Saturday, May 11, 2013

WLJ: Leaving the scale behind

There has been a bunch of talk about women's body image this week.  Thanks, Mr. Abercrombie & Fitch.  I vehemently disagree with your stance, but at least it got us talking and standing up for ourselves.

First of all, I have to share my friend, Rachel's post about why the A&F statements got under her skin.  I relate to so much in her post.  I was never medically diagnosed with anorexia, but non-eating is one of my coping mechanisms when I'm stressed, upset and/or depressed. Not all eating disorders are about wanting to be thin or skinny.  In fact, most of them are about wanting to be in control of something ... anything ... when you feel like your life is a little too chaotic or uncertain.

Next, I want to share Sophie's post about strong being the new skinny.  Yes!!  This is just what I needed.  A few weeks ago, you'll remember me commiserating over a little bit of weight gain.  Someone suggested that because I had just started BodyPump, perhaps some of it was muscle.  They're probably right.  And I love BodyPump, so I'm definitely not quitting.

But I am quitting something -- the scale.

I am going to stop weighing in for this blog.  If I'm curious, I'll get on the scale ... for me.  But other than that, I need to put the scale away and focus on how I feel and look.

And you know what?  Even though my weight is a few pounds higher than it was six months ago, I feel stronger and more fit now than I did then.  My arms and legs are getting toned -- I've lost an inch in my biceps and a half inch from my thighs since starting BodyPump.  My core and shoulders are getting stronger -- I can actually do push-ups from my toes. I can run longer and lift more during BodyPump.  And I've gotten tons of compliments on my legs.

I've said it before, but now I really need to take action on it -- I would rather be fit than skinny.   Fitness isn't a number on a scale, so why do I keep using that as a measure?  No longer.  In fact, I'm going to rename this series.  It's no longer my weight-loss journey (WLJ), it's going to be a celebration of my new fitness accomplishments and things I learn about myself along the way.  I'll take suggestions on the name.  I'm thinking it might also become more of a monthly post than a weekly one. 

Ultimately, my goal is to be the best version of me -- mentally, emotionally, and physically.  I think I'll be able to better achieve that if I stop chasing a number on the scale and instead just continue to take care of myself and challenge myself. 

Speaking of challenges, I'm still doing this ab workout:

... and I think I'm also going to try to start adding distance to my runs.  I have my sights set on a 10K ... maybe by Fall.  Any runners reading this --- how did you decide to increase your distance?  Any tips?

Speaking of running, I ran my second 5K of the year this morning.

I had back spasms for about 75 percent of the race, but I pushed through it.  Mostly, my body just doesn't want to run early in the morning.  I either need to work on resetting my clock a little or only sign up for late morning/afternoon/evening races.


  1. Pinning that Ab challenge.

    I just posted the other day that Alaska made me feel out of control. Any issues I have can probably be traced to that damn state...

    But I love this post. It's wonderful.

  2. Yes, yes, yes for Mr. A&F. He certainly has a right to say what he wants, but I also have the right to say to everyone that he encourages bullying, and body-image issues in teenage women. Ugh.

    That being said, I feel ya on the weight issue. I've lost 1.5 pants sizes since moving abroad, but I don't have a scale. I finally weighed myself recently and....I have lost 0 pounds. In fact, I think I gained a few. Weird, but pants sizes and tone don't really lie, so I just don't depend on the scale for a whole lot anymore!

  3. Woot on the 5k, way to go! And well said post, I totally agree with you. It's hard not to feel defined by the scale, but then you see the posts where people weigh the same but put on muscle and that's what I want to focus on, not some silly little number. And those muscular legs look ten times better than the scrawny little legs.

    I'm hoping to increase my mileage to 10k by the end of the month. I just slowly started increasing by about a quarter of a mile every week. There are also 5k to 10k programs that you can follow, but those involve walking, which I don't like.


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