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Why I focus on becoming functionally strong over weight
Firstly, let me say that being at a healthy scale weight is good, of course, and I am very much for celebrating success on a scale, but for me it is not the be all end all of weight loss/getting healthy achievements.

For myself, I realized somewhere along the way in my journey, that this wasn't enough. If I continued chasing a scale number, which fluctuates day by day, up and down, then I was chasing a never-ending number and balance game. The key moment for me came when I asked myself some very tough and very valuable questions: What happens after I reach that number - what else do I have then, if all I have focused on is a number on a scale, but to keep chasing that number? Maintaining that number? Living, eating, breathing to maintain that number?

I realized that for me, chasing a specific number on a scale and living to maintain that number was not what I wanted - that focusing on a scale number (which I have been trained to do since I was put on my first diet at 4 years old) was part of my sickness. As long as I viewed my success primarily in terms of scale number, I'd be stuck in the same endless cycle of obesity and chasing the skinny dragon and I'd never be free.

So I shifted my focus - set a body fat % range that works for me, and have been working toward that along with making myself more physically capable; stronger, faster, better. I adopted fitness role models of women who are sleek, fit, able and learned what their body weights are and I was amazed - they are 160 -180 lbs - well-toned and sculpted, still very feminine, and sized 4-8. Inspiring - I never knew that was possible.

And gaining functional strength has been nothing short of miraculous - being able to lift things with ease, to run, to dance, to surf, swim, climb, hike, ascend - these allow me to take on life-changing experiences. I no longer have to wonder what is beyond the scale number because I know - mountains to climb, waves to surf, marathons to run, rainforests to trek through, nieces and nephews to easily lift and chase and play with - this is my new definition of success. To be able to physically and emotionally live without compulsive eating or weighing: to finally be free of the physical and mental cycle of obesity.

User Comments: [6] [add]
Community Member
commentCommented on: Fri Sep 28, 2012 @ 08:38pm
Congratulations Sisky! It's awesome, isn't it? I'm not quite there yet - but I've made a lot of progress over the summer riding my bike (I've been tracking my mileage in my journal). I also do strength training at the gym and the results I've been getting are insane! My weight hasn't dropped too much but I have gone down several pant sizes! My biggest victory though was kicking my soda habit. I stopped drinking soda in January of this year and now I drink water instead. I feel better and my skin is looking better too! I wish I had done this years ago!
Keep up the good work - I'm rooting for you!


commentCommented on: Tue Oct 02, 2012 @ 04:51am
You've realized what many others would benefit from adopting. Functional strength is extremely important yet so many women believe lifting weights for strengthening purposes rather than endurance will cause them to buff up like Arnold. In reality, most women don't have the testosterone levels to do so. Muscle weighs more than fat, but muscle will prevent numerous age-related injuries seen in the clinics I volunteer with. Muscle also burns A LOT of calories for the long run and the act of lifting weights is often more beneficial than a couple minutes on an elliptical.

Growing up, I was always pressured to be skinny and low in weight. How skinny and how heavy seemed like meaningless goals as I befriended girls who could eat a horse and never gain a pound as well as women with a prominent back-end that attracted the attention of all men within a 50 ft radius. I had success with dieting once, but it was achieved after a summer of lying prone on my deck sunbathing and surviving on watermelon and green tea. It was a sedentary lifestyle that I obviously couldn't maintain as school restarted and I was forced to consume hard food for mobility energy.

Losing weight consumed my thoughts and eventually turned into an obsession that only worsened my problem.

When I tore my ACL and went to physical therapy, I finally realized the importance of strength over weight. Muscle helps you heal and saves you from further injury. The more muscle you have, the better an injury will heal. Muscle helps you burn more calories so excess weight won't lead to injury. I realized that working out for the sake of losing weight is an endless battle, but building muscle for the purpose of becoming strong and living life to the fullest potential 20 years down the road is worth working toward.

I am 5'6, weigh 160 lbs, and I am a bad ass motherf*cker.

Good luck! smile

Community Member
Community Member
commentCommented on: Thu Oct 18, 2012 @ 10:42pm
rofl I'm a kind of person who wants to get in shape and my 2 other sisters that is why we made a after school club in are school called heart FUN FITNESS heart , which I would say is a success because more than 40 people emotion_brofist signed up and they like!
I also work out with my big sis every day, we play dance central on Xbox360 and we do bicycles and sit-ups, xp push-ups, steam engines and more! I definitely agree with you! 4laugh
I'm 137 pounds and I'm 5'something!

commentCommented on: Tue Jan 15, 2013 @ 03:14am
Sounds like a plan! Breaking away from the scale (or pant size) was hard for me to do in high school..I kept trying to squeeze into clothes that were too small for me and trying to shrink into them - it was really comical.

I think the best motivation I got was later on, when I had people to I loved and cherished telling me that I looked beautiful as my own uniquely proportioned self heart Good stuff.

Gummy burrs
Community Member
Community Member
commentCommented on: Sun Feb 17, 2013 @ 12:05am
Cheers to all of you. This is a journal entry every young girl and young woman on Gaia should read.

For myself, I dearly wish I didn't have asthma. All my life it has held me back from being as physically active as I'd like and as would be good to keep me healthy. I'm only about 20lb beyond "healthy" but I know I could be so much more if only my lungs allowed me. I could get there...sort of. I'd have to work just as hard as an athlete in training to get to where a normal person can be without such work, and that is so depressing I've never had the will to do so. Pathetic, but my own little story.

commentCommented on: Thu Mar 21, 2013 @ 02:10am
WOW gonk

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