Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Determining my Maintenance Guidelines

Now that I am no longer in weight-loss mode and maintaining, I am working on updating my daily plan/guidelines to support my changing priorities.  My new plan will address not only what and when I eat and my exercise regimen but also my sleep patterns and some Spiritual disciplines.

Some of the guidelines are very new and fresh but for the most part I have already begun to implement them over the past several months.  It is the putting them in writing and sharing them openly that forces me to think about them in a more rational and structured way so I realize they may need some tweaking.  But I have been thinking and thinking about them and it is time to start writing them down and seeing if they are useful at helping me create more balance in my life.

One new development/complication that I have to incorporate into my plan is my diagnosis of "Low Estrogen Secondary to Weight Loss."  After a physical exam and lots of blood tests, my doctor has ruled out other causes of my amenorrhea.  He does not want me to gain any weight as a solution and I think that he is anticipating that this is a temporary condition that should stabilize on its own as my body adjusts.  I have been looking into ways I might be able to help the adjustment with tweaks to my eating and exercise regimen.  I have been looking online at forums and blogs to find other women who have experienced similar difficulty and what they did to recover.  I am a little confused as to why I am having this problem because it typically happens to long distance runners and professional ballerinas.  I don't think I quite fit those profiles but here I am sharing a common problem with them!  I am listing the possible causes that I have identified so far and my thoughts on them...
  • Rapid, Sudden Weight Loss?  (I lost my weight over an 18 month period at an average rate of 1.6 lbs per week)
  • Under Weight?  (Ideal/Normal BMI range = 18-25.  My BMI: 21)
  • Over Exercise?  (I exercise at Curves 3 to 6 times per week.  My new plan will require at least 20 hrs of recovery between workouts)
  • Under Nourished?  (I get RDA or better for all tracked nutrition.)
  • Extreme Calorie Deficit caused by combination of exercise and diet?  (I don't think so but I need to keep a better eye on this.  New plan will have calorie deficit parameters.)
  • Low Body Fat?  (My BF % averaged 20% in December & January.  Most sources say it would have to be as low as 14% to cause amenorrhea.  Would like to keep BF % in the 18%-20% range.)
  • Low Fat Diet? (I was guilty of eating too little fat earlier in my journey.  I had corrected this before the symptom began.  New plan increases my daily percentage of calories from fat.)
So as I look at those causes, I am left with a question.  What else do I change?  The doctor gave me no orders and no treatment.  From what I am reading, the only down side to Low Estrogen is the risk of bone loss and future osteoporosis.  I want to minimize the duration of this condition and the side effects so I am making common sense adjustments to my plan.

My priorities...

1.  Improve BALANCE in my lifestyle
        (Spirit/Emotion/Body) (Personal/Family/Work/Ministry)

       -- not sure how to measure this :/
2.  Restore Estrogen levels 
       -- not sure how long this will take :/
3.  Maintain an average monthly weight between 140-150 lbs
       -- easy to measure and track success :)
4.  Maintain "Superior" body fat %
       -- easy to measure, accuracy is a question and is "Superior" too low?

Every January "My One Word.Org" encourages the selection of one focus word for the year instead of making New Year's resolutions.
"This process provides clarity by taking all of your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single thing. One word focuses on your character and creates a vision for your future."
My word for 2011 is DISCIPLINE.  God is asking me to apply the same discipline that has given me success in my physical body to other areas of my life.  Ultimately I know this will help with priority #1 above.

A Bible verse that I read recently speaks to me about the importance of thinking of my Spiritual growth in the same way as my physical transformation... 

I Timothy 4:7-8 (MSG)  "Exercise daily in God--no spiritual flabbiness, please!  Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." 

1. Daily Bible reading 1st thing in the morning (3-4 chapters) Matthew 6:33 (NIV) "But seek FIRST his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."
2. Attend weekly Christian accountability group.  (LTG with Christine & Marie)
3. Active and consistent participation in weekly church worship services.
4. Active and consistent participation in monthly prayer and fasting day(s). 

1. Never Skip Breakfast! 

2. take good nutritional supplements every day
3. eat 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies per day or more :)
4. eat at least 25g of fiber per day (try to get above 50g)

5. aim for at least 140 g of protein per day (1 gram for each lb of goal weight)
6. at least 20% of daily calories from fat (try to get above 24%)
7. 2-3 Red Meat servings per week (3 oz servings)
8. Limit eating after 7:00pm (or within 3 hrs of bedtime)
9. Eat minimum of 2000 calories per day; creating desired deficits with exercise
10. Eliminate calorie deficit when weight is under 142 lbs
11. Minimal calorie deficit when weight is under 150 lbs
12. Daily calorie deficit never >800.
13. Spend no more than 7 consecutive days with a >500 calorie deficit.

1.  9 or more Cups plain water per day.
2.  12 or more Cups green tea per day
3.  Additional beverages allowed but must be non-caloric with NO artificial sweeteners.

1. Continue at Curves 3-5 times per week (minimum of 20 hr recovery between workouts) 

1. In bed by 10:00 pm at least 5 nights per week.
2. Average 8 hrs of sleep per night.
3. Establish better internal sleep "clock" by striving for 10 pm - 6 am daily sleep pattern. 

1. Daily monitoring myself with FitClick.com
2. Be accountable to someone (person or group) and report status monthly.

No comments:

Post a Comment