Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When the Scale Lies


I’m doing something a bit wild and crazy and completely out of the ordinary right now. As in, entirely foreign and out of character. I—get this—am training for a sprint triathlon.

You know, one of those races where you swim 500 yards, bike 12.4 miles and then run 3.1 miles. One. Right. After. The. Other.


My nearly 10 year-old daughter is training with me! We’re having lots of fun working out together and we commemorate many of our workouts with ridiculous pictures!

Sometimes we even let the boys join us on a bike ride. The truth is—we kind of like those silly boys!

I for one, have never been athletic. I played soccer in middle school and high school because I loved being part of a team, but I was never good at it. I’ve never been fast and I’ve never really had much in the way of endurance. I’ve never been the least bit strong either. And, honestly, I prefer to be lazy than get up and get moving. I’m not going to lie!

While I would love to still think of myself as in shape (after all, I did play soccer in high school), it’s been, um, a few years since then. And, it’s hard not to stare the cold hard truth in the face when I look in the mirror. I’m not 17 anymore. There is certainly more of me to love then there was when I was 17. What I wouldn’t do to go back to having the body I had back then. The sad part is, I didn’t appreciate it when I had it and now I’d do almost anything to have it back!

I know well enough to know that I will never have that particular body back. Things shift after growing another human being inside of you. I wouldn’t trade motherhood for my 17 year-old body. But, I certainly wouldn’t mind doing the best I can with what I have. Not only to look good, but to feel good.
To be strong. To be healthy. And yes, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I would mind staring at a little less of me when I face the dreaded mirror. Well, that, or a little less jiggle when I wiggle. <----Keeping it real here folks.

Since the first of the year I’ve been training for this triathlon. It was slow going at first, but for the past couple of months I’ve been biking/swimming/running or a combination thereof two to four times per week. Some days, I’ve even been doing a little bit of weight lifting.

This was my first 5k walk/run time a few weeks ago. It’s slow, but it’s mine!

I haven’t lost a single pound. Not one.

While I try not to let that hamper my motivation, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was disappointing. I have weight to lose. And by golly, I’d like to lose it! I’m working hard, I’m pushing myself. I’m varying my activities, speed and intensity. I’m more or less eating well.

And I haven’t lost so much as an ounce even. 

I don’t get on the scale more than once a week. In fact, it had been nearly a month since I stepped on the scale before last week. I was so bummed when it showed the same number it always shows. Again.
Yet, recently I put on some pants that aren’t very forgiving. And you know what? I buttoned them with ease. And I felt good in them! Staring at the truth in the mirror I could see that while I have not come anywhere near arriving at my final destination of weight loss, I’m making progress. Though not really, because I haven’t technically lost any weight. So, while I haven’t made progress in my weight loss, I’m trying to be content with the fact that I am slowly seeing some progress in my overall health and appearance despite what the scale says.

Though when I say slow. I mean S-L-O-W. It seems like I should be seeing more progress by now doesn’t it? I’ve been training for 3.5 months. If I don’t see some seriously progress in the next 2 months I fear I’ll have a difficult time keeping up the motivation to continue exercising after the race. Yet I know it’s good for me. I know I’m getting healthier. I know I’m getting stronger. I also know that I really, really, really want to see a change in body as well. As in, yesterday.

I know that slow and steady is best. I know that healthy choices are better than fad diets. I know muscle weighs more than fat. I know it takes time. Effort. Hard work.

I also know, that despite what I know that I know—that I live in a quick-fix, results oriented world. While patience is a virtue, it’s not a virtue I have mastered. By golly, I really want to see the scale the reflect the effort and energy I’ve put in to this true test of my strength and endurance. After all, I am human and I inevitably seek validation from outside sources.

Perhaps the scale isn’t the best place to seek that validation however. I’m beginning to think that the scale lies… or at the very least doesn’t tell the whole story.


Jennifer Rice said...

The scale DOES lie. Take measurements. Those never do. And keep it up!! The weight lifting is the only thing I found that makes me lose weight. I could do cardio all day with no results. But that's just me, we are all different. :) You are doing something I'm too afraid to do, you go girl!

beachbirdie said...

I wasn't able to lose weight for over a year.

Till I went primal/paleo.

I lost 30 pounds in 2 1/2 months.

Gave up grains, starches, sugars. Not even eating beans!

I eat meat, fruits, vegetables and seeds. Some sweet potatoes. (Terra Sweets & Beets are my go-to snack when I really NEED crunchies).

Check out Mark's Daily Apple.