ANGRY (end of May)... and I quit actively Sparking (withdrew from my teams, stopped blogging, stopped logging in daily).

I was embarrassed.
I felt inadequate.
I felt envious.
I felt like a failure.
I felt invisible among the 'whoo hoos' and back slapping being shared amongst my 'successful' Sparkfriends.

I felt better physically... and I was happier than I'd been in awhile...
So... I didn't stop trying to figure things out for myself.

I'd log on to SparkPeople and I'd read, research, peek in on the blogs of others, and I started to notice some things...
...very few people only on teams reflecting their interests (like I was) were making very little progress.
...many people were doing cardio like mad, yet were plateaued just like me.
...people who lost weight quickly were back and 'starting over'... some who had lost up to a hundred pounds.
...many people who had passed me with their success were 'gone'.

It finally dawned on me that this process was not as straightforward as I had expected it to be... it was going to take more than 'eat less, move more'.

I realized that the cookie cutter approach wasn't going to work either... 'losing weight' is a very individualized process.

I also came to the understanding that I was no longer interested in 'losing weight'. I wanted to ELIMINATE FAT.

Then, just as I geared up to put my new convictions into practice, I fell, gave myself a brain injury, and spent a year recovering... because I subsequently lost all my strength. I watched my muscles literally waste away. I finally knew what I didn't want. I didn't like how my body looked (for the first time ever), and I didn't like how it felt to have no strength/tone. yeah, I looked 'thinner' but I was soft/squishy (I was fat' but never 'squishy')... THAT was new look/feeling I wasn't keeping any longer than I had to.

I was more convinced than ever that I needed a different approach than that with which I had started. And so...

I'm choosing effective over quick.

I'm choosing strong over thin.

I'm choosing long term over immediate gratification.

I'm choosing 'eliminating fat' over 'losing weight'.

I'm choosing!

The following is a clip/resource shared by my Sparkfriend Rena (REDSHOES2011). It offers a perspective I'm not sure many people really consider when they head out into this adventure... which is, in my opinion, a mistake. I've come to see that a large percentage of people join SparkPeople with a very narrow focus... and those who hold to that are rarely as successful as they would wish.

So, for your consideration:

Cardio vs Weight Training: Why I don't do cardio...

dieted thin
(you can still be this definition of 'thin' and have an unhealthy BMI)

cardio thin
(you can still be this definition of 'thin' and have an unhealthy BMI)

muscular thin
(eliminates fat, NOT weight)

There are a lot of mitigating circumstances that have me only now and once again actively eliminating fat, but already the journey is transformed and transformative because rather than focussing on what I hope to lose, I now know what I hope to gain.


...Because life (and SparkPeople) is a journey toward AUTHENTICITY!



'BEFORE' Pictures (May 31, 2009 - September, 2011) & Continuing PROGRESS (February 2012)!

(I'm now keeping these right under my nose... in addition to being part of every blog I post, they are printed off and taped to my bedroom mirror)

Measurements, Musings & Motivation to MOVE!

(UPDATED: February, 2012)

I've Reached My Goal Weight!!!!!!!

NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!
(Tom Venuto)

UNTIL. (My 'Just Do It' blog)

Leaving NORMAL

DONE Girl Love...

(the footsteps into which I place my own feet)

esthetician, personal trainer
Her YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/the

How A Mother Of Two Bounced Back From A Devastating Disease, Lost 87 Pounds in Under 6 Months And Became A Body Transformation Champion!

(Sorry about the commercial... no sales being encouraged, just sharing a resource useful to me... yet, just because there is a commercial attatched, doesn't make the story any less inspiring... and there are all sorts of Sparks doing the same thing - go through my friends and be AMAZED! Don't be afraid to think/step outside the box!)

Words CAN Be Enough... page 2

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am a little lost of how to lose fat and not lbs. I can't watch the videos here but will as soon as possible so I can get in the loop. I am a scale watcher but after realizing what terrible shape I was in I am working on strength training, yoga, as well as cardio to start to shape up.
    2262 days ago
    I've changed my ticker to reflect how much this shift was needed. Thanks for speaking it so clearly. For me, it was not to be ignored! Maybe there's something to "timing is everything". ~ann
    2264 days ago
    Eliminating fat is not about "losing weight". You've got the right idea. I just eliminated 10 lbs of fat with only 3 lbs of scale weight loss in 7 weeks doing the BFFM challenge. My body completely changed. I see people just doing cardio and look the same year after year. It's all about changing body composition, and you can't do that just doing cardio.
    2265 days ago
    emoticon Blog!! emoticon One Day At a Time!!
    2265 days ago
    Great blog Ramona, thank you for sharing emoticon
    2265 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.