Fit vs. Fat

I am in a pondering kind of mood, and I blame it firmly on my twitter buddy Fluffiebunnie.  She blogged today about her progress with Enter the Kettlebell, and also mentioned that though she’s made less progress than she’d like towards her body fat/lean mass goals, she’s actually not too bothered because right now, she has other priorities.

This is something rather close to home for me, as I’ve tended to be overweight my entire life.  I have also been fat, but not necessarily at the same time.

I suppose this post is really just a rant against what society expects, and also against the now discredited, yet still accepted standard that is the body mass index.  According to my BMI, at 5’7” and 75kg (165lb) I am overweight; I should be trying to lose at least 5kg.  As we all know, BMI allows absolutely no room for body composition, meaning that 2 people with vastly differing body fat percentages could theoretically be given exactly the same advice from a doctor.  Madness, no?

As for that 5kg (minimum) that I should be losing, well I’ve worked HARD for that weight, I’ve paid for it with blood, sweat, tears and ripped up calluses.  Last time my lean mass was checked it was in the region of 60kg and there’s no way I’m giving up a single gram of that.  Add to which, the last time my body fat was checked, it was in the healthy range (I can’t remember precisely what it was – 20-something).  I suspect in the intervening time that it’s crept upwards, but you know what?  I’m not really bothered.  I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and fitter too.  My body fat doesn’t need to be my enemy; as a woman it gives me shape – boobs and a butt and hips – and it has an important role in several aspects of my health (hormonal health, fertility).

So I refuse to jump on the bandwagon.  I’m not going to join the angst-ridden ranks of the size zero chasers.  I don’t care if my thighs are bigger than that other girl, or my weight/body fat/hair colour/shoe size is not “right”.  Because I’m fit, I’m healthy, and I’m getting stronger every day.

So there 😀


Job Interview

I just thought I’d share with you, blog-o-sphere, that I have a job interview next week.

The job? Health adviser at NHS Direct.

The salary? Enough to unclench that little knot of fear in my belly.

It would be great to find work that actually makes use of my degree, which was in Biomedical Science, and would let me feel I’m making a difference in the world.  In reality it’s a massive challenge and I’m absolutely cacking myself…but what are we if we don’t take on the big challenges?  A wise man* once said “do one thing every day that scares you”, and this certainly qualifies.  But in a good way.

If I manage to land this job it’ll be another little step on my own personal journey.  Cross your fingers for me, blog-o-sphere 🙂

* It wasn’t a wise man, it was Baz Luhrmann.  Still a fantastic song though 🙂


Wow, how did it get to be a week since I last posted?  What a week – busy busy.

I spent the weekend in London at a Killers concert in Hyde Park.  Fantastic time!  It also forced me to have 2 whole rest days in a row (unless driving counts as training, it’s certainly tiring enough), which can only be a good thing.  My weights are still increasing slowly but surely, and I’m starting to feel really confident in all the exercises.

I’m now almost exactly half way through stage 1 of the New Rules of Lifting for Women, and enjoying it hugely. My latest workout looked like this:

  • Squats: 3×8, 50kg, 52.5, 52.5.
  • Push up: 3×8.  Finding it hard to progress my pushups, though I’m using a lower box for short sets now, probably more like 20 degrees than 30.
  • Seated row: 3×8 50kg, 55, 60.
  • Step up: 3×8/8. 10kg dumbbells.
  • Jacknives: 3×15. Actual reps: 8, 7, 9+6

Although I didn’t actually manage all my reps with the jacknives, that’s the exercise I’m proudest of.  I’ve struggled with them since I started this program, so to do that many feels GREAT!  Next time I do this workout it’ll be back to 2 sets of 8 reps, and I’m hoping to do every rep, every time from now on.  I have to be honest and say that I had to modify them slightly; the swiss ball was next to a wall for extra stability, and there was a lot more shin resting on it than I’d strictly like.  But I’m still stupidly proud!  There’s plenty time to work on getting my form exactly where I want it to be.

Things are looking up in other areas of life too – I have a job interview next Thursday for a role that sounds pretty great for me; 3 days a week of reception and admin work.  It’s a world away from what I’m trained to do (I’m really a biologist!) but I’ve struggled for so long now with depression and anxiety that the chance to ease myself back into the working world with something that’s challenging in a different way is a welcome one.  Taking control of my training was step one in acheiving a more balanced me, this is step two.  Wish me luck 🙂