Siclovia: A twice-yearly festival in San Antonio that shuts down several miles of a major inner-city street and commands us to “Go play in the street!” In other words, this is a street festival of epic proportions. Thousands of San Antonians (young, old, and of the canine variety) come out to walk, bike, skate, run, unicycle, trikke, and dance their way down the temporary commuter street. Reclovias – like party spots! – are stationed along the way for fitness, dancing, water stations, games, face-painting, and all sorts of fun.
I’ve been attending Siclovia since it first began in 2011, but due to various circumstances (injuries, living in Boston…), I haven’t been since April 2013. Technically, since I’m still recovering from this sprained ankle, I shouldn’t have gone this time, but I just couldn’t miss it. It was so good to be back. Don’t worry – I was good. We walked about 3.6 miles total, over 2.5 hours, taking lots of stopping breaks along the way. So my ankle is fine.
As usual, we had a lot of fun. Jason and I both had our hair painted – though mine, of course, refused to show up, grr. I painted my hand turquoise and left a print on the children’s hospital board while the boys rolled giant dice and used the hula hoops and scarfed down tons of Clif bar samples. We all waved hello to the group of cyclists dressed as Mario, Daisy, Luigi, and Peach, complete with accompanying music. Ha!
My favorite part of the day, however, was the surprise received at the Humana booth. I took a body comp analysis there, which I’d also done the last time I was at Siclovia in April 2013. Back then, I weighed 40 lbs less than I do now (40.4 lbs exactly, according to the printout). And while the scale reflects this 40-lb change, the body analysis shows some interesting good news:
- Of the 40 lbs gained, only 29 lbs were from fat. Over a quarter of my gain is from lean mass. Despite being obese, my muscle mass is well over the normal/healthy range. Yes!
- The thin lady testing me said we had the same same body fat percentage (41%). Interestingly, when I was 40 lbs lighter, I was still at 33% body fat, so that hasn’t increased as much as I expected. In fact, back then, their recommendation was for me to lose another 21 lbs of fat while maintaining my lean body mass (LBM). Now, 40 lbs heavier, they recommend losing 48 lbs of fat while maintaining LBM.
- I am extremely well hydrated, having 30 lbs more water in my body than the average person. I guess this means that if I was like the average person, I’d be almost as a healthy weight…ha! I’d rather be well-hydrated!
- In the body analysis (split into five sections: one for each limb, plus torso), I used to be normal for lean mass in all five sections. Now, I’ve gained lean mass all over, and while my legs are still in the normal range, my arms and torso are all over the norm for lean mass. I gained 8 lbs of muscle on my torso alone! Yay core!
Given all this information, I decided to go back through my old data. The last time I weighed this much was four years ago, and I compared measurements. While my bust was the same now and then, every other measurement is significantly smaller. Arm, calf, hips, neck, thigh, and waist were anywhere from a half inch to three inches smaller. While my waist didn’t surprise me (abdominal surgery), some of the others did. My neck – NECK! – is nearly an inch smaller now vs then! So I must have done something right in the last 2.5 years, despite regaining 40 lbs. It certainly puts a new perspective on things.
Speaking of perspective, here’s a funny story to share from my young, naive, early-weight-loss days. After I had Morrigan, I was disgusted by my “superfat” post-pregnancy weight –> of 155 lbs. (Yes, I know. And you know what? These pictures aren’t even from post-Morrigan. I was so horrified by my weight back then that I refused to take any pics at that time. These are after Ambrose, at the same weight.) For months, I dieted and pushed, and nothing happened. Ten months later, I suddenly dropped 20 lbs in about six weeks, like my body had just let go of a lot. This is not an uncommon occurrence for post-birth bodies, but of course I didn’t know that at the time. I was just relieved to be back in the 130s, and (sigh) dissatisfied that I wasn’t back in the 120s. I remember one moment vividly, when Jason and I were moving into a new place and going through our stuff to keep/dispose. I looked at the size 38D bras from my 155-lb days and declared, with both determination and disgust, that I would never be that fat again. Not sure whether to snort or bang my head on the desk here…
Dear younger Manda,
Guess what? Not only is 155 lbs not actually all that fat, but you will one day be 100 lbs heavier than that! Those 38D bras will look impossibly small. You will come to realize that your body type actually looks best when your weight is in the 140s-150s, and that the 120s make you look sick and skeletal. I can see your slack jaw right now. Does this sound like a horror story? If so, it might be a good time to learn something important:
Perspective is an ever-changing thing. At 255 lbs, 255 lbs looks fat, 200 lbs looks thin, 155 lbs looks too thin, and 135 lbs looks downright unhealthy. At 200 lbs, 200 lbs looks fat, 255 lbs looks too fat, and 155 lbs looks average, and 135 lbs looks thin. At 155 lbs, 155 lbs looks fat, 135 lbs looks average, 200 lbs looks too fat, and 255 lbs looks OMG HUGE. At 135 lbs, 135 lbs looks fat, 155 lbs looks… Are you catching this? Pretty much you simply feel fat no matter what size you’re at. Pretty much, your sight-perspective is stupid, and you should stop judging yourself on it. Instead, shoot for good health and body confidence no matter what the scale says. Trust me, this will be far less frustrating down the road, far less of a horror story, and will lead to fewer stupid-moments like the one described above.
Love, modern-day Manda