12 November 2013

the incredible shrinking woman

hmm. i am wearing a pair of trousers today that i've had for years and years, and they started me thinking about how my body has changed in that time.

when i was in my twenties, i typically weighed about 15-20 pounds more than i do now, but i was about the same size (based on the fit of these trousers). the difference was, i was a lot more muscular. i rode my bike a lot more, and when i did, i pumped as hard as i could, went as fast as i could, and looked for the steepest hills i could find to climb.

over the years, my weight stayed about the same, but my dimensions increased. muscle turned to fat. the trousers were "a bit snug" and then unwearable, languishing at the back of the closet, but staying there throughout the occasional closet purge, as one of a number of "aspirational" pieces of clothing.

then, i got pregnant. obviously all bets were off size-wise for that! i gained a typical amount of weight for someone my size.

after the kid was born, it all went, and then some. between the elimination diet i went through because of the baby's colic, nursing, and spending hours walking him in a stroller instead of sitting at a desk, my "average" weight dropped to about 10 pounds less than it had been in years, 10 pounds less than  my average twenties weight.

but really, i was losing fat, not gaining muscle. my muscle changed to fat, and it hasn't changed back.

then i went through a bunch of circumstances - the fall, the shoulder/back thing that turned out to be thoracic outlet syndrome, my mother's illness - and gained a bunch. about 25 pounds. eek. that's what happens when you spend months sitting in a hospital room, eating hospital cafeteria food. pretty terrible, really. then i got my braces, broke my foot, and lost the whole 25 pounds very quickly - too quickly. i felt lousy, my face looked skeletal.

fast forward to today. i had been gradually getting some muscle tone back through daily brisk walks of about three miles, with one steep climb. starting to feel good. then, appendicitis, and accompanying surgery. i gained about 10 pounds in two days through bloating etc., then lost that plus another 5 pounds during recovery. i suspect that i lost more muscle than fat, though.

now, the trousers are looser than i ever remember them being! but i feel pretty feeble. it's funny to think that for so many years, my weight stayed the same while my girth increased - it's true what they say about muscle being denser than fat!

right now, my goal is to get some of that muscle back - to keep the dimensions the same, but gain some weight. baby steps though. i still have three more weeks before i can really start exercising. and i still have days where the littlest bit of effort wears me out. for now, brisk walks will have to do.

1 comment:

  1. Intersting post. I have a similar story, my weight is the same of 40 years ago but at that time I was muscular. The vertebra fracture made another damage because I wore a "corset" for long time and I lost all the muscle tone. Now I am working hard to try to recover.
    Good luck on your goal.

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