Over the last 5 years I’ve learned to focused on health and not weight loss. The results have been awesome. My doctor pronounced me healthy. After achieving my goal I did the expected.
For 18 months I maintained my weight of 185 pounds. Sure I still wanted to drop about 25-30 “vanity” pounds because I knew the extra weight would eventually cause havoc as I got older. Knowing that didn’t propel me to take action. Oh, I came up with some new goals…and promptly started coasting again.
Why? No fire in the belly.
Five years ago I was staring at a bleak, unhealthy future of diabetes and heart disease. Fear drove me to act. But once I reclaimed my health, I thought the fight was over.
Boy was I wrong.
The Fire Is Back!
So here I am, 8 months post surgery that removed a cancerous tumor and I feel the fire in belly once again. Once again I’m laying out goals that I want to achieve.
- Retool my diet to:
- Naturally manage menopause symptoms
- Kick cancer’s sorry ass
- Go from
29%31% to 21% body fat
- Change my fasting protocol
- Build strength
Retooling My Diet
This time around I’ve decided to enlist the help of an endocrinologist to figure out the best diet given my raging hormones and insulin resistance. I’ve so focused on macronutrients that I’m starting to wonder if I’m missing the boat on micronutrients. In the meantime, I’m taking a few steps that seem to improve mood, reduce menopause symptoms and lose body fat.
- No wine. Period.
- Eat less than 10g of carbs a day.
- No more coffee.
- Restrict nuts & dairy (except butter).
- Continue limiting cruciferous veggies to minimize bloating.
I’m also changing up my intermittent fasting. Menopause makes women less tolerant to insulin. Since I’m insulin resistant already, this means I’m even more sensitive to insulin’s effects.
Instead of fasting for 16 hours a day (meaning I eat 2 meals a day), I’m moving to a 24-hour fasting protocol. So everyday I’ll break my fast with dinner. The idea is to help my body’s insulin response become more sensitive to insulin. That doesn’t mean I’m starving myself. Dinners will just be larger and where I’ll take in all my nutrients.
I’m expecting more dietary changes as I start working with an endocrinologist to rebalance my hormones. But I have to begin somewhere.
I’ve written that I started back up with a trainer. Building strength is very important as we hit middle age, especially for women. By the time we enter our 30s we start losing muscle mass, roughly 3-5% a decade (a little less if you are physically active).
For women entering menopause, that muscle loss leads to loss of bone mass and potentially osteoporosis (brittle bones).
That’s where weight training comes in. Twice a week (three times is better) can stop the loss of muscle mass. Building strength leads to stronger bones as you head into your golden years. Meaning your less likely to suffer broken bones from a fall.
I’m also adding some yoga and light cardio into the mix. The yoga is to help me improve my balance and help me relax. The light cardio in the form of brisk 1-hour walks five times a week. Some of those walks will morph into my 10k training once the weather improves.
While I’ve made great strides these last 5 years, I feel like I’m back at square one…and in a way I am. What got me from 325 to 275 pounds didn’t get me to 185 pounds. As I got healthier, my diet and activity level had to change too. Well my body’s changed again – I’m in menopause and want to stay cancer free. My goals and my tactics have to change with my body.
My 24-hour fasting kicks in tomorrow. So I’m spending today taking my measurements, stepping on the scale, and setting up key benchmarks to hit.