The Importance Of Knowing Your Body, OR My Final Word On Why I Do Not And Will Not Have a Goal Weight Ever Again, CI#88

I am so excited I can hardly type…that is what happens when everything you have ever guessed about your body is proven true.

Guess #1: My body has more muscle than most girls.

Guess #2: My body is never going to conform to the charts–BMI or healthy weight for height

Guess #3:  Because of 1 and 2, I will be able to weigh more AND still be healthy

As you know, I drove to Las Vegas yesterday to gamble on an endocrinologist who is also board certified in metabolism and specializes in weight loss (I will be explaining the thyroid portion of the appointment in a different post).

As part of that appointment, he used the Tanita Body Composition Analyzer TBF-215 to produce a snapshot of  my body composition.  I was not expecting this to be a part of the visit so I have to say I was giddy as that moment when all the bells and whistles start to chime when a slot machine hits a big payout (not that I gamble a lot…I actually think it’s rather boring but that’s another story).

So imagine my glee to look up this model and discover what each abbreviation means.  He explained the basic ones but the one that means the most to me is just three curious letters: FFM.  I was too wrecked to feed my curiosity last night so it was not until about 15 minutes ago that I looked up the abbreviation.

Do you know what FFM stands for?

I feel a little silly for not catching it so don’t worry if it is not coming to you either.

FFM stands for…….

wait for it….

wait….

just a little more….

FAT FREE MASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is FFM?

I am so glad you asked.  Fat Free Mass is what I would weigh if all the fat–every ounce–was sucked out of my body so all I was left with were bones and tissues.

Do you know what my FFM is?

Yeah, me neither until yesterday.

Are you ready for this?

128.21 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So take a look at the height weight chart  and find 5’3″…..gone on I’ll wait 🙂

weight-chart-377For my height, 125 is in the middle of the green “healthy” zone and right this very minute if we suck all the fat out of my body I’m above the middle of the healthy zone.

BOOYAH and take that ever jackassed doctor who has railed on me about my weight.

And to the bullies throughout my life:  Do you have any idea how much I would dearly love to shove this  in your face.  You sucked then and you really suck now…and I FORGIVE you for your ignorance because I too was ignorant.

But I also have to acknowledge that without them, I would not have been nearly as relentless in my search to find out my personal numbers.

I do not fit the mold.  I am the outlier in the data set.  Like that should come at any surprise to anyone who knows me…or to myself for that matter.

I swear I can barely contain my bliss.

According to the Tanita TBF-215, when I reach 30-percent body fat, a respectable percentage for a woman, I should weigh…

…approximately 183.21 POUNDS.

Suck on that you stupid chart.

You don’t know me.

You’ve never known me.

And I am so totally, completely, one bazillion percent over you trying to force me to conform to a standard that would be dangerous for MY big muscled, heavy-boned body.

I freakin’ knew it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 30 Body Fat ScanAt 183.21 pounds I’m still obese according to this so-does-not-fit-me chart.  And if this dumb chart or any jackass doctor, insurance underwriter, or bully thinks I am going to lose muscle to make my body more acceptable in their eyes then boyoboyo do they have a rude awakening coming their way.

I AM NOT NORMAL!!!!!!!!!! AND I REFUSE TO CONFORM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even my, “Gee, I’d like to see 175 again,” kinda sorta on again, off again goal is wrong for me.

If you go back to the beginning and read this: I started this whole journey perplexed about the notion of a goal because I was sure all they way down to my bones and muscles that I was right about my body and I was focused on chasing health rather than a number.

I am…and I am so glad I did not let a stupid chart and a throng of non-believers get in my way.

I am grateful I have stuck to my guns–you know those great big arm muscles hiding under a layer of fat–and kept searching not so much to find out I was right because being right was never my goal as much as learning my body’s own truth and adjusting accordingly.  A while back I decided I could be delightfully average and put the average weight of an American woman-166 pounds–in my mind as a potential goal.

Check out that BMR–Basal Metabolic Rate–1832 calories.  The BMR is the calories my body burns at rest.  Any movement only ratchets-up the calories I burn each day.  Thanks to BodyBugg I know that number is around 2500 when I am just me, being me so when I actually make it to the gym or the trail it is nothing for me to flirt with, or exceed, 3000 calories a day.

Average.

