Thursday, May 10, 2012

The scale is just a number

The last time I was at Dr. Poon's clinic for an official weigh-in was February 3rd.  The scale says I lost 21.6 pounds between then and now.  The Tanita Body Composition Analyzer says I lost 29.2 pounds of fat.  How does that work if my weight is only down 21.6 pounds?  Water weight.  I'm down three pounds from when I got weighed at Dr. Pitt's office on April 19th, but I have gained 5.6 pounds of water.  This doesn't surprise me since I had a fairly high sodium day yesterday.  Not a smart thing to do right before a weigh-in.  Am I disappointed?  Nope.  The scale is just a number.

I know that my body has changed over the past few weeks.  Not only are my clothes getting big...yet again, people I haven't seen for a few weeks have commented that I have noticeably had another loss.  My fat mass went down significantly in the past three months, as did my fat percentage.  And I know that I have built muscle.  My legs are testament to that.

Over the past 5 weeks or so, I have probably eaten more than I have the previous 7 months.  I have been eating a lot of lean protein and Phase 2 vegetables.  I had two cups of air popped popcorn last Sunday and felt like I was cheating (even though it's allowed on Phase 2).  Regardless of how much (of the right) foods I have been eating, I'm dropping fat and my body is changing rapidly.  This is what running is doing for me.

On average I run about 20k per week.  For my body weight that works out to be just below 2000 calories burned by running per week.  Not too shabby, and I'm burning a lot of fat which makes my loss even greater.  Running has boosted my metabolism and it's working overtime regardless of how much I eat.  Because of the foods I do eat, I never feel low energy or bloated during a run, I just feel like I could run forever.  I still have that moment of "Why am I doing this again?" right when I start my run, but it's soon replaced with "OMG!  I'm a runner".  And I feel like a million bucks when I'm done.

Exactly one year ago, I was gorging myself on processed carbs and foods high in sugar, sodium and fat.  I also weighed 288 pounds.  I never dreamed that I would be running 20k per week and pretty much addicted to entering races.  I do have to admit though, that I'm becoming a bit of a running snob.  I only want to enter races where I get a medal.  And then I want a medal display rack...great gift idea, just say'in!

Last week, a co-worker asked me how I stayed focused and able to continue on this diet for so long.  I told her that I could do it because I realize I'm always going to have to eat like this.  Maybe not always as strictly as I do now, but always low carb, low fat and low sugar.  I look at my obesity as a potentially terminal disease.  If I was allergic to peanuts I would never eat nuts because they could kill me.  Carbs, fat and sugar will also kill me if I go back to my old habits.  Does anything taste good enough to risk re-gaining the 82 pounds I have already lost?  Not on your life.  I have way too much to live for.
This is my Peanut when he was just a little guy!