Numbers have typically haunted me.
And they haunted me yet again (as much as I tried NOT to let them…they won yesterday.) during a free fitness evaluation at the gym I just joined next door to my apartment (which, incidentally, was done by Elizabeth Ruiz, season 10 Biggest Loser contestant! WAY cool, despite some of the results we discussed).
As much as I know numbers haunt me, and I try to steer clear of the ones I know that will (weight, for example. I fixate on a number if I know it. I’d rather know pounds lost or a percentage, but not my actual weight. I have no explanation for this other than that. I just…fixate.), there was one number that I thought would be easy-peasy and wouldn’t bother me. Body fat percentage.
But I was wrong. I was so surprised when she told me the number. 10% ABOVE what’s ‘normal’ for me. Um…what?
Now, with any machine, of course, it could be off. But what’s to say it is? It may be right. And it COULD be right. Why? Because I have focused on running and barre n9ne…not weight training. Both things that have proven to be a beautiful combination for me. I have entirely reshaped my body, I have lost inches (and pounds) and gained more self confidence (yeah, yeah, this is still a work in progress, the confidence thing!) and finally felt like I’ve ACHIEVED something in a workout plan (achievement vs. success – Tina once again says it exactly right in her post today, give it a read). But the trade-off seems to be that I have lost some muscle mass. I used to do a lot of strength training and while it didn’t obviously work as well as I wanted, I think in combination with barre n9ne and running, it could be the tweak that I need.
So…while there are plenty of schools of thought that stand behind things like body fat percentage and BMI and all of that…and everyone has an opinion or a study or ‘what worked for them,’ what I have decided is this: I need to do what I feel is best for me. Not based on others’ advice, not based on what’s working for anyone else…but what’s working for me. It’s SO easy for me to get sucked into different schools of thought, but ever since I started the barre n9ne challenge, I have been more aware than ever about what has worked for me now, and what has NOT worked for me in the past.
So I sit at a crossroads. Maybe a natural one, to be honest. It’s been six months since I began this routine…and it’s time to switch it up. It’s not time to let numbers paralyze me. And it’s certainly not a time to get stagnant, either. Rather than let these new findings paralyze me, I need to make sure they fuel me and propel me forward.
So, where am I bringing my fitness journey, you ask? Well, I am still deciding. But, I think that based on the body fat percentage test results, I am going to incorporate one strength workouts into my rotation. This might mean one LESS barre n9ne workouts though, which is HARD for me, because I do love it so and love what it does for me. So, I’ll test-run a few classes at the gym, perhaps a few homegrown/Cathe Friedrich workouts at the gym using my iPhone, and see how it goes. Maybe I’ll add spinning back into my cardio workout in place of one of my runs per week. My bottom line goal is this: add in a few things, take out a few things, keep it balanced and not over the top.
Change is hard for me. I love routine. But I have to remember that change is what got me the results I’ve seen so far. And it’s time to change (even slightly) again, to keep it up. Right?
Numbers. They won’t paralyze me anymore. They will fuel me.
I wrote this last night after letting my thoughts marinate all day. And then I re-read and tweaked it this morning. As I got ready for my day, I looked in the mirror. I gazed at the body in front of me. It’s simply reshaped. It’s entirely different than it was when I strength trained 3-4 times per week. And I am realizing that is okay. It is better than okay.
I actually like the way my body looks now (shocker, I know, from my writings lately. Curse the overthinking brain and the never-ending not-good-enough ridiculous feelings), but am excited at the thought of what it could look like with just a bit more strength training. A more well-rounded routine. More definition but not so much where my biceps are bigger than M’s (wink). I’m excited.
(and thank you Samantha for your post…Love yourself, be yourself. Perfection. Needed!)
Disclaimer: I know it goes without saying…but these are my opinions, they are not based on fact regarding body fat percentage or any particular ‘school of thought’ on fitness, nutrition etc. I write from the heart on what works for me, what doesn’t, etc. I hope this comes through in my post…as does my passion for all things sweat. I do these things because I love to work out, I love to challenge myself. Not because I truly think I am overweight or need a massive change. Just tweaks.