So yesterday I unloaded my disappointment in my DXA scan results and the fact that it showed me with 38% body fat. Almost immediately after that appointment, I went several blocks down the street for my weigh-in appointment with Dr. Ziltzer. I have been seeing him about every 4-5 weeks to keep myself accountable. I thought, based on my bathroom scale, that my weight was going to be up a bit.
I weighed in with the medical assistant and then we got started talking about my DXA scan. Turns out she has had a run in with one too in her past and she completely understood where I was coming from. She is very fit and was a bit traumatized by the results too. We laughed about how when you get up off the table and look at their screen, you see a somewhat shocking silhouette of yourself. It is not flattering in the slightest.
Anyway, I jumped on the scale and I was a bit shocked to learn that I had “maintained” my weight this month. That was just about the first good news of the day. She officially recorded my weight, from the Tanita, at 177 pounds – a huge difference between the 184.3 that the scale weighed me less than an hour ago (in the same outfit) down the street. I probably should have stopped there with a “win” but pressed my luck and asked her to take some body measurements – thinking it had been ages since I had done that. Turns out, it had been 1.5 years since we had measured my hips or waist.
The chart below tells the story of where I am at now. When the measurements were done last, I was around my low of 169 pounds. The pants I was wearing then are the exactly same ones I wear now – they were my old “weigh in” pants that I used to buy in increasing small sizes (they are a MEDIUM!!). I actually have belts that I am cinching in more tightly now and I was using that as a guide. And, honestly, as long as I don’t need to go buy a new wardrobe and am comfortable in my clothes, that should be a pretty good measure for how things are going. But, yesterday, my measurements are a bit bigger. Again, more bad news and not really what I expected.
So, month after month I have gone to these appointments and Dr. Z really hasn’t said anything about the weight “creep”. But, when I brought it to his attention and he really looked at the numbers, he agreed. Maybe it was time to get this under control. He emphasized that we are making a “big deal” over just a few pounds for a reason.
He then started talking about “if you have cancer and you remove the cancer you will always be a ‘cancer’ survivor and you have to treat your body and health with that in mind” … that was about all I needed to hear before the emotional weight of the day’s events came crashing down on me – serious or not. So I had a small breakdown in his office for which he had to grab the Kleenex box. It was minor. But I did not feel successful, which is unfortunate.
I spent the rest of the day and evening processing my emotions. It was weird because in the midst of that hard, factual data and appointments, I had also attended Success Club and resumed focus on the mental side and so, in that respect, I had been sort of “built up” in my success and perhaps minimized the scale numbers. I also went to a class today about “Plateaus and Weight Regain” and, again, sort of got conflicting messages (or at least I absorbed conflicting messages) about my current state.
However, Dr. Z and I talked about a few different strategies. I wasn’t too happy about any of them in his office. I was too pissed off about even having the conversation. Today though I had a little clarity – I think – and may have come up with a “plan” for moving forward. So, here is what I’m thinking …
For the next few days I need to fuel up with healthy carbs and balanced eating because I am planning on attempting to run (and walk) the half marathon on Sunday. I will need to “refuel” from that as well. Just a few days later, Bonnie will be arriving for Ragnar Trail and the next day Hilary and her sister will be here. All of these ladies are weight losers/maintainers and are not going to be interested in binge eating high calorie foods, but we do need to fuel, yet again for Ragnar because we will be living out in the middle of the desert and running.
But, after Ragnar is over, my new plan moving forward will be to lose weight. I plan to drop past my original goal weight that I reached. Why? Because it is evident that I need to do that to lower my body fat. Any attempt to reverse the fat/muscle ratio through strength training, eating protein, and exercising – while staying around the same goal weight range of 170-175 – is not working to lower the fat %. I am going to need to lower my goal weight range further from the upper limit of my bmi to something closer to the mid-range. I’m not sure what that number is but I can watch the Tanita scale fat % (and add about 3% to it for an accurate DXA-like measurement estimate). I’m guessing it will be somewhere around 160 lbs. But, I am not going for rapid weight loss this time. I will do it much slower if I need to and I will use only high protein products. The paperwork Dr. Z gave me was for 3 Optifast HP products and 1 lean and green meal per day. This actually sounds reasonable to me. I would consider swapping and Optifast HP shake for a Quest bar too because I suspect they are somewhat similar nutritionally (I would have to verify that). By keeping my protein high – above 100 g per day – and continuing to work on strength training, I hope to preserve my lean muscle mass this time. I can watch that with the KokoFitCheck. I think I can give this a good shot through November and December. I should be able to get back down to my original 170 lb. goal range and this will give me some focus to avoid over-eating during the holidays and getting even further away from where I want to be.
It has been a rough week. And now, to top it off, I am rapidly developing a cough and laryngitis from the head cold I had over the weekend that I thought was gone. Not ideal half marathon conditions. But, I feel good emotionally now. I like my new plan and I think it could work for me.