Se7en’s Blog: There’s No Assessment Like Your Own Assessment

Se7en’s Blog: There’s No Assessment Like Your Own Assessment

The Healthy Weight Reassessment

Healthy Weight reassessment week. Yes, in Week 7 we reassess our progress and the measurements we took way back in week 1, for our initial assessment of the SSISA Healthy Weight Programme. The measurements are all taken again and we get to see just how much we have progressed. I was planning to write this post after I had my results back. I wanted to share the good news, and say how great the programme has been for me. Then it occurred to me this morning; as I was being measured and remeasured (glucose, cholesterol tests and the rest), that it really isn’t so much about the numbers, but a whole lot more about how I feel. And this is why I thought I would write this post before I got my measurements and results back.

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The initial assessment demonstrated that I had no reason to be unfit, no latent illness, no lingering or lurking excuse… the reason I wasn’t fit was simply because I didn’t move nearly enough. Not only that, but I didn’t move enough because I was so extremely tired. And yes, as a mom of a couple of kids I can expect to be tired. But the reality is that I simply wasn’t sleeping nearly enough. When you don’t sleep well, you don’t feel well. So after all these weeks I can safely say that I have sleeping more in hand and I feel so much better. Not to mention, I am astonished at how much I can actually move about. It literally is from zero to hero. Well, “hero is a relative term…” I can’t tell you how many times I have been lapped on a track, or I have chugged in after everyone has had a good rest… but we are told constantly to go at our own pace (this a good thing).

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Nothing is as Impossible as I Thought it Was

The workouts have been really hard work all along; from the start until now we have been stretched every time, but they are never ever too hard. I have made it through them, I have done some things that I never ever would have dreamed I would be able to do. Little things for some folk, but they have been big for me. I have always been terrified of a treadmill and now I elect to go on it. I never ever thought I would do crunches, and now I know they are a final step in finishing any class, and I just do them. I haven’t become an ultra-elite-athlete by any means, but I am doing things that I thought I couldn’t. And there are some things that just can’t be measured.

At the beginning of the programme one of my biggest concerns was that from someone who thought I could conquer the world when I was younger, the song in my head had slowly but surely changed to: “I can’t.” I cannot begin to list all the crazy things I thought I couldn’t do… and while I still say “That’s IMPOSSIBLE” every single work out… I now try something before I say I can’t. And every single time I have managed to do what I thought was impossible. “I can’t” is very definitely a couple of words that I won’t be using very much anymore. That alone makes this programme a success for me.

In Fitness and in Health

How do you measure if you are fitter? I don’t technically feel much fitter, because we are always doing more… our best gets better and so we push harder. I still kind of freak out at the thought of several flights of stairs but the first time round the track I remember thinking I hope we never have to do that more than once a workout and now we run around the track several times during a workout and don’t tell anyone but I kind of like it. As hard as the workouts have been I have never ever been stiff… I have never gotten home in agony and thought “don’t make me go back!!!” I have got home fatigued and that first week, I literally collapsed into bed to sleep on workout days.

But that has passed and I find myself getting through the afternoon lull and early evening a lot more sprightly than I have in a long while. As a family we started Park Runs at the beginning of the year and then when I started the Healthy Weight Programme my times got significantly slower. I was horrified; turns out I was just tired. And slowly but surely as the programme goes on, so I am whittling my time down week by week, to the point where some of my kids are starting to be a little concerned that I might catch them. I am fitter, I am much stronger and I am more alert than I have been in years. I don’t think that these improvements can be measured in the Healthy Weight reassessment. No arm or waist measurement is going to say, “You are so much fitter.” But I know I am, and I know I don’t want to quit… I want to keep going and get fitter and stronger. I have enjoyed the journey.

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Injury – The Final Frontier

My biggest fear, once I had the green light to workout, was that I would get injured along the way and have to pull out… so many times I have started something new and then got injured, increased my walking and then got injured. In fact I came in to the programme with plantar fasciitis… and had no idea how I was going to survive the workouts. It turns out that there are so many different muscles in your body to work out that when you have an injury in one particular area there is still tons you can do to work out.

And this is the joy of having a biokineticist as your trainer… they really know their stuff. When I woke up with a krick in my back this past weekend I was horrified; I really didn’t want to miss out on the last two weeks of the programme. I held my breathe and got to gym on Tuesday morning and, where in the past I would have been yelping on the couch in pain for weeks, I was able to discover a whole lot of ways to work out without hurting and not even five minutes of one-on-one time with my trainer and I was feeling almost completely better.

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The End is Definitely in Sight

Oh the heady joy… I am going to see this Programme through to the end and honestly I am quite chuffed that I have very nearly made it. I think what struck me the most about The Healthy Weight Team, was how seriously they took it all. There was no, “We’ll try it out and see how it goes,” and a whole lot more of, “You are here because you want this, let’s make it happen together.”

This is very much a success driven programme, you can try it out and you will realise that there are a whole lot of changes that you can be making regarding your health, and what’s more you will want to make them. Obviously, you want to know if the programme worked for me? Were there dramatic health changes in my life? Has my overall health improved? And the answer to all that is a resounding Yes. Would I do it again… Totally. Would I sign up for more… Absolutely.

Previous Posts in this Series

Many thanks to the Sport Science Institute of South Africa for providing me with this opportunity to join their Healthy Weight Programme in exchange for honest blogging along the way.

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se7en

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