Saturday, May 4, 2013

Measuring tape tells all

Getting fit is a lot like having a big pile of wool to card.
Braced for the worst, I went in for my first monthly fitness check and learned some important lessons. I was pretty much expecting disappointment having learned to dread the scale from weekly weigh ins of one popular diet plan.  As you read in last week's blog, my body has a way of sticking to one place on the scale.
This time I learned something new.

First, I discovered I gained two pounds of muscle, and lost four pounds of fat.  Now the net on the scale doesn't look like much and is pretty much what I complained about in last weeks blog. The measuring tape, however, told a different story. I had lost one inch of circumference.  ONE INCH!  Now that's a lot!  I'm psyched.  And it shows in the benchmark photos Julia, my trainer, took. Nope, not showing them here. I'm still big, but an inch less big.

The other exciting news was that I rocked the fitness benchmarks and improved my ability to do things by about one-third.  For instance, last month I could only hold a plank for 40 seconds and this time I held it for 75 seconds!  And I went from doing 16 of these difficult squats to doing 24 in one minute.  I was able to walk a treadmill mile in 1.5 minutes less then a month ago.

These are all big milestones the scale did not tell. I had been kind of skeptical about taking benchmarks other than weight, feeling it was just a waste of time/just one more thing to do.  I was wrong.  It is the smartest thing anyone trying to get healthier can do. I am now a firm believer. Forget the scale, get a measuring tape. A stop watch too, for measuring how many sit ups and push ups you can do.
If you keep at it, the pile is bound to go down.
In the past, a two pound loss in one month would have had me running for some comfort food.  Instead, I find myself rethinking my diet and wondering what I should change so I can improve my results even more.

Today was a great day for bringing my spinning wheel outside, and with the spinning a chance to reflect.  There are a number of behaviors I could change.  Like, do I really need a beer when I'm sitting outside on a beautiful spring day?  Why can't the soft breeze, green grass and bright flowers be enough for enjoyment? Plus, a glass of water is really nice and thirst quenching and doesn't put me to sleep.  The other thing I did today is grill a bunch of chicken to eat later in the week with salads. Delicious especially since I coated them with Cajun seasoning!

I illustrated this blog with what I've been up to this week--mainly carding the last of my merino/alpaca blend. I have used up all the alpaca, and what you see in the second picture is the merino I have left.  I almost have an entire fleece processed!

Readers, if you are trying to get fit, don't let the scale get you down.  It is fairly useless in determining how you are doing.  I may be down only two, but I am one-third fitter, one inch thinner and looking forward to beating those numbers next month.,

1 comment:

  1. Yay. So glad to hear that you are making progress. Thanks for the inspiring words, I can't walk much yet, but I could perhaps try some sit ups and some push ups that will not put stress on my foot.

    Thanks for the inspiration