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The Numbers Don't Matter

Monday, August 05, 2013

For years, I've battled with my weight, and with the motivation to try to get it off. As each new year begins, I am gung ho about exercising, about getting fit, and about being a better me. And for awhile, I keep it up. I diligently recorded what I ate and how I exercised. This time, I was convinced, would be the time that would stick. And after a few weeks, maybe a month, of seeing no change in my weight, I would get discouraged. Or I would get busy and put off the work out today... only to have today turn into a week, which would turn into two, which would turn into a month and then more. And the next year would roll around, and I'd jump back into the same cycle.

I don't know what's different this time, but I can tell already that something is. See, at the beginning of the summer, I started working out with my Wii Fit disc. I'd purchased it a few months previously and had gotten into one or two days of exercising before the latest depression hit me and I didn't go back to it. But at the end of June, I decided to pick it up again and give it a try. I didn't want to post too much about it, because I knew I was going on vacation and the likelihood of me picking it back up again when I got back was pretty slim. So I worked out, mentioned it one or two times on Facebook and didn't think much of it.

The two weeks I was in the Northeast visiting family didn't include a lot of exercise. I was on vacation, and I didn't really have anything beyond my Wii Fit exercises that I knew well enough how to do alone. I tried to be a little healthier about what I ate.... but at the Jersey Shore, home of Kohr's Custard and Shriver's Taffy, it was tough. Still, I made sure to add more fruit into my diet to (hopefully) counterbalance the bad stuff I was eating... at least a little.

When I got home, coming back on to the Wii Fit seemed natural. I actually found that I missed working on my yoga poses and the ski jump balance game. Plus, we'd found out how much Teddy was weighing, and how few of his clothes he fit in. He needed to start exercising. And if I was going to make him do it, it was only fair that I did the same. I tried to bring the whole family into it, putting aside a few hours to exercise every day (since we have to take turns and we're each trying to do 20 to 40 minutes a day).

For the last two weeks, pretty much since we got back from the Shore, I've managed to work out 5 days out of 7. I never put in less than 30 minutes a day. Sometimes it's yoga and strength training. Sometimes it's purely aerobic, sometimes a combination of all the "types". And whenever I finish them, my muscles ache, I'm sweating a ton, and I'm feeling good.

The thing is, the numbers aren't seeming to show it. Instead of going down, my BMI and weight seem to fluctuate - sometimes going up by a little, sometimes going down, but usually staying around the same. In the past, I let that bother me. I mean, I've been working out for two weeks. I've been getting a LOT more exercise than I used to. (And that's not counting my marathon cleaning sessions that also have a tendency to work up a sweat.) So why aren't the numbers going down? I should be seeing SOMETHING in those numbers, right?

This time, though, I've realized that the numbers aren't what matters. What matters is me. I'm finding how good it feels to be sweaty, knowing that I got that way because I've worked hard. I'm finding that I can feel myself stretching just a little farther with my yoga, working out the kinks that seem to constantly be a part of my back muscles. I'm finding that I'm looking forward to grabbing the Wii-mote and stepping on the balance board, rather than thinking of exercise as a chore. I'm finding that my depression isn't as deep as it's been in the past. I'm finding that I'd rather make myself a smoothie for breakfast because it tastes really good, than grab a quick bowl of sugary cereal. I'm finding that I'm reaching for a big glass of ice water instead of a soda because it tastes better. I'm finding that I'm a better me.

For the first time, I also know that I'm not going it alone. It's more than just the only social support I have. I mean, since I've gotten back from vacation, I've been posting almost daily to Facebook about how much I've gotten done during the day and gotten replies of support (as well as a few suggestions) from friends. I've also gotten back on LifeKraze ( wwwlifekraze.com ) and gotten tons of support there. I'm hoping to get back here here I know I'll have the support of my friends (especially my fellow Nashvillians). But as important as those are, they don't hold a candle to the fact that my family is joining me in this. Before bed tonight, Teddy did 30 minutes of exercise on the Wii. He loves the running. He changes the jogging in place up, sometimes with kicks, other times with chasing his brother. But he's looking forward to doing it every day. And right now, while I'm typing this on the computer, my husband is doing his 25 minutes. So at the end of the day, we can all cheer each other on, talking about the aspects of the program we like best. And I know that we're all headed in the right direction together.

So I'm ignoring the numbers for now. Maybe it's fat turning to muscle. Maybe the balance board isn't reading correctly. Maybe there's something else going on. It doesn't matter. I'm making this change for the right reasons and I'm seeing the results I need to see. If, when I see my doctor in December, the numbers on her scale haven't changed any, then I'll know there's something more than me being lazy wrong and we can work on fixing it. But by then, I'll still be working toward the healthier me. And that matters a lot more than the numbers that Wii Fit tells me when I step on it every day.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ALOHAEV1
    Amber! Wonderful insight...now take a look back at the non scale victories. You are in a better place mentally, physically and I'd be willing to bet your body is changing as well.

    Now about the Jersey Shore, would have been in trouble if I had come across ice cream stuffed 'tween two Belgian waffles.

    We miss you in the Town Square, come by soon.
    1806 days ago
  • JLR080500
    Great job. I am experiencing the same with numbers. Everyone tells me it looks like I have lost weight when actually I have not...so I am taking that encouragement along with how I feel as a tremendous success!

    emoticon
    1808 days ago
  • KAT808
    emoticon That's awesome!! I love that your family is doing this together. What a great support system.
    1808 days ago
  • WHIMSICALSPRITE
    Good for you for focusing on the positive changes the exercise is making in your life rather than focusing on the numbers it changes on the scale. It's amazing how GOOD exercise can make you FEEL, but we always seem to be SO focused on the scale that we ignore all the positive changes we might be experiencing emoticon . Keep it up!
    1808 days ago
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