Wednesday, November 10, 2010

If life was a simple equation

According to all information about weight loss it is a simple matter of the calories going in must be less than the calories used. It sounds so simple and for many it is. For the rest of us... not so much. At about 35, after having been 5kg underweight most of one’s life, one awoke to find one had been trapped in someone else’s body. After endless rounds of bleeding, pills and an assortment of doctors it was finally diagnosed as PCOS. Now the long term prognosis for many with PCOS is obesity, so one did the sensible thing and embarked on a lifetime commitment to diet and exercise. Well what else is a control freak going to do if not control it?

For a while there it worked admirably, even the dieticians were impressed, but nothing lasts forever and as one approached 45 the weight had slowly crept up to hit around the 82kg/ 180 lb mark. This would be fine if one was tall like the rest of the family... somewhere, someone sullied the gene pool with short genes and one ended up 164cm/ 5’4”. Short for a modern woman and depressingly short in comparison with other family members. More importantly, it is completely inadequate for someone hitting the scales at that weight.

So of course one did the sensible thing... one looked at the diet and realised that nothing more could be pruned out of it while still maintaining good health, so the only option was to go back to weight training. Even the most resistant fat has trouble withstanding that kind of onslaught.  Actually so does a 46 year old body, but one digresses. And over a matter of months one has lost inches... quite a few of the damn things, but not one solitary gram. Oh well at least one wasn’t gaining weight so it could have been worse.

Snuffling around the net looking for ways to maximise the workout, one happened upon this groovy little calculator that works out how many calories you need to maintain your weight and subsequently what you need to be below to lose it. Spending a few seconds inputting data one hit calculate and a figure came back that was so staggering one immediately redid it. And got the same result. According to the calculator to maintain a weight of 82kg one needs to eat over 3 000 calories per day. This was almost double what one had been eating for the last 10 years.

After blinking at it for a few minutes one considered the implications. We know that if a body thinks it is being starved it will slow down a metabolism. Well if that was what it was doing there was a way to find out. So one embarked on a program of adding more protein, good oils and including a small chocolate milk (a peculiar thing that we will get back to at a later date) after a workout. Basically one tacked on an extra 500 calories a day. The other day one got on the scales and low and behold one had actually lost 2kg... not much one the scale of things, but it was the first time it has gone down in ten years.

So the moral of this story? Well yes eat more, but more importantly the next time some bloody doctor peers over his spectacles and utters the words you need to eat less, one is going to ram something down their gob. Why you may ask? Well it is sheer laziness on their part. They assume because you are big that you eat too much, or you eat the wrong things, and for some of us it is not that simple. Besides one has all this extra strength now and it seems a shame to waste it :D

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