It seems that a lot of my posts tend to center around frustration and struggle…not this one! Today was the day to redo measurements (last time was 9/1/12). I had checked my weight periodically, but it really hadn’t budged from 123 lbs. However, the scale is NOT a good way to judge progress. I can see changes. My shoulders look a little bigger and more defined. My back looks more muscular and leaner even compared to when I competed. My love handles have slowly melted away. I knew that I had made progress, which is why the 0 lb change on the scale didn’t really bother me.
I really couldn’t have asked for better results! My weight stayed EXACTLY THE SAME from almost 7 weeks ago…but, I am down to 16.4% body fat compared to 18.14%. I’ve also gained 2 lbs of lean body mass. I’ve been working on building my shoulders, back, glutes, and legs. My “pinch test” (body fat calipers) numbers all went down, while my actual measurements (measuring tape) went up in my shoulders, arms, hips, thighs, and calves. This means…adding some muscle while still getting leaner – hooray! My waist measurements decreased across the board. As my trainer put it, my shoulders are getting wider, my waist is getting smaller, and my hips (i.e. glutes!) are getting wider – nothing wrong with that!
I did all of this despite work trips, vacations, friends visiting from out of town, and weekly cheat meals. I didn’t sacrifice a social life in order to make progress. True, I’ve been training six days a week consistently and eating clean about 80% of the time, but what is so liberating for me is to realize that the other 20% (or 10% or 5%) does not wipe out the 80%! I am slowly chipping away at my perfectionist ideals that tell me I have to do everything 100% all of the time in order to improve.
I am getting stronger too. I can do dips with my body weight and then some. I can rack pull 155 lbs. I can rep out back hyperextensions holding a 45 lb dumbbell like it’s nothing. And – dare I even say it – I am actually starting to enjoy doing cardio. I enjoy training. I like eating my healthy food. When I have a cheat meal, I enjoy it, but don’t go totally nuts and I get back to clean eating the next day.
This is really just one part of the bigger puzzle though. I have had so many days lately where I feel happy just being in the present moment. The leaves are starting to turn brilliant autumn colors in Charlotte, and it’s my first time seeing anything like it. I have these moments driving to the gym or to work where there is a good song playing and vivid red and gold leaves shaking free from the trees all around me and I just can’t help but smile. I am spending quality time with awesome people. I am grateful every day for making the decision to take a chance and move here. I have so much pride and confidence because of everything I’ve experienced and done for the past 3 months. Exhilarating is probably the best word to describe it…and I think the best is yet to come!