Thursday, March 3, 2011

Addressing a Weighty Subject

    These thoughts have been swimming around in my head for two days and I've been at somewhat of a loss on how to clearly convey them,  I've even thought about scraping the post entirely.

  But it is something I want to address so I will do my best. Though I'm sure I will miss something I meant to say.

    For the past two months I have had in my monthly goals that I would like to get to 118.   Being that I am already at a lower end healthy weight some might question why I want to lose anymore. . .

   #1 reason for that~ As far as I'm concerned that is my "race weight."  At 5' 4" it is a perfectly healthy weight, but I don't assume that everyone else my height would run or function best at this weight.  From my personal experience I have run my best and with the greatest ease at this weight.

  It is the weight I reach when I am on top of doing my push-ups/ core/ bodyweight exercises during nightly TV time instead of drinking or munching.  (Along with a healthy daily diet and cardio)

  And I won't lie, I do like how I look and feel more confident at 116-118, but I also realize that I could weigh more, have more muscle & less fat, and still look just as good or better.
     In fact Zuzana is 125 @ 5'4" and I'd kill to look like her, well I'd prefer slightly less muscular then her, but I definitely wouldn't say no to looking like this:

I WOULD say no to the silicone though.

    However right now at 122, I have more body fat than I would like.  I mentioned it in my previous post on "toning" my arms  and some commenter's reiterated it, in order to see definition in my arms and abs I need to lower my bf%.  I tend to hold onto fat in these two areas.

    So my goal with these last 5lbs is to hopefully lose mostly bf.   I believe (correct me if I'm totally off), that by eating so that I have a small daily calorie deficit while also keeping up with my resistance training,  I should be able to maintain the muscle I have and burn the fat.

      Part of the reason I wanted to address this is that for women, weight and weighing is an iffy subject (even I dealt with my scale addiction and had past issues).   But I am coming at it right now from the angle of performance and fitness.  I don't want to make anyone feel bad or compare themselves by posting my weight.  There are other factors besides height that effect what your optimal weight may be (ie: musculature, build. . .)

    I'd also like to point out ( I almost forgot this and it is such an important part for me) that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which puts me at high risk for Obesity, Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.  Maintaining a healthy weight has helped me reduce or eliminate all symptoms and I've found the fitter I am the more "regular" I am.  

From  PubMed Health
"Losing weight (which can be difficult) has been shown to help with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Even a weight loss of 5% of total body weight has been shown to help with the imbalance of hormones and also with infertility."
   Just reading about the symptoms and complications associated with PCOS is enough to keep me kicking booty with my workouts for the rest of my life.  While maintaining a "normal" weight is always a positive thing for your health, for me it is ten-fold.  Even being 10 lbs over what I should throws off my hormones and causes symptoms to reappear.

So to recap my reasoning for having a weight goal even though I am at an apparently healthy weight:

1) Tie: Performance/ Fitness/ Health
2) Vanity (Yes, I want to look good [and I am not unhappy with how I look now], BUT it is secondary)
   

22 comments:

Cynthia said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. I am at a healthy weight but would love to lose some body fat so that I can tone up all over. I am at a healthy weight but I usually don't tell people I would like to lose a few more pounds cause they usually don't understand it and think it's all for vanity. Part of it is yes but not just for that reason.

Good job on being able to maintain your PCOS.

coach dion said...

Don't worry both my wife and I are also always looking for ways of losing a couple of pounds. We've both are on the light side of healthy but carry a big of wieght. The things is as long as you don't starve yourself to get there go for it.
My problem is I love chocolate, Beer, Wine, and food in general...

Think I must get my weekly mileage up to 60-70miles/week again...

Victoria Elizabeth said...

I understand how you feel 100%... I am 5'4" too and I am at 118 but it just doesn't feel right to me. I feel like I could lose a little bit more. However, I decided that instead of focusing on weight, I am going to focus on body fat percentage. I am currently at 17.9%, I am hoping to get down to 14%. When I was in that range I was so much more comfortable!

Chelle said...

