All Change

Dudes! I'm almost to scared to admit this, but I am kicking arse at the moment. Shhh. Don't tell.

Late last year I was banging on about my impatience to get to 75 kilos so I could say I was Done then just get on with the maintaining:

"… after that… I refuse to expend any more energy on numbers… Once I hit 75kg I am going to make my goals entirely about fitness, and if they result in the the scale going down that will be a happy accident… I will let it settle where it wants to and let the fit of my jeans be the measure of what shape I'm in.

I just want my goals to be completely removed from the scales. It will be about building muscle and getting stronger and leaner and healthier. I want to learn to ride my bike without wobbles and take up yoga and get to a point where I can swim laps for half an hour. I just want to get on with it, continuing my healthy lifestyle. I want to take it further and push harder… because that's how I live my life… not because I'm trying to lose weight."

Rant rant rant. I basically concluded that all that would have to wait… until I got to the elusive 75 kilos.

But then the lovely Beckie left a very thought-provoking comment which you can read here. This sentence grabbed me:

"You said you wanted to change over to just fitness goals. Is this after the finish line? Why not help it get you to the finish line?"

Oooh, indeed! Why wait for the finish line? The fitness stuff is what I like and what makes me feel challenged and productive. So when I wrote out my goals for 2007, Get To 75kg was at the top of the list but the rest of it was about shifting my lardy arse. I have changed my focus to fitness NOW instead of waiting until goal.

Even though exercise has long been a big part of my lard busting efforts, the main theme has been the weekly weigh-in and reporting the results of said weigh-in to the blog. It was starting to drive me MENTAL. I was putting all this pressure on myself to "get results" each week so I'd have some good numbers to report. I was getting impatient that it was taking so long. As much as I was enjoying my exercise, there was an underlying feeling of "wonder if this will help my weigh-in this week?". Because as much as I talked about inches lost or push-ups pushed, it somehow didn't seem quite as valid as pounds down.

Finally I asked myself, Why am I going mental over this stupid number? I was starting to see 75's in my dreams! You know, like a 7 and a 5, walking hand-in-hand through a meadow. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to hit the number, just so I can say gleefully, "Finiiiished!". But getting impatient and stressed about it was actually counter-productive — I seemed to be getting further AWAY from goal.

So that's why I made so many fitness goals for 2007, because the sweaty stuff makes me happy. I was really inspired by fitness bloggers like the amazing Kek and her supreme buffness. She has given me so much advice and inspiration to change my focus. All my efforts are now with improving fitness in mind, not weight loss. It's early days, but already feels much more satisfying and positive than focusing on a weekly scale result. Instead I'm obssessed with doing those stinkin' pikes or going up a level on that awful Arc trainer machine at the gym.

You have noticed the weekly exercise plans there in the sidebar. I've now followed them faithfully for a month! I've not missed a single session – no excuses, no half-arsedness! Lots of hard work and stinky gym clothes. I feel more determined and my eating is settling down into something sane and sensible. And sustainable.

I am still weighing myself daily. It was fluctuating wildly for a couple of weeks there and I was getting angsty, as though the numbers cancelled out all the goodness of my eating and fitness efforts. But now I am learning to see the scale as just another tool in my belt – a general indicator of a trend as opposed to a machine that dictates my mood for the day!

So basically what I daydreamed about doing when I hit goal, I am doing right now. Living like a boring old healthy person, getting fitter and letting the scale do what it wants. And whaddya know…. enough, simply by not focusing on getting to goal, I am actually inching closer to it! The scales are creeping down, my jeans have eased their death grip on my thighs, inches have been lost… and I feel a helluva lot more sane.

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21 thoughts on “All Change

  1. Hey Dietgirl!

    Fabulous post – as ever. And you are so amazing with your determination. What you write about is what all the big cheeses in personal development circles call “acting as if”. Apparently, if you “act as if” you are doing what you want, the results will come to you. You might be interested in something that Oprah featured recently called The Secret (www.thesecret.tv) – no, I am NOT on commission. I’m not sure I agree totally with their weightloss section but you might like to hear the audiobook. It’s all about the laws of attraction…

    Something to think about, anyway.

    Good luck and thanks for continuing to inspire.

    Woof Woof

  2. I always like what you write – but this one is especially GOOD and very timely as many in blog land seem to have hit the winter bllaaasss!

  3. This all makes total sense to me, too.

    I’ve noticed that whatever my body actually looks like, it only feels comfortable when I’m focusing on fitness – even if my food has been perfect, that doesn’t have the same effect.

    It may help that I’ve never had a scale – it’s harder to obsess over the number when you only weigh yourself at the gym. Especially if you do it after you exercise, because then the endorphins are already working.

  4. Hip, hip, HOORAY!!! I discovered your blog a few days ago, and kinda like SC did way back when, I was sorta “stalkish” myself–if you could call it that–and read thru most of your archives (I admit, my retinas were burning a ghastly hole in my head somewhere around Aug 2005 pffffffft!). It is therefore SO refreshing to hear you prat along so happily, dare I say positively? Yes, that’s it! You are radiating a positive confidence. Bravo! Glad to hear of the stick-to-it-tiveness you are now exuding. I must tell you, after reading all those past entries over those few hours, I have this to say:
    “Stay away from that bloody chocolate lassie!!!”

