I Almost Had A 6 Pack

       

These pictures were taken just one year ago - February 2015. I was finishing up a strict nutrition regimen for a weight loss challenge, and I had dwindled down to a scale weight of 160LBS standing at 5'10". 

YOU GUYS - I had never, EVER seen this weight in my adult life, my teenage life, and honestly, I had already surpassed 160LBS by the time I was in 5th grade at 10 years old. 

In that picture I was focused. I was SO determined. And I was so proud of my "almost a 6 pack" abs. I had come a long way from 240 LBS. 

My weight loss journey has occurred in many phases - my college phase (losing the most weight), my running marathons phase (all throughout my 20s), and then my "ah-ha, nutrition matters" phase that started at age 30. 

I was obsessed in the pics above. I awoke every single day to step onto the scale, letting the number dictate how my day would go. I pinched my belly and frowned up my rolls. I constantly looked for reassurance from my wife on my physique. While her responses were always positive, my constant questioning for validation was a tad alarming. I was at my smallest weight since elementary school, and it still wasn't enough for me. 

Once the weigh-in was over for the weight loss challenge, I found myself addicted to the strictness and structure, but my willpower was wearing thin. When I allowed myself to indulge in sweets or less than healthy snacks, I completely and embarrassingly found myself bingeing on those foods. "I deserve this!" Following a binge, guilt would take over. It was a vicious cycle that left me terrified of food. 

I started seeing my extreme leanness disappear, and some of the weight started to appear back on the scale. 

Here's what I learned:

- for ME, strict regimens do not work. Yes, they yield physical results, but the mental ramifications are far too damaging afterward.  

- I'm thankful for the experience (hindsight is 20/20 lol), but going forward I know that mindset guidance is just as important as nutritional guidance. 

- there is certainly a place and a time for fat loss, but extreme measures do not serve ME well. 

- just because my willpower wears thin with strict regimens does not mean that I am any less disciplined. 

- white knuckling my way through nutritional methods leaves me feeling less powerful of my own decisions. 

- the faster I lose it, the faster it comes back.

- today I'm 175 LBS, and I'm wearing the same pant size that I did at that weigh-in 1 year ago. 

- not only am I physically stronger, but today I am mentally stronger in all aspects. 

Listen, last year I was chasing a number on the scale. I was VERY lean in those pictures, but I was NOT HAPPY. I was hungry. I was thirsty. I was living with a measuring cup in my purse. 

This year, I might be heavier on the scale (that I rarely EVER step on by the way), but my mindset has shifted. I have learned to love the skin that I am in, and I don't let a number define me. 

I don't have washboard abs, but I have strong quads, muscular arms, and a strong core to support my movement. I have the capability to grocery shop and know that while 90% of the shopping cart items are healthy, I'm not scared to allow the other 10%. 

I could easily look at those pictures above and want to be back in that lean body. But I don't. I strive for fat loss in a sustainable way, one that allows me to live my life outside of traveling Tupperware. I eat healthy. I exercise. I lift. But I'm not afraid of a cupcake. 

Today I feel powerful in the skin that I am in. I'm stronger than ever. I'm confident in my body and all that it does for me on the daily. Our bodies work SO hard for us!

No number on a scale can take any of that power away from you. It's yours for the taking! Go get it, 6 pack or not. 

Engage. Empower. Elevate. 

- coach fowler 

PS - yes, I constantly keep chapstick on my bathroom mirror. lolol 

         

That Scale - What a Jerk!

Just a few short months ago I would wake up each morning to empty my bladder, strip completely naked, and hesitantly (and with a light foot) step onto the scale. I’m laughing RIGHT now. The light foot thing is so true. Be vewwy gentle as you step onto the scale – it helps, right? The scale number for the morning would then dictate my mindset for the day. Even if I slept in socks (which is weird for me and rarely happens), I would take them off because I somehow thought it would make a difference. I would even move the scale to the OTHER side of the room to see if it responded differently.

You know what else? I always had a pretty good idea beforehand if I were going to be up or down before I ever stepped on the scale. I had that ritual of standing naked in the mirror and sucking my stomach in – this quickly indicated whether it was going to be a “skinny day” or a “fat day”. If I felt skinny, my weight was usually down. If I felt fat, then my weight was usually up. I got to know my body pretty well.

THIS scenario might happen. “I’m up 3 pounds today.”

This would suggest for me to amplify my workout, or maybe just say EFF it and have a cheat day… I’m already up, right? Mental mindset is negative.

I would sometimes leave to go to my early morning workout only to come back home and step on AGAIN to see if the number might go down.

OR this scenario might happen instead. “BAM! I’m down 3 pounds today!”

Mental mindset is totally positive. It might trigger me to stay strict for the day to continue on with “weight loss” or it might allow me the freedom to cheat that day because I’m already down with weight.

NONSENSE.

Weight can be such a foolish thing. As a society we are completely controlled by weight categories, and for a vast majority of people it can be a toxic hamster wheel.

Here’s the condensed version of what I have learned on my latest FAT loss journey: Weight loss and fat loss are two completely different things. Weight loss can be determined by WATER. I can easily lose 5-7 pounds in one week by sweating excessively during my workouts and eliminating foods that cause bloat. But THAT doesn’t mean that my body is ready to downsize to a smaller pair of jeans. No ma’am.

At my lowest weight I was in the 150s, but a more attainable weight for me was right at 165. At this weight I wear a size 8. I will be completely honest with you when I tell you that I have no idea as to what I weigh right now. I am probably in the 170s, but I really, really don’t know. I stopped stepping onto the scale when I started lifting more heavy weights. BECAUSE muscle.

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I started to struggle when I saw my weight going up. I was still wearing the same size 8, but naturally those jeans were really fitting dem quads. Again, BECAUSE muscle.

I noticed that even though I was still at my best physique EVAH, the scale was not where I wanted it to be. There was a defining moment with me, myself, and I alone in my bedroom where I decided that I would stop weighing myself. I was happy with my body, and I didn’t need a number to define that.

I still wear the same size. I pay attention to how my clothes fit. I’m VERY in tune to how my body reacts to foods. As much as I love some doughy bread, it doesn’t serve my body well. And honestly, neither does ice cream.

My body is changing. My jeans hug my quads. BECAUSE quadzilla, right? But I like it. I have to move up to a large in any swanky shirt that I buy because the mediums are too small for my DELTS. Seriously.

But I’ve gained body acceptance and confidence. And the scale was taking that away from me each and every day. I’m still getting stronger. I’m still working on physique and fat loss. But I don’t need a scale to measure those things.

Now don't get me wrong. The scale CAN be a tool used to measure a fat loss journey. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But I was using it as an obsessive tool to gauge my daily worth, and that wasn’t right for ME. Not anymore.

This took some practice, and it took a shift in my mindset about weight. If you're engaging in some of these toxic activities that dictate your daily worth all due to your WEIGHT, then you may want to consider ditching your scale, too!

So here’s to you, scale. You’re a jerk. I don’t need you. Okay BYE!

Engage. Empower. Elevate #EEEtribe

xo

Coach Fowler