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The Weight.

02/28/2017

There’s “The Weight,” and then there’s the WEIGHT.  One is awesome – the other, not so much if you’re tipping the scales.  Today (for the first time), I sought the advice of a Registered Dietician (RD).  I shared this via a facebook status update, but I didn’t really give any information about how I came to be sitting in the RD’s office.  This is my back story; I am sharing it because I KNOW there are people out there who can relate.  I am going to document my process.  How does this tie into running?  Running is like to breathing – an integral part of me.  It is a vital part of who I am, who I always have been, and the person I have become.  Incidentally, the person I have become over the past few years is also 25 pounds overweight.

I am a Personal Trainer.  a Group Exercise Instructor, an avid exerciser, a Runner.  I am also a vegetarian, and have been for more than 20 years.  My exercise schedule, by nature of not only my love of running but my job, is intense.  I teach 5 classes per week, take 1 or 2 more, sub a lot, and run 4 days a week.  I don’t eat junk food (except I crave potato chips when marathon training), and I meticulously count calories.  Shakes, fads, cleanses, and starvation diets are not for me.  I believe in eating fresh, healthy, whole foods and good ‘ol fashioned exercise as being the key to longevity!

For a long time, my weight was fine…normal at times, low at times, but not unmanageable.  At my lowest point I weighed in at 127 pounds (too thin!), and at 145 I am lean & mean (lol).  For the last year, I’ve been 25 pounds over that “lean & mean” point – you do the math.

I have not deviated from my diet, my activities, or anything along those lines at all.  In 2012 my Dad was diagnosed with a rare and deadly cancer.  This was incredibly devastating and hugely stressful.  I gained a few pounds for no good reason.  Let me point out here that I am NOT an “emotional eater,” in fact just the opposite.  When my Dad passed in 2014, I was crushed.  Just a few weeks later, we lost Jacinda.  The level of grief and anguish was unlike anything I have ever experienced.  2.5 years later, I am just now emerging from that black pit of loss and darkness.  From then until now, my routine hasn’t changed.  My eating habits haven’t changed.  What has changed is my body!  I’m just as strong as I ever was…but I am 25 pounds too heavy.  And worst of all…my running has suffered.  I am no where near as fast as I once was.

I am finally feeling “better,” “ok,” getting there.”  If the weight gain is due to stress, then my body chemistry should be getting better too, right?

Not so fast.

I have trained like a beast.  I have counted calories in vs. calories out, ensuring a 500-750 calorie a day deficit.  I secretly joined Weight Watchers for 4 months and counted points (years ago I lost 40 lbs. of ‘baby weight’ with WW.  Success!), staying well within my points.  I trained for – and ran – a marathon.  I went Vegan/clean eating.  NOTHING HAS WORKED.  No matter what I do, the scale stays THE SAME.  I consulted my Primary Care Physician, who started to suggest I exercise more.  I interrupted, “I’m sorry Doc, I can’t possibly exercise more than I do, I’d be exercising all day.”  We reviewed my average daily physical activity (according to my Garmin, on average I burn 1,000 active calories EVERY DAY).  Doc says, “It may be that your body is happy where it’s at.”  Talking with my Mom, “It’s harder to lose weight as you get older.”

Well, I disagree.  There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for this to be happening, right?  I eat well, I exercise, I expend more calories than I consume.  Sounds simple.  It’s not!  It’s aggravating at the least! I was complaining to my hair stylist (Lisa <3).  She suggested I try meeting with an RD – some insurances cover it, and she has had personal success.  And so I followed her advice, meeting today with a RD.

First appointment is a “get-to-know-you” type of meeting.  We talked extensively about my dietary consumption, complete with likes and dislikes.  She had me run through a typical day food-wise.  A glaring deficit – and true issue that I have had for a long time – is a lack of protein.  Additionally, I will consume a protein along with a carbohydrate every 3-4 hours.  I will also continue to log my food, and I have my next appointment in 3 weeks. 

The plan is to review my macronutrients and see if my body responds to the increase in protein.  I may also need bloodwork to check thyroid and hormone levels.  Cortisol…aka stress…wrecks havoc on the body.  Lastly, my recommended daily caloric intake is 1,500-1,700.  Previously I had been consuming 1,250-1,500.  I’m excited to see if small changes will have big results!

Tonight I went off to the health food store for supplies.  Currently in the ‘fridge I have “overnight oats” in prep for breakfast tomorrow.  I haven’t had oatmeal since I was a kid, and I hated it then!  I am willing to try it now.  Along with the greek yogurt and baked tofu LOL.

One thing is clear…the WORST thing I could do is give up.  The weight will win – I’m not going to let it.

<3,

jess r.

p.s. keep running!

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