Don’t focus on the scale. Focus on how your clothes fit. Focus on how you feel. Yaddah yaddah yadda. But I’d rather focus on the scale!
Well, despite the stubbornness of the numbers, there are a number of intangibles that tell me that while I went in the wrong direction on the scale this week, my body is reaping the benefits of my efforts.
First off, there’s the most obvious difference: I’m getting faster. I suppose this is tangible, but not an exact science. My average runs these days are 11:45 to 11:55 pace. I have no doubt they will be faster once summer dies down. This is really exciting for me. I was still a bit faster when I used run/walk intervals, but I’m working my way there! I’m still slow compared to some but to myself I’m burning the pavement!
My clothes are fitting a bit differently. I wore a pair of jeans yesterday that I even though put them into my wardrobe awhile ago, I’d avoided. They were completely comfortable! A few shirts that have fit me all along look more like I think they’re supposed to look, style-wise. I am wearing shorts without reservation, even for working out! I’ve been doing a lot of the group fitness classes at the gym and I try to avoid spots in front of the mirrors because I don’t want to see myself. But every so often I’d catch a glimpse of my reflection and I don’t look nearly as bad as I used to. In fact, I’d say maybe I even look good. I just wish I could shrink my calves! They’ve always been disproportionally large for the rest of my body, even before I was a runner.
I discovered the other day that my core is getting way stronger than its been in a long time. I made it through the ab track at the end of Body Combat doing most of the moves! And the instructors say thats a really hard track! I usually have to modify after awhile or even stop. I can hold planks a lot longer and I can even do side planks! I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do side planks. There was a time when I lived in Carbondale that I took the Rec’s “Rock Bottom” class religiously when maybe my core was stronger. The core goes away quick though and I’ve never been near that level again until now.
I’m gaining balance. This has been in the works for a long time now. When I first got back to exercising after giving birth I couldn’t reach my foot to do a standing quad stretch. I’d have to see if I could catch the bottom of my shoe, and I definitely had to hold onto something! Over time I could reach and I could feel my flexibility returning. But I wasn’t balanced at all. I had to hold on for dear life. Lately though I’m getting better at catching my foot without the aide of a wall and then holding that stretch for a longer amount of time without falling over. Body flow has a balance track and in the six or so weeks I’ve been going its gotten easier every time. Balance is a good thing to help running for sure!
I’m still gaining strength overall. I am back to body pump once a week for the last few weeks. I hadn’t gone consistently since my half marathon in May. It was hard to get back into it but thats gotten easier. Its a long process but I can tell I’m making progress. Getting out of these toning and strength exercises had made my back issues flare up a bit. Now I’m getting back in control of that, which is making my back stronger again and leaves me much more comfortable!
OK, when I take the time to look at all that stuff, that half pound (well, it was .6) gain doesn’t seem so bad. But considering I two more goals after #1 and 36 more pounds to lose, I’d like it if my body would cooperate and let me focus on the scale!