1/28/13: And Suddenly, Losing Weight is a Bad Thing.
Monday, January 28, 2013
So, I re-evaluated my goals a little while ago, deciding that I wasn't aiming so much for weight loss as I was for strength building. I want to be toned and able to do more "physical achievements" rather than just focus on getting that number on the scale down.
So I struggled last week, but I bumped my calories up from the ~1200-1300 I was aiming for to get to 1,500/day.
Monday I had 1,280. Then I got it to 1,435 on Tuesday; 1,514 on Wed; 1,412 on Thurs; 1,508 on Fri; ~1700 or even higher on Sat (my "off" day); and then, yesterday, 1,561. That's an average of ~1500 calories/day, which is pretty darn good. I was expecting that my body had been in a starvation type mode- nothing too extreme, but a 120-125 lb young woman can't eat 1,000+ calories under her maintenance level without seeing some major metabolic slowing... I was expecting actually to see a slight weight GAIN this week, because I was upping to about 300 more calories on top of messing my body up by not eating enough consistently for a long time ON TOP of having a week of this round's hormones taken (they tend to bloat me up consistently about a 0.75 lbs for 3 weeks and then I shed it during the fourth week without hormones).
So I decide I will face the scale and face my irrational fear of gaining weight and prove to myself that it is OK.
And that's when I saw the scary, blasted number:
That's a 0.
I lost a full pound on a week I was supposed to be bloated, when I've added in more high-fiber foods, when I've added in more calories, when I had an OFF DAY two days before. I've had no gigantic explosion of body water. I cannot explain this weight loss other than... I actually lost weight.
Why is this a bad thing? Same reason I guess that having an off day was a good thing. I need to not let that darn number define who I am, and as it keeps going down, I'm secretly going to be happy about it. I have a cousin who is a cm taller than me and 5 months older. We aren't blood related at all, and when we were little, she was always mega short. I reached my peak height of 162 cm when she was... 4'7". I was 150 lbs while she was... 70lbs (she lived with us for that summer and gained 5 lbs, actually). Now she is slightly taller than I am, and she weighs 110 lbs and is actually really fit (cheerleader and gymnast in high school, which she just graduated).
And I'm not saying I compare myself to her, because I don't think I need to be at her level or better or that I'm any worse, but knowing she is perfectly fine there gives me small fuel to say, "It's okay."
When really, for my goals, it's kinda not.
My body catabolizes muscle. It really hates keeping muscle on, especially on my arms. I lose strength at a 2-3x higher rate than average. So now, while I like seeing the number on the scale go down in some weird, twisted way, I also hate it because I'm terrified that I'm losing any muscle mass or strength I may be putting on.
I know I will never be bulky. I have low testosterone levels (thank you, double-x chromosomes). I never WANT to be bulky. But muscle would be nice to have so I can keep up with everybody else. I'm this scrawny little girl. I can fight fine because I am quick and there is less mass of me to get hit, my cardiovascular fitness is excellent for biking (I have problems with running because I somehow don't breathe properly), but especially my upper body has no strength, even proportional to my weight. I can hardly bench press bars in gyms. Don't even ask me to clean anything any more. Pushups? 2-3 and I fall. Pull ups? Quarters, and I can hold for a few seconds, and then I fall.
I just wish my body didn't gain strength so slowly and lose it so quickly, and now I'm scared it is undoing all of my hard work attempting pull ups.