Turns out, it’s not for me either.

I am back to not having a goal weight.

Wait…why?

Well you see, I know enough about weight loss to know my body is going to give up a little of that muscle on the way down simply because it will no long need it to carry me around.  When I reach 30-percent body fat and if my weight is actually 183.21 pounds then maybe I could carve off a little more fat and gain some muscle but even the American female average of 166 pounds is likely going to be near the bottom end of MY personal HEALTHY RANGE so instead of putting pressure on myself to reach some magic number on the scale I am looking for something in the neighborhood of 30-percent body fat.

My friends please take my story and apply it to your own journey.  I cannot stress the importance of KNOWING YOUR BODY and finding YOUR confidence in it.

I will admit there was a tiny moment where I started to think, “But 183.21 is too much,” and then I thought, “According to whom?…after all this time are you REALLY, REALLY going to keep arguing with your body?”

That’s a big fat–bigger than my 30-inch thighs–NO!!!!!!!!!!

Instead I am left wondering, with great delight, just how big those thigh muscles really are…and wonderfully lighter and feeling amazingly free for probably the first time in my life.

My Best Advice: KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!!!!! 

This is better winning the jackpot.

I have peace and I love my strong body, curves and all, for every wonderful bit of awesome she is.

Do you want this same peace too?

Of course, you do.

GO GET YOUR NUMBERS CHECKED.

If you or your doctor does not have a body fat scale look for a BodPod assessment at your local hospital.  While body fat scales are close and BodPod, or other similar device would be even more accurate, but for heavens and your sanity’s sakes, ditch the charts and quit guessing or letting someone else tell you what YOU need to lose weight and be healthy.

This girl no longer takes shit for any stupid chart.

This girl no longer takes shit from any stupid chart.

 

 

 

A Date With Destiny, CI#87

I love my #BodyBugg for all the great data it gives me.

It has taught me I do not have a “slow” metabolism at all. In fact, even for a mobility challenged woman I’m a bit above average for a fully able-bodied female in my age bracket. This also help proves it’s my whack-a-doodle thyroid is actually the culprit.

But one of the other things BodyBugg shows me is the duration and quality of my sleep. Because I’m such a data junkie I have even proven that good sleep is not only crucial to keeping my pain body happy but my thyroid happy. And then there are moments like now when my BodyBugg shows me exactly three hours and forty minutes of sleep and I just want to bang my head on the desk.

Why am I awake?

I have a date. One I have been waiting on for many, many years.

No hubs and I are not on the fritz.

My date is with an endocrinologist. He’s not just any endo.  He is a triple board certified in diabetes and metabolism, hypertension and endocrinology, and internal medicine.  He is widely published and is a professor of medicine at two prestigious universities.  But even with all those amazing qualifications I have dealt with enough doctors to know there is a fair chance he is just going to be a overachieving butt head.  Frankly, I have been less nervous about date, dates.

Being sick has taught me the importance of the relationship between patient and physician in many ways trumps all other relationships because when I sick person is sick everything else suffers. It’s not because we’re needy or drama queens, it is because our bodies are broken and living broken is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to deal with especially when I am so motivated to do good things for my body and have been unable to find the proper medical support.

So Mr. Board Certified Endocrinologist, I sure hope you actually read The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism because I sure do and if you are not willing to at least follow the basic guidelines for the treatment of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or you can find some other chump.

This is my life, my body, my disease, and my health and I will have adequate treatment.

Not only do I deserve it but my hubs, kids, and even my dogs deserve it too.

I have a long list of medical conditions but the real truth is only two–thyroid disease and obesity–have the potential to shorten my life and they amplify the effects of every other diseased and dysfunctional body part.

Why should I be nervous?

*rolling my eyes*

 

Somebody Gimme A Slingshot, CI#86

How do I know, without a doubt, I need to do a slingshot week?

I just stop caring.  It’s not in the way that I’ve moved over to the “dark side” and I’m scarfing bags of chips or entire pints of Ben and Jerry’s.  It’s in the way that when it’s time to eat or shop for food I just have a serious case of the “mehs” and the “blahs.”  Nothing sounds good.  Nothing feels good when I eat it–and that’s not in the comforting sort of “feels good” but in the “I feel good for caring for my body”–and so my meal intervals become later and later which leads to hungry and a serious case of crankies.  I also tend to forget about drinking water.

