Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

 Bike it, baby -- in any sort of weather!

Happy 2011!

New Numbers Fitness: Ditch the scale

Or maybe you just want to tell your scale that you shouldn't see each other exclusively.

One of the biggest problems in our fitness culture is that success is defined by one number. Think about it -- we evaluate our bodies almost entirely on weight. From miracle diets to obesity-busting reality shows, they all focus on pounds to lose.

What's wrong with this picture? There's no way to measure the positive impact of your body getting stronger. Where's the tool to measure an energized day, a wonderful bike ride with your favorite person or the thrill of glorious sunset on an evening walk?

If you're willing to take a shot at lifelong fitness, you're going to need these other yardsticks when the scale sneers at you. And it will. About six months into my 2009 weight loss adventure, I hit a huge plateau. Even though I was running longer distances more often than I ever had in my life, my weight refused to budge.

I exercised harder. I pouted. I whined to Hot Husband. I shook my fist at the scale and the sky. Nada.

That's when I ditched the scale.

I realized that everything else, workout-wise, was going along smoothly. My quads were powerful, my abs had definition. I could fit into pre-pregnancy clothes again, and I was feeling great.

So I stopped weighing myself and I chose to focus on the good stuff. That's the heart of New Numbers Fitness.

If you're interested in trying this new way being in shape, your teeny-tiny mission today is to take the old measurements, file them somewhere safe, and forget about them for a while.

We'll be looking at the old numbers again after about a month of regular, manageable workouts so you can see objectively that the progress you're feeling is real. But I do NOT want you stepping on the scale every day or week, attaching your self-worth to the readout.

Some old numbers to consider today:
  • weight
  • body mass index
  • clothing size
  • waist (use tape measure)
  • quads (ditto)

Remember, we'll be starting your Action Plan on January 16, after you've had a couple of weeks past the holidays to settle into your schedule.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Numbers Fitness: How thinking people get in shape

That's it. I've had it.

I'm still the girl who's jazzed about losing weight, having a powerful body and the bliss of biking. But I'm completely over our culture's attitude about health. So I'm here to change the game.

At the end of every stinkin' year, talk of resolutions (or resistance to them) are flying fast and furious. We're bombarded with offers for products that are going to OVERHAUL YOUR LIFE! Help you LOSE 30 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS! or MAKE YOU AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS!

Such hooey. And yet . . .

For most of us, there is a little glimmer of want in our hearts when we see these ads. Oooh, to have Michelle Obama's ripped arms, a flat tummy, or just not to wheeze when we use the stairs, dammit.

There's another way, and it's you.

Unlike the creeps who want to take your money, make you feel inferior and keep you coming back for more, I'm making no promises or shady deals.

I've got no magic wand to make your problems vanish.

No secret potions to melt fat.

Nothing to sell you.

But I am willing to help put your fitness in your hands. This is powerful because it can put you out of the creeps' hands forever. You'll be back in charge, standing strong in your amazing body.

The key is to focus on new numbers.
  • Look forward to a 10-minute (or 5-minute!) workout instead of obsessing about your weight.
  • Crank out a 3-minute interval sets instead of fretting over your pants size.
  • Count the extra time you feel energized, not fat grams or calories.
I'll be posting more details in the next few days so you can put together your (drumroll . . . )

New Numbers Plan of Action!

Don't worry -- we won't start until January 16, so you have some time to decide what your new numbers will be.

Until then, forget about the "shoulds" and start imagining how wonderful it will feel to be working with your body, your schedule and your real life.

For intelligent talk about resolutions, check out Dan and Chip Heath's blog post, and Martha Beck's article on smarter goal-setting. 

More New Numbers Fitness posts:
Ditch the Scale
Starting January 16?! Here's why . . . 
Subversive resolutions
10-Minute Momentum

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Night bike safety through a DIY Tron bag?

Tron mania is here! If you're willing to try your hand at soldering, this techy bag might be a slick addition to your nighttime light setup. Great instructional video. Check out the bike light project and bike stand projects while you're at it! I'm totally impressed by this engineer!

Many thanks to ladyada and lifehacker.