Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Some Background

This blog is ultimately intended to be a place to post my present progress, discoveries, and musings. To get things started, however, I will be posting retrospectives on myself, my goals, my past fitness attempts, etc.  My present stage in my journey means more to me because it is within the context of less successful  stages, so it only makes sense to share some of that context here.

First: Who am I?

I am a 23 year old female. I’m 5’4” and presently 155 lbs. I am neither a jock nor a couch potato.  I want to change my practices and habits and improve my health in various arenas. I have no serious injuries or physical problems to hold me back in physical activity. I like all kinds of physical activity and am very open to trying different things. I never eat mammal or poultry, but I do eat fish, eggs, and dairy. People call me vegetarian, which I don’t mind, but those that do mind are usually the ones who don’t eat fish and call people like me pescatarians. You can call me Mal.

If you took my height and weight to a bmi chart, you’d see that I’m right in the middle of the “overweight” column with about 15 lbs between me and having an either obese or normal weight. I have been overweight since I was about 16. That being said, I think I generally look great, and so do enough friends to make me think I’m not delusional. My issue is not with how I look (unlike many other women, sadly). My issue is with my health.  I want to make sure I have a healthy cardiovascular system, low cholesterol, healthy blood pressure, and a healthy body percentage fat.  Beyond that I want to be strong and fit with certain physical abilities. I’m pretty sure that going after these things will also ultimately lower my weight and get my bmi into the normal range.  Thus, my goal isn’t to change the number on the scale.  That number will change as I reach my goals. So will how I feel, and improving how I feel is far higher on what’s important to me than what I say if someone asks my weight.  

I am not at all embarrassed about my physical state, my weight, or my level of activity or inactivity. I have a healthy self-esteem and self-respect when it comes to my body. I do feel subconscious about the padding around my middle, but that’s about it, and I hide it well.  I even wear a sexy bikini once in a while, exposing my midriff in all its discreetly-chubby glory. I said I don't have in issue with how I look, and it's true, but I'm pretty sure that getting fit will make me look even better. I'm pretty sure the lean and toned look suits most people.

 I have an “apple” body type- I carry most of my weight around my middle. In my particular case it means I don’t look as heavy as I am and my weight gives me that curvy hourglass figure when my waist isn’t too padded.  It also means I’m more likely to have heart disease and other similar problems than people with the “pear” body type.

I don’t mind questions. We as a culture these days are pretty sensitive about weight, when it’s just another health metric. People are afraid to ask others about their weight or their physical fitness for fear of bringing up a sensitive or personal subject. With me the subject is not sensitive, and I invite questions.  

I can touch my toes, but I want much more for myself in terms of flexibility. For me, working on my health breaks down into stamina (cardiovascular), strength, flexibility, and diet while most people only include the other three.  For me stretching isn’t just something I do after a workout to prevent shin splints, it’s its own arena of fitness. 

For me the fitness plan isn't to get somewhere then be done. My purpose isn't to lose 30 lbs and then smile in relief and pack it in. It is to develop lifelong habits and practices to maintain my health and fitness, with plenty of concrete goals to use as targets and benchmarks along the way.

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