Usually a smaller measurement is a good thing. But not always.
Recently, while on my spa vacation, I had my body composition measured. The good news is that I had less body fat and more lean mass than when I was tested last year. The bad news is that some of the smaller measurements may actually be due to muscle loss in my upper body resulting from my injury and not being able to lift weights for so long.
The measurement is a pretty inexact science. It is done with calipers pinching at four locations: tricep, subscapular, abdomen, and calf.
So I am emotionally torn. Should I be happy because I have a normal body fat percentage and a lower one than just a year ago? Or should I be unhappy that the numbers may only have worked out that way because I am potentially actually less fit? Oh wait… I forgot for just a moment that I am trying to keep viewing my glass as half full! So I guess that means I will put a smile on my face and love my new numbers.
And I will keep that smile and optimism as I think about the fact that someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, I can start lifting weights again. And I will keep that smile when I imagine lifting the tiniest possible weights they have at the gym, even smaller than when I started strength training over a decade ago. Because, darn it, my glass is half full and I know that someday I will be back where I was with bicep curls and shoulder presses and the dreaded push ups. And with any luck, that day will come soon enough that I can kick some weight lifting butt and build some muscle before the next time I get my body composition tested and then I will know if I am indeed a lean, mean dieting machine or a wimpy, muscle-atrophied featherweight.
Postscript: I drafted this over a week ago. Since then, my physical therapist has cleared me to take baby steps back into weight lifting and yoga. Yesterday, at my weekly mother/daughter workout, I used some itty bitty weights for my upper body and while I felt some moves in my shoulder (mostly limited range of motion still), overall it just felt great to be making progress:)