What does that number on the scale mean? It doesn’t distinguish muscle weight from fat weight. Two people, each weighing 200 lbs, can have two very different body types. One may have a significant amount of body fat within those 200 lbs. The other may be exceptionally lean, with a great deal of developed muscle.
Your weight can also fluctuate quite a bit throughout the day, depending on how much food and water are in your digestive tract at that particular moment. And your clothing can play a part in that number, as well. So it would be important to weigh yourself at the same time every day, wearing the same clothes (or no clothes) just to be consistent.
A person can start out weighing 150 lbs, exercise and eat clean for 3 months, and weigh 150 lbs after those 3 months. Why is there no change in weight? Because the fat was replaced by more muscle! However, even though this person weighs the same after 3 months, the physical form of their body has changed. This is because muscle is more dense than fat. If you have a pound of fat next to a pound of muscle, the fat takes up more space. This is why a person who has a significant amount of fat looks “flabby” and a person who has little fat and a greater development of muscle looks “lean.”
I had to step on a scale every 1-4 weeks at the doctor’s office every time I went in for a pregnancy check-up. I had a routine where I would look straight ahead at the wall after I stepped on the scale, so I wouldn’t see the numbers displayed just below my growing belly. There were a few times where my doctor would look at my weight and tell me I had gained too much or too little since my last visit–without giving away my actual weight number. My mind would go nuts with that information, and I’d have to control it with positive thoughts: “you weigh exactly as you should right now,” “you are very healthy,” “of course your weight is getting greater–you are growing a life inside of you!” I still have not weighed myself since having my last baby and that is because I know that no matter what the scale read, I would feel like it wasn’t good enough, which would trigger negative thoughts in my mind and feelings of anxiety and/or depression in my body. So instead of weighing myself, I gauge my health, and whether or not I need to lose body fat, by how I FEEL physically, how I LOOK in the mirror, and how well I FIT into my clothes.
If shortly after you step on a scale you develop negative thoughts, which in turn create negative feelings within your body, then I suggest you hide, remove, or donate your scales. Get them out of your house, immediately. If your scale is somewhere where you will see it every day, you may be tempted to step on it. If you are not mentally strong enough to prevent or overcome negative thoughts or feelings of anxiety or depression, then you should not be using a scale. Remember, negative thoughts only hurt you. You can set yourself back significantly after working so hard at changing bad eating habits and creating good exercise habits. The mind—ego—is exceptionally good at being critical and judgmental, especially on its own body. I suggest you gauge your physical status by how you feel in your clothes and how you look in the mirror. If the same pair of jeans you’ve been wearing for 2 years are starting to get tight–or you see some chunk that didn’t used to be there–maybe it’s time to reevaluate your consumption and exercise habits. If YOU are not happy with how YOU look and feel, then do something about it!
Over the past 2.5 years, I’ve witnessed my body immensely change throughout two pregnancies. I regained my pre-pregnancy body within about 8 weeks after giving birth the first time. It has been 7 weeks since I gave birth to my second son, and I’m still working towards getting back in shape. It’s a bit more difficult this second time, but with proper nutrition, exercise, and positive thinking, I’m well on my way.
My body has been put under a lot of stress over the past few years—muscles, tendons, and tissues expanding and shrinking in a short amount of time. Pregnancy, labor, delivery, and post-partum life was incredibly difficult for me—physically and mentally. I hated being pregnant. I hated the restrictions (e.g. no lifting). I had no energy. I had body pains everywhere from muscles being stretched to their max, and from carrying around all that extra weight. During the second pregnancy, I felt like I would vomit every time I thought of eating healthy food (all I wanted to eat was pizza and ice cream for the entire first trimester). Six weeks before my due date, I tore my right abdominal muscle after lifting too much (carrying around a toddler all day and lifting hay bales finally got the best of me). After that, I had to wear a brace and couldn’t lift anything for the rest of the pregnancy because I was in so much pain. The pain I experienced during labor and delivery was incredible—absolutely terrifying. Then came the wonderful post-partum days, where I cried every evening at 5:00 for no good reason. I felt like a crazy person for about a week until my hormones leveled off. Five months after my first son was born, I experienced my first panic attack. I ended the day in an ambulance ride to the emergency room because my mind made me believe I was dying. It’s been fourteen months since then and I’ve overcome panic attacks and anxiety through self help books and programs—NOT medication.
Having had this experience, I know how powerful the human body is and what incredible potential we all have within us. We can go downhill fast with poor eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, and negative thoughts. We can improve our minds and bodies with proper nutrition and exercise. We can overcome any physical and mental setbacks we experience in a lifetime with the skills we learn. I am here to teach you those skills. I have learned them myself and have a strong desire to help others.
