Monday, May 1, 2017

Memorial Melt

As long time readers of this blog know, I have a terrible time losing weight due to my wonky thyroid, which has once again decided it doesn't want to work properly.  I just had my blood work done again and it is STILL not where it should be after last fall's malfunction.  Honestly, I can't think about it because it literally makes me want to me cry.

But what I can and do and usually think about is just being as healthy and fit as I can. I have always loved exercise and how it makes me feel so really I have no problem at all doing something in the form of movement every day - except that darned strength training which I'm just not motivated to do. Call me the cardio queen.

Around here we have a well-known training group that built a brand new state-of-the-art facility about 18 months ago. Using smart marketing, they have specials that show up in just about everyone I know who exercises Facebook feed. I actually know someone, around my same age and status (50's, menopausal, tries to eat and be healthy and work out but couldn't seem to beat the midlife weight and spread), who did a 21 day program with them.  She enthusiastically goes on and on about how great the program they gave her was.  She loved the facility and the staff so much, she decided to stay on with them for a while using the facility as her gym in addition to group training.

Recently something called the Memorial Melt kept popping up in my news feed - with the catch phrase, LOOK GREAT NAKED IN 25 DAYS - EVEN IF YOU HAVE TRIED AND FAILED IN THE PAST - OR YOUR MONEY BACK!

Normally, that sort of thing would turn me right off, but his is a local, well established business that has a good reputation. Plus I'd like to look better in clothes, never mind naked. Plus a money back guarantee? That was enough to get me to contact my friend to talk with her a bit more about her personal experience.  Then I decided to go ahead and contact them and set up an initial appointment to discuss their processes more.

The program consists of a food plan (if you want to use it) designed by their on-staff nutritionist, a custom training program designed by the head of training, 8 personal training sessions, and unlimited group training and use of the facility for the 25 days. (A locker room with heated floors!)

The experience was all at once disheartening, fascinating, and enlightening.  I had to fill out a large questionnaire, which was discussed with me by the head of training, and then I was put on a machine that measured muscle, body fat, hydration, and calorie burn.  Finally, I was put through a series of moves to determine my ranges of motion, flexibility, and weak areas.

Much of what he found didn't surprise me at all - the left side of my body is a mess and I have been compensating a lot for that foot I fractured in 2012.  In fact, there was one movement I was supposed to do without lifting my heel and I am incapable of doing it even though there is no pain.  He said my brain is simply in overdrive thinking the foot needs protection. Sort of crazy that it's 4 1/2 years later and this is still happening!  He also found my hip rotation wasn't at all as bad as I'd been thinking and even he said I was remarkably loose in the hips for a runner.

Let's not even discuss the body measurements mmmmmkay? Though I wasn't really surprised, seeing everything in a black and white printout was no fun. Well, except the hydration.  I was wonderfully hydrated as I should have been since I drink about a half gallon of water a day while I'm at work not to mention the sparkling water, unsweetened iced tea and more water I drink at home - now infused!

What did upset me was the calorie burn measurements.  Evidently, if I eat more than 1572 calories in a day I will gain weight as that's what I need to just maintain my current weight and state.  Of course this has to do with the current muscle vs. fat composition of my body. This means in addition to metabolism issues being caused by my thyroid, I've also got issues due to poor muscle mass.  Perfect!

When he saw how upset I was getting, he gave me the pep talk that with increase muscled mass the calorie burn will increase which means either more food, or weight loss if I don't eat more food.  I swear at one point I was in a daze and wanted to look at him and say, "blah, blah, blah." Honestly, though intellectually I know this to be true, I don't trust the process -  I feel like the thyroid issues affect everything and give different results, which is why I attempt health and fitness over weight loss.

Interestingly enough, I already eat exactly like they recommend. Even the nutritionist was surprised when she asked me to describe a typical day of food.  Pretty much they recommend eating your carbohydrates (starches and fruits) before mid-afternoon, then dinner should consist of protein and vegetables.  When I glanced at the food lists, I didn't see anything forbidden other than the usual culprits: alcohol and sugar. She said, if anything, she'd like me to try her recommended portions to see what happens.

I decided to sign up simply for the fact that the 8 personal training sessions and custom program are worth more than the price they're asking. He already told me that my program there is not going to have sustained cardio (i.e. no running or elliptical or anything like that) and I should keep doing my run in the morning. I'm hoping in the 25 days I'll get a bit attached to strength training and get myself in the habit of actually doing it.  I'm also hoping for better movement and flexibility.

This also means that between 2 jobs, regular household chores, and family obligations, May will be a crazy month for me.  But if I can manage to "Melt" a bit so that I look better in a bathing suit on my upcoming vacation, and feel better and stronger, I can sacrifice time and almost anything for 25 days. It's only 25 days.

Today is Day One, my first personal training appointment is at 4:00. Wish me luck.