I posted this photo earlier on Instagram. These three photos were taken almost exactly 30 days apart (give or take a day or two). The first on March 8th when I was feeling particularly awful, then on April 6th, and the last one today (May 7th).
I took the March photo and the next week I decided it was time to start getting a better control on my fibromyalgia and IBS (as they often go hand in hand. Fibromyalgia flair-up = IBS flair up) but logging all my food, activities, vitamins, waking temperatures, you name it, I probably track it.
I know what you’re thinking – isn’t that annoying? Heck yes it’s annoying. But it’s quite a lot less annoying than being sick all of the time.
So here I am nearly 60 days into the new tracking business. I’ve lot about 3 or 4 lbs (it’s hard to really know since I had a bit of a scale fiasco a while back), and overall I’m feelign a lot better. Am I 100%? Heck no, but I’d say I’m maybe 55-60%, and since I would say I started at about 30%, that’s pretty good progress.
I feel like every progress picture I see on social media these days are weight loss related, and there are so many other aspects of health and fitness that aren’t dependant on the scale. That’s why I wanted to share these pictures. The truth is I feel really awful today. I ate something for supper last night that I didn’t think would upset my stomach but it really has, so in the May photo I am feeling awful – just as I was in the March photo. So while I’m still dealing with IBS issues, they are clearly much less severe than they were two months ago – and that is much more important progress for me than the scale.
So while I understand when trying to lose weight/reduce body fat how much the number on the scale can affect how we feel about ourselves and our progress, I’d like everyone who is trying to improve their health to find a goal that isn’t related to the scale or measurements, one that isn’t focused on exercise and fitness. Don’t misunderstand me, your goal will most likely still require exercise/fitness and a healthy diet to achieve, but that is not the end goal.
For instance, maybe you have high blood pressure and your goal is to lower it. Obviously diet and exercise will make up a big part of helping you to do that, but so will reducing stress by meditating or relaxing with a book and cutting back on your caffeine intake (just to name a couple things). But if your main goal was to run a 5K (with the side goal of it lowering your blood pressure), your success would be measured by how you do during your 5K, and your focus would be on preparing for it. Whereas if your main goal was to reduce your blood pressure, and as one of your avenues to help you achieve that goal you decide to do train for a 5K, you’ll still be training for a 5K but your focus is on your real end-game (the lower blood pressure) so it’s more likely that you’ll also incorporate mediation, reducing stress, and lowering caffeine or alcohol intake too.
Does that make sense? I am just starting to feel like everyone is in a race to run all the miles, lose all the pounds, do all the things without consideration for their overall health.
You only get one body, you gotta take care of it and that should come first. Losing weight, running races, participating in sports and other activities are a bonus you get by taking care of yourself.
If you are injured – rest.
If you are stressed, take a yoga class and try to relax.
If you are exhausted – stay home from your workout and go to bed early.
Listen to your body, honour what it needs. Only then can you really accomplish what you want to accomplish.
I’ve totally gone off on a tangent here, I hope my ramblings make sense, and I hope maybe they will stop and make you think and possibly re-think so of your goals.