I am telling you all this because I want you to believe that I understand what each and every person is capable of—negatively and positively. My body endured the stress of two pregnancies in a matter of two years, and I regained my pre-pregnancy body both times and improved my mental state as well. I did it, I know it can be done, and therefore I know any human can do it. Any person, man or woman, can achieve the body (and mind) they desire, and I can help in the process. I WANT to help! So if you are someone who desperately wants to get into shape, or someone who needs to improve their lifestyle because of health concerns, or someone who just wants some structure in their workouts, go to www.salonspafitness.com to book a personal training appointment with me, Stacy, the newest addition to The Salon, Spa, & Fitness Studio. Starting December 3, I am available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, anytime between 7:00 AM and 2:00 PM. I look forward to working with you! And remember that exercise is supposed to be FUN! Let me help you find that enjoyment. – Stacy Martin
So this week I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how we talk to ourselves internally, and what we also believe about ourselves. Have you ever caught yourself thinking “I’m so fat, lazy, stupid, etc, etc”? Most of us could say yes. We hold ourselves to these high standards and then when we don’t meet them or things don’t go our way we bully ourselves via our internal monologues. I remember thinking these awful things over and over throughout a day, and by the end of the day just feeling so exhausted and beaten down. I’d tell myself I was fat and lazy and stupid. And I believed it.
I think our internal monologues shape a lot of what we believe about ourselves. I challenge you to really pay attention this week to what your self talk is like. Is it positive? Negative? Make a conscious effort to stop the negativity. Try to change gears, and do something different. Often working out will help to quiet the negative talk. Sometimes I ask people to make an effort to think positive things about themselves. I think it’s important to have things you like about yourself and to focus on them as well.
I came across this quote from C.S. Lewis, “We are what we believe we are“. And as I thought about it, I realized how my own self perceptions have changed on my fitness and weight loss journey. When I first started working out and trying to eat clean I would often think about how fat and unworthy I was. I would think “I am not an exerciser….I am just not a runner… or a swimmer… I am not a health nut….” I never felt like I would loose the weight.
Slowly as I began working out, gaining confidence in myself and what my body was capable of, my self talk/beliefs began to subtly change. I began to think “maybe I can do this…..I do kind of like to work out and sweat….I like eating healthy and learning more about nutrition”. As I met my fitness goals, these thoughts turned into “I AM runner. I AM a triathlete. I AM a health nut ” As my beliefs and definition of myself changed, so did my body, and vice versa.
Now I define myself as an athlete, personal trainer, clean-eater, I find it is a lot easier to be those things. I am not fighting a negative internal monologue. And, being a much more positive and self confident person has led me to keep pushing myself. I want to exercise and eat healthy, because that’s who I AM. I look forward to work outs and trying new healthy recipes. I enjoy thinking of myself this way. And to be honest other people know this is how I define myself and they come to me for help with their health/fitness journeys. Which is so awesome!
So, I challenge you to listen to what you say to yourself. How do you define yourself? Is it positive and healthy? If not how can you change your self talk and self perceptions? You CAN control what you say and believe about yourself. Make a conscious effort this week (and always!) to stop the negativity. It is up to you to define yourself, and to live the the life you want
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how we create and SUSTAIN change in our lives. I think that many of us make short-lived changes in our lives in our attempts to be healthier. We start a workout and diet on a Monday and maybe last a week or two. Or sometimes we even make it to our goal weight/size and then the back sliding begins!
What is it that makes these changes “stick”? How do we make these changes a lifestyle?
I truly believe making that these changes permanent is a mindset. Are you thinking that once you reach your goal you won’t have to keep these habits up? Or that you won’t have to work so hard, and can relax a bit? Well you’ve got to let that go. You’ve got to realize and accept that you need to make changes you can maintain for a lifetime. It all starts by making small changes that you know you can have success with. Then as you have success maintaining these small changes you begin to add in other small changes. These small changes all add up to a healthy lifestyle. By starting with small attainable changes you are less likely to fall back into your “old” habits.
Now I get it, you’re thinking “that’s really overwhelming to think of making a change forever”. I encourage you not to think of it in terms of forever. Think of these changes and this lifestyle as something you are going to do “just for today”. Take each day at it comes. Each day will add up, and you will begin to see changes in your body and how you feel, which will also help you maintain the changes you’ve made! You will get more comfortable with your new lifestyle/routine and it will begin to feel natural.
So start today. Make small attainable changes and take each day as it comes!
Do you have a goal for your health and fitness?
What is it??
Is it something general like “I’m going to eat healthier”, “I’m going to work-out more” “I’m going to lose 5lbs” ? Don’t get me wrong having a general goal is fine. However you exponentially increase your chances of success when your goals are S.M.A.R.T.
Have you heard of SMART goals? Maybe in the workplace? In doing some research about my own goals and goal setting I came across this acronym, which is credited to Peter Drucker circa 1954.
S, stands for SPECIFIC- so that would be something like I’m going to workout five days a week, 2 strength training and 3 cardio for at least 30 minutes a day. See how much more specific that is than just “working out more”?
M, is for MEASURABLE- so how will you know you’ve met your goal? How will you know you are doing well working towards your goal. As in the above example the number of times a week worked out is measurable. As well as the length of time worked out is measurable.
A, is for ATTAINABLE- so the goal should be challenging, but also doable. Don’t set yourself up for a huge failure. Research how long it generally takes to get to your goal, ie running a 5k, losing a certain amount of weight healthily, or whatever it is you are trying to do.
R, is for RELEVANT- figure out why your goal is important to y0u. What will you stand to gain from completing your goal? What will you lose if you don’t complete your goal?
