Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wrap-Up: How did THE PLAN go?

*I wrote most of this back in August and also last month and then became sidetracked and forgot to post. I put some finishing touches on it today.


Here I am after one month of the new plan I devised and I am actually feeling pretty good. Whether or not there has been any change I feel different. And that is change enough for me.

The last week of the month was actually spent on vacation, one of those “floating buffets” of all things. It amazes me the way people eat on these things. Yes, there is food available 24/7. Does that mean you need to be constantly shoveling it in your face? I’m pretty sure the answer to that question is NO! However, for some reason people just go crazy. It is no wonder that the  FITNESS DUDE mentioned in one of his seminars that the average cruise passenger gains 5-10 lbs. in one week. The dietary crimes I witnessed are too horrifying to recount.

Oh, and yes, of course, I spent a portion of my free time going to health and fitness seminars and hitting the gym (it’s who I am, what I find interesting, and what I enjoy). I also got a body composition test and the HEALTH DUDE did say (in his charming South African accent) that I have a very good lean muscle mass (think he said “great”) and am very well hydrated, but that it would be good to lose about 5% of my body fat. The amazing thing was, my dad was sitting right next to me when the guy mentioned my muscle mass, and I got to chide him for his harassing me about being to “slim” or “scrawny.” I felt quite vindicated.

In the last month I have done a great job of not working out too much, actually forcing myself to not go to the gym so that I can get the proper amount of rest. I have been going to the gym (or doing my training outside of the gym) 4 to 5 times each week and definitely working intervals into the mix. I’ve done some crazy cycling classes (one in which I nearly threw up because I was pushing so hard; lesson learned) and had some good sessions in the pool. What I love about that is that you can actually feel the difference when you’re swimming faster; the way the water rushes past you. I’ve also done a fair share of weight training and yoga, and of course running (my absolute favorite, NOT).

I also started monitoring (at least a little better) my calories and also my protein intake. So far those seem to be good things. I know for a fact that I am consuming enough calories to not start metabolizing my muscle mass in order to get fuel and also that I have enough protein in my system to regenerate and build new muscle after a tough workout or training session. Obviously, the last thing I want to do is lose any of my existing muscle mass. What is the point of losing weight if the weight you are losing is muscle not fat? I am actually a bit glad that my weight has increased slightly while my body fat has been pretty stable.

It has been two months since I decided to try a new modified approach to my fitness and diet regimen in hopes of making some positive changes to my body and how I feel about it. So, how did it go?

Well, August was a ridiculous month. I think I made it to the gym about 5 times. Of course I managed to eat properly still, but with an insane work schedule, very few days off, and tons of stuff to take care of before and after work there was just not enough time to get to the gym. The last week of the month was spent out in the Nevada Desert at the Burning Man festival (so, not a ton of gym time there either, just lots of bike riding and dancing!) What was fantastic about Burning Man was that I was surrounded by thousands of people who were so content just being themselves. Whether that meant wandering around completely nude or in some wonderful costume, they were who they were, and they were proud. It was a very beautiful thing to behold. While I am not quite “there” yet when it come to putting my body on display, I did break through some personal boundaries that week and am happy to say that I am forever changed by this (and many other experiences I had).

So, after two months of more or less following my plan (I definitely did a good job of working out less!) what, if any, progress did I make?

As of September 15, 2011
height: 6'0"
weight: 185 lbs.
chest @ nipples: 40.5”
under breasts: 39"
biceps: 12"
@ belly button: 35."
hips: 35.5"
butt @ widest point: 39"
thighs: 22"
calves: 15”
Body Fat: 17%

Let’s take a look at this. I apparently gained 6 pounds and my body fat increased by 1%. However, I really don’t trust my bathroom scale when it comes to body fat measurement (two measurements taken within 2 hours of each other had different results, the latter being 1% less) . Also, a number of people (my mom and a co-worker included) commented on the fact that I looked thinner or more fit. Could it be that I actually am making gains in my muscle mass? I certainly hope so. I suppose the jury is still out. All that matters is that I feel good, and look better than I ever have. And I suppose that is really what all of this has been about the whole time, my quest for self-acceptance and being comfortable in my body. While the stomach “pooch” (or saggy skin) and the smaller, but still present, breasts are a reminder that I still have a ways to go, at least I recognize that this may be the case for a while, and I’m OK with that.


P.S. I can’t lie, but my main impetus for THE PLAN was to try and get my body closer to where I would like for it to be, knowing that I would be going to Burning Man and would want to be as comfortable as possible in my skin. What I learned there (though I’ve always known this) is that being comfortable in your skin has a lot less to do with resembling a model in an underwear ad, and a lot more to do with how you feel about YOU and what you have to offer the world. Thank you, Playa.

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