20 September 2010

Restart?... Reinvention?... Whatever!

OK, lots of thinking has passed under my bridge - all about where I am, what I like and dislike and what I want. The result? I finally have a plan to work to again.

The decision is made - I do indeed want to shed a few more of those pesky pounds. Ah well now, if I'm being absolutely honest (and that is the only way to be, my dear fat lass), what I actually want isn't so much a lower number on the scale (although that'd be quite nice) or a smaller dress size, but to rid myself of that unpleasing spongy blobbiness which resides just south of the old belly button.

It isn't just loose skin, you see. Somewhere underneath it there is actually some moderately firmish muscley stuff, just yearning to see the light of day. Trouble is, not only is there that flap of leftover skin on top to contend with, but the apron still holds my secret stocks of FAT, or BLUBBER, call it what you like... probably just in case I get stuck in a blizzard or marooned on a desert island for a month or more.

Loose skin is one thing, but the apron-filling is... er, let's just say not my best feature. So yep, I have YOU in my sights, flabby apron - you'd better watch out!

That said, it's a bit of an airy-fairy, woolly sort of goal, isn't it... doing 'something' to diminish the belly. Hmmm, that way lies failure so a 'firm' plan is called for (if you'll pardon the pun). Sorry to lapse into the dreaded management-speak but it needs to be a SMART goal - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Nothing nebulous about it, so I don't have any excuse to just bimble along where I am any longer.

So, I've set myself a specific and measurable target of reaching 57 kg (that's 126 lbs or 9 stone 0 lbs). I think this should be both attainable and realistic and ought to help with the apron. 

OK, so I weigh in at 61 kg this morning or 9 stone 8 lbs (grrr, hiss, spit, dammit - that's gone up and I'm both shocked and none too pleased that it is darned well higher than last week!). But don't despair, fat lass. It's got a lot to do with that stressful week/weekend (long story) and if you keep your head the damage isn't irreparable (sigh... and it was supposed to be a nice neat half-stone loss... ho hum).

Anyhow, that just leaves the timely part to deal with. I'm going to aim for a 1lb loss per week. More would be lovely but just not realistic at all. By my shaky maths, in eight weeks time, say by the end of the second week of November (OK, by the 15th if you want to be picky) if I pull my finger out, I should be able to report that I've hit the 57 kg mark. I'll tell you up front, it's going to be an 'interesting' challenge with two birthdays, an anniversary and a holiday to contend with (week six is going to be a doozy!), but what the heck.

Reading this back, with those events on the horizon it actually seems quite ambitious so I'm going to insert a way-point about halfway through to make it seem an bit less big and scary. Sooo, by the time the holiday rolls around I'm looking to be down to 59 kg. Oh dear. Is that rational thinking or a cop out? Hmmm, not sure yet.

Then the plan is onwards, ever downwards from there to 57 kg.

The next step is the 'how to' and, to remind myself, I've looked back at my original 'rules of engagement' and picked out those critical points that apply to me now as much as they did back then.
These were to:
* think before I eat (OK, I mostly do this but... soooo, fatty, do you really, really want it?)
* watch that stress (remember, upsets should not translate into 'eat me' time)
* eat mindfully (take time to enjoy each mouthful... and no like it = ditch it)
* reduce those portions (sure they are much smaller, but they could be tweaked)
* cut down on the salt intake (it has crept up a bit again!)
* cut down on the alcohol I drink (no, it's never much in a week but...)

And as far as exercise is concerned, and looking back to what has worked for me in the past....  every day I WILL:
* get on the rower (minimum 300 strokes - build up if the early morning rush permits)
* do a full set of abs crunches (oooh yes, every last one of 'em)
* beat 10,000 steps walking (OK, so where did I put that pedometer?)
I'll hunt around for an exercise evening class I like too. I fancy something 'different' and fun - maybe weights related. By the way, I'd welcome suggestions for other ways to target that belly too.

Then we'll see what the apron looks like at the new weight. Yes, I do know it won't disappear altogether, but if I'm happy(ish) with it and there's a chance I can wear those darned Levis I'll ease off, see how things go and whether I can maintain there. If still unhappy with the apron, then I may look at going for shedding a few pounds more. Who knows... the world is my oyster... or maybe a scallop or a cockle? In any case, it's my bivalve :-)

So..., in the epic words of Frankie Laine, "Move 'em out, head 'em up, head 'em up, move 'em on"


Fat Grump said...

