Operation Skinny: The Beginning

Photo credit - Luigi Diamanti
Photo credit - Luigi Diamanti | Source

How fat am I exactly? *Sigh* This is where I lay out the ugly in all its glorious splendor. Let’s get the stats out of the way first, as they certainly don’t get any better the longer you look at them.

  • Weight: 204.8 lbs
  • Bust: 44.0”
  • Waist: 35.5”
  • Belly button: 40.5”
  • Hips: 46”
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Clothing size: 14 (sometimes 16)
  • BMI: 30.2

Wow, that was a painfully humiliating experience. Until I had to take out the tape measure, get on the scale and officially put those numbers down in black-and-white, I didn’t realize how bad it truly had gotten. It's amazing how much denial and elastic waisted track pants can hide the ugly truth. Ouch. I guess the upside is that it leaves LOTS of room for improvement. Yeah, I’m going to cling to the silver lining of that dark cloud.

Photo Credit - Clouds in Geneva, Switzerland taken by Janet Burgess
Photo Credit - Clouds in Geneva, Switzerland taken by Janet Burgess

But aside from how I look, there are bigger issues with how I feel. I don't sleep that well. I'm often tired in the afternoon and then have a hard time falling asleep at night. I'm terribly inflexible. When in yoga, I can't fully collapse my chest on my knees because my belly is in the way or presses into my abdominal organs (not fun). I have a hard time truly enjoying hikes or walks with the dog because I'm easily tired after a few miles or hiking up a modest hill -- carrying around an extra 40lbs. is hard work! The boyfriend and I recently hiked thru the jungles of Peru to Machu Picchu. I survived it and it was one of the best experiences of my life, but I know I would have enjoyed it so much more if I'd been in better shape. I don't want to be carrying the extra weight for our next adventure, whether that's scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef or climbing the Great Pyramids in Egypt. Now, onto my goals and how I plan to accomplish them...

Goals. I've got several goals in mind. The easiest to discuss in concrete terms is the aesthetic one. Ideally this goal is size/volume driven, not weight driven. This means I’m more concerned with how I ultimately look than the numbers on the scale. Taking into account that muscle weighs more than fat, when you get into better shape with increased proportion of lean muscle mass, you may weigh more than it would appear to others or weigh more than a similarly sized woman with less muscle tone.

For example, I know I’m a comfortable size 8 at about 168 lbs., with each size being about 10-12 lbs or so. Therefore, my initial goal is 168 lbs, though I may revise it later on if I feel a size 6 (approx. 156 lbs) won’t be too thin for my frame. I’ve always been a curvier type girl, even while thin, as opposed to a more athletic, willowy or yoga body like frame. I haven’t been a size 6 since high school, so I’m not sure if that’s a realistic goal for me anymore (especially as I'm 2 inches taller now too). However, I think it's safe to say that I'd prefer my BMI to be in the normal category (18.5-24.9).  This translates to a range of 125-168 lbs.  

My other goals are more amorphous in nature -- not so easily tabulated with a scale and tape measure. I want to be able to jog a mile under 10 minutes without feeling like I'm going to die. We live not too far from the Pacific Ocean and I certainly don't appreciate the views on that jogging path nearly as much as I should. I'd like to eventually run a 10K, and perhaps a half marathon one day (the full marathons seem just crazy to me). I'd like to be able to hike with my boyfriend and our dogs easily, and even challenge him from time to time. The Marin Headlands, Santa Cruz Mountains and Half Moon Bay have far too many paths unexplored by us. I'd like to sleep better and have increased energy. No more dragging through the late afternoon wishing for a nap or waking up several times per night. Being healthy is about so much more than just being thin or looking good!

What are your goals? What do you want to do better, faster or more healthily? Or do you simply want to look better in that cocktail dress, bikini or naked?

Photo Credit - Running at Sunset Black's Beach San Diego, CA, taken by Jim Epler Photography
Photo Credit - Running at Sunset Black's Beach San Diego, CA, taken by Jim Epler Photography

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Comments 4 comments

Scott159 5 years ago

I'm so proud for you. The toughest step is the first one - the internal step - a conviction to change.

I've never had to face your battle, but I have issues on the other end. I've always been a really skinny guy - scrawny, underweight, skin-and-bones. I was 6'3'' and 150lbs. Always hungry, always eating (or so I thought), and not too happy with my appearance.

(I know what you're saying - this is a weight-LOSS hub and you have no sympathy for the skinny kid. Well, tough, cause we have challenges, too!)

One day I had a conviction to change. I was sharing a cable machine with a professional bodybuilder at the gym. He was easily 250lbs and putting up some serious weight! I was a little intimidated. Out of nowhere, he started sharing his story. He used to be even scrawnier than me! He worked incredibly hard in the gym, in his diet, and in his lifestyle - and the results showed it!

That was it. That was for me. I wanted that physique and was willing to put in the work.

I cut out my daily runs. I found a workout buddy and learned strength training and power lifting - keeping charts of my progress. I sat down at least 3 times a day for hours at a time and ate until I almost felt sick.

After 2 weeks, I started seeing little improvements. They encouraged me to work even harder! After 3 months, I had gained 30lbs of muscle mass.

I've fluctuated since then, but have just made a re-commitment to building muscle mass. It may not be the same goal, but will take the same sort of daily resolve in diet and exercise that you're committing to.

Congratulations on your start! Keep posting and keep up your daily resolve and dedication.


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Lindsey79 5 years ago from CA Author

Thanks, Scott 159 for your thoughts and encouragement. They're much appreciated!! I definitely can't relate to the too skinny end of the spectrum, but I can definitely understand there being challenges for you folks too, especially for men in that predicament. Perhaps you could write a hub about it from the perspective.


Whydoit 5 years ago

I am hoping the best for you. Once you get started the easier it becomes. I recently started to get back the the gym after a year or two. The first few days were tough especially remembering trying to adjust to lifting lower weighs then I remember. Also I had to jump on the bike at the gym to get some cardio which I never had to do to lose the extra 20 pounds. Best wishes to you in your journey.


Lindsey79 profile image

Lindsey79 5 years ago from CA Author

Thanks for the comment, whydoit! I'm already implementing an exercise program (just haven't written the hub with the details yet) that has weights involved. I'm heading to the gym with the boyfriend and he's a pretty big free weights fan. Though, like you reference, I'm sure cardio will be a huge part of getting rid of the fat. I wish I could say I've never had to do cardio, but I don't think that's ever been the case! I just didn't do it, and hence the extra 40 lbs.

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