In the midst of realizing that something was amiss with my body and trying to reverse the trend I was noticing on the scale and in my clothes, I started to see another trend popping up on twitter and in the blog world.
A couple months ago Kelly at Beneath It All started posting about her love of strength training and the book the New Rules of Lifting for Women. This caused other bloggers to buy the book and begin their own strength training programs. So I decided, why the heck not, and jumped on the bandwagon. I know that strength training has many benefits for me, but I’ve always been preoccupied with the instant gratification calorie burn associated with cardio. I was looking to lose weight, so doing cardio which will burn calories was my one and only goal. Plus, strength training tends to bore me.
Boredom aside, I do realize that strength training can also help me lose weight. And beyond losing weight…
It will make me strong.
It will help my bones and prevent osteoporosis.
It will help increase my muscle mass, which burns fat.
It will boost my metabolism.
It will most likely help me keep the weight off, once I do lose it.
Then, I read a great post by healthy living blogger and social media guru Katy Widrick called Weight is Just a Number – Proof in Pictures (and My Dysfunctional Relationship with Weight Watchers). Katy talks about being “skinny fat” and how the number on the scale does not matter if you are strong and healthy. It was further proof that I needed to start strength training. Even at my skinniest, I still had a relatively high percentage of body fat and given my PCOS and tendency towards being insulin resistant, the body fat is dangerous.
My goal is to put an end to being “skinny fat.” I want to be toned, lean, and healthy.
I want the weight loss to be a side effect of my strength training and healthy eating habits.
Beyond my recent weight gain, I have some upcoming motivation to keep me focused on sticking with the exercising.
First of all, there was less incentive to be fit and toned when I was in Washington. In Washington I’m constantly cold, so wearing pants and sweatshirts year-round was the norm. Now that I’m going to be living in Florida I’m going to want to be comfortable with my body, so I can wear tank tops, shorts, skirts, and most importantly, bathing suits.
Second, when it comes to running, especially after a long break, my back hurts. I’ve always known that my core is weak. Last summer I promised myself that I would improve my core strength which will in turn improve my running. If that wasn’t reason enough to add strength training to my routine, then I don’t know what is. Plus, running and marathon training are not about strength, they are about endurance. I want to be both — an endurance athlete and strong.
Third, I think it’s about time I pushed myself outside my fitness comfort zone. Last summer I did the marathon, but I’ve been in a fitness rut for a while. I want to do another marathon in early 2012, but I already know that I can run a marathon. I want to do something that I don’t think I can do. So my new challenge will be a triathlon. It scares me to death and I’m not sure I can do it, which is all the more reason to tri. Triathlon, Try! Get it?! Anyway, since soon I’ll be home with my favorite sister, she’s promised to give me swim lessons. That’s the part that scares me the most. Once I get comfortable in the pool, I’m sure I’ll be good to go. I’m not afraid of dying during the bike or run portions, but I do fear that I might very well drown during the swim.
Now that I’ve put it out there in the open, I have to tri, right?