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Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Functional Strength

Today I had a "mental health" day off from work. Instead of wasting the day lying around and doing nothing I decided to tidy my room.

My husband and I always have to have a three bedroom house. A bedroom for him (his games room), a bedroom for me (gym/study) and our bedroom for sleeping and hanky panky. We always chose the smallest bedroom for us because after all we just sleep and root in it and not much else.

So my room was pretty much a mess as I am not the tidiest person in the world. I have a TV, video and DVD player in my room for watching movies and working out to exercise DVDs/videos.

The TV is broken. It is a very large old style TV that we have had for a very long time. One of the first "big screen" TVs.

The last time we moved (before I lost weight and got fit) I can remember lugging the HUGE thing up the stairs and that it was extraordinarily heavy. So I was not looking forward to moving it out of the room.

So I mustered up my courage and called hubby to help me move the lump of a thing.

When we picked it up I was amazed. It was not heavy at all!! I could have almost lifted it on my own.

Do I think that the TV lost weight along with me? Or am I so much stronger now that I can lift heavy things?

Now I am not going to last very long without a telly so I headed off the shopping centre to buy a 19" LCD TV with a built in DVD. It wasn't particularly large or heavy but it did come in a largish box. The shop attendant kept asking "are you sure you can carry that? can I get you a trolley?"

"No" I replied "I think I can handle it".

And I did - I carried it all the way home (not just to the car because I traded it in for a scooter last year). I don't live that far away from the shopping centre but it's a good 10 minute walk. I wasn't even out of breath walking up the hill.

It reminded me that a few years ago I carried around an extra 20 kilos all day everyday. So carrying a few kilos in a box didn't pose a problem at all. All I was worried about was someone mugging me and stealing it. And then I realised I could run faster than a mugger trying to escape with my TV and would catch him/her quite quickly and could give him/her a jolly good kicking.

This is functional strength. Being able to carry heavy things with little or no effort and to have confidence in your physical ability. I would even venture to say that ordinary household chores like vacuuming are no real physical effort.

This is one of the benefits of being healthy, fit and strong. Think about it next time you pick you your groceries or haul one of your offspring on to your hip. You are strong - you have worked hard on your muscles and they are paying you back by making your everyday life a little easier.


  1. you're right! i love my arm muscles! i love being able to hold both my sons on each hip easily. ben is 15 and james is 10 kilos.

  2. Anonymous2:06 pm

    you go girl!!! that really is great. You are doing so fantastically well


  3. Thats fantastic. 20kilos less is awesome!


  4. Ditto to your post from me!

  5. Anonymous7:06 pm

    How cool!!! You rock Katie!

  6. Woohoo! What a great feeling!