Get off the scale: it’s pure fuckery.

So I’ve been sitting on this blog post for awhile. I have been noticing changes to my body composition, as I was putting on muscle but the scale wasn’t moving. Let’s talk about that!

Since I have been sharing my fitness journey online, mostly instagram stories, people started to mention that they are noticing changes to my body as well. That told me that people may be ready for this post.

This is my second fitness journey, the first was quite awhile ago and my goal was to lose weight. I broke down weight loss to its bare basics that caloric deficit = weight loss… no matter the nutrition or the loss of muscle along the way. I just wanted to see the scale shrink.

I didn’t want to land in that obsessive behavior again this time on my fitness journey, so I did a lot more research on nutrition and started incorporating small healthy changes to my diet [more on this later]. My goal this time was to be toned, and gain muscle mass.

I started this journey midst the pandemic, because like I alot of people I gained a pandemic 15 pounds. The road wasn’t easy, and I fell off a lot of times. I am an emotional eatter and being stuck at home during a tumultuous time just meant that I was a couch potatoe and ate a bunch of junk . So instead of getting upset that I couldn’t get that under control, I decided to make my goal consistent workouts. So the first few months, I just focused on getting my workout in and working on bettering my form and getting stronger. I would celebrate every day I got up and moved even if I ate bad.

My nutrition was maybe like 50/50 for eating healthy and then days of Mcdonalds/pizza/chips etc. But I built myself consistently to become quite active, even working out twice a day. The extra calories actually became effective for building muscle.

Once I started seeing changes in my body and abilities in my workouts, I stepped on the scale. Absolutely no change….nothing. that was very disheartening but I was perplexed and decided to check my measurements. There it was…my body was changing, inches were being lost but the scale wasn’t moving. I was turning my fat to muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.

Weight comparison: left 162 and right 171

Just take a peak at these two photos. The left is 162 at the beginning of the year pre-pandemic weight gain. The right is 171 after turning fat into muscle. This was absolutely shocking to me, my measurements were close to before my weight gain but I was ten pounds heavier!! If I just focused on the scale, I would have took a deep dive into depression because I wasn’t seeing results.

But my experience with tracking my weight via scale only and tracking without has taught me the scale is pure fuckery… for the following reasons.

1. Muscle Mass – muscle weighs more than fat. And just because the scale isn’t moving, doesn’t mean you are not showing results as per the photo above.

2. Natural fluctuations – your body naturally varies weight during the day and month. This would throw me for a loop when I was obsessively tracking it daily. You weigh more at night. After a salty or bad meal you’ll see weight gain that will be gone in a day or two. And for women, we gain during our time of the month. I gain two pounds and two inches of bloat around my waist. If I didn’t know this, I could see it being very disheartening for someone tracking their weight only by scale.

3. Mental Health- as I have been demonstrating above…the scale can have negative effects on your mental health and it can become an obsession or even throw your whole day off. Don’t step on the scale. Keep moving towards your goals daily. Its much better to track your results once you start to notice change, as a mood booster that your hard work is paying off. If you dont see results on the scale – check some things i mentioned: are your clothes fitting better? Your measurements better? Have you had a bad meal? Are you carrying bloat? This ALL matters and factors into how you should respond to that number.

With all that being said, some of you have come for the result comparison photos. So here they are!!

Weight loss: 178 to 171 [7 pounds]

Arms: from 13 inches to 12

Chest: no change

Waist: 35 inches to 34

Hips: 44.5 inches to 45 [gained some booty muscle]

Thighs: 26 inches to 24

I’m so proud of how far I’ve come..especially since I didn’t take it all on at once. I just focused on being active even if I couldn’t get my eating under control during a stressful time. The workouts helped with my moods as well. Win win!!

Now that I have my workouts down, I have decided to start my “cut.” Meaning that I will be shedding off the fat around the muscle I have built. This means that my next two months will be focusing on my nutrition. Nutritious meals at least 5/7 days of week. And I will be changing up my workouts as well. No more two a days with weights and cardio, instead it will be a single HIT insanity workout.

Check back in a couple months with me. See if I have been able to stick to nutritious meals, which admittedly will be hard for me. See if I am able to stick to the Insanity Workout program, because historically I haven’t been able to. This will be a true test for me…these next few months.

I would really appreciate any support and encouragement!

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2020 Fitness Journal: Month 1

Last blog post we talked about the breaking point to starting back on a healthy lifestyle to lose weight. I stated that I would keep you updated so you can watch my progress, instead of just seeing my results at the end. So today’s post is journal-ling the ups and downs of the first month of 2020 and how it’s going!!

I have been keeping myself accountable with a two different methods:

  1. Tracking my workouts and my food within Samsung Health

This has helped tremendously to ensure I am getting enough nutrition at a caloric deficit. I do not adhere to any specific weight loss diets… I eat carbs, I eat fat, and I eat meat although I have definitely cut down on my consumption of specific types of meat.

It has also helped me to ensure I am burning enough calories throughout the day. I have a goal of an additional 750 calories a day to be burned by physical activity. I track my heart rate to ensure I am within my optimal calorie burning range for my age.

2. Tracking my daily and monthly goals within an agenda

Each morning and before bed I track what I need to get done tomorrow: which workouts, which errands etc. Then at the end of the day, I review again to see what I have accomplished. It helps to feel proud to cross off those daily small goals each day. To see your week fill up with goals made – it is definitely a continuous motivator for me.

I also set monthly goals for myself. In January my goals were: workout 6 days a week, cut back on alcohol consumption [non-nutritional calories that you just don’t need], blog/insta my fitness journey. Having monthly goals helps keep my eye set for the future, so if i have a bad day and I dont make my daily goals….it’s ok because I am still working towards a monthly goal. One day cannot break me.

