There are a few things I really don't get about this process. About three years ago, I went on a low carb diet. I know I lost some weight because I went down one or two sizes, but I didn't weigh myself until after I'd lost some weight. I do know that at the end of it, I weighed 194. I had just been low carbing it, and not really exercising except for once about every two weeks I'd push myself to get on the elliptical or something at the gym. So maybe the fact that I weigh 206 now and am a size smaller than I was back then has something to do with the exercise and some muscle mass dealy thingy whatsit. But I know I weighed less than 190 something in high school. I felt disgusting and fat and unathletic, which, truthfully, I was. But I'm pretty sure I weighed less, even though I don't remember ever knowing what I weighed. But I wore a size bigger than I do now, definitely couldn't get away with the things I can wear now, and couldn't even zip up my size sixteen jeans all the way and had to rely on a safety pin and longer shirts. But now I wear size fourteen jeans and pretty soon I'll have to go down a size.
I'll grant that my self esteem has probably been shot since I was seven years old. Exercising has giving me an unbelievable and probably unjustified boost in self confidence, so maybe exercising gives me a new body awareness that allows me to see that some clothes look good on me that my high school self would have shied away from. I also adhered to the big girl myth that clothes that touched your body were too tight, and thus, especially as far as tops go, I never wore anything that fit. So maybe I had a warped sense of what size I was. I distinctly remember, however, not being able to zip those size sixteen jeans up and knowing that none of the department stores had anything bigger and having to resort to a safety pin, and my mom seeing it one day. I felt so ashamed that I couldn't make myself better.
I am more active than I was back then. However, until junior year, when the neighbors would give my brother and I a ride, and senior year, when I had my own car, I walked back and forth from school everyday, which is probably over three miles total. I also did marching band and one season, winter guard (yep, I'm a full fledged geek), which, granted, isn't track but it did get me moving and lugging a fifteen pound saxophone around my neck for probably twenty plus hours a week ought to count as weight training. I played softball for two seasons. I had gym every year except junior year. I didn't eat healthily by any stretch of the imagination, which probably does have a lot to do with it, but I did do some activity. I'll allow that I am way more enthusiastic about my activity now, though. But it seems as though exercise shouldn't play as big a role as it seems to be in the way my clothes fit. I don't feel all that much stronger than I used to. I still can't do more than two or three knees up push ups, and even then, my form sucks (but currently my goal is to do a knees up push up that I can be proud of).
I know I have muscle, and not only that, muscle that's never been there before. I don't even have to flex my arm to feel it there when I'm bored and poking bits of my body to see what's changed. But it kind of seems like it is just hanging out and doing me the awesome favor of making my clothes fit better but not really making me all that stronger.
'Scuse me, I think I need to find someone to play me the world's smallest violin.