“It’s easy to make progress when things are going great. When you’re feeling fast, powerful, strong. When you are feeling bad, when nothing is working, when everything is going against you, then you must bear down, and forge ahead. Those are the days that build character and make the most difference.”
~ Kai Greene
DEXA results were not good this morning. REALLY NOT GOOD.
I sat in the car and cried. It’s just not good to be menopausal, low on carbs and calories. Tears happen fast anyway, but I was really disappointed. First person I needed to tell was my friend Kim, so I sent a fast email. I then headed to Starbucks for oatmeal instead of the Sonic breakfast burrito I had been craving before the DEXA. That craving went away pretty fast. All cravings left me. I didn’t want to eat. I got the oatmeal and dutifully fed my body, still crying.
Body fat percentage went up to 22.8% from 19.8% in June when weight had dropped about 6 pounds. About a week ago, I startled myself awake in the middle of the night with the thought that my body fat had gone up to 22%. Weird, huh? I had a premonition about my own body fat. A big part of me knows that this is trivial and not a major dilemma. I had this check set up in my head as proof to myself that could finish this journey on my own, without a trainer.
According to those numbers, I gained 3 pounds of fat and lost 9 pounds of lean mass since June 10th. I think I can explain the fat. I don’t know about the 9 pounds of lean mass loss.
1) Despite being told differently, wearing the BodyBugg on my leg made a difference in how it read my calorie burn. Most days, the bugg falsely reported that I burned about 100 calories more than I did. On a cardio day, the error could have been as high as 500 calories. I just figured that out a couple weeks ago. So I’ve been using bad data for the last 6 months. I am very angry about that. I’m angry with myself for accepting that suggestion without checking it carefully and objectively. I wanted it to be OK. I was told it would be OK, but it’s my stupid mistake.
2) Fasting cardio in the morning obviously didn’t work.
The LEAN MASS: I have no idea what’s going on with that. I thought the depressing Sept numbers were from over training during the summer and stress. I thought I recovered. Then I figured out the bugg data was wrong, but thought that the extra calories would actually help muscle growth. In the last week, I could see that I looked smaller, but I came off the creatine a couple weeks ago and started cutting carbs. Both of those things would make muscles appear “flatter”. I see more definition everywhere. I’ve been doing cardio to lose fat, so I expected a little loss, but 9 pounds?? That’s an insane number. All my lifts have gone up. Heck, I dead lifted 195 pounds just a few weeks ago! I have a couple ideas of things to research to explain some of it.
1) For the June scan, I had been on creatine for 3 months. For today’s scan, I was off creatine for 3 weeks. Question – does the water in the muscle caused by the creatine read as “lean mass” on the DEXA? Maybe My June lean mass number was too high.
2) Fasting cardio in the morning may have just chewed up muscle as much as anything else.
3) Cortisol – tons of stress in the last few months and not enough rest. I can’t change my schedule. I’m going to be busy. But I can change some other stuff. No more drama. I swear, I will walk away from all conversations that are bitch sessions. I won’t talk to negative people. I will block the poo throwers on Facebook. I will take more baths. I will meditate. Whatever. I’m meeting with my doc in a week and I’ll ask her about changing the Chinese herbs she gave me for menopause symptoms. Or maybe I’ll just quit being so cheap and take all six everyday like I’m supposed to instead of four.
I need to rest. Rest and eat. Rest, eat, read, and think. Kim has already prepared an action plan for the nutrition. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the workouts. Sunday is day #1 of new cycle – possibly new program entirely. What I’ve been doing is clearly not working.
As I said, my first email was to Kim. She’s been with me since Day #1 of this 861 day journey. In her usual fashion, I got a 4 paragraph “quick” reply (before the oatmeal was eaten) reminding me of who I used to be, what I’ve accomplished, how she loved both the old me who hid candy canes in her desk and the new me who wears Super Shirts for leg workouts, and how this is just a minor set back, not to be blown up into a vindication for those who said I can’t do it, or can’t do it without the kind of help that would put me into bankruptcy.
She ends the email with…
“I’m ready to tackle this little pesky roadblock with you if you’re ready…
Let me know,
My reply (after a couple hours when I felt ‘normal’ again)… OH HELL YEAH. I’M READY.
Just as soon as I eat, rest, eat, rest, and rest.
I’ve done some HARD stuff in my life…took mom off life support, handled her estate and grandma’s estate at the same time (took about five years), worked and went to school at the same time so it took 16 years to earn my math degree, and being a wife and a teacher isn’t all that easy, either. So when I say this bodybuilding thing is HARD, I’m putting in the top five of hard things I’ve done. It’s not the lifting – it’s the life. But since I chose this life, I’m going to live it and love it – every day. Until I’m mentally stronger, I’ll act mentally stronger.