Reflections on a year of exercise

Today is my daughter’s 13th birthday, exactly one year from when I measured and weighed in. While this was never about the numbers, I am pleased with the results, just the same. It is also interesting to see what the new measurements do not tell me. There is no way to record where the loss in a circumference measurement occurred. You have to feel it to understand it. That only comes with hard work.

Here is how it breaks down:

  1. Neck minus 1/2″ – also an indicator of how much less puffiness I have in my face and under my chin. Might make me look a bit older, although the decision to go to my natural hair color probably accomplishes that more. There is a lot of grey in there now.
  2. Chest minus 1″ – almost all back fat, because when I recently purchased new bra’s, cup size is pretty much the same. The whole landscape in this area changes as a woman ages and after having children. I won’t say anymore than that.
  3. Upper arm same as before – but the measurement doesn’t tell the story here because fat has been converted to muscle. So I look like I have shape in my arms when I wear a tank top. But, more importantly, I feel strong.
  4. Waist minus 3 1/2″ – this is a huge deal, because I’ve gone from the overweight category to the upper limit of healthy range. Really big accomplishment. The only thing I would say is that for the last 6 to 8 months I am holding, so it is time to kick up the exercise and make a diet change, as another kickstart of reduction. I would like to reduce another inch over the next year.
  5. Hips minus 3/4″ – but this is a strange one because I’ve gained muscles in the gluts – my clothes really show that off in a good way now. I’m down to a size 27 in my jeans now, normal ones without stretch in them.
  6. Thigh same as above – same as my upper arm, not surprising. I can see muscles when I flex my leg that are lean and pronounced, very interesting.
  7. My BMI is down 1 point to 24. That is a very good thing. I would like to lose another 4 pounds or so over the next year, I’ve also been quite stable for the past 6 to 8 months.

Today, I am pretty proud of where I sit. But my journey is not over. I’ve got a little further to go until I am safely into the healthy zones I want to live in. Then I need to maintain that position, which will take sustained effort.

The real prize is, I feel great. I’ve had no major injuries. Some small issues that a great new pair of shoes fixed. Learning a few stretching techniques have done wonders. My new clothes fit wonderfully. I’m comfortably in a size medium, (sometimes a small), from my former position in a size large, (sometimes an extra-large).

I started this journey for fear of the health risks my weight and body shape presented. I’ve managed to reposition my body into healthy zones by all indicators. This guarantees nothing, but the journey has been worth it. I committed to something and I am seeing it through. I am honouring myself in a form of self-care, which ends up extending far beyond my work outs. I am nicer to myself, which means I am nicer to other people.

There has been no downside to this journey. I highly recommend the experience, truly life changing.

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