So I’m titling this one “know your body” because honestly I don’t think I’ve ever known my body, but I’m starting to.
As I have made very clear, my end goal for weight loss was always to be at 225 lbs. I was at my heaviest at 325 so I wanted that nice even, amazing, 100 lbs lost. I have fought for over 2 years to obtain this, but I’ve never hit it. In fact, I’ve been stuck in the 240-260 area. I’ve actually been stuck in that area for about half a year now.
The thought had been in my head for a few weeks now, but it finally hit me this past week: what if I’m not meant to be 225? As I’ve said in the start, my family comes from “big” genes and I have been fighting to get around that stigma. I’ve mentioned before to friends and colleagues (not sure if I ever did on this blog) that I’ve been called “big man” or different versions of that for years and how much it’s bothered me. A friend mentioned one time that I should just take that “big man” name and shove it in everybody’s faces… considering my love of professional wrestling and superheroes being “big” isn’t a bad thing as long as I feel it’s the right kind of “big”.
When I started the weight loss journey, I started with small, but big, goals. When I was at 325, I wanted to get below 300 lbs. Once I was at 300 lbs, I wanted to get below 275 and once I got to 275 I wanted to get below 250… then I could hit that final stretch of 225. Well after 2+ years of weight training, cardio, and a little over 6 months of yoga I think my body is trying to tell me something. No matter how hard I’ve pushed, sweated, and strained… the closest I’ve come to that 225 goal was when I was sick (last August I was down to 230 lbs and this past winter a bad stomach bug got me down to 235 lbs).
One of the main points of DDPYoga that is stressed from the beginning is to “know your body.” Simply put if it feels like it hurts… IT HURTS! STOP IT! This can go to so many different areas though… at it’s basic premise to “know your body” is to know that your body will tell you things. If you eat clean for a while then go on a fast food binge, your body will tell you! I know from experience! Now on a more advanced level, you need to know what type of body you have. Traditionally speaking there are three body types:
For a long time I’ve thought I was an endomorph. I fit most of the characteristics. After looking at this a while later I think I was focusing on the “gains fat easily” and “gains muscle easily” part.. then if you look at the workout type it says to “Always do cardio training and weight training” and of course the “watch calorie intake” part.. the only thing that really didn’t fit was the “short & stocky” characteristic. I was “tall & stocky”.
Now that I’ve eliminated a large portion of my body fat (the last time me and the wife did a full body fat check with the calipers I was down to 11-12% body fat) I am seeing a lot of excess skin. When I stretch out all the way, my ribs stick out a little. When I exhale all of my air out and tense my abdominals, I can see my “six pack” but the excess skin made me feel mentally that I was still “fat” and had more fat to lose. I’m starting to realize that this is not the case. I’m also realizing that I’m not an endomorph, that I have changed from an endomorph to a mesomorph… or that I was a mesomorph the entire time. I have a decent amount of lean muscle built up, my body fat is down, and I have noticed that based on my “real” end goals that my body was responding to the weight training better. When I would go out for my hour and a half cardio sessions or get on a treadmill for more than 45 minutes… my body would tense up and want to stop.
There it is again… I could tell that my body wanted to stop.. but I didn’t… which would explain why for these past few weeks I would start off hot and heavy and make good progress (on Monday I would do 2 hour-long cardio sessions, 1 hour of weight lifting AND 45 minutes of yoga)… then by Wednesday or Thursday I would not be able to push as hard as I could. My body was trying to tell me something.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about this.. about the frustration I was having and how I could hit that goal… no matter the cost.
I was able to hear this with all of it’s sirens. “No matter the cost” is not a spot I want to be in, so I quickly started thinking of ways to get out of this mentality. I’ve always felt that a “no matter the cost” is a dangerous place to be in and I wanted out of it as soon as possible.
After speaking to my wife about this (because every decision I make I realize affects both of us) she agreed with me and said she wished I would have came to this decision months ago. So here was the decision:
I’m happy being 250 lbs.
With that being said, I am not happy having a large amount of skin hanging off of my gut and chest. So there will be a slight change to the workout pattern. Instead of a 40% weight training, 40% cardio, and 20% yoga breakdown, it will more resemble a 45% weight training, 30% cardio, and 25% yoga breakdown. I’m choosing this breakdown because if I could build some more lean muscle that will give some of this excess skin “something to do” so to speak… also putting on more muscle will help me be a good type of “big man”. putting less of a focus on cardio and a bigger emphasis on yoga will help me reduce the stress on my knees (which have been hurting) and help increase my flexibility which would help prevent injury better.
Truth be told, I always had in the back of my mind that when I would have hit the 225 mark, that I would have started putting on muscle until I got back to the 250 mark. So why spend extra time losing the weight, then putting it back on the “right way” when I can just start the goal of any wrestler/bodybuilder (and I’m paraphrasing from a trailer for the “generation iron” movie): “lose fat, while building muscle”… it’s something that my body has been doing for a while now, so why not focus on that?
You never know, through changing this focus I may get down to 225 lbs, but I’m not going to focus on it. I’m going to start doing more “mirror measurements” and less “number measurements”. Numbers are just a number.. numbers do not change what the mirror shows.
So there it is, I think I’m finally starting to “know my body” so now it’s time to change my motivations and goals. losing 75 lbs is an amazing feet… reducing my body fat from close to 30% down to almost 10% is a tremendous feet… transforming myself in to something that when I look at photos of myself 10 or 15 years ago I will not be able to recognize myself? THAT is my new fitness goal… and I AIN’T EVAH GONNA STOP!