Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weee. Back into the world. Went to the gym today. Starting out a little slow since I am still under the weather but - it felt great.

It's funny how working out can become an addiction. As long as it is kept in check and healthy eating accompanies it - it's a good one. And it has some fabulous side effects; a tight tummy and a body that defies all of those things I read about what happens to you after you have kids.

Don't get me wrong. I gained enough weight to have qualified having to wear an orange triangle on my butt. I took it as a license to eat everything in sight. (I hate to admit this --- Spartan skip this part... lol... but I think I tipped the scales at almost 200 pounds when I was expecting my son... that would have been okay if I had been giving birth to a 10 year old...) That was also back in the day when I allowed things such as fast food into my person. I rarely, if ever, do now. Partially because I have come to love my body too much and also because the caloric intake is just plain stupid. (Plus that super size me movie sent me a very loud unpleasant message that stuck in my head) Nothing tastes as good as I feel right now. I have to remind myself sometimes, but all in all I think I've come a long way. I still eat chocolate - even ice cream AND I even eat french fries. But I make healthiER choices and in moderation.

There is so much information available online to help you choose foods that are good for you - though I have a sneaking suspicion most of us know already... it's just easier not to sometimes. There is also a tonne of info on the web to help you devise a good exercise program and save you those dollars spent on a personal trainer. If you can afford it - it's great - if not - research. You'll be surprised. OR... any of you single folk might just want to hire them cuz they are cute - that's okay too :o) And if you are in a relationship - why not work out together... when you leave you're already hot and sweaty so... he he he.

Remember, you can go a long way on your own. Start slow. Push yourself and you will be amazing and proud of what you can do. AND - don't forget to check yourself out. The results will show and you will find that looking in the mirror becomes more and more enjoyable. Don't forget to reward yourself either; pick a day to overindulge if that idea appeals to you. Eat that one thing you really love even if it is horrible for you. You might find that after a while, you don't even want to do that as much.

I'm no expert, but this is what works best for me. Stick to food that you recognize. In other words, if it looks like it did the moment it came off of the animal, off of the tree or out of the ground - it's better for you. Ground meat (sausage, burgers, hotdogs etc.) are a great place to hide things you really wouldn't want to know you're eating. They also put tonnes of additives that are really bad for you in there. Healthy fat? Absolutely! Your body needs it - it can be found in nuts and fish. And your brain will love you for it. Carbs? Sure. Body needs them too...but not as many as we usually choose. I am a recovering carboholic. They really ought to have meetings for people like us. Stick to brown rice, whole grains and avoid white. The white gums up your insides - like glue. Your body can't process it and it makes you feel yucky.

People spend their whole lives taking care of the people they love and why you shouldn't you include yourself in that? You'll have more energy to give and more time on earth to do it. Plus your time here will be spent in a body that feels good and looks good too. OH yeah - and look for people to give you a positive response - I lived for a long time without one and having Spartan encourage me makes all the difference.... so be it a friend, family member or better half -- let them know how much it helps.

Oh yeah - I'm one pound away from my "goal". Not so much a goal really - just figure it's something to aim for. More important is how you feel in your body and that has zip to do with a scale.

I'm not done my rant.... sorry if I'm boring you guys. But this shit really interests me.

I've been trying to figure out my BMI and body fat percentage as of late. More out of interest in it than a goal per se. There seems to be a common misunderstanding about what a good range is to fall into. Your best bet is to ask your doctor - they generally are in the know about these things. Some information found on the web seems to deem my body fat percentage too low - while other places seem to think it's normal... one of them even told me to join the biggest loser... hahaha.

What you have to consider is that - I am training really hard right now and a lot of my fat has been replaced by lean muscle. I currently seem to be estimated at at 17% body fat (which sounds like a lot) based on measurements alone. It's not completely accurate but it gives you an idea. The thing is, different body types will produce some results that are inaccurate. The only way to know for sure is to take the water displacement test - and I dunno about you ladies but I spend wayyyy too long doing my hair to do that.

The average body fat percentage for U.S. (couldn't find Canada) females is around 32%, with the ideal at 22%. Athletic, very fit females should be around 15-20%. The average body fat percentage for U.S. Men are typically lower in body fat percentage, averaging around 23%, with an ideal of about 15%. Highly fit athletes are between 5-10%. So remember that the boys get to have 10% less fat on their person... guuurrrr. Lucky ducks - you are actually supposed to jiggle less. It makes sense though ladies - we aren't supposed to look like those boys - we're supposed to be kind of softer and that's what makes us women... and that's not such a bad thing.

Now, let's look at BMI. I clock in around 20.3 to 20.6 depending on where you look.
Below 18.5 is underweight. 18.5—24.9 is normal. 25.0—29.9 is overweight and 30.0 and above
is considered obese.

What really surprises me is that I fall into the 10th percentile for women my height and age. The average woman my age, weighs somewhere in the region of 160 pounds - which for my height (5'6) is considered overweight. I know that on MY body (from right after my son was born - that this weight doesn't look so good on me... not to say it will look the same on you... we all carry it a different way) Drop 6 little pounds and you in the normal range - and THAT is a good thing. That just means you should cut out the pop... lol. It makes a world of difference.

Don't worry - this won't be a blog all about health from now on... just once and a while ;o) It's one of my new hobbies - thanks for humouring me. Now - gimme 20.


Anonymous said...

Well done you Elizabeth. Bobo and I are going to work out together when he comes to live with me. We are also on a healthy eating drive.

I feel so much better when I exercise.

Melanie said...

I am a serious carboholic. I ahve been noticing that as of late. I must alter my diet, and I have more than 50lbs to lose.

And exercise. i am eating fresh fruit a lot more lately.

elizabeth said...

hullaballoo - that's awesome. When is the big move in day?

melanie - carbs are wot done me in. LOL. I still eat em mind you... just not ONLY them as I had been doing. Fresh fruit is awesome. I need to eat more fruit myself. (if you come over bring some of those yum strawberries, hmm?)

B.E. Earl said...

This post made me sad for my body.

elizabeth said...

I'm sad for your cat... lol.

Tamara said...

I suffered from an eating disorder for a couple of years, so now that I'm well again I've banned the scale from my house.

Instead I go by how my clothes feel on me - if my pants feel tight, it's time to ease off on the sugar. I find not knowing exactly how much I weigh makes me so nuch less neurotic about it - no exact number to fixate on. And I only let myself go to gym three times a week and take walks on weekends. I used to go twice a day and would do up to three classes in a row.

So I guess it's all about finding a balance and not being at the extreme ends of the scale.

elizabeth said...

tamara - sounds to me like you have come a LONG way! An estimated 10 per cent of female college students suffer from a eating disorder, 15 per cent (or more) have a very unhealthy attitude toward eating. And it also is something that many men suffer from, but stats are harder to gather.

It is a disease that is tough to conquer and you deserve a serious high five. I for one am really proud of you!!

I agree whole heartedly - it's all about balance - and loving your body. Give yourself a big hug for me! ;o)

limpy99 said...

20 what?

Debs said...

Interesting post and just what I needed to read as I really need to get myself in to gear weight-wise.

I feel a little more inspired now. Quelle relief.

elizabeth said...

limpy - 20 chocolate bars

debs - righty oh! That's nice to hear ;o)