Into every post-surgery life, a little rain must fall. Apparently, it is my turn again, as my latest weigh-in has me up by 1.2 pounds. This would not be terribly significant if it were not for the fact that I am within spitting distance of my goal weight of 185. It seems a cruel joke by my metabolism, setting me back when I am under 5 pounds away.
What Do The Numbers Really Mean?
Now, first things first: gaining a pound when you weigh 188 (189, now) pounds is no reason to sound the alarms. So many different things can contribute to weight fluctuation. There is no way to determine if this is water weight, or “OMG I ate a cheesecake” weight gain.
For the record, I did not eat a cheesecake.
What I did do, though, is change a couple things in my workout habits. I have been hitting the workouts really hard. At the advice of our shared personal trainer, I have reversed my normal exercise routine. I am now doing weights first, then cardio-vascular exercise. This meant instant increases in all my weight levels for resistance exercise. It also means I am leaving the gym a heck of a lot more blown out than I was previously.
My trainer, Ian, also suggested that I look into HIIT exercise. High-Intensity Interval Training involves blasting out reps as hard as you can for a short time period (usually 30 or 60 seconds), then resting for a minute or two. It sounded interesting until I mentioned how low my current carb load is.
“Carbs are what your body uses for fuel,” Ian told me. “At your carb level, you are going to have nothing in the tank.”
Torn Between Two Experts
So, we have my Certified Personal Trainer, Ian, suggesting that my exercise level needs to be supported by increasing the carbs in my diet.
And we have my Certified Nutritionist, Patti, who insists that, for bariatric patients, carbs are the devil.
So, umm…yeah. Confused much?
Last week I made the judicious decision to increase my carb content by about 50% (to 90 grams a day.) I slept better, had more energy, and got all the way through all my workouts.
And I gained 1.2 pounds.
Now, other factors have to be taken into consideration. Development of lean muscle mass means that, initially, weight will go up. This, in turn, will raise the Base Metabolic Rate, meaning that the body will burn more energy while resting. Which should, in theory, lead to overall weight loss.
Now, do I really think I added 1.2 pounds of muscle in a week?
Kinda doubt it.
Peering Into The Future
So, I am going to have to settle for looking down the road and deciding what my focus will be.
The fact of the matter is, I am not training for weight loss per se. I am training for functional muscle and endurance. Starting this weekend, I have some energy-burning activities on the radar.
On Sunday we will be participating in our first 5K.
Later this month we will be hauling ourselves up a 45-foot wall at Stone Age Climbing Gym.
We’ll be heading out every week on a different day hike into the Sandias.
And this will all culminate in the assault on the La Luz Trail, probably in August.
The theme here seems to be “energy-burning activities.” I am going to have to plan (and train) accordingly. This is going to mean enhanced carbohydrate intake. So I am going to have to be careful. Complex carbs, ancient grains, and regular food logging will be the order of the day. And, once the increased workout load stops, I will need to drop the carbs back to 60 grams or less a day.
Every time I start to panic, I can just reach into my closet and try on my beloved 501s. As long as the 36-inch waistline is comfortable, I won’t panic too much.
As of this morning, they are actually a little loose.
Now there’s some food for thought.
Are 34s On The Horizon?