Saturday, April 20, 2013

Week 14 - The Dreaded Bodyfat Test and the Voices in My Head

This is a truly dreaded week.  I have a triple-whammy.  Along with the weekly weight and girth measurements, I have to submit photos, and worst of all, bodyfat measurements.

There really is no better measure of progress than bodyfat. Photos are two dimensional and will always make me look bigger.  The scale simply measures the pull of gravity on my body, which can change from day to day depending on what I eat, how much I drink, how often I went to the bathroom, and what time of the month it is.  Girth measurements can change with water retention levels and how tightly I'm holding the tape measure that week. Bodyfat measurements are the real deal.  They're saying just how much of that excess weight is truly muscle and how much of it is life-shortening adipose tissue.  Granted I am not great with the calipers, but even in my inept hands, I can see if my bodyfat has moved down at all.

So the results are in.  I barely lost a pound this week.  I have lost a grand total of 8 pounds and 8 inches this year.  I am at 25% bodyfat.  That's a 4% bodyfat loss.  I like the idea that I'm down to 25%.  It feels good to know well over 50%, 75% actually, of my body is lean mass - or should I say lean MEAN mass?

I'm not posting this month's photo.  It's more of the same.  My photos haven't caught up to my fat loss, so I'm not going to post each and every one. Maybe next month.  

Anyway, I have some thoughts for the week.

I resent skinny people.

I don't really resent skinny people.  I resent skinny people who seem to eat everything they want and still stay skinny.

Now that I think about it, I resent anyone who eats whatever he or she wants without ever giving it a second thought.

I work with many beautiful young women.  Every day I see them eat their lunches.  I see them with oversized sandwiches.  I see them with takeout Chinese.  I walk into the coffee shop and see two skinny women sitting at a table eating giant muffins.  I walk through the park and see skinny women eating pizza.  I see skinny men eating it all too.  I find myself asking again and again, "Why can't I have that?"

Every pound, every inch, every percentage point of body fat is a struggle for me.  I have to fight tooth and nail for it. I have to think about every meal.  I have to plan everything in minute detail. When I am planning meals, I can't just think, "What do I want?"  I think, "What can I have?"  I eat out for a few lunches every week at work. It's frustrating that I can't just walk into a deli and order the special panino of the day or just head to the $.99 per slice pizza place when I'm broke. On a cold and rainy day I can't just make that convenient jaunt across the street to Potbelly.  Even though the salad bars offer all kinds of healthful options, I do grow tired of salads all of the time.  There is a part of me that wants to just shake this all off.  I want to eat whatever looks good instead of eating what is most likely going to help me reach my goals. 

I swear sometimes the coaching team at LE can read my mind.  One of the lessons this week was about our "inner team."  Our personalities have different aspects.  The voices in our heads can be both our best friends and our worst enemies.

LE coaches suggest you give those voices a name and give them a persona.  Treat them as people and deal with them as you would deal with people. How would the voice who truly cares about her health deal with the voice that sounds like a three-year-old child demanding pizza for dinner and cookies for dessert?

(I'm not sure if identifying the voices in your head is a way to shape up physically or just a way to get yourself institutionalized for schizophrenia.)

So I gave a name to that part of me that wishes she could eat everything she wants.  She is simply The Glutton.  The Glutton just wants to eat.  Eating is her main pleasure.  She loves food and doesn't care about the consequences.  She doesn't care that she sabotages my efforts to be fit.  She isn't mean.  She is just thoughtless.  She is totally focused on that singular moment of pleasure.

My team leader is Ninja Goddess of course.  She is strong and powerful.  She knows she's strong and wants the world to see the evidence.  Ninja Goddess has to remind The Glutton that I do not want to further risk Type 2 diabetes.  Ninja Goddess firmly tells The Glutton that I want to look as fit and strong on the outside as I feel on the inside.  Ninja Goddess advises the The Glutton that if I want to rock a bikini in Costa Rica, I can't just eat whatever I want.  Ninja Goddess knows that there are other pleasures in life besides eating.

At the moment Ninja Goddess isn't quite strong enough to totally kick The Glutton to the curb, but she's working on it.  Right now if The Glutton shouts too loudly, Ninja Goddess can at least temporarily put her in a choke hold and stick a hand over her mouth.

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