Upcoming Fitness Events

Upcoming Fitness Events:
Aug. 5-10 -- Beach Week (yes, this counts as a fitness event!)
Sept. 8 -- Zombie Escape (5k mud run)
Nov. 17 -- Color Run Charlotte (5k color extravaganza)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Skinny Fat

I've recently discovered the concept of "skinny fat." There are a number of articles online that describe what skinny fat is and what goes into it, but it's basically this -- by weight standards and BMI, you appear to be healthy, but you still have a high body fat percentage. In other words, you look great in clothes, but as you begin to peel off the layers (read: bathing suits!), things aren't as fit and trim as you might think (or hope for!).

Unfortunately, I've come to realize that I fall into the category of skinny fat (or at least, it wouldn't take much to get there). I don't know that I've been skinny fat for the duration of my years on maintenance, but I think I've drifted that way over the past year or two. I suspect that I've reached this point for a number of reasons -- my eating habits have gotten a little lax lately and, though I've been going to the gym, a good chunk of the past year was spent focusing on running (to train for my first 5K last June). While there's nothing wrong with running (and cardio in general), my downfall was that I stopped weight training in lieu of spending more of my gym time on the treadmill. As I now realize, weight training is one of the keys to being fit, instead of just skinny. Without pushing and developing your muscles, the flab stays flabby.

And so, that's where I am today. Seeking to turn my skinny body into a fit one. As best as I can tell through my very un-scientific Google search for online body fat percentage calculators, I seem to have approximately 24-26% body fat, which I don't think is horrible but leaves room for improvement. I'm also currently about 3 pounds heavier than my initial goal weight that I set when first losing weight. 

That said, my new goal is this: in 6 weeks (March 11), I will be celebrating my four-year anniversary of reaching my WW goal weight. Between now and then, I would like to 1) reduce my body fat percentage (that is, tone up from where I am now) and 2) return to my goal weight. While those two goals can actually work against each other (muscle weighs more than fat), I think they are reasonable goals. I'll be able to measure goal number 1 through body fat percentage and body measurements; goal 2 will be tracked through my home scale. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting here

"Before" (Thanksgiving 2006) and "After" (Easter 2008)

Like so many others, my struggle with weight has plagued most of my adult life. Between a family disposition to be on the heavier side and my love for Southern (and otherwise) comfort food, I was far from being the size that I wanted or needed to be, and while I said that I wanted to do something, I didn't for a long time. 

In 2004-2005, after reaching my highest weight, I teamed up with some friends who also wanted to lose weight to try to help each other get there. Having the support helped, and I lost a decent amount of weight (40-ish lbs, I think). I was thrilled at my new body, but I didn't know how to take care of where I had gotten. Plus, I fell in love. ♥ Spending time with my husband-to-be and cooking for him sounded a lot better than watching what I was eating.

Fast forward six months into our marriage, and you'll find me fighting my highest weight again. In fact, the day that I started Weight Watchers, I was a single pound shy of where I had started in 2004. That day was a painful day, but also one of the best. I was getting dressed for work and complaining (again!) about nothing fitting well. Apparently that was enough for dear hubby because he gave me an ultimatum -- either do something about my weight or shut up about it. I have no doubt that he would have loved me either way, but hearing it spelled out so clearly hurt my pride enough to get my attention. I joined Weight Watchers online that morning and never looked back.

Over the course of the next 15 months, I lost 75 pounds, reaching my goal weight on March 11, 2008. Since then, I have been working to successfully maintain my weight loss, which is it's own struggle (and the motivation for this blog!).

People often ask what's the secret to weight loss -- the only answer I have is that comes down to sheer determination. Something clicked inside me that morning, and I knew that if I was going to do something, I had to DO SOMETHING and do it right. Losing weight is not easy; maintaining a weight loss may even be harder. But aside from choosing to follow Christ, it's the best thing I've ever done for myself and absolutely worth it.

Friday, January 20, 2012


It hardly seems fair to call this a beginning. I mean, it's the beginning of a blog about my journey, but it's hardly the beginning OF the journey. That journey began a long time ago and has reiterated itself many times -- the journey of finding myself. 

Now, lest you think I'm about to go off on some sort of new age, hippie rage about the metaphysical entity that is my person, I should probably set the record straight.
1. If that's what you thought, you likely don't know me very well.
2. To me, finding myself is discovering and refining the woman that God has created me to be -- mind, body, and spirit.

When I first thought about starting a new blog, my initial thoughts were that I wanted to write a blog about weight loss, fitness, and learning to find my happy place in the world of weight loss maintenance (New Year's resolutions and all that jazz). The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that I can't leave it just there. To me, losing weight and living in a smaller body is about balance. But without mind and spirit, the body itself is without balance.

So, there it is. A blog about fitness and my weight loss maintenance journey, sprinkled with other musings about the important things in life. My journey toward maintaining Merth...