Friday, January 6, 2012

The Weigh In

I remember the very first time I had a body fat assessment done.  I was playing on a winter elite team. (soccer for those of you who may not know) I was the captain.  I was in a good place; although I'd be lying if I said I haven't always battled insecurities.  Our coach had us meet at his wife's physical therapy office.  We had to do physical assessments as well as body assessments.  We had our mile and heart rate timed on the treadmill, tested how many sit-ups/push-ups we could do in a minute, etc.  Then we had our body fat tested.  High school girls that we were, we giggled nervously as our fat was pinched.  I didn't think much of it.  I knew I wasn't a size 0 but I was an athlete, I didn't have to be.

But before our scrimmage, my coach pulled me aside.  He told me how good I was, what a great captain I was, and that I had a good attitude and worked hard.  I had a bright future.  It could be brighter if I lost weight. 

Looking back, I know that he was not telling me I was fat.  But the insecurities of a teenage girl took over and I held back the tears.  He saw them and tried to smooth it over by telling me that he didn't think I was overweight, but that I could run even faster if I had less weight on me.  "I'm fat, I'm fat, I'm fat" is all that went through my head.  I played horrible that game.  Which only served as verification that I wasn't as good as I thought I was.  I was too fat too play.

I know this is when I really started viewing my weight in an unhealthy, obsessive, destructive way.  It is not his fault.  He meant well.  And I didn't stop playing.  I never spoke to anyone about it or how I felt about it.  But many years and several rounds of therapy later, I know this was the moment I began to hate my body.

Since I started training with Mike, I have had to do these body fat assessments again.  The first time I cried all the way through it.  I'm sure he must have thought I was a head case.  I only mentioned that I had had this done before.  I didn't tell him that story.  None of them have gone very well and I always end up in tears and frustrated that all my hard work is not paying off.  I am transported back to the time where despite my accomplishments I am a failure in this area.  About 3 months ago I felt on the verge of quitting.  I am working out 5 days a week, spending all of the extra money I am making on training and classes,  and I haven't lost a single extra pound or inch.  I drove directly to the store and bought the biggest doughnut they had and ate my car.  And I felt even worse.  The next session I came in feeling even more defeated and not at all ready to work out.  But when I walked in he sat me down to look at my nutrition journal/plan.  I was completing it religiously.  I stayed within my calorie budget, had my thyroid checked, and was working out like a mad woman.  Something was wrong.  And it was.  He dropped my calories by about 500 from what the online program had calculated out for me. 

And it worked.

This morning when I had my body comp done, I had lost another 4 pounds.  Over the holidays.  So I've now lost 10.8 pounds, 7", and 2% body fat in about 3 months.

It's working.  My hard work really is paying off.  I was eating too many calories to lose.  Even though they were healthier calories, it's calories in vs calories out.  It's really that simple.

I have conquered that fat pincher.  I'm not as afraid to get on that scale.  I'm certainly not afraid to run the mile, and I KILL it on the sit-ups/push-ups in a minute.

And slowly, a wound from the past begins to heal.


  1. Damn your soccer coach! One thing about women (or at least most women) is our poor body image. It's hard to like ourbodies with just ourselves beating it up and then to have someone else say you need to lose weight. You have had a huge burden on your shoulders for such a long time but you should be so proud of the strength you have found to overcome this burden. Keep strong, Karen!! I don't know where you want your body to be, but you WILL get there!!

  2. I am so, so proud of you! You are working your ass off (literally) and I know you will continue to do well; you are kicking ass!