The F Word

20 Comments

Fat. I don’t like the word, i don’t allow my clients to use that word. It’s super negative and yeah, I get why people use it, but if my clients are in the gym working out with me, working on getting healthier, there’s no reason to ever use the F word. There is no magic number on your bathroom scale that tells you You Are Fat. That’s a made up number in your head that you create to make your day awesome or completely deflate your self worth, mood and your entire day, which will then be spent hating yourself.

I’m a girl. Almost by nature I’ve been through a lot with body image, weight, and exercise both negative & positive. Once in a while I’d like to share my experiences not only to help anyone out there with body image issues, but so I can finally put some demons to rest. With all that said, I would like to share the time in my life where I gained weight and how I started losing.

I started gaining weight after high school when i moved out on my own and got a job while going to school part time. Working a full time job and going to school was stressful, and working late = eating late. I was lazy, stopped working out altogether and eating BAD foods…oreos, mac n’ cheese, pizza, pasta and my love for ranch/blue cheese and any cheese sauce was out of control. It literally makes me sick to think of all the crap i put into my poor body.

20140122_104112

I’ve been asked before if I was ever “fat.” The answer is no, however, I was overweight and unhealthy for my body, height and frame. The picture above might not look that bad, but i was 30 lbs heavier than i am now, a full bra cup size larger and 6 dress sizes larger. Like I said, I wasn’t 100 lbs overweight or anything, but 30 lbs of pure excess weight is a lot when you’re not doing any type of exercise (and I gained it quickly in about 6 months).

The problem was I knew I was eating bad, eating late, and not exercising. The turning point (cause you know everyone has that A-ha! moment) was when I tried to button my “fat jeans” and they barely made the button hole. I turned to my then boyfriend and asked, “Have I gained weight?” to which he replied, “I mean, you’ve gained weight since we started dating.” <— yep, we broke up very shortly after that.

20140122_103958

I decided to do something about it. I went to the apartment complex’s gym, which was small but really nice. I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.  I tried doing this whenever i had free time or caught myself watching mindless hours of tv. I did a few exercise dvds and even started jogging on the treadmill when I had the energy for it. Those few days a week made a huge difference and the weight started coming off slowly but surely. It’s not the moment I started becoming a “runner” but it was when I discovered how working out and sweating can be  therapeutic and actually help balance my hectic life.

Since 2006 I’ve been working out consistently, 2-6x per week and the most fun I’ve had is watching my body change and seeing the difference of weight to muscle. Muscle really shapes your body.

This was taken in 2008, I was about 15 lbs less than the pictures above. I was running then, but no strength training.

2008

This was from 2010, I lost another 10 lbs over those 2 years. Again, mostly running, little strength training. I did start to incorporate a yoga class 1x per week.

2010

And here’s one from when I ran the 2011 Chicago Marathon. I was in full on running mode, no strength training and I lost another 6 lbs. This was at my lightest weight, but I don’t look great. Thin sure, but no muscle tone or strength.

2011

In 2011, I made a commitment to begin strength training. The marathon crushed me and I believe it was directly related to not strength training. Plus I saw these pics and was confused as to how i was at my lowest weight ever, yet i didn’t look that great.. Skinny fat, as they say.

Since then I found a good balance of strength & cardio and have gained 7 lbs of muscle mass in the last year. Here are a few things I changed to help with my body.

1) I stopped weighing myself daily.  No one knows your weight but you and you should keep it that way. Don’t define yourself by your weight. If your clothes start getting tight, take the time to re-evaluate your eating habits and workout schedule. Or take pictures of your body and re-take them every 8-10 weeks and look at the physical changes.

2) I paid attention to Body Fat Percentage instead of my weight. Even though I gained 7 lbs of muscle, I’ve lost 8-10% body fat, which lead to a leaner, fitter, SMALLER body. You should be able to do Body Fat testing at a local gym or doctor’s office.

3) I hired a personal trainer. I hired a trainer because I had no idea how to strength train. If you don’t know what you’re doing ask for help! Get a friend or family member involved with your goals.