T, is for TIME- Your goal should have a time table. When do you hope to be done with this goal in particular? Do you want to put a time limit on the steps leading to your goal?
Ready to make a more specific goal now? Hopefully the above acronym gets you thinking and planning! By being so specific and thinking through what you want to do, you are much more likely to complete the goal and feel successful and motivated!
There are a few other points that I think are also important to goal setting and achievement.
DAILY REMINDER: First, have a daily reminder of your goal. It can be something like a picture placed on your mirror, a phrase on your calendar, an outfit/swimsuit hanging in your closet. Just something to remind you what all this hard work is for.
REEVALUATE/TRACK: Next, constantly be reevaluating how things are going and if your goal needs to be modified. Track your progress in a journal or whatever works for you. If you are consistently not meeting your plan for your goal then retool what you are doing so it is possible for your have success.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Also, find a way to be accountable whether it is a workout pal or a trainer. It can even be your journal that keeps you accountable. You need to know how you are doing! Or sign up for a race/event. You will have to train to be ready, and once you pay your money to do it, it is much harder to back out.
GAME PLAN: Have a plan with mini goals leading up to your big goal. Also have a plan for setbacks and how you will deal with them. Have a plan for how to deal with situations that may cause a set back. For example, I look up calorie counts at a restaurant before I go, and decide before I go what I will eat. That way I don’t get there and make a bad choice because of social pressure or temptation.
REWARD!!!!: Lastly, have a reward for yourself for reaching your goal, or even meeting your mini goals that make up your goal. It helps to keep you motivated, especially if you’re not seeing big changes yet, or it is taking a long time to reach your goal
So good luck in creating your SMART goals and achieving them!!! I’d love to hear about your goals and how you are going to meet them
I don’t know about you, but I do some of my best thinking out on my runs. I’ve got my awesome playlist and I just settle in and enjoy my time and think about my day. I try to let go of the day’s worries and be grateful for everything in my life.
So I’ve got a new playlist with some old faves on it, and one of them is this song by Ozzy Osbourne called “Life Won’t Wait”. I don’t know if you’ve heard the song but it’s got some great lyrics.
‘Every day that you wait you’re falling faster
No sleight of hand, no twist of fate, no ever after
When it’s gone – it’s gone, a fight to the bitter end
Life won’t wait for you
No, life won’t wait for you, my friend.’
The song reminds me of my old self. I used to always wait to be ready to finally get fit and eat healthy. At first I said, “oh I’ll get fit and lose weight when I’m done with school”. Then it was “Oh, I’ll start once my job is less stressful”. Then it was “Oh, after the kitchen is remodeled.” I kept putting it off, finding things to put in the way of my fitness. I thought everything had to be perfect in order to start working out and eating right.
Here’s the problem with that line of thinking- there’s NEVER going to be a perfect time to start. There is ALWAYS going to be some obstacle in your way. So you start anyways. You start today with small changes. For example getting a walk in everyday, or drinking 8 glasses of water a day, or keeping a food journal. Small changes add up. They lead to increased confidence and a desire to do and change more!
So what obstacles are holding you back? No time? Don’t feel like it? Significant other isn’t supportive.. etc? I encourage you to really examine these obstacles and decide how you can start being more healthy TODAY. Because honestly there is never going to be a perfect time. And honestly life is too short not to be healthy and feel great about yourself.
So in the words of Ozzy, “Stay strong stay true be brave – it all comes down to you”. You have the power to do great things. Choose to be healthier today because “life won’t wait for you”!
Exercise Authorities Personal Trainer
Do you have any favorite weight loss and/or fitness apps or other techie things? I do! So I thought I’d share them quickly.
1. My Itouch- I love that you can download great music for workouts and create playlists. (When I first started working out I made music playlists that I could only listen to when I was working out. So I would work out to listen to my favorite music)
2. Tap N’ Track App- I really learned about portion sizes and calorie counts. I like that it has calorie counts for a lot of restaurants. It’s nice to make a good choice before you get to the restaurant. I also like that you can see your weight loss on a graph over time, and see how many calories you burned exercising.
3. Couch to 5k Program- I see there is an app. I haven’t used it but I know other people like it. I used the couch to 5k podcasts on kissmyblackass.org. The program gets you running 3 miles by the end. It mixes running and walking and notifies you when to do both so no watching the clock. Takes all the guess work out!
4. Endomondo App- This app for smartphones uses gps to track your miles walked/ran and alerts you to each mile. No more having to drive your routes to figure out the distance. You can post your progress to facebook too.
5.Sparkpeople.com- great website for motivation. You can read about other success stories, track your progress, find healthy recipes, put in your own recipes and calculate calories, and join teams/discussion groups.
6. Skinnytaste.com- some ideas for healthier versions of your favorite recipes.
7. Sparkpeople Motivational Quote of the Day App- Pops up everyday and gives you a little motivation.
8. Round Timer- (Free app) You can program rounds in and use for your interval training. Will run while you listen to your own playlist. Again, takes away the watching the clock syndrome.
These are just a few things I’ve found along the way and I hope they help you! Gotta love technology