So that begs the question: HOW IS IT GOING?!

I have hit 2 of the three goals. I have definitely cut back on my alcohol consumption. Switching a night cap to a wind down routine to help me get to sleep. I worked out 14/31 days – with an allotted 4 days of rest that means I made about 52% of my goal. Not exactly the greatest…. but what is funny is my mind set was SO MUCH better. I felt good, I felt I was making progress; hitting goals! That has ultimately stopped my inevitable falling off and giving up!

I will say that I got the flu in January and as I have asthma, I tend to go done down for a minimum of two weeks. There was a week where I couldn’t even get out of bed… the weakness and the fever had me faint as soon as I stood up. And because I didn’t have the energy to cook – I was also ordering in Junk Food [haha oops]. That being sad, when I started to feel better I craved healthy meals and gym time. GREAT news – my body was starting to ask for my healthy changes rather than craving for chips and an exhausted lay down on the couch.

Lastly, i have definitely been keeping accountable through my insta/blogging. Everyday I make sure to story my daily fitness journey on instagram, and it’s helped keep my daily routine fun!

My new goal for February is CONSISTENCY.

  • Workout more days than January [ I didn’t want to put a number on it… because I knew myself and I would over stress about not hitting it. SO what’s the next best thing, compete with yourself. Just do better than January]
  • Less alcohol consumption than January [Keeping with the same motif and competing with my previous self. I previously had goals to cut out alcohol consumption entirely, and as soon as a weekend came around or I had a hard day at work and fell off. I immediately failed. This time, I’m setting small goals that lead to a larger goal]
  • More Blog Posts I have more fitness presence on instagram as it’s a quick and easy method. But I want to be consistent here on the blog as well!

Overall thoughts? I haven’t fallen off my 2020 new years resolutions, to the contrary I feel MORE motivated then I did when I started. Working out is like a drug…honestly… it has such an addictive positive effect on your life. Next Month is going to be even better – LET’S GET IT!!!!

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Breaking Point: Weight loss

Not my first rodeo

They say you have to hit rock bottom before you change a behaviour or start a change in lifestyle. This isn’t the first time that I started a weight loss journey. The first time, I believe I was 21, and decided enough was enough.

My rock bottom at that point in my life was that I couldn’t wear the clothes I wanted to wear anymore. In addition, I stumbled upon some articles discussing BMI and its broad indication of whether you are at an unhealthy weight or not. Now i know that BMI is actually not very accurate, as it does not take into account the amount of muscle on the body but at that time when I received a BMI that was overweight – I knew I had to do something about it.

Breaking Point in my 30s

It’s very interesting in hind sight what was my breaking point in my thirties compared to my breaking point in my twenties. It really shows a different mind-set. I kept putting on the pounds specifically in my 30th year, and I was very self aware of this fact, but was “helpless” to do anything about it. I would just constantly complain to my man “I really need to lose weight,” “I need to start working out,” “we have to stop ordering junk food, if I ask for it – tell me no!”

I tried the previous breaking point mind sets to get myself motivated, you can’t fit any of your wardrobe! But I got super comfortable in just stretchy jeans and an over-sized sweater and was loving the fact that I didn’t have to care about my outfit. What about checking my BMI? Nope…that didn’t work either. I knew that my BMI said that I was overweight, but I could also see the outlines of the muscles that I have built over the years still peaking through the buildup of fat. This gave me false confidence that it wasn’t as bad as the numbers say… PLUS I had gotten alot more confident in my own skin since I hit my 30s. Evidenced by the fact that I was more willing to show off my body at it’s heaviest even compared to when I was at my smallest. There is a sense of self assurance that comes with maturity.

I needed a new motivation to get started! I tried, you need to get healthy as it’s only going to get harder as you age. Nothing. I tried, setting specific goals for myself. But then I just got all caught up in the numbers and felt myself going through an emotional rollercoaster because the weight wasn’t coming off like it did in my 20s. Nope- Scratch that idea. So then what’s going to make it happen?! It was actually the realization that I was uncomfortable in my own body which seems contradictive to the point that I just made above that I had more confidence. But, it wasn’t uncomfortable in my own skin on an emotional level. But I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin physically. BOOM. That hit it home for me. Why am I carrying around this extra weight when I can’t move the way I want. Even when I sit down, my rolls in my stomach will dictate my comfort level.

My breaking point was almost like that feeling you have when you get a cold, and you can’t remember what it felt like when you weren’t sick and had constant sinus pressure and a cough that hasn’t taken over your life. I had that same feeling…I couldn’t remember what it felt like to be fit. When I could run/jump/hike at a high pace with ease without feeling out of breath. When the endorphins of a workout would wash over your body. The ease of which you would fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed! The confidence in your body not at an aesthetic level but a confidence in its movement, that it had your back with whatever you needed to do. When sitting on the couch had nothing to do with how your stomach felt….

How I got started

So now that i had the motivation, the driving force of the reason I’m doing this. I created a goal for myself, small ones so I didn’t feel overwhelmed. And this time, I didn’t want them to be about my weight in terms of numbers. Instead I wanted to focus on the numbers that matter, what is my daily intake for healthy food choices. Am i getting enough nutrition? Am I keeping my calories in check? Am I burning enough calories throughout the day to burn fat? These were the numbers I would focus on this time, whether they came off fast or slow. Progress is Progress.

Follow Along

That being sad, I thought it would be cool to story/blog my way through this weightloss journey. As most fitness people only detail their journey AFTER success. Instead I wanted to showcase a transparent look from start to continued process [there is no end to a healthy lifestyle]. You can follow my blog here for upcoming detailed posts, or you can follow my day to day on my instagram.

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