Friday, February 19, 2016

Numbers are everywhere!!!

Everything I can think of in a given moment has some level to which we rate ourselves to...some score or number associated with it.  When having our babies we are weighed and measured monthly to ensure that everyone is growing nicely and we are on track.  Then as the end date approaches the doctors always seemed to tell me to just relax and try not to eat too many sweets between now and when the baby came...did he know who he was talking to?  Then the baby arrives and we are waiting on APGAR test results, you would call family and friends and all they want to know is how long, how big, at what time???  STATS are all consuming!

As a runner I am also very focused on the stats that bring me into a race. I am looking at my pace on my long runs, what can I hold for my pace runs, and of course I have all those numbers from previous races that I must compare them to.  When I finish a race I dive into the overall results and try to find where my moment of truth hit the fan and where I started to fall apart.   If I had only done this much I could have come in this place.  I don't know that I would want to be a runner that doesn't like to slice and dice the data, that drives me, but those days when I just go out for a run for the sake of a run are enjoyable...just not something that would push me.

So now as the age number keeps getting higher I am looking at that scale number even closer.  I don't want to be at a place that will keep me sluggish, unhealthy and not moving.  I fear that an object at rest will in fact stay at rest and my love of all things sweet and salty will only cause the scale to keep creeping upward.  So yes, I hold onto yet another number as a touch point for where I need to be...where I feel comfortable...what keeps my body in a state of movement without having it hurt so much.

Goals on this scale have shifted over the 23 years old and 200.8 pounds the only thing I could focus on was that number.  I did everything I could to learn to eat healthy and start to be active again.  I did that and nine months later had hit my goal weight of 150 pounds.  I still knew I was a "bigger" girl and not the stick figure that I saw all around me in the media.  I was okay with that.  All of the pregnancies got me up and down 200-150 again and again and I knew I could handle it.  When I started my final journey in 2014 I knew that I was aiming for a different goal.  Yes, a lower number on the scale was a part of it, but I was going for the big picture.

Rinny Carfrae..No clue what she weighs...just that she is STRONG!
The big picture shifted a bunch as I got older.  I think with my found love of running, biking and swimming I realized it was not about a look per say or a goal number on the scale.  To perform in the conditions I wanted to be in and have the results that competitive Julie wanted...I had to find the balance between strong, healthy, lean and fit.  I now thumb through different magazines that aren't filled with tabloid gossip.  I read inspiring stories of people that have taken up a sport for various reasons.  Never on the front cover does it say...lose 10 lbs in ten weeks.  These are stories of people that are changing their life not for a fad but forever.  The pictures I see are bodies that have been put through the test and are so very strong from all the hard work they have committed to.  I look at these images and I see determination, will power, strength, sacrifice, inspiration, and belief in one self.  I never look at them and wonder how much they weigh.  Being heavier on the scale can mean you are stronger and more fit than that person that weighs 15 pounds less than you.  A number can mean so little!

At my lightest weight on this journey I hit 136 pounds.  I am roughly 5 foot 6 so when calculating on BMI I was at 21.9...which is in the normal range of 18.5-24.9.  Today at 141.1 pounds I am 22.8 on BMI...back in 2001 when I weighed 200.8 I was 32.3 BMI which was in the Obesity range.  I don't typically look at the BMI calculator but just wanted to plug it in for sake of additional data.  I do however care what my husband says and thinks.   Back in January of 2015 when I was getting into the shower he said...that's enough you are going to start looking too skinny.  So over this past year I have focused on strength and finding my comfortable zone of weight.  I know for me it's not one number to focus on.  But when a pair of pants starts to not fit's time to refocus and get myself back into my zone so things don't get out of hand.  

So yes...there is the scale...and it can make you feel a lot of different ways.  But remember that the scale is only one aspect of the journey.  Things you are now capable of because you decided to make a change can mean so much more than a number on a scale.  Being able to run/walk 2 miles when you haven't done that in doesn't matter what the scale says.  Being strong, making the hard choices, and everyday focusing on improving you and being better than you were yesterday...those are things that will get you to your goal...and I don't think the goal is a number...but more a overall feeling.

Continue to Embrace the suck...choose you...and worry less about the number...Strong is SEXY and muscles mean commitment!

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