I have spent the better part of the last 20 years raising 4 kids, tending house and holding down various jobs. Mostly it was a couch potato existence with a few stints of spelunking (caving) and a few "I've got to lose some of this weight" diet attempts. Nothing. I mean nothing up to this time in my life led me to believe I would be preparing to enter into Army Basic Training at the ripe ol' age of 40.
For the last year and a half I have tried every diet program imaginable. I have had some success, overall I have lost oh, about 35 lbs, the last 10 of which I have repeatedly lost over the past 6 months. It never stays off completely. The problem is I want it off yesterday and I get tired of eating healthy... I love food. Honestly there were times when I thought that all I had to do was look at food and I would gain weight. Truly.
The other half of the problem is that while I am a woman - I build muscle like a man. I think my dad actually cursed me when he wished I was a boy...
I have tried just about every exercise regimen available. All of which helped me to put on more weight, rather than take it off. I have repeatedly told trainer after trainer the problem and I have repeatedly been assured that "their program will help rid those pounds for good!"
HA. I am proof that you can be a super freak in the exercise department and still GAIN weight.
Now I know what you are saying... "you are building muscle (yay!) and so of course you are gaining weight! But you ARE losing inches right?" Well, sorta. My nice addition of muscle, while very exciting and great for the burning of calories... has actually forced my fat to push further out and has INCREASED my measurements in my waist and hips while simultaneously reducing the size of my neck. Nice.
There is a reason this is not good.
For those of you who don't know much about Army Standards, I will give a brief explanation of them. While the Army does have a weight chart they use (which streamlines the process for many recruits) they also allow for BMI or Body Mass Index. In my case, being female, they will measure my neck, waist and hips. This coupled with my height and weight in some crazy algebraic formula is supposed to compute my BMI. As a 40 year old female I am allowed a fat percentage of 36.
My neck measurement needs to be higher to help offset the waist and hip measurements. All my life I have had a small neck. I haven't had a tiny waist since my first child and I have never had small hips. That being said - I now measure out at 37% BMI. A mere 1% over what I need to be to ship out next week.
*insert the sound of extreme frustration here*
My fitness finding is this:
It matters not what size you are. It matters not what type of exercise you do or what diet you follow. Your body will do what it wants. It will find a way to stay at the status quo. Because that is what it is used to. I spent 20 years in more or less the same condition. My body does not want to let go. It does not want to change...
What I need to do is change its perspective. I need to convince it that it wants to be more lean, that it wants to do all those crazy obstacles at Ft Jackson and that it will enjoy it. I must convince it that this is for its own good.
Fitness is a matter of perspective... because my 22 year old daughter and I found out in kickboxing class that we were pretty much in the same shape. And she is at least 50 lbs lighter than I am.