I am starving. I don’t mean that metaphorically. I have been literally starving. I know what you’re saying. “How can she be starving? She’s fat.” Or perhaps: “She writes down what she eats– we can see she’s not starving.” But you’re wrong, just as I was wrong. I am a full-fledged grown up. I know you have to eat adequate amounts of food so that your metabolism doesn’t shut down and go into preservation mode. I know that. I just didn’t know how much food that was.
This week has been busy for me, and I have been strict with myself about eating most of the time, but I haven’t felt unduly hungry. My husband and son went out for Chinese food. I walked across the parking lot to Target to pick up a few things. They picked up burgers one night last week, I had a green salad. I was virtuous. Or so I thought. But my weight is exactly the same today as it was last Saturday. Oh sure, it’s gone up and down through the week but the net result is that there is no change.
So I did a little research. It turns out that my basal metabolic rate requires 1656 calories a day just to keep me alive. This is the number of calories I would burn just lying in a bed all day– this is what it takes for me to exist. If my consumption drops below that, my body does every damn thing it can do to keep me drawing breath, and first and foremost it conserves fat.
Even to reach my target weight, with moderate exercise, I should consume around 2200 calories. I haven’t been eating anywhere near that. Along with all that I filled out three online questionnaires to determine percentage of body fat, using weight and measurements. One cheerfully told me I have 28.3 percent body fat. The next one, from the book Fit or Fat, rang in at 35 percent body fat. I knew I should have quit while I was ahead, because then I took the Military Body Fat calculator, which returned a result of a whopping 55 percent, and plunged me into absolute self-loathing. All of these useful guides are on the Fit2Fat Radio website, linked here, along with a calculator to determine basal metabolic rate and target calorie intake for specific weight loss. Just do yourself a favor and ignore the Military Body Fat.
So now I have to eat more. I expect that some of my weight loss will creep back. I hope not, but I expect it anyway. Looking for suggestions on jump starting my metabolism, I found lots of helpful, sensible advice: eat more protein, eat earlier in the day and of course, more exercise. I wish someone had told me. When I talked to my mother tonight she said “I thought what you were listing was not enough food, but I thought you might have been eating in greater quantities.” I feel so utterly stupid to have made this rookie mistake. I didn’t want to count calories because I didn’t want to deny myself, it never occurred to me to count them just to make sure I had enough to eat.
Today’s target number a depressing 61.6. I walked 7047 steps. I started the day with a hot cross bun. (Yes, I know not enough for breakfast, but I was running late.) When the glass blowing class had a break, I had a carton of yogurt (Brown Cow blueberry) with a quarter cup of granola, and an ounce of cheese. After class I went out with a friend and we had miso soup and sushi. I had two smallish rolls– about 10 pieces. I thought that was the end of the eating for the day, so when I got home I had half a cup of lemon sorbetto. When I realized my predicament, I made myself dinner: green salad and scrambled eggs with a little cheese.