This past week I had an appointment with our wellness center at work to have a metabolism follow up done. The last one of these I had done was in November 2014. I was not happy with the results at the time and had to deal with the knowledge that my metabolism was pretty slow.. and I had to eat a painfully small amount of calories to shed weight. I tried that for a little while, but then Christmas came.. and Disney followed. Needless to say, Dec/Jan is not the easiest time of year to restrict calories. PLUS.. I began slacking/going light on my workouts because I was limited due to my knee injury. I did a post about a month ago about giving IIFYM a try, but I also made an appointment with the wellness center. It’s one thing to have calculators come up with your calorie needs, it’s another thing to actually have it measured.
SO.. knowing that I haven’t seen much scale change despite my efforts to being more careful about my food.. I went to my appointment begrudgingly.. knowing that I probably reverted back to where I was last Aug when I had my first analysis.
Well.. the results were a little worse than expected.
Metabolism wise…it decreased slightly. From a RMR (resting metabolic rate) of 1190 Kcal/day, to 1159 Kcal/day. A slight decrease that basically can be interpreted as staying the same. Unfortunately.. it also makes the results from the November visit more valid (ugh.. and here I was hoping it was all a fluke. Bummer.) Adding in a lifestyle (sedentary) count of 348 Kcal/day and the weekly average 66 Kcal/day for the 30 minute walk breaks I’ve been taking at lunchtime.. this puts me at 1573 cals for maintenance. YUP. My crazy slow metabolism means if I eat over 1573 cals/day.. technically I’ll gain weight. FUN. (And YES, that is what normal people eat when they are cutting calories.) Subtracting 250 calories from that number gives me 1323 cals. That is where I need to be eating to lose 1/2 lb per week (technically).
BTW.. in addition to this wonderfully slow metabolism I was blessed with… I also was born with a ravenous appetite. I’m pretty much hungry all the time. (Or think I am at least.)
Once I was all kinds of good and depressed by my metabolism results, we moved on to part two of the
torture truth session- body composition. I stepped out of the space-capsule-like BodPod expecting some disappointing results… well, I got them alright. My body fat percent increased to 31.2%, and my lean mass decreased to 102 lbs. So much for being bloated.. it’s fat baby. I actually surpassed where I started in August, when I was 28%. Sigh. Damn this stupid knee injury.
So, I left feeling depressed, but also knowing that I really need to step up some things in order to get all this back down and beyond to reach my goals. I had said in a previous post that I wanted to increase my strength training. So far, I really haven’t. I’ve picked up my PiYo workouts in the mornings, and I’ve only been doing my weight machine circuit once or twice a week. I HAVE been walking during my lunch hour… so I made that positive change.. but walking alone is not going to get me where I want to be.
Reading up on it a little bit, I realize that I need to commit to lifting weights.. and not just the weight machines. I haven’t been able to do the Bodypump class I used to do because they were filled with squats and lunges- which I’m not supposed to do right now due to my bad knee. But there are plenty of other leg exercises that I can do.. and in fact, have been doing in PT that can replace those. I also can work my upper body like there’s no tomorrow. So I did a little research and came up with a new workout plan.
Monday- Legs (I usually go to PT on Mondays, which will serve as my workout.. considering that’s exactly what I’m working out… my legs!)
Tuesday- Yoga class & Back/Chest
Wednesday- Cardio, 30-60 minutes. I’ll probably do elliptical intervals for 30 mins and add in some cycling and incline walking.
Friday- Legs again
Saturday/Sunday- rest and /or light activity
I also plan to continue walking at lunch for 30 mins (as long as the weather agrees) and doing the PiYo workouts in the morning. Eventually I want to transition to HIIT training in the morning, once my knee is doing better and can take the jumping and squats/lunges again. And of course, once I can start running again, I’ll have to re-arrange to accommodate that. It will probably involve 30-45 mins of running on Tues/Thurs and eliminating the second leg day… adding the long run, of course. But.. that’s still a ways away right now.
I sort-of started this week, although I couldn’t get to the gym on Tuesday (I went to a Poster gallery walk presenting the capstone research projects for high school students at the Science and Math Academy- a magnet program for gifted students through a local high school. I got to be a mentor to one of the seniors this year, who came and worked in our lab for her project. It was cool to see all the students’ work and to know we gave them an invaluable experience that they will be able to draw from in college and beyond. So proud of my student!) Anyways, I did PT on Monday, only PiYo and walking on Tues, cardio on Wed, and yesterday I ventured in the the land of the free weights for the first time and worked my arms and shoulders.
It was intimidating at first.. the free-weight area are where the big muscle head guys hang out to lift weights heavier than me, grunt, sweat, throw down their weights and drink from gallon containers. (Cue the I pick things up and put them down guy) I do see a few women over there occasionally, but for the most part it’s guys. BUT.. it’s not like I’ve never used free weights before or not know how to do the exercises.. so I just had to suck it up and do it.. and you know.. wasn’t that bad. Granted it was less crowded on a Thurs evening than say, a Mon or Tues, but mostly everyone kept to their own workout and didn’t really care I was there. Kinda like when people go to the gym for the first time.. you just gotta jump in, get your feet wet, and do your thing. and so I did… and my arms are SORE today. (Yay!)
I’ve cut my eating back too. I’m trying not to go over my 1322 allotted calories with a few acceptations… but trying overall to be under 1600, regardless of how much I burn in exercise. I’m also now eating in more of a 40/30/30 macro ratio.. or at least close to it. Today was my weigh-in day, and as I’m not surprised, my weight hasn’t moved. While it is a little de-moralizing.. it’s not and end-all be-all measurement of success, just a side effect. Hoping my metabolism speeds up a little as I start building more muscle… but just going to do the best I can in the meantime.