Portland Fit Club

Jan 19, 2011

It's all in the Numbers

Those of us on the weight loss train often judge our progress based on numbers.  The number of calories consumed, the number of calories burned, the number of pounds shown on the scale, and the number on the tag of our jeans.

While some of those numbers are important (calories in versus calories out), the others can have varying levels of validity. The number of pounds on the scale can be influenced by so many things and deserves its own post.

The funny thing about jeans is this:

1.  You can buy two exact pairs of jeans....the exact same size and one pair is too tight while the other fits just right.  You are trusting in someone (or something) else's cutting/sewing skills to guage your success.

2.  Your size fluctuates based on the style, manufacturer, and store.  Ever go to a store and tell them you are looking for a size XYZ and get something you can barely get your big toe in even though that is what size you wear at your usual retailer?? 

3.  The styles these days include a fair amount of stretchy material in their jeans.  So you may buy a pair one size up because they feel too tight (apparently you must have gained a few pounds), but upon wearing the one size up for an hour, they are falling off of you.

As a society, we are trained to focus on size and pounds to determine our success.  As a society, we need to retrain ourselves to focus on a different set of numbers.  Try these on for size.....

How many stairs can you climb before getting winded....(or how many times do you stop at the bottom, look up and decide to take the elevator instead?)

How many pushups can you do?  How many pounds can you press and how many reps?  How many miles can you run?  What is your resting heart rate?  What are your cholesterol stats?

There are so many ways to use numbers to set goals & gauge how you are doing with your fitness and nutrition...why not focus on some of those?  Focusing on those types of goals force you to get in shape the right way, while the scale and clothing size can tempt people to use quick fixes like diet pills or eating too little.  I know our programming can be tough to re-write, but maybe just a few modifications can help us along the right path. 

I personally have a weight and a size goal that I want to reach.  I will eventually reach those goals, by meeting smaller, more defined & easier to control goals along the way.  Below is a sample of some of those goals. 

1.  A daily 1,000 calorie deficit with a calorie consumption set between 1650 and 1750 (this means I need to be active enough to burn between 2650 and 2750 daily)

2.  Strength training 3 times a week, cardio 3 times a week

3.  Try to serve a wide variety of fresh, whole & unprocessed foods each week

4.  Take a multi vitamin or drink my Shakeology daily

As an accountant and a fitness enthusiast, numbers dominate my life.  I make it a point to worry about the right ones daily and the others will fall into place.

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