After my post on fit vs skinny last week I decided it was time to get personal and talk a little about my own journey over the last 3 months. It has always intrigued me when I talk to our clients about fat loss versus weight loss, being fit versus being skinny, positive versus negative self talk, and the notion that trainers are working towards their own personal goals and even we as fitness professionals aren’t always 100% self confident in the way we look or feel.
On December 8th I had my body composition taken. It was a whopping 22.79% and I weighed in at 143 pounds. That being said that’s 32.6 pounds of FAT and 110.4 pounds of lean body mass(LBM). I set up my action plan as to how I could LOSE fat! I didn’t care so much about the number on the scale, but I was definitely not happy with my body fat percentage. Okay, okay, truth be told….I really did care about the number on the scale, because I knew that if I could just hit 138 pounds I would look great! I decided that I would increase the number of days I was strength training. I incorporated TRX Suspension Training, TRX Rip Training, kettlebells, bands, med balls, and a bunch of fun “toys”. My cardio consisted of high intensity, short duration bouts of running a couple times per week. Within four weeks I had lost 2% body fat, 3 pounds of fat and had gained 2 pound of LBM! The weight on the scale didn’t budge. Determined to continue on a path of fat loss, I really took a look at my nutrition and realized that I was eating as much as my boyfriend, Eric, at each meal….I realized that I really like to eat! Without changing a lot of my food selection, I cut back on my portion size and increased the amount of protein I was consuming daily. I began tracking my food consumption using the Daily Burn Tracker and found that there were days I actually wasn’t eating enough! Could that be? I needed more food (fuel) per day to increase my fat loss! So YES I had to start eating more, to lose fat! The other major factor, in my opinion, is cutting down on the alcohol consumption. I allowed myself 1-2 alcoholic drinks per week if I chose. Instead of my usual, delicious pint(s) of Blue Moon beer with a whopping 171 calories per 12 oz, I settled for a small glass of pinot noir at 120 calories. I found that not only was I not consuming empty calories, but I felt much better! I was sleeping soundly and my energy levels increased.
I did my final weigh in and body composition check on March 6th….12 weeks after first starting. I am happy to report that I am now 16.96% body fat and am 139 pounds; with 23.57 pounds of fat and 115.42 pounds of LBM. In 12 short weeks I have lost 9 pounds of fat, gained 5 pounds of LBM and the scale only changed by ~4 pounds.
I know how frustrating it can be when we put so much emphasis on the scale. It makes you wonder why you drag yourself to the gym five days per week, why you sacrifice your weekend mornings for the long runs, and why you ever thought about giving up alcohol. But trust me, it’s NOT about the number on the scale. That’s not the important number….instead focus on body composition….fat loss, not weight loss. Once you set your sights on this, you will find success! And I now have the mindset that FIT is so much more important than skinny.