So what is a slingshot week?

Technically, it is seven high carb days in a row.

Do I always do seven high carb days?

Nope.

And here’s why, with gluten so newly off my list I am still in the process of finding gut-friendly carbs to eat.  I absolutely refuse to pay $7 for a loaf of gluten-free bread just to have a slice so IF I eat bread it’s on reward day only.  I have found I can eat things like corn bread or wheat-carb-reduced tortillas without intestinal distress but in the back of my mind I always worry I am undoing all the healing abstaining from gluten accomplishes so I usually avoid bread and bread-like products altogether.  Besides, I have yet to build my repertoire of carb laden substitutes.

Maybe that sounds like a lame cop-out but cooking and baking GF is obnoxious, to say the least.  The special flours and stabilizers–one that costs upward of $12 a pound–are just not budget-friendly.  But, with months of research, I have found a few ways to avoid many of the spendy ingredients and I have collected some recipes so I am ready to try homemade versions of some of the foods missing from my diet.

In other words, my slingshot weeks look an awful lot like regular carb cycling weeks but with a few extra calories each day.  I also relax the rules a little bit and add a healthy treat or two but without gluten they’re all homemade, whole food treats and not processed junk which add to my carb counts.  And yes, I do realize the danger of swapping-in those extra treats so before you get fussy you need to know my definition of a treat looks a lot like two black bean brownies–beans, coconut sugar, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and an egg–or about 200 calories of real food.

Another unmistakable way I know it’s time to slingshot is my weight wobbles.  I’ve decided that “wobbles” is the technical term too.

What are the wobbles?

A wobbly scale drops a few pounds one day and then puts them right back on the next and the process repeats all week with no sustained loss.  I have learned this is my body’s way of saying, “I’m stuck.”  It can also mean that I’m a bit fed up and not doing my part more than 80-percent of the time.

Right now, it’s about 75-percent natural, normal wobbling and 25-percent of me just not having my head on right coupled with my life getting turned upside down and I haven’t found my new groove just yet.

Slingshot time!

I know the thought of all those extra carbs can be hard to swallow (pun intended) and this is where the mental work of weight loss has to take over.

When you are tired, you take a nap.

When you are hungry, you eat.

Thirsty, you drink.

When your thyroid goes whack-a-doodle, you take a pill.

When the scale goes wobbly and the results of your hard work won’t stick no matter how many times you step on it or where you move it to on the floor, then you slingshot.

Think of slingshot week as a vacation, or medication, for your metabolism.  After all it has been burning pretty hard for you and now it is time to give it a week to recover.

I have been at this for almost exactly 10 months and it has not been until the last two or three that I really latched on to the power of the slingshot.  So this is where I am going to use my writer skills to break the word “slingshot” down for you.

When I close my eyes I think of a forked stick with some sort of rubber/stretchy material used to launch a rock.

Image courtesy of Field and Stream

Image courtesy of Field and Stream

Now why would you need a slingshot?  To throw that rock even farther than you could with your own muscles.  No matter your prowess at throwing things the human body can only launch a rock so far and if it needs to go farther you need help: a slingshot.

Right?

Yes, right.

So you, for all your carb-cycling-calorie-burning awesomeness, can only ever take your body so far before your body says, “Whoa.”

Your choices are to sit there stuck and frustrated.

Or, you can grab a slingshot and launch your metabolism back into high gear.

Now, do those few extra carbs still look like more than you can swallow?

If the honest to goodness answer is yes, then do not add them.

Yep, I am going to go out on a limb and say do NOT force feed yourself bread and potatoes but do eat the extra calories for a whole week.  Add things you normally would not eat at times you would not eat them.  Have dessert for breakfast and oatmeal for dinner, for example.  One of my favorite reward foods are my black bean brownies (get the recipe here) so maybe I have two of those for breakfast with my eggs or a smoothie in place of the oatmeal I would normally eat.  And oatmeal is one of my favorite meals no matter the time of day or season so putting it at night is actually lovely treat.

Make slingshot week work for YOU because the point of doing it at all is to help your body work.

My best advice: Don’t be afraid.  They’re just calories.  You know how to burn those like nobody’s business so wrangle your creativity to create your own diet hacks with your favorite foods and launch that metabolism!