Of challenges old and new

There are days when I wake up and I want to do nothing more than turn around, curl up, drape my blanket over my head, and go right back to sleep. But I can’t. You see, the fitness bug has bitten me bad. So bad, that in the past few weeks I have managed to drag myself out through various states that otherwise rendered me motionless, in bed until someone/something came to my rescue. I’m talking stupidly hungover one day, delightfully sleep deprived another, in the throes of period pain one time, and the worst of them all — that condition of having just way too much going on in your head, and wanting to just shut down and call it a day. But drag myself to the gym I did, and aside from the heavy starting trouble that weighs me down for the first 10-odd minutes, I have walked out of the gym feeling as good as new, on every single one of those days. You’d never believe me if you saw me straight after a session at the gym, of course, because I look like a sweat ball ready to melt into a puddle of liquid, at any moment. But take my word for it, I feel renewed and ready to take on the world.

There I was going about my business, day after day, like my life depends on it. Working out 5 days a week, sometimes sticking in a run on the odd evening when I felt like I needed my lungs full of beachy air and an extra spring in my step.

beach feet

Who needs weight checks, I told myself. Especially when the damned scale refused to move. I continued to eat as I usually do. A cursory glance at my fb feed should tell you that I am very hungry and very excited at all times. That I follow no strict diet regime. That I am cautious, but never hold myself back from eating the things I want to. Balance, is all I try and strive for.

Numbers and appearances have always come second, because I go by my gut feeling (pun not intended, haha!). I trust myself and how I feel too much to worry about what the scale tells me. The fact that my energy levels have only been on the rise, and I feel happiness bursting out of me on most days — even when I am inundated with work, battling internet woes and feeling in general, like the world is out to get me — has been enough not to care to get on the scale again. The only numbers I watch are the digits on the weights I lift. Up is the way to go, and that has been the single biggest reason for the tremendous changes I have experienced.


So yeah, scales and numbers don’t bother me, most of the time. Except last week, I noticed how a couple of tees I had relegated to the dark corners of my cupboard suddenly — gasp! — fit me! And not just fit in a snug, I’ve-just-lost-some-weight sort of way, but in a nice still-got-some-room-to-spare-in-here kind of way. I should have realised it when I fit into all the clothes from my wedding, that I reused without removing a single stitch, at a wedding last month, but I was still running on the mild disappointment of the plateau I had hit in January, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high. But, you know this fitness-business is getting serious when you drop a bra size. And that is what it took to stir me out of my limbo.

Yes, there are days when I want to curl up and go back to bed. But today is not one of those days. Today, I am happier than happy. So can I distract you with the current earworm, so we are on the same happy page, while you proceed to read the rest of this post?

Today is not one of those days, because I braved the body-fat calculation machine again. Only to confirm my hunch. I’ve dropped two kilos, and a whole 5% in body fat. When I started 6 months ago, I was teetering on the outer limit of a “healthy body fat content” for a person my height. Nothing alarming, but definitely could do with being reigned in. I have now dropped to the lower extreme of the healthy range, so that is one target achieved. The weight however, seems to hover around the high mid-50s. While my goal — a completely arbitrary one I pulled out of my hat — was to reach 54 kilos before I turn 30, I have made peace with the fact that this will probably not happen. 1, because I am too in love with food to curb myself and that is probably what will give me dramatic results; 2, because I’ve seriously upped my capacity to lift weights which is probably an indication of body fat melting to make way for muscle mass; and 3, because I really don’t care enough about weight to chase after a number.

I’d rather feel fit, be happy and stay healthy. As of now, if I can do that despite being 3 kilos heavier than my random goal, so be it. More importantly, despite being 3 kilos heavier, if I am able to kick period cramps, lack of sleep and hangovers in the nuts and get to the gym; go from 3 kilo dumbells to 7.5 kilos in 4 months; feel rejuvenated even when the wind has been sucked out of me at the end of a workout, then this much will do, thankyouverymuch.

Maintaining it is the new goal. And I want to make like Barney Stinson and say,



10 thoughts on “Of challenges old and new

  1. Go you! You know my thoughts on the scale and weight training! I HEART Body Pump and have been quite pleased with myself to see myself going up more and more with the weights each time. My worst exercises – shoulders and lunges. HATE them.

    I still have a lot of body fat around my belly from childbirth which is kinda annoying, but not annoying enough that I’m obsessed with it haha.


  2. Thumbelina

    7.5 kilo bells in 4 months! That’s seriously awesome, and some real inspiration – I’ve been dawdling at 12 pounds (about 5.5 kgs) for the past 2-3 years, and still use 8-10 pound bells for most of the arm exercises. I should take a leaf out of your book, and set a target to achieve before the big three oh – I’m thinking 18-19% BF :)


    1. 7.5 kilos only for the lares muscle groups–legs and back. Im at 5.5 kilos for chest and shoulders. Biceps and triceps vary depending on how Im feeling on the day, and the exercise on hand. It swings between 3kilos some days to 5 on good days. You should check out Body Pump and find a class near you if you want to cut body fat more than lose weight. Its worked wonders for me.


  3. Unless you’re one of those need-to-be-rescued-by-a-crane people, aiming for a particular weight is pointless. Muscles be heavy, yo. Body-fat measurements are a good pointer, but as long as you’re fit and trim, that’s the battle won.

    Unless, of course, you plan to go in for modelling. Or are taking up pro sports.

    So, umm, well done!


    1. Yes i have never gone by weight measures. When i started this “challenge” i was asked what my target was. And this was before i had even measured my body fat so i randomly shot a number — what i used to weigh 5 yrs ago. Also yes! Muscles are heavy, ive learned. And since i do not plan to be a skinny model (or even just skinny, actually) im good with the low body fat and overall health and well being. Which is where I am. Happy.


  4. Well done you! I’ve been eating like a little piggy on my holiday with minimal exercise but your post has given me extra motivation to get back on track when I return.
    PS. Earworm….ha!


    1. SUCH a earworm. Just when I was getting over it and thought it had finally left my system, he came and performed it so fabulously at the oscars. Now im back to square one.


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