The Feeling of Health: Part 6

Last week I talked all about running.  I’m waiting for this crazy-hot Texas weather to cool down so I can begin running every night.  It’s still pushing 100 degrees at 7:30 in the evening.  No bueno.

 The Scacchi House: Adding Bodyweight Exercise

Once I made running part of my healthy lifestyle and regular routine, I started to feel like I needed to do more.  I could see what the good food and running were doing for my body, but I wanted to see my muscles!

I’ve never had much muscle definition.  Even when I played sports in high school (cheerleading, tennis, and golf), I had just an average body.  Remember, I’m actually thinner and more fit than I was in high school.

I mentioned here that after we run, Ava and I stop off to play at our neighborhood park.  Well, not only does our park have a playground (and volleyball courts, soccer fields, and a 1/3 mile gravel track), it also has some awesome fitness equipment.

When I first noticed the equipment, I was a little shy to try them out.  So for the first few days, I just casual read the signs trying to figure out how to use each one and what muscle groups it would work out.  Then I started using them.

At first, I did what I could.  I could handle the sit-ups and maybe a couple of push-ups.  Pull-ups (not the kind your toddler wears) whooped my butt.  I’ve never been able to do pull-ups, even in elementary school.  Fitness was never high on my priority list.  That has seriously changed.  Here is all the equipment I have available at my park.

The Scacchi House: Exercise Without The Gym

 My first bit of advice: Don’t be afraid to workout because someone might be watching.  You’re working out, they’re not.  That’s all I need to say about that.

My second bit of advice: Do what you can.  When I started, I couldn’t even do one pull-up.  I can now do four.  Pathetic, I know, but I can only improve.

So what can you do if your park doesn’t have any fitness equipment?

I’m a big fan of bodyweight exercise.  My baby sister introduced me to bodyweight exercise.  She thinned out and toned up by working out in bed while watching TV.  For real!  She did crunches, leg lifts, and slew of other things.  Not sure what bodyweight exercises you could/should be doing?  Check out YouTube!  There are so many helpful workout videos to be found.  I was also able to find a handful of free apps for my iPhone that have a workout circuit.  I also like the playground workout over at Nerd Fitness.

After a few weeks of regular exercise, you will find yourself looking at every object as fitness equipment.  A table can be used for push-ups, etc.  I have also become obsessed with walking.  Walking can be done for fitness too!

I started walking when we lived in Alaska.  Even when it was 9 degrees outside with 3 feet of snow on the ground, I would regularly walk to the grocery store.  Once you strap a baby to your front (in the Ergobaby), you’ve got a decent workout.  So it was only natural that I started walking everywhere I could once we got to Texas.  For me, anything within one mile (one way) is fair game.  We are lucky that there are many options within a mile.  Even if it’s 103 degrees out, there’s no excuse.

Since I’ve added additional exercises to my running, I have noticed a significant difference in my body.  I’ve got less arm flab for one!

The Scacchi House: No More Arm Flab

I’m starting to see muscle tone all over.  Once I started to see a change, I was curious about my body fat percentage (don’t confuse this with body mass index).  Although I haven’t actually measured, I’m estimating my current body fat percentage to be around 23-24%, based on pictures.  My goal is to be somewhere between 18-20%.

I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to try out their fancy scales that supposedly measure body fat percentage.  Don’t waste your money (or time).  The most expensive scale said that my body fat percentage was 36%, which is ridiculously high for my body.  The Weight Watchers brand scale said I was 14%.  I’m no bodybuilder!  I’ll just stick with my estimate.

If you are trying to change your lifestyle, try adding a little at a time.  With these little changes, you will begin to see your body change.  With body changes, your attitude toward exercise and fitness will change.  It will no longer seem like work, but rather an exciting challenge and hobby.

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If you missed any of the previous posts, you can find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

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The Feeling of Health: Part 1

 

The Scacchi House: The Feeling of Health - A journey of weightloss, eating clean, and bodyweight exercise

In the last 6 month, I have completely changed my life forever.  I want to share my journey with you in a 7-part series.  I hope you will feel encouraged and inspired.

It all started in December of last year.  We were in Alaska and I had some free time.  I began watching several documentaries on Netflix.  One by one, I began to notice a theme: Eat Clean.  Along with eating clean, many of them discussed our addiction to sugar.  A lot of what was hearing was nothing new.

I have spent most of my adult life dieting.  I have never been naturally thin, not even in high school.  I remember the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, getting on the scale and seeing 142.  I’m 5’3″ and 142 was a devastating number to me.  I told myself I had to get the weight off and I would never weigh that much again.  I got down to 128 pounds, my lightest ever.  I was wearing a size 6.  I was thin, but not fit.

The Scacch House: 2009

Fast forward to 2007, college helped me add that 14 pounds back on plus an additional 9.  I was 151 pounds and miserable.  I did weight watchers and got back down to 135 pounds.  I felt better carrying around less weight.  I still didn’t feel healthy.

The Scacchi House: 2010

I spent the next few years yo-yoing up and down the scale.  When I met Tony in July of 2010, I was at 135 pounds.  Falling in love wasn’t good for my waistline.  When I found out I was pregnant, I weighed in at 142 pounds.  I had always told myself that I wanted to be in the best shape of my life before I got pregnant.  My desire for a baby wasn’t going to wait for me to get my butt in gear.

The Scacchi House: 2011

I gained a whopping (brace yourself) 40 pounds while pregnant with Ava.  At my last visit with my midwife before she was born I weighed in at 182 pounds.  I knew it was all for a good reason, but I never wanted to see that number again… EVER!

The Scacchi House: 2012

After Ava was born, I lost 30 of those 40 pounds in the first two weeks.  I thought to myself, “I can tackle 10 pounds, no problem.”  Five more pounds fell off in the next few months without doing much.  I tried to diet, but I was nursing and I didn’t want to limit my calories too much.

The Scacchi House: Before Alaska

We left for Alaska in October 2012.  Ava was 10 1/2 months old.  I weighed 147 pounds.  I felt horrible.  Something had to change.

In December I watched the documentaries.  Those documentaries drove me to the library to read more.  I began reading everything I could find on eating clean, vegetarianism, veganism, sugar addiction, GMOs, and processed food.  On December 23rd, I gave up meat.  I talked about this a bit here.

I started eating better, eliminating almost all processed food.  I tried to buy as much organics as I could find and afford.  The weight began falling off.  For the first time in my life, I felt great, and I wasn’t on a diet!  I always felt miserable on a diet because there were so many thing that were off-limits.  My new-found way of eating was so liberating.  It completely changed the way I will forever look at food (and my body).  My thought changed from “what I can’t have” to “look at all that I CAN have.”

I no longer feel deprived.  I eat what I want, when I want.  The foods I crave now are not what I craved before.  Food is now fun and exciting.  I’m always trying new things, combining new flavors.  Life got a little more exciting.

The Scacchi House: June 2013

As of Monday, I now weight 127 pounds and wear a size 4!  I’m the lightest I’ve ever been.  That being said, I no longer care about the number on the scale.  I don’t think I will ever own a scale again, I have no need to.  My body is different now.  I feel healthy and my body reflects that.

Check out Part 2: Eating Clean

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