    Much love to ya 🙂

  5. I think this is a really postive change in your thinking!

    Three years ago, I dropped 260 pounds and for a long time exercise was only a way for me to get to my goal weight. BUT when I hit my goal weight and started maintaining, I had a huge challenge in trying to shift my thinking from “Exercise is ONLY part of getting to my goal” to “Exercise is a way of life.” So, yeah, I’m still working on that challenge even three years after hitting goal!

    You’re ahead of the curve in so many ways, chica!

  6. Amen. I will now start focusing on the fitness as well! Muscle is what I really need, not just a fat low number on the scale!

  7. I had the same problem, I did get to goal THEN took up major exercise, but I ate too much because I was exercising too much, so now I’m working on getting the balance right. Good on you for deciding to exercise now as you lose the weight, it will help with toning too.

  8. You’re kicking some serious fitness arse there, Shauna. I love it when other people have that lightbulb moment where they realise that exercise has become more than just a means to weight loss.

    I remember vividly joining the gym and going along grudgingly because it was What I Had To Do to shift the blubber. I can’t really pinpoint when I started to a) LIKE exercising and b) feel like I belonged in the gym, but it made such a difference to my level of weight-loss angst. Suddenly I knew I’d get there – but even better, I knew I was going to enjoy the journey.

    I always tell people who are new to exercise to act like they know what they’re doing. Get the cool workout clothes, hold your head high and fake it like mad. One day you’re in the middle of a workout and you realise that you’re not faking it any more. You actually do belong.

    Ta for the compliment – you’re pretty darn awesome yourself!

    XO

  9. Hi dearest

    When I started to regain my life again, I made a decision that it wasn’t going to be a diet. My focus would be to be healthier through exercise and eating sensibly so that I could do all the things I hadn’t done in the first 48 years of life!

    I love the feeling you get when you exercise well and how your body feels afterwards – the glow from knowing that you’ve pushed yourself a little bit and survived, triumphed! Very addictive indeed that feeling!

    At our three day camp at Killalea State Park last week I hopped onto a bike and rode through the ‘springy’ grass (something not possible in Goulburn at the moment). It was a wobbly beginning. but with encouragement from 33 students from Year 3 to Year 6, guess who did their first lap on bicycle since her teen years! Wow…I guess I’m almost ready to ride down the hill with you now and maybe even turn a corner!

    Loved your post – very inspiring.

    Love ya!
    Mothership

  10. What a great post … so sensible and down to earth. As much as I say or write that the scale number is not a judgment, I’m not quite to the point where I believe it. Thanks for your thoughts, and I hope I get there someday.

    Soon.

  11. It’s almost creepy how you serendipitously say what I’m thinking at certain times. I too prefer to focus on the exercise goals, and just last weekend set myself exercise goals (i.e. increasing weights, increasing intensity on cardio) rather than weight goals (although that goal is always in the back of my mind). Thanks again for a great post and keeping me inspired. For some reason knowing there’s someone out there that’s going through similar stuff makes it better somehow!!

    Take care and keep up the good work!!

  12. For my fellow Americans:

    75 kilograms is about 165 lbs.

    1 “stone” is 14 pounds

    1 kilogram is 2.204 pounds

  13. You might be interested in recording your daily weights at physicsdiet.com

    If is free of charge. The site neither sells nor advertises any products.

    It was made by an American programmer who weighed over 300 lbs ( 137 kilos ) and who built the tools for himself. He now weighs about 195 pounds( 89 kilos ).

    Basically, the site takes your daily weight readings and computes a “5 day moving weighted average” from it.

    This is what your true weight is most likely to be,..minus water, food, and waste fluctuations.

    It also plots the trend of your moving weighted averages on a graph.

    If the trend on the graph starts to level off or go up you get an early warning so you can fix things while they are still easy to fix.

    Best of all. If you have a day where you retain water and have a high morning weigh in, you can still see your weight going down on your trend line and in your weighted averages.

    I can’t tell you how much this has helped my mental health and kept me from quitting.

    This site is based on the free online book called “The Hackers Diet”.

    It was also made by an obese American programmer who lost all his weight and who has kept it off for over 5 years.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    He is the one who came up with the idea for the tools on physicsdiet.com

  14. In America there is an organization called

    “The National Weight Control Registry”.

    Most people who lose weight, regain it in 1 – 5 years.

    The registry studies people who have kept the weight off for at least 1 year.

    They have found that people are more likely to reach their weight goals and stay there past 5 years if they record their food intake daily and weigh themselves daily.

    88% more likely.

  15. I am a big fan of daily weighings and calorie counting every day.

    It only takes about 5 minutes out of my day,but it produces big results.

    As with many resolutions, keeping my good intentions in my mind so I can do things as I need to do them is half the battle.

    Weighing myself everyday keeps my weight goals front and center

  16. Goal are important to set; however, I never reach mine. Everytime I get close, I set it higher. Always push yourself to a higher level. Good luck.

  17. Such a sensational post. It’s great to see we can all still learn new things about weight loss and ourselves even after losing a shitload of weight! Great job on sticking to the fitness goals for the month!

    Em 🙂