Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tracking the Changes....Scales vs. Tape

It's been a little over a week since I finished my first round of bootcamp.  I came out of it with some pretty impressive changes to my stats.  Today, I'm going to see if there has been any changes to those stats in a week - and discuss when and how to track your progress.

I have always been the kind of person that can never stay off the scale for a long amount of time.  I'm always curious to see what it says - however, I have become accustomed to the fact that my weight can fluctuate up to 2lbs daily - so I don't really take the result to heart.  In the beginning, I would weigh-in once a week, and measure myself with measuring tape - to determine if I'd lost any inches.  Doing that each week was OK, but I realized I was always a little disappointed if I didn't see better results.  I would squeeze the measuring tape as tight as I could to get a little more bang for my buck.  Then a major disappoint came when I was being measured during the last week of bootcamp.  Because of my constant squeezing, and altering the tape to make it say what I wanted it to say - I had to face the fact that I really hadn't lost as much as I thought I had.  So, after that, I decided that I would lengthen the time I would test my stats.  I am going to weigh-in and measure today - even though it's been a week since I last did them, but it's mostly for the purpose to talk about measurements for this post. 

OK, so let's get down to business.  I'm going to post my stats with the changes, and then I will share how to correctly measure - for accurate results.

All of the "previous" measurements are from July 14th.
Previous Weight:  220lbs     Today's Weight:  218lbs (-2lbs)
Previous Neck:       14"               Now:  14" (no change)
Previous Arm:        16 1/4"          Now:  16 1/4" (no change)
Previous Forearm:  12"               Now:  12" (no change)
Waist:                     41 1/2"          Now:   41 1/2" (no change)
Hips:                       49"                Now:  48" (-1")
Thigh:                      28"               Now:  27 1/2" (-1/2")
Calf:                        17 1/2"          Now:  17 1/2" (no change)

As you can see, not really a lot of change after a week. 

When measuring, there are certain things you should keep in mind - in order to get the most accurate results.

1.  Measure yourself on bare skin.  You don't want clothes adding to the numbers.
2.  When measuring your neck, measure around the center of your neck.
3.  When measuring your waist, measure just above the belly button. 
4.  When measuring the thigh, measure 6" above the knee.
5.  When measuring the forearm, measure just below the elbow.
6.  When measuring the calf, measure around the center of the calf. 
7.  Do not pull the tape as tight as you can, just allow for a natural fit
8.  Don't get discouraged if you don't see drastic changes each time you measure.

Remember, the best type of weight loss is slow and steady.  There may be weeks that you lose a few pounds, but don't see any changes to the inches lost.  There may be weeks you don't lose any weight, but notice an inch gone from your waist.  It's totally natural, and just your body adjusting to the new you.

While in bootcamp, I only lost 5lbs in 6 weeks - talk about disheartening.  There I was busting my rear harder than I've ever done before - and to end with only a 5lb loss was so confusing.  Then, the wonderful instructors assured me that what I was experiencing was totally normal.  During my time in bootcamp, I was focusing on strength and endurance training - meaning, my body was building muscle.  I was burning fat, but my muscles were getting bigger and stronger at the same time.  In the end, I saw an improvement in the inches I lost, and I lost 4% of my body fat percentage.  Once I realized that I needed to really work my muscles to burn fat - I was OK with what the scale was telling me.  Now, I've been out of bootcamp a week, and lost 2lbs.  It's because I'm keeping the momentum of bootcamp going - and now I'm starting to see the results of my fat loss.

So, when should you measure?  That's a personal decision - there's no magic time that's better.  If I could offer my suggestion, I would tell you to at least go 2 weeks in between measuring.  In an ideal world, if you could handle it - I'd push for 3 to 4 weeks.  There's nothing wrong with stepping on the scale to get an idea of weight loss - but try not to do that every day.  Maybe weigh yourself once a week, and measure every 3-4 weeks.  Doing it that way, you more likely to see bigger results...and that's a lot more motivating. 

I will be getting measured again on August 2nd, when my second round of bootcamp starts.  I won't measure again until then.  The camp lasts 4 weeks, so I won't measure during the entire time I'm at bootcamp - so I can really see the results on the last day. 

Whenever you decide to measure and weigh - just keep in mind that even though you may not see the change in numbers you were hoping for...they will come.  It's been 6 months since I began this journey, and my total weight loss is 45lbs.  Some people may think "big whoop, that's less than 10lbs a month".  Well, it's a big whoop to me.  Doctors advise that a healthy weight loss is 1-2lbs a week.  I've been going at this a little over 24 weeks - so I'm right where I should be.  It means I'm losing weight in a healthy way - and that more than doubles my chances of keeping the weight off.  Sure, I could take pills or replace my meals with shakes and lose 10lbs a week...but I can't do that stuff forever.  That means, as soon as I stop taking them, I have to start eating "real" food.  You know what that means?  The weight starts coming thank you!!

It's not just the changes on the outside I've noticed, either, but the changes on the inside.  I feel healthier than I've ever felt.  It was nothing for me to go to bed at 10PM and then sleep until noon the next day...then I'd get up, and feel exhausted.  Now, I can get in 6-7 hours of sleep and feel well rested and full of energy when I wake up.  I find that I WANT to eat healthy.  Sure, I enjoy my free day every week - but I often find that if I eat too much of something I shouldn't, I end up regretting it.  I feel bloated, sometimes miserable.  Lastly, and the most recent change, I actually WANT to work-out.  My exercise really makes me feel great - gives me energy, releases my stress, and tells me that I'm getting stronger and healthier.  These are all great benefits that you, too, will feel - if you just give it a chance.  Don't give up - it's worth the wait.  In no time, you might be able to look at pics like the ones I'm about to share, and see what a little hard work and dedication can do.  Also, if you're one of those people reading and saying "45lbs in 6 months, is that it?" Look at these pics and say that.

Here's a pic of me taken about this time just one year ago:

Now, check out the pic taken of me last weekend at a ball's amazing what 6 months of hard work can do. 

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day!!  At 9am in the morning, KNWA (my local news station) will be in my home interviewing me about the blog and my progress!!  My blog will be later than usual, but I will be blogging while they are here.  I'll let you know everything that happens..

Till next time.  ;)

1 comment:

  1. you look really great! i am so proud of you!! and you're blog is excellent on keeping people motivated and informed!!


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