You can do it girl! Its all about calories in vs calories out combined with at least 3 days/wk resistance training plus cardio. I also find that dropping dinner complex carbs helps me lean out too. PM me on facebook and i can help you out with your nutrition plan if you are interested :D

Amanda@runninghood said...

Well written Katie. :)

Mike said...

My wife says 118-120 is a normal range for her too, so I completely understand.

Laura Frey said...

Oh trust me, I get it! I'm 5'4" also. I weigh 100lbs. I was attacked on my blog for even mentioning it this week. UGH! I can tell you nothing ever changes. This is the weight I stay at regardless of anything. It's been that way since I was 15. I bust my ass to add muscle. But nothing major happens.
I think you look GREAT!! I can understand wanting to tone arms or problem areas. But because you're GORGEOUS already some people won't get it. I say go for it!

JohnP said...

You're a hottie and you know it ;)

Doug said...

If you think it will help your performance, then do it. You know your body better than anyone else possibly can.

If you plan on cutting your caloric intake, just be mindful that you may run into times when you feel less energetic. That's fine, but be careful that you don't get light headed when you're driving.

Tri-James said...

It is VERY difficult to lose body fat without losing some lean muscle mass. That is why the bodybuilders do mass building phases followed by cutting phases. That being said, I think you would do best to start charting (or continuing) a food journal. Try your best to calculate the amount of calories that you expend. Then just keep yourself in a very slight calorie efficient. Since you are so close to your goal weight, it will become more difficult.

Keep your diet as constant as possible with as little as a hundred calories deficient. Give it a week and if you are not losing a little bit of weight then cut another 100 calories (or expend another 100 calories).

I know that you know how to do this but you really want to spare your hard-earned lean mass!

Stephanie said...

I think you bring up a lot of good points. Wondering what you think you're aiming for as far as daily caloric intake and what source of protein you'll be getting?

Rose said...

I definitely feel and work best at a lower weight than I am right now. It's hard for people to understand why someone who is already "thin" to want to lose more weight.

But I look at it this way: If eating right and exercising causes me to lose weight, than I'm at a higher weight than my body *wants* to be at.

So, I feel you.

MuncherCruncher said...

Katie you are awesome. The fact that you have determination and drive to achieve your goals is really impressive. I think sometimes it can be hard to find that balance between healthy goals and obsession over perfection and it seems to me like you have a great handle on it. I can't wait to hear about your progress. You'll kill it girl!

PBandJ Runner said...

I also have PCOS, and I know that for me personally, stay on top of my diet, my stress levels, and my exercise is key to keeping off those pesky symptoms like excess weight gain, acne, etc.

PBandJ Runner said...

I also have PCOS, and I know that for me personally, stay on top of my diet, my stress levels, and my exercise is key to keeping off those pesky symptoms like excess weight gain, acne, etc.

Stefanie D. said...

I love how much drive you have!! Thanks for this post. :)

Alex said...

Wow...when were you diagnosed?

Who knows how much Zusana's boobs weigh? =)

Chris K said...

Do you know Zuzana? Do you have her phone number? I've sent her a few emails but I think she's playing hard to get.

Black Knight said...

Beautiful post.
Healthy weight ... the daily thought.

Harlow B said...

Zusana's crazy ripped and I'd love to look like that too (minus the super cut abs!)

You've got to do what works for you, and if you'd like to drop 5 pounds for whatever reason, health , fitness,vanity, it's your body and only you know what works for you :)

About the scale addiction, how DID you break that???? I cna't have a scale in the house because I ill weigh too many times a day!! Now it's once a week at the gym.

~ Harlow

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

Just want to say I agree (yet again) with TriJames above.

I completely understand where you're coming from. A lot of little details about our bodies become big pictures when you look at it as an athlete - it's all about efficiency, right?

As long as you're going about it slowly (as James points out), you'll be fine. And I'm sure you are.

Dash said...

Holy Crap I want Zuzana's abs! You've been at your goal weight, so you know it best. I'm the same way, I have this one weight, I def don't want to go under, even 1 pound, as I can tell a huge negative diff, but 1-2 pounds over seems to be okay, not as great, but okay.