Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rest, Recovery and...Progress Pictures!!

I woke up this morning to my calf cramping up (ouch!), half hour later my stomach started hurting and then a headache...Ok, ok, I get it.  I overdid things a bit.  So I'm feeling good about the need for these two days off from exercise.  And I got some great feedback from my last post.  First, I learned from Deanne that Crossfit recommends 3 days on, 1 day off and even though I'm not doing Crossfit that recommendation sort of validates the way I try to do things - normally anyway.  Second, I haven't had any "recovery weeks" at allCherelli suggested I do a recovery week every 4th week.  I like that idea.  Now I just need to figure out what that recovery week looks like.  Less volume?  Less intensity?  Both?

Alright, on to the fun stuff.  With all my extra time today I snapped some progress pictures.  I don't have anything specific to compare them to but if you're curious check out my Before Pics for comparison.  You know, when I look at those before pictures...it's like I'm starting to forget who that woman was.  It's actually feeling like that's not me anymore.  Weird.  Ok, on to pictures!  First up, a front and center shot. 

4/17/12, 166lbs, 35% body fat
What I feel the urge to do is pick apart the parts of my body that I'm not happy with.  But I won't do that.  No, no, no!  Instead I will point out my strong legs, the way my clavicle is poking out a bit, and my strong, broad shoulders.  Speaking of shoulders, I had a physical last week and got a referral to a physical therapist.  I started seeing one before but that stopped when I got pregnant and fell off the fitness wagon.  So I'm starting physical therapy again to find out the best exercises and stretches for my shoulders.

Look at that muscle!
Now, If I were to complain about a body part, which I am not, it would be my arms.  My whole adult life I have struggled with them being disproportionately large as compared to the rest of my body.  So today, I purposefully took a picture of my arm, in all its glory.  Can you tell I'm eating my spinach?  Alright, next up, a side shot.

The area under my chin looks better than it does in my mental image of myself.  And my calves look normal, again, unlike they do in my mind.  Next up, a back shot.

Now that I see the picture I wish I actually flexed a bit more.  In this case I just flexed a bit, thinking it didn't matter because my muscles would barely show, but they actually do show!  Though the main things I like about this picture are no fat rolls in my back and almost non-existent love handles.  Oh, and another cool thing, those running shorts I'm wearing...I bought them before I got pregnant and they fit again!  I don't know if I'd be comfortable running outside in them just yet but seeing these pictures makes me think the concern that I'm too fat to run in them is all in my head.

In fact, seeing these pictures makes me think that me being fat is mostly all in my head.  Of course I have fat on my body, my scale says I'm 35% body fat, but that doesn't mean I am fat.  In fact, why do we call ourselves fat?  Even when we're really, really fat, there's still more to us than fat.  That body fat % makes me want to do some numbers...

Weight:  166 lbs
Body fat:  35%
Pounds of fat:  58
Lean mass:  108 lbs  (166 lbs - 58 lbs)
Lean mass with 25% body fat = 144 lbs

Well, would you look at that?  144 pounds is right around my goal weight of 145.  Nice.  And just 21 pounds to get there.  Funny, for most of my life the thought of having only 21 pounds to lose almost seemed silly.  Why would someone worry about an extra 20 pounds?  Such a trivial amount.  I know it's not a trivial amount but at the same time my inner (former) fat girl can appreciate how friggin' awesome it is that I am now that person with 20 pounds to lose.  Well, 21 pounds.  

Before I finish I'll say a bit about my food intake today.  It's been really good.  I forget that when I don't exercise my appetite is actually a lot lower, so my points were enough.  Of course I could have eaten more but I am on a reduced calorie diet so that makes sense.  I had three points left after dinner so I used them to have a 1/2 cup of Brown Cow lowfat vanilla yogurt.  I cut up some strawberries and stirred them in...yum.  And as I sit here my body already feels a lot better.  I know with another day of rest I will be ready to get back in the ring.  Only this time with a plan for some recovery weeks and a fresh reminder of why working out five days in a row does not work for me.  


  1. Oh my goodness - I can't believe the change!!! I know you have a bit to go, but wow :-) I think the biggest change in your face - much slimmer now.

    And I love that blue top - who makes it?? (and I wonder if you can get it in Oz?).

  2. Omg, Michelle! You look great front,back and sideways. You're right, your legs,arms, and shoulders are looking gooood! I agree with Ingi. Your face is so thin. And, you better get running in those shorts before they start falling off your skinny butt! Just makes me so happy to see all your hard work paying off. Nothing like success to motivate more of the same. Loved you then, during and now xo

  3. you look so strong & so amazing, keep up the good work.

  4. Wow Michelle you truly look amazing, very strong and athletic! I've got what I call "swimmers arms" too - regardless of if i swim or not :) It's taken me a while but I accept them now too - because they look strong and that seems more important (vs skinny and pathetic). Oh and that 'recovery week" every 4th is usually reduced volume, you can still do intensity (but shorter intensity intervals)...

  5. Wow, Michelle, you look fantastic!

    BTW, when I first saw the little picture (on Facebook for this blogpost) the only think I could see was a picture of a body from the neck down, no head, and I thought it was a photo of a fitness model. It turns out that photo was you! Your hard work IS showing!

  6. Michelle - you look fantastic! Words that come to mind: "Athletic" "Strong" - amazing. I love that you're taking time to evaluate, appreciate, and honor the progress you've made. And I thought the same thing as Irene: all I saw in the pic was the body with no head and assumed it was some sort of stock photo - great work paying off!!

  7. You look great! And I am loving your hair pinned up like that too.

  8. Ditto that...you look great!

  9. OMG, you look awesome! Can you workout for me too (at least until June)? =)

  10. Lookin good kiddo!!

  11. beautiful, strong, confident! just a few of the words that pop into my head I look at these photos.

  12. Very inspiring! Looks like you are doing awesome!

  13. Great job. Love your blog.

  14. You look FABULOUS!!!! And yes for sure you want to work in some recovery weeks!


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