Weighty Matters

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Taking Stock & Reevaluating

on August 8, 2013

More than a year and a half post-weight lost surgery, I think it’s a good thing that I take stock and reevaluate my program.  I realize that’s what I’ve been doing.  Yes, this is partly prompted by the slower weight loss rate.  I honestly understand that it’s natural to not lose as rapidly as I did when I had 200 plus pounds to lose.  I swear I’m trying not to make myself crazy.  (Or is that crazier? 🙂 )

I watched Extreme Weight Loss again earlier this week.  A young woman weighed 414 pounds and her journey was truly amazing.  Normally, I don’t like this show because as the people move closer to goal, there is a huge emphasis placed, it seems, on whether the doctor will approve them for skin removal surgery.  However, there wasn’t anything else of interest on television the other night, so I just sort of had this on in the background.  I’m glad that I did because something happened that resonated with me.  When the woman was a bit more than half-way through her year long effort, she exhibited different eating disorder and food issues.  While continuing a massive exercise effort, she began to cut way back on her daily calories, believing that this would help her lose weight faster.

Instead, it seems that her body reacted as if it was being starved and her weight loss slowed to a crawl.  Trust me.  I am in no way developing this same problem.  However, her experience made me wonder if I’m eating too many or too few calories each day.  I no longer know.  I have an appointment with my surgeon at the end of next week and I’m going to ask him if, at this stage of the game, I need to shift my daily calorie and nutrition goals.  How many calories should I consume, in what configuration of protein and carbs, each day?   How much emphasis should I place on gross number of calories versus what I net after my daily exercise?

I’m familiar with the basal metabolic rate — the number of calories I burn in a day just living and not doing anything else.  (Right now it’s 1650.)  So, I could eat 1650 calories a day and maintain my weight.  That means that on days that I eat fewer than 1600 calories, or that I burn more calories via exercise, the numbers add up to losing weight.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I consumed 1600 calories in a single day.  We already know that I do some sort of exercise every day, so most days I net fewer than 1000 calories.

In the early post-surgery days, I was instructed to eat around 800-900 calories a day.  Obviously that worked out great.  I suspect that as time has gone on, my body’s made some adjustments.  Hence, to reevaluate with my surgeon makes sense.

I’m also doing some personal reevaluation of my exercise.  Am I honestly doing enough high energy/cardio work?  Do I need to do more strength training, since muscle burns more calories than fat?  Maybe I just think I’m exercising at an adequate amount because, frankly, it’s a hell of a lot more than I’ve every exercised in my life.

I walk my dogs twice a day almost every day, but to be honest, they aren’t high energy pups.  So while we put in the time, I’m probably not getting the intensity.  There is some cardio benefit to Tai Chi and a heck of a lot of leg strength building and flexibility enhancing, but it isn’t like lifting weights.  Okay, maybe I could make myself a little crazy here.  Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going to reinstitute my in-home walking program, following the DVD.  Doing two miles in half an hour is definitely a better burning pace than the one the dogs and I achieve.   I can tell you that, as hot as it is right now outside, I can maintain this pace more effectively indoors anyway.

I’d like to point out that right before my surgery, I could barely get through the 15 minute long, one mile program.  Burning through the two mile one now is amazing.  I don’t coast either.  I may move myself up to the three mile version soon.

I’m not loving the pilates machine that I bought.  I don’t quite have the balance or some of the strength to correctly do some of the exercises.  If I had experience with an instructor, I might be doing better, but I’m sort of learning as I go along.  I’m not giving up on it yet, but in the meantime, I’m searching for something else.

I saw an article on Prevention.com that described the four best exercises to do if you don’t have a lot of time.  Doing a set of each of the exercises takes about 15 minutes and the article recommended shooting for three times in a day.  The exercises include a chair dip, push ups, squats and planking.  I’m going to try the routine in a few minutes and will report back.

Okay, I got a little distracted there.  Sorry.

Anyway, in recent days I took stock and reevaluated my hydration intake.   I’m carefully tracking my food intake each day and will discuss this with my doctor at the next appointment.  I’m going to add the in-home walking at least twice a week for starters to go along with my weekly Zumba class, twice-weekly Tai Chi class and almost daily set practice, and the walks with the dogs.

If I’m consistent over the next two weeks, I should see good progress.  If I don’t, then perhaps more evaluation is needed to tweak the program.  In the meantime, my progress might be slow, but at least it’s still moving in the right direction.  Down.

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5 responses to “Taking Stock & Reevaluating

  1. Hope says:

    If you can find someone to teach you how to use them, kettlebells are an amazing exercise (if you can get someone to watch LJ for me, I’ll bring one or two and show them to you at the match). You get an amazing strength and cardio workout with them, and it doesn’t take too much time. You just have to be careful, because it’s pretty easy to hurt yourself with them if you don’t know what you’re doing.

  2. Skye says:

    Yay for moving in the right direction, even if it is slow!

    I’m a big fan of taking stock and reevaluating. My previous therapist and I did that regularly. Because needs change.

    I am interested in the set of exercises from Prevention; if you find they truly are quick and easy, I’d love to see a link to them so I could try them.

    I’m glad you see your surgeon soon so you can see if you need to tweak your diet or anything else.

    Good luck with the new additions to the routines! Can’t wait to hear if they make a difference!

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