Saturday, April 24, 2010
The Shape of Things to Come
I have a ton more muscle than I've ever had....without even trying! Why? Well....I haven't missed a workout, a kettlebell workout, in forever, in addition to teaching lots of swing classes, most of which I always lead....lots and lots of swings....good thing I know how to make swinging kettlebells fun and interesting, lol!
I have a favorite phrase that I use quite often....."The size of my body is determined by the amounts, and kinds of foods that I eat, but the composition of my body (the shape) comes from my kettlebell training." And that is the truth. Of course body composition is related to nutrition, but nutrition alone won't give you muscle. (neither will Bikram yoga....lol, but that's another blogpost).
Losing over 120lbs does not leave a person lean and muscular, it simply leaves them with a lower bodyweight, often times a smaller version of their "fat selves"....you know, a person can be "skinny fat". A person can also be heavier, shapelier, and stronger. To me, beauty is the shape of a athletic, muscular, body.....leaness can be pretty too, but how lean is up to each individuals preferrance.
Recently I've been noticing some pretty lean "older" women at the Club I work at, and you know what? I'm not liking the look....even when I look at old pictures of myself when I was really lean I'm not sure I looked my best. Even now a couple of years older, if I had to be completely honest, I'm on a borderline of not really knowing what's going to make me feel better.....skinnier and older looking, or keeping a few pounds of softness, especially on my face.....Mark says a facelift is out of the question......drats!
Back to "shape". The responseI hear most often when someone finds out that I've lost over 100lbs is...."But you don't have any 'extra' skin!" This is such an irritating response to me, but that's another story......what's more important is the fact that most people cannot believe I used to weigh over 250lbs because I don't "look" like I was ever that fat! It's no secret that I had a "tummy tuck" two years ago, (because I wrote a blogpost about it), but I had that same response for the two years prior to my surgery because I was so lean, 17-19% bodyfat, and muscular. (The flap of skin they cut off of my gut only weighed 2lbs. and I didn't need any liposuction BTW....fyi) My point is.....sure I have some loose skin, I am in my mid 40's afterall, give me a break! But Mark explained it perfectly when he said it this way.....
My training created a "muscular frame" for my skin to "adhere"." In other words I've given my skin something to mold over....it's called muscle! Thank God for kettlebell swings. Think about hanging your favorite outfit on a hanger, or on a mannequin....which one do you think looks better?
I may not weigh what I want to, but I have to admit that I like the shape of my body. I'm constantly getting comments like, "You're in such great shape.", I even had someone tell me the other day that even while I was wearing long sleeves they could tell that I was "in good shape".
Of course I do other types of exercises besides training kettlebells. I practice Bikram yoga 6 times a week. Bikram yoga helps me build balance, flexibiltiy, stability, and endurance. I "Spin" only twice a week, because I find the benefits to Spinning not worth more time in my workout schedule then 2 days.....Geoff Neupert (Master Instructor) said to me at the August, La Jolla RKC last year, "So I hear you've been Spinning....why don't you just ride a bike? You know Spinning is just going to give you big legs....that's what I hear from all of the people I know that Spin." My response? "I don't mind having big legs, in fact I like big legs....it's my 'muffin top' that I don't like!" Big legs are athletic to me.....speed skaters rock! (I think I have bigger hamstrings than anyone else in my yoga classes....gotta love the hamstrings, LOL)
I may lose a few more pounds, but in the mean time I feel as if the shape of my body now is pretty great! Small waist, small hips, big legs, shapley arms, seriously muscular back, big lats, and my shoulders are getting bigger (more shapely) with all of the strict presses I've been doing....OK, so I may not have my "prized bicep vein" but, whatever! Give and take, right? No! I'll get it back, and I'll get my stinkin' 'pull up', the same way I got my 'hang'....hard work, but most importantly consistentcy.
It's all here for me. Life is good.