Weigh-In Wednesday – When The “Pounds” Aren’t The Problem

     I’m excited today to announce that I have now lost almost 70 lbs (only .6  lbs away) . This week I weigh in at 162.6 for a weight loss of  2.4 lbs this week. Yay! I love moving closer to my goal of 135 lbs by 12/31/2012!

     As we discuss weight I wanted to share some thoughts from a wonderful e-mail I received  this week from my fabulous life long best friend, Vicki. As I have struggle to lose the 100 extra lbs I’d gained (69.4 down so far) she encourages me and inspires me with her fit lifestyle and her passion for pounding the pavement. However, Vicki too is looking to lose a few. She reminded me that though the hardest 1o lbs to lose may be the first 10, the second hardest 10 are the last 10. We often perceive our ideal weight to be a certain number, when in reality what we are looking for is a tight and tone body. Maybe the number isn’t that important after all and gaining muscle rather than losing fat is the answer to “the last 10 lb” delima. She shared with me a great article from GQ magazine entitled “The Last 10—and How to Lose It”. It proposes the focus change from weight loss to muscle gain as we look at the final phase of body transformation.

     If you have been leading a relatively fit lifestyle and feel that you still have a little extra ponch, adjust your focus.  Concentrate on building lean muscle rather than “losing weight”.

     Muscle cells have “twice the metabolic activity of fat cells”, so the more muscle you have in your body, the higher your rate of calorie burn. Stop focusing on lowering the calories and concentrate on upping the muscle mass as you approach your goal weight. Start working on building more muscle rather than radical dieting as you move closer to the end zone.

     Make sure your focus isn’t all on cardio. Begin to incorporate weight training/toning in a way that allows you to keep your heart rate up as you go, but is also building muscle mass. Circuit training is ideal. One of the things I love about Jillian Michael’s “30 Day  Shread” is that it incorporates abs, weights, and cardio in a ways that allows you to burn maximum calories while building muscle mass.

     This inspiring GQ article recommends three strength goals for the relatively fit runners in the group.

1. Decrease your pace on a quarter-mile sprint by twenty seconds.
2. Complete ten quarter-mile hill sprints without requiring more than two minutes’ rest between each.
3. Shave a minute off your mile time.
 
     Another recommendation – try a completely different routine for a week. Instead of your usual run or bike ride  try substituting swimming, yoga or Pilates for two workouts a week.  Changing it up will encourage your body to build muscles that it wasn’t previously using and as a result will increase metabolic rate. Whatever you do, do it with gusto to get the most out of your workouts. Don’t ever just go through the motions. Make every workout count.
 
 
     These recommendations may help you achieve the body that dieting alone has ceased to create. Keep calories in check and healthy food  in mind but for you it might be about so much more than “losing the weight”. Have fun playing with new options to build muscle and change composition rather than just “getting skinnier”. Weigh-ins are great, but the mirror tells the real tale. Building the body you dream of is about more than a number on the scale!
 
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