Sunday, July 17, 2011

19.4% body feels like an accomplishment, but not really

Since around April 2010, I have been taking a fitness class with a personal trainer one day a week.  There have been occasions when I've gone twice a week and occasions when I haven't gone at all (due to illness, mine or the kids).  But more or less, I have been consistent.

I have been hit or miss about exercising at home.  If time and energy allows, I walk on the treadmill.  If I get a notion, I lift weights a bit or do some abdominal work.  Before the boys were consistently sleeping through the night (which has only been just recently), I was too concerned with conserving my energy to make it through the day to even consider expending energy by working out.

My most consistent form of exercise is chasing the boys and lugging their butts one under each arm out of the library for running around like Tasmanian devils and disturbing other patrons.

It had been awhile since I'd checked my body fat with my trainer so after last Thursday's session, I used the little do-flicky that measures body fat and came in at 19.4%, which for my age puts me in the "excellent" category.  And I have to admit I am excited about that.  My arms and legs are way more toned than they have been in years and I feel a certain amount of pride in how my body looks, especially considering I am pushing 40 and have popped out 3 babies.

In my fit of excitement, I posted about it on Facebook.   Some friends said, "Wow.  That's great!" and some friends said, "I hate skinny women," which was a joke, of course.  But it sorta rankles me that if a thin woman gets toned and builds her strength and stamina via working out, increasing her health even though her weight hasn't changed, people say "Where was the fat before?" but if someone overweight loses weight and tones up and exercises regularly, they get hurrahs and standing ovations.  I mean, it is certainly well deserved and I always say kudos to friends who have lost weight and gotten fit,  but shouldn't all fitness and healthy choices be applauded, not just when it is done by heavy folks?

In truth, when I originally started working out my body fat was 22%, which was very good considering I had a 6-month-old baby and 2 other kids.  My dad is 6'4, my mom is 5'7, and both are naturally thin, so genetics does play a role in my size.  Plus, I don't eat a lot of junk food.  I have one hell of a sweet tooth, but I don't drink soft drinks or eat fast food very often or snack on chips and cookies.  In general, my diet is healthy.

Still, I am impressed with myself that due to working out my body fat has decreased by over 2 percentage points.  A positive change is a positive change.


Giselle said...

You should be proud of yourself. There are a lot of skinny people who are actually quite unhealthy. I have a friend who is a stick like you ( :) ) and she has been in the hospital twice in the last 6 weeks with fluid around her heart and has discovered she has very high cholesterol, etc etc. In short, she does no exercise so although she is naturally thin, she isn't as healthy as she could be.

But it rankles me that people assume if you are heavy that you are unhealthy. That if you are packing 30 extra pounds it is because you don't eat healthy and are just eating constantly. I am at least 30 pounds overweight, but I just had all kinds of blood work done and I have great levels of everything, a strong and healthy heart, etc. I'm just chunky. ;)

People are just too full of themselves to be happy when someone else has success. Be proud of yourself! You worked for it!

CARRIE said...

D's company does twice a year health assessments. A number of folks who are fit/muscular have been labeled "obese" by their BMIs because their weight is high (due to muscle mass) and because of the natural shape of their bodies. Ridiculous. Health can come in a variety of ways, to be sure.