I was “waterboarded” in BodyFatTest.com’s Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing Apparatus (a/k/a “dunk tank truck”) on Saturday. Today at Crossfit was my first day “back” with the “morning gang” – Monday I did yoga, Tuesdays I go to Crossfit in the evening, and there you go. Many of them also had their fat percentages done. The HIGHEST one was 13%. I mean – for GOODNESS sake . . . Mine is MORE THAN TWO AND A HALF TIMES that at a whopping 29.2%.
Today, I (ahem) dusted off my fancy-dancy scale that does BMI, fat percentage, and all that jazz. I have had it for what, 2 years? I used to use it religiously, and in fact made H get this particular one for me. I’ve watched the “weight part” creep up since, but haven’t done the whole “impedence” part to get the fat percentage. Whaddya know? 29.2%. It EXACTLY matched the dunk tank reading (53.1 pounds), which is “as accurate as you can get.”
I did this because one of the morning gals brought her own fancy-dancy scale in, to see if it was doing the fat percentage correctly. She hadn’t done the dunk tank and wanted one of the other girls to step on it, to do the comparison to what she had gotten from the truck dunk. It basically reminded me that I also had one o’them fancy-dancy thangs.
Not sure why that put me over the top – that my own scale could have shown me these numbers any time. Because I should have seen this happening? Because I should have done something about it? I dunno.
For some reason, that fat percentage is a lot more alarming (and depressing) than the actual “total pounds on the scale,” which I have been watching creep up for a while now. I think that I have just been kidding myself about the weight – that it’s muscle, with all the marathons and such, etc. Yup, deluding myself! (Surprise, surprise.)
Again, to give you an idea here, the weight of my body fat is 53.1 pounds. HOLY LABRADOR RETRIEVER, Batman! To get to 20% body fat – meaning, still almost double higher than anyone else in the box – I’d have to lose 20.9 pounds of fat (and lose no muscle in the process). Of course, I could gain muscle and lose fat – that would mean my “composition” would get better. But – SERIOUSLY.
So, I’m back logging food, which I hate, but which keeps me accountable. Francine and I talked about this, too. If I log food, I eat clean. If I do not log food, I go off “a little” then “a little more” then I’m suddenly lying on the couch surrounded by paleo bar wrappers with a smudge of almond butter on my mouth, trying to figure out what happened.
Wanna know where the “obese” line is? 30%. I just missed it.
Now, sure, okay. If you were to look at me, you’d think “she’s not so much fat as she’s solid, and she’s tall, after all.” The thing is, that’s not the “real me.” I’m quite the skinny bunny when I’m “the real me.” I wish I could tell you that I’m curvy (which I certainly am now) – and granted, I never lose my Sistah Booty (even at my slimmest!), but all the rest of me is nearly bird thin. I remember once a doctor measuring my wrists to figure out my body “type” – my wrists are 4″ around. (You don’t gain weight at your wrists.) By this measurement and my height, I was told that the right weight for me was in the neighborhood (plus or minus 3 or so pounds) of 150. In 2006, I was 140, and by far at the most muscular and leanest point in my life. It seems like a lifetime ago. But I gotta tell you, I looked HOT. (I’ve just been uploading photos into Facebook I found, from that exact year.)
I got an email from my endocrinologist – my nutritionist and I did a fasting blood test for leptin and thyroid numbers besides TSH, because he wouldn’t do it, and I sent the numbers to him. Per Dr. Rosedale’s book, my leptin was off the charts (I am pretty sure I HAVE blogged about all this, but just getting it back off my chest). My thyroid values were also elevated. My endo wrote back and said “it’s because you’re old and fat, deal with it.” Oh, you laugh. Just a second, I’ll get you EXACTLY what he said:
“…Your time of life is such that weight gain etc are common and more likely menopausal rather than thyroid. It is very unusual for people to have normal thyroid (tsh and hormone levels) and have meaningful symptoms. The symptoms in that context are usually due to other things.”
To give you some perspective, I’ve gained over 20 pounds in less than a year. During that year, I did a triathlon, 4 marathons, and a few other random things. And gotten jigglier and jigglier.
Now, mind you, my endocrinologist only measures TSH and T3, and doesn’t take into account the other T-measures that the nutritionist and many other thyroid experts say are just as important. Nor does he measure or give any credence to leptin levels. My nutritionist believes that he’s just dead wrong. As she and other experts state, my numbers are in the range that’s called “normal,” but the problem is, “normal” is taken from the “median of Americans now” – which means deathly sick, obese people, basically. I’m on 2 thyroid meds, bioidentical hormones, an estrogen patch, glutathione, glutathione recycler, medical grade Co-Q10, and another 10 prescribed pills morning and evening . . . how did I get to BE this person – ???
Anyway. So I need to get a 2nd endocrinologist’s opinion, which is going to be the 7th Ring of Hell, since my G.P. didn’t even think I needed an endo in the FIRST place. (That endo did put me on 2 thyroid meds and said that I had an issue – Hashimoto’s – so at least I got started . . . now I need someone who will be a little more “new studies from the present research about thyroid” than “oh, you’re fine, that’s enough meds per the charts, even if you still feel like crap and are fat as a tick, and have brain fog.”) Meanwhile, I’m on day 3 of logging food and eating clean. As I said, I don’t like doing it – though it’s not “hard” of course – and “the devil in me” wants to just go gorge on protein almond butter balls and drink champagne and “fuggedaboudit.”
I must admit, however, that listening to a bonus podcast from Jonathan Bailor just now coming home yanked my chain on this a bit. He gave the following analogy:
“What if you’re in a super great relationship. [Me: I am.] Where you’ve been with the person for years, and you really can’t imagine doing all that much without them. [Me: Check, truth.] Where the two of you together are honestly each other’s ‘better halves,’ or when you are together, you are better for it. [Me: Yup.] Now imagine that someone comes up to you and says ‘HOW can you POSSIBLY be MONOGAMOUS?!? When there are SO many hot folks out there?!?! I mean, how could you POSSIBLY not CHEAT????’ Your reaction would be, ‘Um, what? Why? Hunh???’ You can’t imagine doing that, not just that it would be a ‘bad idea for your relationship’ but it honestly never enters your mind.
“This is how you should feel about yourself, such that your relationship to food is like your relationship to your ‘better half.’ “ [Me: Oh sh*t. That totally makes sense.] HERE is a link to that podcast, if you’re curious.
So imagine that you’re sitting around on the couch, your honey isn’t home, and you’re watching TV but kinda bored, or whatever. You walk up to the fridge – and a truly spectacular Chippendales dancer pops out. Or Rich Fronig. Or Ryan Gosling. Or The Old Spice Guy. Or whomever. We might all KID that yeah, we’d SO take advantage, but I personally know that I’d probably be more likely to say “Hey cutie, want a paleo almond butter cup?”
The thing is, to analogize this situation to my “grazing,” it’s not even Chippen-Fro-Ryan-Spice that I’m figuratively popping into my mouth
(shut up . . . dirty mind, you). It’s usually just something that happens to be “there” in the fridge. So that’s like walking up to the fridge, opening it, seeing some random dude that’s, yeah, okay, and you’re all “okay, do me…. yawn….now do me again…yawn…got any other random okay-not-super-tasty-but-crunchy friends in there?”
I like this analogy a lot. It might even make me laugh the next time I catch myself in “graze mode.”
OK I know that is a terrible photo there on the right, but again, it makes me laugh.
Time to get ready to go to class – my last one. I’m glad, because I have to get back to the Nutrition Certification stuff and MUST do my CLE!
So there you go.