So, I’ve decided I want to become like unto a superhero. I don’t actually want to be a superhero. I don’t have superpowers, I don’t have the money to make up for not having superpowers, and I generally think that fighting crime is best done by the police. You know, legally. But I want to look like one. Or as much like one as a 5ft 3in girl can.
This is not an entirely silly ambition. I wanted to lose weight and tone up anyway. I’ve done it before. Sort of. Last time I decided I wanted to be a ninja, having seen Batman Begins and decided that ninjas are cool. Again, I didn’t really want to be a ninja, I have bad joints, know no martial arts, probably couldn’t learn any, and am generally non-violent. But I found myself considering not going swimming, or eating a packet of crisps, and I would ask myself ‘what would the ninja do?’ And it kind of worked as a form of motivation. I lost weight and got fit. This is me at my most slender:
I would like to look like this again. Only better. Stronger, faster, with more muscles.
This is me now:
Can you tell I’m three stone heavier? I can. In this photo I have just come back from a jog. Hence the unflattering jogging gear. I have to be honest, though, I’m not entirely unfit. I even have some existent muscles. They’re just hidden under flab. Except for my legs below the upper thighs. I have almost no fat, there - you can even see the muscle in my calves. Cover up the rest of the picture and you’d imagine a much thinner woman belonged to those lower-legs. This is because I walk everywhere and spend a lot of time digging down my allotment. I also have arm muscles from this work, but they’re harder to see. Because they’re covered in flab.
So, I have a base-line level of fitness that is probably a bit ahead of some people who are skinnier than me. No fat-shaming, here. Not everyone who is strong fits the conventional model of what it is to look fit. Nevertheless, I am not healthy. I have a body of a woman who has eaten too many crisps and drunk too much wine. It’s not just vanity and the fact that I can’t wear about half my wardrobe, your legs and arms can be as fit as you like, and if you’re carrying too much weight on your stomach, it’s a health risk. I think my lowest waist measurement was 30 inches. I don’t need to get back to that, but I want to get back down to the 32 inches recommended by the NHS. My current measurements are:
Bust: 41 inches
Waist: 35 inches
Hips: 39.5 inches
I have a 0.89 hips to waist ratio; the NHS says that a ratio of above 0.85 for women means you are ‘carrying too much weight around your middle. This puts you at increased risk of diseases that are linked to obsesity, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease’. Well, I don’t want any of that. Although I’m not convinced by this whole ratio, thing. When I was 36-32-36 I was still at the ratio 0.88. But getting down to 32 inches or less still seems like a good move for health.
But I’m not ashamed of the fact that I also want to look good in a healthy way. I may never look quite like Charisma Carpenter:
But I can look like a better me. Then I think I would at least feel like a superhero.
And just so we’re clear, I don’t want to look like an EscherGirls style superhero. Apart from the fact that it’s anatomically impossible, I don’t think it’s desirable, either. I wanna look how female superheroes would look if they were treated like male ones. I tried to Google for an example of this and failed. So, Charisma is the best real-life example I could come up with.
So, that’s the aim, here’s where I am. I have a base-line of fitness that comes from walking everywhere and working down the allotment. But the heavy lifting and digging portion of allotmenteering is over for the year. Now it’s just about the weeding. I have also started Couch to 5K - the NHS recommended programme to get people fit by running three times a week,safelybuilding up to 5K. I’ve done the first two weeks and done my first run from the third. Before starting Couch to 5K I weighed approximately 11st 7lbs - which may not sound a lot to most people, but it is when you’re 5ft 3in. My ideal weight is 8st 7lbs, but I would be happy with 9st 7lbs and muscly! Last week I got down to 11st 4lbs after a week of Ct5K, but I’m back up to 11st 6lbs today. Because bodies are weird and fluctuation is natural.
My current goal is to get below 11 stone (154 lbs or 70 kilos if you’re unfamiliar with the excentric way that Brits weigh ourselves).
I’ve also started swimming once a week, which will help build muscle in my arms and shoulders.
It’s my intention to keep a photo diary and record of my progress, here. Maybe others will like the idea of getting fit to look like a superhero, maybe it’ll just serve the function of keeping me honest. Either way, it seemed like a fun idea.
Wish me luck!