Wednesday, December 12, 2007

0 Weigh-In: Moving Down The Scale Again!


It appears that the hour long (solo) run & mini-run (with my friend) have done the trick. I've lost the fat percentage points I gained (-2.2%) & then some (-0.3%), plus I lost an additional 1.6 pounds. Yippeeeeee!

If I measure my progress according to my long-term weight loss goal, that means I now have only 7.6 pounds more to lose. Getting closer all the time! (I honestly wouldn't mind losing another 5 lbs. after that, which take me to a really ideal athletic weight, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.) As for the body fat percentage points, I still need to lose another few points or so before I get within range of my body fat percentage goals. (I'm trying to reach an athletic body fat percentage range of 14-20%).

While I currently fall within an "acceptable" body fat percentage range, "acceptable" just isn't good enough for me. First of all, I'm striving for an "athletic" (14-20%) range to maximize my athletic performance for marathon training purposes. Secondly, I think today's generic/standard chart's given range is a tad bit higher (& lax) than what it should be.

Using this "standardized" chart, I actually think that the "fitness" (21-24%) range is probably closer to where most normal people should fall. Atleast this is the body fat percentage range I remember being the standard before obesity became a more common/prevalent occurrence. Of course, I'm sure there are many people who would argue with me, but if we look at the old standards & compare them to the new, I find it interesting that the accepted standards have been relaxed to fit the times we live in. More people are sedentary, more people are overweight & obese, & that also means that more people don't want to hear the truth about "acceptable body fat ranges." ;-)

It's one thing for the weight charts to be modified/updated, because I would have to agree that the old standards were very "cookie-cutter" & didn't take several important additional factors into account -- age, body frame, & bone density (which can vary based on your ethnicity).

While it's true that body fat percentages can change based on one's age, I'm a big believer in not just accepting that because I'm getting older that I should be OK with getting fatter. I've got several friends who are living proof that getting older can actually mean getting fitter. Take my blogger pal, Cymrusteve, who's running some of his best marathon times yet in his early forties. And then there's my own Dad, who, at his current age, is thinner & fitter than he's been for most of his adult life; he works out on a regular basis & looks fantastic. Then there's my fiancé, Erik, who's dropped weight over the last few months by running; he also looks & feels phenomenal. I also know many women who are in their late thirties & forties & beyond, who are looking better than ever. Many of them, not surprisingly, also just so happen to be runners. ;-)

So you see, people, it is possible to defy these "commonly accepted" notions of what it means to grow older. I think that we should not just lie back & accept nominal "standards" of what society at large, i.e., other people, think we're "supposed" to be. We should instead, regardless of age or situation, challenge ourselves to grow, & imagine greater possibilities for ourselves & our lives. If we strive to achieve, we are often surprised to find that we can rise to meet the challenge. A muscle that is used doesn't atrophy, it grows stronger. It's at this point that we learn what we're made of & what's really inside our souls, hearts, & minds. We come to grips with our inner feistiness -- our "fighting" spirits -- & find that we have the inner courage to be more of what we imagined ourselves to be. But first, we have to imagine those possibilities.

There's a time when I couldn't have imagined that I'd ever be running a marathon. Sure I might have told everyone that it was one of my big "life" goals to run a marathon, but I'd never taken steps to actually train for it, until now.

There was also a time when I couldn't have imagined that I'd be running my own business (or businesses for that matter!), or would ever wear a size small, or could even be an inspiration to anyone, other than perhaps my little sister. But at some point, I just dared to do and be. I took the first step towards these ideas by starting to imagine these possibilities for myself. And then I took another step by doing. I just took one small step after another, focusing on the action of taking each step, (versus allowing myself to indulge my emotions or think too much about the big picture, which often can lead to distraction & immobility). I'm not going to say that I never felt overwhelmed at times, but my point is that I kept moving forward. None of it has been easy, & the journey's far from over, but I'm sure glad I dared to dream these possibilities for myself.

What do YOU dare to dream about?

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