A couple of weeks ago, my employer started a new health initiative to get all of us healthier and happier, and all that jazz... One of the sessions that week was a lunch and learn from a nutritionist. Work paid for us to each have a health assessment done, which included standing on this machine that looked like a scale, but instead of measuring only your weight, you had to stand on it barefoot, and it sent electrical currents through your body to determine your muscle mass, your water weight, fat mass, etc.
This assessment was SUCH an eye opener for me. It confirmed a lot of stuff for me - for example, just because I'm 5'8 does NOT mean that my ideal weight is 150 pounds, which is what standard weight charts tell me. Because I DO have very large bones, and large shoulders (I'm built like a linebacker, lol) and a lot of muscle, I realistically only need to get down to 205 to be considered "Healthy." Now granted, I'll probably try to get down just below 200 just for numbers sake, but that makes my target weight a lot more achievable and doesn’t feel so impossible anymore.
The nutritionist offered other services, such as a metabolism test, which tests your metabolism to see how much your body burns just on it's own, and how many calories per day you need to eat to lose weight, versus what you've been eating to maintain your current weight. So on Monday, i met with her to take the metabolism test (you breathe into this machine for 10 minutes and it's able to calculate everything out for you). What I learned shocked me:
My metabolism is actually fast. It's smack dab in the middle of "normal" and "very fast" This basically means that is I cut back on the amount of calories I'm eating, my metabolism will kick in and help me lose weight quicker than it would if it was only "normal." The downside of that is apparently, I've been eating so much garbage which is why I haven’t been losing, but rather, maintaining.
I also learned that I have 142 pounds of solid muscle, which she said was very good, and will work in my favor.
She's put me on a 1800-1900 calorie per day diet, which may sound like a lot to you guys, but you gotta remember I'm a big girl - and truthfully, I've been eating much more than that. She's helping me work on portion control. She gave me 1 week worth of sample menus that I can use to plan my meals, and what ways I can substitute one item out for another.
She has an 8 or 12 week program that you can sign up for with her, but honestly, I just cannot afford to pay that right now. So my plan is to go back monthly for follow up visits with her. The cost for that is only $35 a session, which I can swing to have accountability for my follow ups.
In addition, I signed up on SparkPeople.com to keep track of my food and exercise. SparkPeople is COOL because you can plug in your nutrition and fitness goals, and it will help keep track of where you did good and what you need to improve on daily. So for me, my nutrition goals are 1800-1900 calories, 200-275 carbs, 25-50 fat (she's got me on a low fat diet), and 125-200 protein. The other AWESOME thing about sparkpeople is that after plugging in these goals, it will offer sample menus to me as well, which also fall within those parameters. If you don’t particularly like the meal they have suggested, you can click on it, and pick out a different one. if you pick a meal out, but there's one or 2 things on there that you don’t have or won’t want to eat, you can click on that individual item, and it will give you a list of appropriate substitutes which have close to the same nutritional value.
Yesterday was my first day following it. I went over my calories - but not by much. I has 1981 calories yesterday, but I feel good about it, because that's a whole lot better than the 2500+ that I had been eating.
If I stick to this plan, I should lose 1.5-2 pounds per week. I might be able to reach my under 200 plan by the end of the year. WOOO HOO! Plus, she stressed that it's important to not deprive myself, and splurge every now and then, in order to avoid completely falling off the wagon. Jonny and I are going camping this weekend, and I'm going to have a fatty lumberjack breakfast with sausage egg, cheese and hash browns over the fire. That's okay, that’s one meal. I'll eat healthy the rest of the weekend, you know?
I'm trying to look at this the same way I am attacking my debt. I'm being intense about paying off the debt, but every now and then, I have to go buy something I don’t necessarily need. If I can treat them equally, I think I can be more successful this time. Weight watchers "worked" for me, but it was too hard to stay on the program. With sparkpeople, and a range of nutritional values, and meal options planned in advance, hopefully I can quit letting food control me, and I'll eat what right not just what happens to be within reach.
I haven’t been as good about getting to the gym as I had hoped for, so she's starting me off slow - I just need to make a commitment to workout at least once a week for now. That should be easy enough because I play softball with the church, but I don’t want to count that - I still need to start making it to the gym...
I'm tried of my weight being a roller coaster, and I'm tired of falling off a plan. Maybe the metabolism test and the AWESOME news that my goal is not THAT far out of reach will be the motivation I need to "getrdun" this time.