Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 13 - Stubborn Body Parts, Dealing with Unsupportive People, and Things To Be Happy About

This week has been a good week.

I finished Week 3 of Phase 3 of the workout and I’m keeping up very well, but still feeling challenged.  I know after next week, workouts will likely be very interesting.  Yikes!

The latest habit is to plan Lean Eating-Friendly meals. In other words, start creating meals based on the habits we have been working on for the past two months. Our meals need to incorporate lean protein and “smart” carbs, while still making sure that we eat five vegetables a day. Plus we still have to remember to eat slowly and eat until we are 80% full.

I have to say I’m pretty good at this meal planning thing. I do my best to prep some meals (or at least parts of meals) ahead of time. I try to have all of my meals planned out for the week. For example I improvised a nice pot of lentil soup this week with caramelized onion, spicy chicken sausage, mustard greens (frozen) and chopped tomato (canned) to take for lunch this week. Knowing I wouldn’t be home to cook dinner most nights, I roasted a whole chicken and fixed a pile of side veggies that Kevin and I can just reheat when we come home in the evenings. I prep vegetables and fruits the night before for morning smoothies.

It seems to have been working somewhat. I lost one pound this week and am now down seven inches.

I am a bit dissatisfied with how and where I’m losing inches. I should be happy that the inches I have lost so far are in my hips, bust, and waist. Those are some of the hardest places to lose. What’s really frustrating is that I can’t seem to lose anything in my arms.

I don’t know why my arms just never seem to lean out. I have been doing full pushups for years. I can lift all sort of heavy things and handle large animals. I still can’t seem to make my arms look sleek. My arms have always looked like slabs of meat. Some of my least favorite “fat” photos of myself are ones where I’m wearing something sleeveless and you can see how my arms seem to bulge out and lie fatly against my ample chest. My teammates are bragging about the definition they are beginning to see in their arms. They enjoy flexing for their friends. I always hear that women usually see the effects of a workout program in their arms first. This is just not the case for me. My arms are the same size now as when I started this program.  Definition is just a beautiful dream. I suppose I should be happy for the small things. My triceps are firm enough that I don’t seem to have any “bat wings” forming even though I’m over 40.

This week I also learned about one of the downsides of sharing the details of a fitness program with everyone you know. I share because I want to be accountable. Unfortunately there are plenty of people out there who don’t want me to be accountable to them. In fact, they don’t want me on a fitness program at all.

Two weeks ago I hosted a dinner party for family members that included my mother-in-law. During the course of the meal I talked about Lean Eating. I talked a bit about how it works and what my progress was. Everyone seemed interested and supportive.

A week later I was having dinner with Kevin’s brother and sister-in-law. My mother-in-law had spoken recently to Kevin’s sister-in-law and told her to pass on a message to me. She said I shouldn’t lose any more weight because I look fine. Sister-in-law agreed with her. I have no reason to want to lose so much weight.

I asked exactly how much she thought I weighed. She named a number. I told her that she was off by about 30 pounds and that my BMI hovers at the edge of obesity.

She was very surprised at this and almost didn’t believe me. She pointed out that I work out and all those extra pounds were likely muscle.

I know they’re not muscle. My bodyfat, at last measurement, is 29%. Again, I hover at the edges of obesity.

Like our mother-in-law, she reiterated the same cliché. “Well you look fine.”

Yes, I suppose I look okay. When I gain weight I tend to gain it evenly all over my body, so I don’t have one obvious heavy area. Also, I’m very good at covering my figure flaws in normal clothes. In a world where most people are overweight, I look pretty normal. This isn’t just about how I look (although I would like slimmer arms). It’s about my health. Right now I’m a walking Type 2 diabetes risk. Even if I look decent as I am (although not as thin as I would like) the numbers are showing I’m not as healthy as I could be.

If I were truly becoming too thin, if I weren’t eating at all (and I had eaten a completely diet-inappropriate dinner that night, which might indicate I’m hardly diet-obsessive), their concern would be warranted. But I’m not doing anything right now that would be cause for concern. I’m just trying to eat more healthfully in a way that will take off these very unhealthy extra pounds and bodyfat.

I realize that as I go through this plan I will probably have to deal with many less-than-supportive people. I know that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have my best interests at heart. They don’t want me to feel bad about myself. They probably worry that I might be falling down the rabbit hole of disordered eating and body obsession. I understand that. I also know that there may be people in the future who aren’t always so concerned. People will be unsupportive. They will be snarky. They will resent me for being successful. They will resent me for being thinner than they are. Sharing the details of my program will not always bring me support and accountability.

The only person who can determine how much I should weigh is me.  As long as I am losing safely and sanely, and I'm not being a danger to myself, then I can't let anyone else get to me.  I know I'm doing the right thing for my body.

On to the best news of the week…

My friends who are on Facebook might notice I’m in a particularly good mood this week. I haven’t been willing to share the details as to why.

Since the plans are not booked yet and not set in stone, I still shouldn’t share, but I can’t keep help from talking about it. I’m just too excited.

In one of my previous blogs I said that if I reached my goals at the end of the year, I would take myself on a warm weather vacation next winter. I’m tired of being stuck in New York all winter and if I have a hot new body, I want to be someplace where I can show it off. I started putting away small amounts of money so I would be motivated to keep working for it.

Well, my motivation has come to me as a gift. A few days ago Dad emailed me to say he was planning to take a vacation next year to Rancho Pacifico in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is quite high on my bucket list. He wants to rent a three-bedroom villa. One bedroom would be for him and my stepmother. One bedroom would be for her mother. He wants Kevin and me to have the third bedroom. He also said he would pay our airfare. All we have to do is show up – and I want to show up in a bikini. I can use my savings for meals, activities, and spa treatments! .

This place just looks so beautiful. I already have a list of active things I want to do there. I will hike up into the cloud forest and down to the waterfall. I will go horseback riding. I will do yoga with the monkeys in the morning. I will make sure I get a ride to the beach one day (Ballena National Park perhaps?) and explore the water.

I suppose I shouldn’t talk about it yet, but I can’t help it. I’m so excited.

Till next week!

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