Ooooh. Buzz-word bingo! I got SMART! :) *tick*

Well done you on deciding on a proper plan of action. Let me just say that the critical points you raised all ring true for me as well. After three Caesareans my apron is horrid...really flabby horrid, but it was at one time my very own 'grow-bag'so I have learned to respect it. I daresay it will continue to hang long after the rest of the blubber is shed. If only I could 'cut the apron strings' in relation to my body and not just my off-spring ;-)

I like your exercise plan.(I can't imagine rowing at an unearthly hour - I am likely to be riding the exercise bike at midight though, such are my night-owl tendencies!)

Good post, as always.

Vickie said...

I totally identify with all you wrote.

I got to goal and stay at goal specifically because of my belly.

I had to get every last extra pound off, while staying in the healthy weight range, not under, in order to have a belly that is acceptable to me UNDER the right clothes.

I am warning you in advance, it is not going to look good (nakie) to you at goal. And much of it will be skin. Skin is MUCH thicker than we all realize. So it is going to (still, somewhat) look like 'fat' to you in the end, but it will be the thickness of the skin itself. BUT it will be better with the last pounds off. We belly carriers are just different than the people who carry evenly, all over.

My last 20lbs was literally ALL between the bottom of my arm pit and the top of my hip bone. So I really do understand what you are saying.

my belly (at goal) hangs/wrinkles something fierce, but does not actually fold over on myself, so I do not have the rash, sores problem others have.

So I am writing to say several things.

First the most important thing about being at the low end of the normal range bmi is to make every calorie as healthy as possible.

There is no room for wasted calories. your body is a temple to serve you well for the rest of your very long life. Feed it very healthy food. but realize there is just no wiggle room for junk/processed at this end of the scale.

You mentioned salt. I agree 100%. I keep my salt intake down to 1500-2000mg of sodium per day. which means I have to be UBBER careful about anything that isn't a whole food. I eat things as close to nature as I can (veggies, lean protein, healthy fats mostly).

Here is an article on Sodium:


I love rowing, but you may hit a point where just rowing doesn't work for you any more.

I say this just to keep in the back of your mind - if you hit a stall or plateau, do not panic or get frustrated, at that point you will sinply need to cross train so your body isn't too used to the same old same old.

I totally understand that rowing is giving you total body.

if you have to switch up to another form of pure cardio, then you will need to add lunges and squats and free weights to the cardio to continue the total body approach.

I do not say this to freak you out - I say - forewarned is peace of mind.

MANY people think they can do crunches and situps (only) to take care of the belly. you are very smart to realize this is tone, but it is the big quads that burn calories to lose fat.

make no mistake - the isometric exercises ARE super important for tone. but again, your body will get used to straight crunches. it will not show in the form of a stall, but if you stop having any type of 'worked/sore' feelings in the abs and obliques, it will be your signal that you need to have a variety of different ab exercises.

this might entertain you -

I looked it up, at 5'4" and age 50ish and 126lbs your bmi would be 21.6 (in normal range ideal weight 19.1-25.8)

at 50ish and 5'6" and 134lbs my bmi is 21.6

so we are apples to apples (so to speak, pun totally intended. . .)

this is the calculation site I use:


Deniz said...

Thanks ladies - feedback from you guys is always much appreciated.

I know this stretch is going to be tough. I guess I also know that I can't make the darned apron thingy go away altogether - the plan is to make it less obvious (unless I feel the urge to get creative with pinking shears - only joking).

The rowing and crunch combo is OK for now but I do see that I may need a little variation down the line. As you said Vickie, forewarned is forearmed.

That sodium business is a MUST do for me. All the way through, my failing has always been the savoury stuff. Yep, the stuff with salt! I had improved a lot but lately have been drifting into some bad habits again.

I know by now that I FEEL better when I drink lots of water, eat fresh produce and whole grains and keep the meat to a low amount. Just got to remember it and DO it! The post-50 digestive system ain't what it was... sigh :-(

I tried out the calculation site you mentioned Vickie - brilliant one! Much better than the one I had used in the past. It's great to have confirmation that I'm being fairly realistic in my aims.

BTW, the 'apples to apples' remark made me grin - needed to today too.

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