Thursday, June 5, 2008

Crunching the Numbers

It started on January 21st 2008. The Couch to 5k Running Plan. It's a 9 week plan. It took me 19 weeks. But...cue the confetti...I DID IT! I jogged a 5k, 3.1 miles, at the gym last night! ::Applause:: ::Cheers:: Thank you, thank you. No, really, oh you're too kind.

Yes, I'm crazed with excitement over this. This is one of the biggest deals to me. I wouldn't have believed when I practically crawled into a WW meeting in February of 2007 that I'd get here. I jogged a 5k. I realized something when I wrote my blog yesterday. I wrote:
I told myself, "I'm going to jog 3.1 miles". I went for it but after about 1 mile I questioned if I could do it. I ended up jogging for 2 miles...
Even when I was writing it I wondered to myself, Why did I decide at Mile 1 that I wouldn't be able to do it? And that's what I did, I remember I decided, "nope, this is too hard, I won't be able to do it." So I thought about that several times between gym visits and when I went last night I decided that this time I will do it. I will not question my ability just because it's hard, I will not let my mind give up before my body does. Once I passed the two-mile mark (the longest I'd ever gone up to that point) I knew I'd finish. That knowledge, that belief, is powerful stuff. Nothing was going to stop me. By the way, I love how writing about the determination to jog 3.1 miles sounds like I'm talking about a marathon or something. But for me, well, you know.

Today is weigh-in Thursday. My home scale is hinting at me not having a loss. The funny thing is I've worked pretty hard this week, ate really well, etc. But that's how it goes sometimes. Because of the increase in activity maybe I'm retaining water. And maybe my home scale is not a good predictor and I will have a loss. I'll take anything. I had some points left over last night and was planning on stopping at the store for a piece of chocolate cake for desert. But after the gym I was too hyped to even think about it. I should have known. Maybe I'll get it this week.

I know those of us on a weight-loss journey get lots of feedback about it, especially if we're really open about the process, which I am. I love all the support, encouragement, advice, stories...all of it. I'm excited about health and fitness and just love to talk about it. I have been getting some similar comments lately when people here that I have 20 more pounds to lose. They sound something like this, "20 more pounds? You don't want to get too skinny", "I get worried when people like you tell me you want to lose 20 pounds", "Why? You look great", etc. My mother, God bless her, is the worst in this area. I know that she is actually trying to be supportive and point out that I am fabulous the way I am right now. But I realized the effect these comments have on me is that I start to feel like it's not reasonable that I want to lose more weight. Does that make sense? But I know it is, I know what I look like without my clothes on. I have fat rolls around my waist still, there's way too much fat on my arms to wear a tank-top, etc, etc. I know I look great, not just compared to how I looked before but just in general. But I am not where I want to be. Now I know I have to be careful not to keep moving that bar of where I want to be farther and farther down the scale, but so far I am shooting for 145 pounds. That's only 5 pounds under the max weight for my height.

Also, I did some number crunching. I'm around 34% body fat right now. That's means I'm roughly 109 pounds of lean mass. If I shoot for 25% body fat, which is the suggested average for a woman my age, I'd be shooting for 136 pounds, 9 pounds less than my current goal. And what if I want to shoot for 136? Would that be so inappropriate? It's not like I'm talking about being underweight. I bet at that weight I wouldn't look bad in a bikini, is that ok? Am I allowed to want to look good in a bikini?

In the past I've struggled with this issue because I was never satisfied with where I was. But what if I can be satisfied with where I am and want to improve on it? What if I feel great at the weight I am now but want to firm up, lose some extra fat? We're not talking anorexic weight here. It's not until I get under 115 pounds that I'd be considered "underweight" and believe me I'm not going anywhere near that. I should wrap up this rant. Thank you all for listening.

And before I bid adieu, I want to remind you, just in case you forgot, I jogged a 5k yesterday! And I'm going to do it again on Friday. Because that's how I roll.

I'll update this post with my weigh-in tonight.

Update: Down .8 pounds. Yep, I lost! And thank goodness. A gain would have taken the wind right out of my 5k sails. And a woman in my meeting who I just love (Angela) got her 10% tonight and I was overjoyed for her. It's so fun to witness the success of others. Thank you all for the comments to today's post. I have a bit more to say about it, with a new insight, in my next post.


  1. Hi Michelle -- CONGRATULATIONS on running 5k!!! That is so incredibly awesome that you reached your goal, and didn't let your mind psych your body out of it. Awesomeness.

    It must be frustrating to hear "slow down" messages about you weight loss. But I bet people would be more accepting if you pointed out the stuff about bodyfat that you talk about here. Even without aiming for weight loss, having a healthier bodyfat percentage does all kinds of great stuff for your body, your internal organs, your metabolism. A lot of people might be comfortable looking good in normal sized clothing, but you want to be super active! Biking, running, hiking, camping! That takes a lot of energy and a different body than one that just looks good. Don't let anyone stop you from your goal! That bathing suit is your goal and only you can determine when and how you want to get there :)

  2. It's encouraging to hear that you did it! I just got done with week three and I kinda wanna die a little bit. I can't imagine doing more then 3 mins. right now! Augh! I feel good cause I am doing it, but also kinda crappy that it's so hard. On the other hand I am still 80 some lbs over weight, so maybe it will get easier as I keep losing. Who knows! Anyways, you're always in inspiration!

    PS - I bought a bike last night! I thought of you when i did it! I got a Cannondale hybrid, I pretty much love it!


    I am so proud of you...keep it up.

  4. Go Speed Racer, Go!!!

    Of course it is okay to wanna be a bikini babe. And so you will be. Soon.

  5. Yeah!! Congrats!!!! Any athletic achievement is 50% mental. Way to overcome it!!!

  6. Congratulations on running the 5k distance!


    I completely understand about how people see you dropping weight and they get concerned that you're losing too much weight. I think part of it is that they got used to you not being fit, and now that they see you getting fit (and they're not so fit) they get a little insecure about themselves. I went though it too, especially when I hit my goal weight. It sort of surprised me, though, that they were not more supportive. I think I've mentioned before about the friend who said that I'd never get back the body I had in high school... Some friend, huh? Eventually they do come around, though, and before you know it they'll be asking you for nutrition and workout tips.

    Just keep on keepin' on!!!

  7. WOO HOO Congrats on completing the 5K!! I am so pumped for you! That is an amazing achievment and you should be so proud of yourself.
    Your post today really did ring true for me. I remember when I joined WW last January, a few of my friends said "you don't need to loose weight, you will be too skinny" at that time (according to WW) I could drop almost 30 lbs. and be in the middle of my "healthy" range. I found the encouragement and support I didn't get from them here online. I lost the weight and now 3 of my friends are joining WW!

  8. I ran across this uncredited post today and thought of you, Michelle,

    "Run the first mile with your legs, the second mile with your mind, and the third mile with your heart."

    Sounds like that is exactly what you did yesterday!


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