Wednesday, June 19, 2013

making progress ...

I'm not fat.

I realize this.

I also realize that 18 months ago, my scale displayed a number that I liked a whole lot better than the one it shows me now. I'm not blind to the fact that the huge little number that flashes at my bare feet can really distort my self-perception. It can be really hard to accept reality when the "facts" are staring you in the face.

I've been working with a nutritionist for the last 33 days to figure out why I have been feeling so horrible, despite being the picture of health. We have been tackling my health first and my weight (which she keeps saying is a non-issue) secondly. She performed the test that determined that I suffer from hypoglycemia. She gave me a meal plan to follow and with a little tweaking, we have found the nutrient ratio that keeps me energized and feeling well. In so many ways, I feel like a new person. My workouts aren't sucking. I don't feel like I constantly need a nap. I am starting to recover like I used to. The night sweats have stopped. The weight gain has stopped. The body temperature fluctuations have stopped. The vast majority of my symptoms have gone away.

The thing that remains is that number staring me in the face when I step on the scale. In the 33 days since I started the journey, I have only lost 1.3 pounds. I broke up with peanut butter and hummus for 1.3 pounds.

I can't lie, it hurts a little. To put in all that effort and feel like nothing is changing.

But then, I was given a reality check.

In the past 33 days, I have lost 5.5 pounds of fat and gained 3.5 pounds of muscle. My body fat percentage has gone down 3%. That's actually pretty impressive.

But the biggest realization came when my nutritionist told me my goals are unrealistic. That thinking I was going to get back to 150 pounds just isn't going to happen and the only way to get there is to lose a considerable amount of muscle mass. She said that 165 would be realistic and 160 would be a reach.

At first I thought, "You're insane. I weighed 150 for seven years. I can so get there again."

But then, I really thought about it. When I weighed 150 pounds, I was 24% body fat, which gave me 113.7 pounds of lean mass. Right now, at 170 pounds, I have 24% body fat, which gives me 128.86 pounds of lean mass.

That means in the last 18 months, I have gained 15.16 pounds of muscle. Over 15 of the 20 pounds I have gained was pure muscle - which is just nuts. Suddenly, 150 pounds did seem really unrealistic. I don't want to lose that muscle and all the strength that goes with it. Giving that up for a number on a scale is just not worth it to me.

So, instead, I'm going to keep working to get to my new goal weight and I am going to keep working to keep myself feeling well. And I might just have to accept that a new pant size just comes with the territory.

9 comments:

Jusbeth said...

No number can begin to represent your awesomeness, T.

Medieval Needle said...

I'm finding the same issue, but I've given up and decided that having thighs of steel means that I'll never be a single digit size again.

Pam said...

If that's the price you have to pay for having The Quads, then so be it. ;) You rock "Athena" like no other!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

that is an amazing amount of muscle mass in a short period of time! Screw the scale! I'd take a strong healthy muscular body over a number on a silly scale any day.

Laura Anderson said...

It's hard not to focus on the numbers, but that is so freakin awesome how much more lean you are, and the muscle you have gained, I would kill for that!

Michelle said...

I think about you almost daily as I walk past the scale and refuse to get on it. I'm more active than ever and am getting lean, but my darn weight stays the same (after going up 2 pounds). I have to stay away from the scale because it dictates my mood, when if I'm away from it, I feel strong. Such an ugly and lame battle. Glad you felt like sharing your story...it helps. I don't feel crazy. ;)

Amanda - TooTallFritz said...

The "number" always haunts me too. I've never been particularly thin, no bikini clad bod here and I can live with that. However, last year when I got hurt and had to take 3 months off, then spend 3 more months rebuilding, I gained. I thought I'd just lose it when I started back to training. Wrong. So I'm still up a decent amount and would be fine with the "number" if my tummy was just a bit more toned and not so mushy. I start crossfit next week to hopefully work on getting strong. Who knows where the number will go from here but if I'm strong and tone, I "think" I can deal with the scale. Or maybe I'll just slide it under the bed cuz it really is a "non-issue" if I am healthy and happy.

Karen said...

Glad that you are making some progress or at least figured out that hypoglycemia is the issue! I had the exact same realization with my self this week. I had a number in my head that I wanted to weigh (and have weighed before) but when I factor in body fat and all that, there is just no way to get to it without sacrificing muscle. Interesting how your body composition changes can change your whole outlook of your ideal.

Rachel said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better!!! That's a lot of awesomeness in pure muscle that you gained, so let's give a virtual high five for that!!