Monday, March 12, 2012

Not About the Number

Most of my friends know that I have a bra fitting and personal image consultant business.  Yes, I fit women for bras, hit me up (  One of my clients has lost 30 lbs (woo hoo) and needed to be fitted for new bras.  S/N - when you lose weight, its time to assess everything in your closet, especially bras for the ladies.  Anyway, I'm so very proud of her.  It takes a lot to be dedicated to working out regularly and eating right when we all have these incredibly full schedules.  She proudly announced her weight and I quickly (without thinking) said, "Oh we weigh the same now!"  Then she retreated her excitement and said, "But I don't look anything like you."  (Yes, I do stop traffic, sorry . . . a little horn tooting)

I had stopped worrying about the actual number once I got into my good tight jeans again but in just a few words, I had killed her joy and I didn't mean to.  I quickly recovered and reminded her that everyone is different.  All my life, I've been a dancer - ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, West African - and my thighs and calves are the proof that I worked hard.  They don't call me Hamhocks for nothing!  I also weight train.  I teach 6 Zumba Fitness classes a week.  Once I noted these differences to her, she came back to life.  Whew!! I thought I had destroyed her excitement for good. 

We spend so much time comparing ourselves to other people that we can often lose sight of the great progress we've made.  I'd rather compare me to me any day and take feel pride in what I have accomplished.  We also forget that there is one uncontrollable factor - genetics.  I may not EVER have 6 pack abs but I can make any little black dress look SMOKING HOT!!  174 lbs is the smallest I have ever been in my adult life.  That's where I am now and consequently may or may not reduce that number but a whole lot BUT I like the way I look.  I am proud to say I can go through my Zumba Classes at top speed without a significant break and without collapsing.  Can you hang with me?

I do agree that we should use weight as one of the markers to indicate we are moving in the right direction, but if that's your only number, you're not getting a clear picture of your state of health.  This is why I like Doctor Oz's truth tube.  It tells what's really going on inside and can't no body magic cover that up!

Can you walk up the steps without huffing and puffing?
Are you able to get to your target heart rate without passing out?
How many inches is your waist line? How much visceral fat are you carrying?
What's your average blood pressure?
When was the last time you had your fasting blood sugar checked?
Can you go run around with the children in your family?
And yes, Cholesterol still counts!

If you go to the doctor and your weight is the only number the doctor is concerned about, I'd venture to say that you're doing pretty good.  I don't want us to obsess over the number of pounds we weigh since gravity pulls us all down at 9.8 m per second per second (one of the few things I remember from Physics).  I want us to be concerned with the factors that make us prime candidates for Heart Disease, Diabetes, Kidney Disease before the doctor has to give us that diagnosis.  Skinny people have Heart Disease too, did you know that? 

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