It's all about body composition.
I’m writing this blog from Lake Garda… It’s such a beautiful place and I’m particularly happy because of all the hard training I put in before I came here… I certainly haven’t trained much since being here, but have got a 30 min fast swim in most mornings and will head out for a power walk at some point today too – nothing beats walking by the lake shore with some nice music playing, perfect me time, not to mention tan & tone time! I’m relaxing in the evenings and tucking into chianti, but so far not interested in pizza, pasta and ice-creams because the fresh food is so great. This is the first of a 2 part blog – this one is about why women really should ditch the scales and the next one is about managing food / weight / training when you are on holiday. I thought I’d share some observations and facts with you, because the morning I went on holiday, I had to squeeze in 2 telephone interviews with journalists for a top magazine and top newspaper on these very subjects!
OK, so this is the thing. I am now 100% sure (more than ever) that women should ditch the scales. If you followed my audio blogs recently and heard the final day, you’ll know that I totally changed shape, was getting compliments left right and centre about how slim / strong I looked, yet when I weight myself (for blog purposes only!), I had lost less than 2 lbs. Now this didn’t phase me whatsoever because I am very clear that lb for lb MUSCLE IS SMALLER THAN FAT and I’m also clear that I want to be smaller not lighter!
As I sit by the pool here, I am in women’s body heaven… I look at everyone’s bodies, look at how they eat/drink/sit/swim/act and I find it fascinating – sad but true! The main observation I have made is that there are women who are probably 10 stones and look 11 stones and then women who look 10 stones and are probably 11 stones. There are women who are a size 10 with bad posture, bad skin and awful body composition. Things like flabby/cellulite/not toned at all and yes these are the ones who I see tucking into diet coke all day long! And then women who are a 12-14 who are the opposite… strong body, a good shape, look fit etc etc and I know which one I’d rather be. I’m sure you’ll all agree that it’s better to have a strong / slimmer body, one that functions properly and has a great shape than it is to be the unfit/un-toned/working under par body – even if it means being a few pounds heavier… If you don’t - ask yourself why. Why is it you are being controlled by a figure on the scales??!!
Muscle is metabolically active where as fat just sits there… So having more muscle increases your metabolism. This means that not only do you raise your metabolism by training, you need an extra 50 cals a day per muscle mass.. this is where women who train get a second wind of calorie burn.
The other thing I want you all to do is burn measuring tape and dress labels. Yes I’m serious. I TOTALLY changed shape, but a lot of my shape change didn’t occur in the typical chest/belly button/hips… I lost inches from my lower back, some parts of my arms, around my ribs etc…. so if I had measured my progress I might have been disheartened too ! I literally stood in front of the mirror in my bikini 4 weeks ago and went yuk, I need to tone up/trim down. Then the day before I went on holiday, I put the same bikini on and went, yaaaay!
Regarding dress labels, I bought a pair of shorts from primark that were a size 14… but they look amazing on me, so WHO CARES! Some of the clothes that make me look the slimmest are not a size 10-12… working alongside top stylist, Rowan McKinnon from StyleEyes, she says the same things time and time again – buy clothes that look great on you and fit your properly… One of the bikini’s I bought had a size 16 bottoms, not because I’m a size 16 – far from it! But I wanted a bikini that covered all of my bum – it may be looking good after all my training, but I’d prefer that not all the world saw it! But for some women, buying a size larger sends them into a frenzy. Seriously ladies, we need to stop all this nonsense…..
So this week (and forever please!), ditch the scales, burn the tape and cut out labels. Be that strong, slimmer, sexy woman who goes by how they look and feel as a measurement of success rather than someone who focuses on numbers. I hate maths anyway.
Have a great week everyone,