Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The freak of the week

My husband calls me a freak of nature. I know it sounds mean, but I believe him.

For almost three years now, I have been making a desperate attempt to lose weight.

I know, I know. Big deal. Everyone struggles with body image issues.

Not quite the way I do. Three years ago, I made the decision to get fit and lose weight. I want to be around to see my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids. Given my genetic predisposition for heart problems, I needed to start my fitness regimen sooner than later.

So, I went by the book and started with an easy 20 minutes a day on the eliptical. I worked my way up to 25, 30, then 35. Eventually, I was alternating between 45 minutes a day on the eliptical and walking 4.5 miles outside. Not only that, but if I stuck something in my mouth, I wrote it down and tallied the calories at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, the scale didn't budge. My muscles tightened and grew, and I figured I'd eventually start seeing the fat fall off my body. I knew my metabolism had raised because I would eat, and my stomach would growl with hunger no more than an hour later. But after 18 months of gaining muscle and not dropping any fat, my curiosity piqued about what exactly was happening.

So, I went to a doctor and had them perform a "metabolic breath test." The 10-minute test measured my calorie usage through respiration. I received a printout that told me I needed to eat . . . are you ready for this? 2,500 calories TO MAINTAIN my current weight. Have you ever eaten 2,500 calories? It's a lot. According to my notebook in which I wrote down my food consumption, I struggled to reach 1,800 calories in a day. Plus, I was burning another 350 during my workouts.

And yet -- like the zipper on so many pairs of my jeans -- the scale refused to budge. Why wasn't I losing weight?

Yeah, now you know why my husband calls me a freak of nature.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about my visit to the lab last weekend and why I've been told NEVER to show up at the Red Cross to donate blood.

1 comment:

Sheri Boeyink said...

Ugh, I hate weight issues as well, Kat. It's crazy. Logically, you'd think reducing calories would reduce the waist line. But it seems exercising/weight loss defies all logic sometimes.

I used to train extensively for inline skating (marathons, etc) . I was eating over 3000 calories a day because I was training so hard.

When I quit, I dropped ten pounds in a matter of months (muscle weight). Now that I ride bike for fun and to stay fit, I'm at about 2000 calories per day. It really varies for everyone. All I've learned over the years with my exercise is that you gotta eat to lose weight.

I know, STRANGE BUT TRUE. If you let yourself get hungry, you binge, then the body hordes the fat and calories thinking it's going to starve again.

God made us pretty complex, didn't he? Hang in there, girl. PRESS ON!