November 29, 2018

Gooooooaaal! That was a goal!

Filed under: About Rhiannon Lassiter,Fitness,living in the future — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 3:57 pm

I’m all about the goals and this morning I completed a major one.

I’ve written before on my blog about fatness and fitness. I got fat by accident through not paying attention. I got fit by starting to pay attention and then a lot of hard work. Along the way my goals changed.

In June I started working out with a personal trainer. At that point I knew I could achieve weight loss, what I wanted was the ability to “do everything we do in class without needing to rest or failing to complete the set”, as I explained to Eli, my trainer.

With Eli I have become much stronger and fitter and more toned. I got compliments before on weight loss but now I get them on my musculature. Me! Being complimented on my muscles! (I know it’s problematic to compliment people on weight loss but at the gym it does happen, it’s meant well and at least half the people are tactful about it.)

Because I was building muscle I had to reduce my number of classes. Rest periods are important for muscle growth and I had to decide between fitness (more rest periods) and weight loss (burning more calories). I chose the first so my loss slowed down. My trainer increasingly told me that I was fit enough now that weightloss should not be a factor. But she understood when I said I wanted to hit that goal.

I started my weightloss journey in on the 9th of February 2017, my 40th birthday, at 96.8kg, over 15 stone. I was technically obese. (Yes, it was a shock to me too.)

Today, 29 November 2018, I completed it. As of this morning I weigh 64kg. That’s 10 stone in old money. I have lost a third of my body weight.

And now the next part of my journey begins. Now I enter the sunlit uplands of focusing on fitness. I don’t intend to gain weight, although Christmas is coming so realistically I may put on a bit, but that’s okay. I will continue to be mindful of what I eat but I’m not setting another weightloss goal.

For those curious about BMI, at my height of 161cm (5 foot 3), my BMI is circa 24. That’s only just within the acceptable range. I have a lot of doubts about BMI as a measure. I think it is a useful guideline but it is not the final arbiter of health. I like data, but I like detailed data, the kind I get from Boditrax technologies which measures many aspects of a person such as muscle to fat ratio. That’s more important to me than BMI. However, I did allow it to inform my goal weight.

I set staggered goals, the first was to achieve 76kg (12 stone) which I thought was sensible and realistic. When I first set the secondary goal of 64kg I thought that was dauntingly difficult. Along the way I realised it wasn’t going to be as hard as I feared. But by then I’d learned a lot about myself.

How did I achieve it? Everyone is different and what worked for me may not be the thing that works for someone else. For me, I benefitted from ample time, because I had taken a sabbatical from work to focus on personal goals – and that is the privilege of working in the public sector and of having savings. I used a FitBit to track aspects of my fitness and MyFitnessPal to calculate calorie intake. I was very data driven. I got started with walking, then I did Couchto5k which changed my attitude significantly (although not to running, I don’t like running as it turns out), then I started gym classes and learned to enjoy aerobics, zumba and weight lifting. I got serious about diet and nutrition and learned how to become a better cook. I did not give up any food although I experimented with different ways of eating. The next step was to work with a personal trainer (again a privilege to be able to afford this) and it was to my advantage that I had already prepared my body so I could focus on improving my form. I increased my water intake several times. It turns out water is pretty important.

And you know what else is important? Happiness. That is my number one life goal. I never would have imagined that working out could make me so happy. I have always been a person who lived inside my head. My body was just the transportation mechanism that carried it about. I don’t feel like that any more. I live inside my whole holistic self. I am integrated in a way I’ve never been before. I am living in the after. And it feels great.

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