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.

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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?

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1 comment on “Part Two: Putting an End to Being “Skinny Fat” and New Challenges”

  1. I had a lot to say about the skinny fat thing earlier and now I can’t remember any of it. GRRR.

    I think its important to make a distinction between trying to lose weight and trying to be healthier. You need to be healthy, especially cause of the PCOS, but counting numbers on a scale will be frustrating. So it’s awesome that you’re doing this whole end to skinny fat thing and focusing on getting leaner and toned and healthier, ignoring what’s on the scale.

    I started going through pix from high school and college (of myself). I currently weigh 150 and I could stand to lose about 10 pounds (but I have been giving in to my cravings and sweet tooth WAY too much lately. Oh well, that’s what zumba is for , right? Lol) but when I look in the mirror, *most days*, I feel confident and like what I see. I see my legs getting more definition and I feel like my arms are looking better (at least at my shoulders. When you see me in person, you can tell me if its all in my head or if my arms are actually getting something from those damn body pump classes), and I think my face is skinnier than it was (though not nearly as skinny as it has been). I weigh 150 which is basically what I weighed in high school and the first year of college. But, IMHO, I look 25x better NOW than I did then. And even the pix from sophomore year (in the beginning) when I was a little thinner cause I did Weight Watchers that summer, I feel like I still look better *now*. Your weight is just a number. It’s gotta be more about how you feel, how you look, and being healthy.

    The thing I do find frustrating, though I know the solution (again, I’ve gotta stop giving in to my cravings as often as I do. Damn.), is the fact that my core, which has always been my weakest area, is no longer that weak. I notice a difference from those pilates classes I was doing, and now from body pump, and from those dumb pole dance classes (too expensive to do without a groupon for what they are). I can do more crunches and more ab exercises for longer periods of time, I can do more back exercises for longer without feeling fatigued, and things during the day that would normally make my back ache (like sitting up straight!) no longer bother me like they used to. HOWEVER you can not see it AT ALL. I’m convinced everything I eat just stays in my stomach. I need to focus more on that area than anything else. On one hand its frustrating and I hate my stomach and I don’t want to wear my bathing suit at the beach tomorrow (ug), but on the other hand, its not like I’m NOT working out; I’m doing good things for my body and bones, and I do notice a different in my strength. I can do more now than I could 10 years ago (that’s weird to say) but looking at me, you might not be able to tell that.

    Stepping out of your comfort zone is important. I think your trYatholon idea is a great one, especially for a runner like you! I had NO idea you didn’t like swimming or felt uncomfortable doing so…. didnt you grow up in Florida? 😉 Or are you more concerned with the distance? I dont think I could handle the distance without wanting to die. Setting goals is very important and this is a PERFECT one for you. My newest goal is kind of silly: so this pole dance fitness class was effing hard. The instructor made it look SO easy and it was REALLY hard. You need AMAZING Core strength and amazing upper body strength to do it. SO. In 6 months, I’d like to try another one of those classes and BE ABLE to hold myself up on the pole (with my upper body) like the instructor was doing. Tina and I were so impressed by the ease and grace with which the instructor swung around the pole. We looked like blind, bumbling giraffes. BUT if we were stronger, we could do it. I dont think I could have done that class at ALL if it hadnt been for the once-a-week body pump we’ve been doing. (I think I might actually go find a playground with a fireman’s pole and practice some of the moves. That shit is HARD.)

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