I went for my annual physical week before last. I saw the nurse practitioner, which I was fine with. I had gone and gotten my blood drawn for the tests my doctor wanted to run the week before and there were some results that needed to be discussed. I anticipated a discussion about my cholesterol level as high LDL runs in my family.
First, I went into a little room to get my blood pressure (a very good number), weight and pulse (a little fast) recorded. In the middle of the day, I weighed in at 194. The most I've ever weighed was around 220. That was when Zoe was 2 years old. I used Weight Watchers and got myself down to around 185. I was back up to close to 200 two years ago, then signed up for a boot camp through a mother's club I belonged to at the time. One of the members ran our classes and I lost 15 pounds. I've stayed there, as you can see.
The nurse practitioner told me that my cholesterol was high, my bad cholesterol was a little high and she wanted me to try changing my diet and activity level before we tried treating with a prescription.
Then she said "You're weight concerns me, too." She walked over to a BMI chart and pointed to the "over 30" section, which indicates obesity, "You're right in here. I'd like to see you down here." She slid her finger along and pointed to the number '145'.
145? 50 pounds? Fifty? Five and zero? Um.....
In my head I said "Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me?"
Then my reaction was that I wasn't sure why she was using the BMI indicator, since there's a lot of conflicting information out there about it. However, in the 1980s, we used the 5-er calculation. If you are 5 feet tall, you should weigh 100 pounds. For every inch in height after that, add 5 pounds. So, me at 5'4" should weigh 120 pounds. There also the theory that when you add your measurements together, they shouldn't equal more than 100 inches. 36+28+36=100. In the 1990's, Susan Powter liked to use a caliper measuring device to check how much body fat you were carrying and strive to get it under a certain percentage. BMI came on the scene in the 90s and has hung around. The oldest suggestion, the insurance height/weight chart, puts me between 131-151.
According to any of these, I need to get myself down at least 40 pounds. Hrm, okay.
This idea doesn't thrill me and I'm not sure I'm taking it very seriously. Change my cholesterol? Sure, no problem. I can eat Cheerios or oatmeal or more fish and I'm fine with that. But 40 pounds? That's some serious work. Not much pleasantness to it. Although, it would make buying clothes a whole lot easier.
It's not that I don't know how to do it. As a matter of fact, I know a bunch of ways to do it. You can use the good, old calorie counting. Helen Gurley Brown, the late editor of Cosmopolitan magazine suggested a level of 500-1000 calories per day with an increase in exercise to firm it all up. She said that 5'7" at 145 pounds was pudgy. I could go off on a long tangent about Helen and stuff I read by her in my early teens that had a lasting effect on my self-esteem (not in a super good way), but that's another blog.
I liked Susan Powter, who said eat when you are hungry. But, eat high quality, low fat foods such as vegetables, fruits. lean proteins, whole grains in place of higher processed foods. Include 30 minutes of exercise day, increasing as you feel you can, sticking with activities you enjoy and don't hurt. Then toss in some deep breathing exercises and stretching. Don't stress it too much, do what makes sense. She didn't like the scale for your first several weeks of changing how you eat, but using your measurements or clothing size or how you're feeling. Currently, I've got a 39 inch waist and 46 inch hips and I wear a size 16/18. Of course, women's clothing varies so much from brand to brand, I wear a 14 in some brands and a 22 in others.
Richard Simmons believes in high quality foods in appropriate portions combined with exercise. He sells some gizmos that make this easier. He gets that bigger people need very low impact movements and designs his workouts with that in mind. I can't do his stuff, it's just too.....I don't know. Richard Simmons-y. I mean, I LIKE Richard. I can remember watching his show on TV after school in 1979. He showed up on General Hospital and Chips and a bunch of other TV shows, much as he does now. He seems to have a good sense of humor about himself, but I can't stand the workouts. Sorry, Richard.
I've done Weight Watchers, as I said, and had great success with it. I'm considering going back to it, but doing the meetings instead of the online program, because the last time I was on the WW message boards they were a total joke. The women were mean and clique-ish. Most people dropped out, leaving about 50 core people who liked to insult and drive out anyone new.
I'm not committing either way. What I am doing is upping my water intake, eating a big salad of spinach and kale once a day, cutting out red meat and processed foods and eating when I'm hungry. I've started taking the dogs for walks every day in addition to all the running around I do at work. I'm going to weigh myself at the end of the month and see if it made a difference. If not, I"ll think about WW again. If my weight and measurements have changed, then I'll keep on with what I'm doing.
If not, I'll try something else.
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: Don't fall for the suggestion that says you can make a mask out of plain gelatin that will clear out your pores. Really, it just pulls out all the hair on your face, which hurts. You want to pull out the hair on your face, I'm cool with that. Just don't do this thinking you'll get rid of blackheads.