I guess what I want to say, is if you’re just starting out with running, working out or trying to eat better, put your efforts into those things and less effort into beating yourself up over how much you weigh. It takes a while for change, but if you’re doing the workouts and eating better, slowly you will become a better version of you.

How about you guys? Do you weigh yourself?

How do you make sure you’re staying on track?

 

Author: She's Going the Distance

Runner!

20 thoughts on “The F Word

  1. Why are you so pretty?!

    I gauge by how I feel I look and by how my clothes fit. I didn’t love how my arms looked in pics this summer and I reflected and realized it was because I had done zero upper body strength in a year. So I’m changing that. That kind of thing is usually what I stick to, aside from assessing what I might need to improve my running (more core, stronger back, etc). I weigh myself like once every 6 months haha. I just don’t really care what the number is if I’m still wearing my same clothes and like the way I look in the mirror.

  2. I take immediate issue with you saying this “but I don’t look great”. I disagree – you might not have looked how you WANTED, but you looked great. Sorry – body image self-deprecation police here I guess 🙂

    I don’t weigh myself much at all – and just to show how absurd it is, this summer when I was getting all of my cardiac testing done I had several appoimntments within a week, and the weight range was 10 pounds on my current 175lb frame. This includes one day in the same office 4 hours apart weighing 4 lbs difference in spite of not eating in between – and the later one I weighed more! Freakking out over the scale can be so self-destructive!

    My ‘on track’ is all about knowing what I am doing for activity, what I am putting into my body and how I am feeling. I know things change over time, all I can do it stick with things the best I can.

    Thanks for sharing your story! Though I don’t envy anyone who gets asked ‘have I gained weight’. Even after almost 22 years of marriage that is a total land mine for either of us. Because generally we already KNOW the answer … it is just what our spouse chooses to say instead of ‘no duh WTF do you think?’ 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed reading this and getting to know more about you and your story! I used to weigh myself everyday but have slowly starting doing it less often and recently committed to not weighing myself for the whole year of 2014! It has been really freeing to not worry about the number on the scale and just gauge my health based on how I feel and how I’m performing on my runs and races! 🙂

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  5. WOW, 2 awesome posts in a row! Way to go, Cori, and I completely relate to the feeling … when I started on this crazy health journey, I had just gained 15+ pounds, and while I certainly wasn’t “fat,” I just didn’t feel good about myself and knew I wasn’t treating my body well. One of the best things is that Kevin and I started dating then, when I was at my heaviest, so I can never think he liked me only because I was “fit” or anything crazy like that. Sounds like your boyfriend who told you you were gaining weight needed to go! I love your thoughts about strength training, too … while I still need to amp it up a lot, I do believe that incorporating things other than running has been key to feeling better about my body and looking how I want to look!

  6. Thank you for sharing your journey! Ah the old college putting on weight thing. It seems like that’s when it starts for a lot of people. I’m glad you have found some balance in how you work out. Strength training is especially helpful when you move out of your 30’s…I weigh myself but not very often. I judge by how I “feel” and my pants being tight. I kind of just know when I need to get back on track again and lay off the Triscuits. 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing your story! I could really relate to it. I struggled with eating disorders throughout high school and college, which cause me to not only lose a TON of weight, but gain a bunch too. My weight fluctuated a LOT. Thankfully, I have my obsession with being thin and weight in general, under control.
    I do weigh myself, actually close every day, but it’s not obsessive, like “I need to lose weight”. I always weigh myself right before I run and then again right after, so I have an idea of how much water I’ve lost during my run, and how much more I need to ingest. Now, instead of being happy about losing weight, I actually get mad (I’m that scenario at least). I usually just go by how my pants fit, though.

    • i feel like people go through this stuff it’s crazy because i never thought i had eating/weight issues, but was totally under-eating in high school. Not anorexia, but borderline. I was eating like 1000 calories a day<–because i counted them like a freak and i was ALWAYS hungry. That's another post though. I wanted to break this mess down one post at a time. Glad you found my blog 🙂

  8. Love it! Our weightloss stories are very similar, slow and steady followed by a change in mindset about my body overall! I have to admit I’m still a runner at my core, but definitely spending more time working on strength…though probably not enough 🙂

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