Friday, September 27, 2013

Updates

Wow! What a crazy week. I feel like I have so many updates to share but I’m not sure I will be able to remember them all- my brain is pretty fried. Work has been going extremely well but I am super busy. Not sure it will slow down anytime soon either. I am thankful I will be able to take a few days off in a couple weeks to go over to New Orleans with my parents when they come to visit. I know it will be a much needed break – especially because midterms will be behind me and I will be able to breathe a bit easier.

Hopefully.

Anywho, this week I had my first appointment with my nutritionist and it was awesome. I was leery because I have heard so many bad stories especially from people who follow certain non-typical diets like I do. More concern (unsupported) stemmed from dealing with a military doc at a military facility- I had no idea how they would handle my situation. I was preparing myself to hear “you need to eat meat/dairy” in order to lose weight/fat. I was also preparing myself to say screw that shit if that is what I was told.

But that is not at all what happened. My nutritionist was awesome.  She had read through my file in advance and had a ton of information prepared for me in regards to my current diet. Actually my primary care doc wrote vegetarian in my file (which is technically correct since veganism is just a type of vegetarianism, but I digress) so she was a little thrown but she recovered nicely and still came up with a lot of great ideas for me.

First we started with just general Q&A; what I eat, what type of activities do I do, what are my goals, etc.

Then we talked about each area in depth. Prior to my arrival she had calculated my metabolic rate (which she had to go back and recalculate once she knew my activity level) and so part of our discussion was about my daily calorie intake, in total not net. For me to lose weight slowly she would like me to consume 1600-1800 calories a day. Preferably, closer to 1800. Which makes me happy- 1800 is a number I can live with, happily.

Once the calorie goal was set we worked on the actual breakdown of how that will work for me as far as servings of fruits, veggies, grains, proteins, etc. This was probably the most helpful part for me and I should note here that we did not make any drastic changes to my diet- we are just fine-tuning at this point, her words not mine.

She gave me this huge chart that denotes the number of servings I should be eating for each food group based on my calorie intake.  It also has this cool stop light type format that breaks down every food group listing the foods in that group and categorizes them as green, yellow, or red. Green of course meant go- foods to eat frequently, yellow meant caution- foods to eat in moderation, and red meant stop (well kind of)- foods to eat sparingly. It was kind of cool to see everything laid out and see all of the ‘red’ foods I eat daily. Yikes!

But it was also good because we had a really helpful conversation about my vitamin, fat and protein intake. See, I don’t eat much soy and I really try to limit my intake of processed foods- especially fake meats. And based on how I currently eat I do currently intake enough protein- if we are just looking at the numbers. But my doc wants me to move away from eating so many grain/bean/seed based proteins (even the complete proteins like quinoa) and move more to soy milk, tempeh (which I do happen to love), tofu, edamame (yes, I realize I just listed 4 soy products) as my main protein source since they are all high in protein, low in carbs. Not that I can’t still eat beans and grains and all the other foods I love just she doesn’t want me to count them as my protein (“meat”) source. They fall into their own categories. Another reason she wants me to move to eating more soy foods and soy milk is because they are fortified and although I am currently consuming enough vitamins she is concerned that because I eat such a high fiber diet that my body isn’t able to absorb them quickly enough so she wants to make sure I am getting in plenty of calcium and vitamin D. She also recommended I try to increase my fat intake (which helps with the absorption of vitamins) by incorporating more flax and walnuts into my diet.  I am on board with all of these changes for sure!

She also told me to back off the cardio a bit. She loves that I am doing yoga and boot camp- both strength training which are helping me to build that lean muscle mass I lack- but that at this point the amount of running and cycling I am doing isn’t doing anything for my body other than providing me with endorphins and stress release (which are both still great reasons to be active) and so she wants me to scale back the amount of cardio I am doing to more like 30 minutes at a time just a few times a week and to try to incorporate more interval work to change it up a bit. She is ok with me doing more than that but she doesn’t want me to feel like I need to, if that makes sense?  She is trying to help me/my body find its healthy activity balance.

She also had a custom (re: vegan) food guide that we went over with ideas for meals/snacks and we did briefly talk goals, which I really didn’t know what to tell her they were when she asked. I used to have this magic number in my head (150) that was where I wanted my weight to be. Now, not so much. Now I really don’t know where my weight should be. To me it is a place where I feel comfortable in my skin, can realistically maintain, and still be in good health. Nowadays I like to say 160 is that number because for almost a year it was all three of those things. And now, somehow (I had a really great month), that’s where I am weight wise- well technically 161.0 lbs this morning- and am ready to try to continue losing (or at least implement all of the changes she had suggested to help me continue) and see if getting, and staying, below 160 is an actual possibility. Who knows if it is and honestly I don’t care either way.

I am happy.

I am healthy.

And I am back to my ‘fighting weight’

Which means….

This morning I gave my primary care doctor the green light to submit the request for a plastic surgeon consult for an abdominoplasty. On my last visit I told him I wanted to wait until I was back to 160 before I would have the surgery but to me 161 is close enough. I am pretty sure I can lose one more pound between now and whenever I have the operation. I am excited and nervous, anxious and scared. It’s a big deal. I put it off for 2 years because I wanted to be ready both physically and mentally. The last thing I wanted to happen was to come out of this surgery and start nitpicking apart the rest of my body. This surgery is for medical reasons (well at least for the most part – sure there is a part of me- my vain side- that is excited to lose all this extra skin) and earlier this month I had a rough time dealing with a patch of sores/chaffing on the excess skin on my lower stomach that made me realize how bad it really is and how it is something that needs to be fixed. My flabby arms and thighs and saggy breasts absolutely do not. And I am ok with that. I am 100% ok with them looking how they do now for the rest of my life.

My stomach is a different story. There is a legit medical issue (infections) which is why my insurance covers it and my doctors have been pushing for it. There is a difference.

And I think my brain finally gets that .

And I think I am ready for this surgery.

So that is where I am at right now. I am to schedule a follow up visit with the nutritionist in 4-6 weeks and I should be hearing about the surgery consult in the next ten days. In a perfect world I will be able to schedule my surgery for right before Christmas and use the two weeks the university gives us for holiday as part of my recovery time. If not, I probably will have to wait until sometime next year (because of work constraints) to have it. Either way would be fine by me but Christmas just works better since it is during a work holiday- no one will miss me.

Oh, and in other news….the Fitbloggin’ 2014 location has finally been announced and next year it’s heading to Savannah, GA. June 26-29. Mark your calendars. I’ll be there. It’s drivable for me. No way in hell will I miss this one! Portland was beyond amazing and I know Savannah will be too! This year I would like to make a vacation out of it so if you are coming and plan on extending too let me know. Or if you live anywhere in the Savannah area I could easily be convinced to take a road trip to see you J

Happy Friday everyone!