The other day, my electronic scale lied to me.
I knew I’d had some losses – which translate into gains – in terms of body fat and weight, but I wasn’t prepared for what the scale said amounted to an almost 15-pound loss during the two-month period when I essentially plateaued due to my inability to make time for consistent exercise and stick to a healthy eating plan.
Amazed – and skeptical – I stepped on and off the scale three times. Still, the darn thing stuck to its proof I’d somehow melted away the pounds. Liar. The next day, when I awoke, disrobed and stepped back onto the scale, the truth was revealed: I’d lost half a pound – not nearly 15.
Yet, instead of getting discouraged, I was instantly energized: Even though I’d failed at hitting it hard for weeks, I had done enough to result in a (miniscule) loss instead of gaining. This was progress.
Since then, I’ve come back with a passion and am actually looking forward to the next time my coach, Ryan Schrink, measures how much weight, inches and body fat I’ve lost since beginning this quest to get fit and – eventually – compete in a bodybuilding contest.
So, what am I doing differently?
Make time for me. I have a flexible – albeit full – schedule that allows me the luxury of scheduling workouts when they work for me, since I primarily report to myself. That being said, in addition to my full-time job as editor of Extol Sports and Extol Magazine, I also work part-time at a few other freelance gigs, am a mom and wife, have six animals in the household and commit to other engagements. Still, I’m making “me time” – my workouts – a priority. And I’m a better mother-editor-writer-TV correspondent-wife because of it.
Be accountable. I may lose a few Facebook friends because of it, but I’ve started checking in to the Louisville Athletic Club in New Albany almost every time I workout. Sure, gym check-ins can be annoying, but I don’t care. It keeps me accountable and is a public, tangible record that I am doing the work. Thus far, it’s helped keep me on track.
Reach out. I went off the grid for a little while but now stay in contact with Coach Ryan on a regular basis. He’s a great motivator and celebrates the little gains. That means the world. I also share my exercise exploits with friends JD Dotson, Julia Danzl Williams and Morgan Sprigler. In turn, they share theirs with me. Reaching out has made me feel like I’m part of a team instead of going at this all alone.
Eat more often. Thinking of my body as a furnace and food as the fuel has helped me digest – no pun intended – the necessity of eating more often. It takes time to plan what I’m going to eat and when, but it’s becoming part of my regular routine. Most days, I eat three meals and have two snacks. And, for the most part, I’ve cut out eating after 8 p.m.
Make it a family affair. My husband wants to get fit, too, so we’ve started walking with our 17-month-old daughter a few nights a week after work, in addition to our respective workouts. We also shop at the local farmers market and Kroger together, plan our meals as a team and talk about our goals, gains and losses. That has enhanced every aspect of our relationship.
Use the scale. I struggled with an eating disorder for 10 years from eighth grade into college. Part of my recovery involved throwing my scale away. It worked for me then and helped me to understand weight doesn’t define you. It still doesn’t, but now I am able to use the scale instead of it using –and devastating – me. Now, it’s a measuring tool and nothing more. When my body fat gets to a healthy level, I’ll use it far less. For now, the scale helps keep me honest (and I bought a new one that won’t lie to me).
SCHRINK AND GAIN
Since I started writing this column, I’ve had numerous people ask for feedback about training with my coach Ryan Schrink. He’s amazing, and I mean that. If you’re interested in seeing what Ryan has to offer, go to www.schrinkpersonaltraining. com or call 502.216.9475.