Saturday, April 6, 2013

Zumba, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Body

I'm starting to see a cycle on this blog.

I go weigh in, I write a post about how much I hate my weight, I get depressed.

Then I do something with my body and I snap out of it.

Today is going to repeat that cycle, because I went to my first Zumba class.

It was so much fun.

I flailed so much.

I learned that Latin dancing is A LOT easier when you have a partner to follow.

But do you know what?  Your heart rate goes up whether you're moving with the beat or just flailing.  I burned 520 calories, so I was clearly doing something right, even if it wasn't the moves.  By the end, I felt great!  Much better than when I got off the scale on Wednesday.

So that raises the question.  How do I break out of this cycle?

I thought about quitting Weight Watchers and just focusing on fitness.  But I know from experience that won't work.  I may maintain, but I won't lose.  While I'm proud of how far I've come, I'm not done yet, by a long shot.  And as much as I bitch about the scale, I need that accountability.  So I need to learn to make peace with bad weeks.

I've been on Weight Watchers long enough to know that some of the first advice you get when you're disappointed by the scale is to Google "Why the Scale Lies."  One of the first hits you'll get is an article that tells you all about why the scale is a terrible way to measure progress, any one of a number of things can mess up a weigh in.

So to make peace, I need to keep that article bookmarked.  And I need to remember that my progress on the scale is important, but I'm not doing this for a number on the scale.

I'm doing this so that I can be here for the long term for my family.  I'm doing this so I can run a half marathon without injuring myself.  I'm doing this so I can look good in the dresses I have to wear to all the weddings Matt and I are going to this summer, and I can feel comfortable in shorts when it gets to be 100000 degrees in August.

And I'm getting closer to all those goals.  I'm healthy.  I bought a super cute new dress for a wedding next month - it shows off my collarbone, which has decided to make an appearance for the first time in over a decade.  I didn't die in Zumba today, and I spent the day working in running shorts in my front yard, something I would have been too embarrassed to do a year ago.

The number on the scale is a measurement.  It's an important measurement, but it's just a measurement.  It's not the goal itself.

I just need to keep reminding myself of that.  I can do this, I really can.

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