TheWay-365

Tomorrow, I start a new journey. Actually, it’s not REALLY a new journey but it IS a new start. For years, health and fitness has been my passion. Even before I lost over 145 pounds due to gastric bypass, I loved working out and I knew more about clean eating than most people I knew.

But here’s the rub.

Life presents challenges and then we get off track, discouraged, on track, off track again, discouraged…ugh, you know what I mean!

Pregnancy at the age of 44 threw me for a loop. We weren’t expecting our miracle girl and, wow, we were surprised. I was at my lowest adult weight EVER…and felt lean, strong and healthy.

And then, BAM! Pregnant…gained 25 pounds and then another 10+ pounds in the post-partum depression that followed.

Now, here I am, two and a half years later. I’ve had some successes and then some setbacks in the last year and a half of really trying to get the baby weight off. In the end, I’m the same weight I was a year ago!

Again, another “ugh, really!?!”

But I managed to complete a life goal two weeks ago. I sat for my ACE (American Council on Exercise) Health Coach Certification exam…and PASSED! (Whoo hoo!!!!) And it signaled to me a fresh perspective and a new start.

So before I jump into health coaching, I realized I need to coach MYSELF back to the way I felt before my blessed daughter graced our lives. I need to feel FIT, STRONG, and HEALTHY again before coaching anyone else.

So I’m starting a one-year journey starting tomorrow – Monday, October 16, 2017. And this is going to be called TheWay365. I was going to call it “Derekh365” – “derekh” is Hebrew for “the Way” or “a journey” but I figured Derekh was a bit weird for sharing a blog journey. But calling it “the Way” is just as appropriate. Because the way to health and wellness is a road, a pathway, and it often looks different for all of us. Yet…there are certain rules and directions needed to get to a particular destination. For me, getting to my destination required some assessments that would help me determine the best “way” for me to get to my goals.

I took some assessments including a DEXA body fat scan as well as an RMR test (resting metabolic rate) and it really helped me determine the best way for me to proceed. As someone with a complicated metabolic and weight history, it was important for me to find out as much as possible about my starting place TODAY to determine the best way to get to my goal TOMORROW.

So what did my tests reveal? Well, without going into specifics, it revealed that I had more fat than I needed on my body (no surprise there!), a LOT of muscle mass (again, no surprise but a great confirmation of what I already knew), a healthy fat distribution (so at least the fat was located in the “right” places) and a REALLY high metabolic rate for my weight, age, and weight history (again, likely due to my high lean muscle mass).

It also revealed that I was approaching MY weight loss journey ALL WRONG! I’ve been going to Weight Watchers for a few months, hungrier than EVER, energy failing, and getting more and more discouraged by the day that I wasn’t losing weight. Why? Because I was in starvation mode. My body HATES starvation mode and it’s smart enough after years of starvation mode to not let go of ANYTHING!

My RMR revealed that my Weight Watchers calories were about 800 calories too LOW! Yes, I said 800 calories! Not kidding!

So, if I’m not eating 800 calories a day that I need AND I’m burning 750-1000 calories ON MOST DAYS…well, no wonder I was HANGRY, burnt out and not sleeping.

I am changing my approach. I am developing a brand new plan based on ME! (Hmm, an individualized program based on MY goals, my RMR, and my activity level…what a concept!).

TheWay-365 was born.

Tomorrow is Day 1. So what am I going to do?

First of all, I’m going to start eating food…real food…and staying within my calorie range of 2200 calories per day. That’s the easy part.

I’m also going to be restarting one of my favorite workout programs for my activity portion of my program. I’ll be doing a combination of the ChaLEAN Extreme and TurboFire workout programs (with a little PiYo thrown in here and there). Why these programs? At my age, keeping and building MUSCLE is so much more important than cardio. Did you know that when you do moderate to high-intensity cardio, you burn 50% fat and 50% muscle? How do you keep from losing muscle if you are losing muscle with cardio? By adding weight training! It’s IMPORTANT! If you are a woman, you need to be doing it too! With weight training, you lose FAT and you GAIN muscle! We ALL need to get over the fact that building muscle is a bad thing. On the contrary, it is the MOST IMPORTANT THING! It makes you leaner, it makes you stronger, and it keeps and sustains your resting metabolic rate when you are losing FAT!

Five days per week for 60 minutes I will be doing an organized workout activity. I’m going to do this program for the next six months and then complete the same body fat testing and RMR testing that I did two days ago. Tomorrow, I will be doing all my other measurements as well…weight and inches. I’ll be logging my food intake every day on MyFitnessPal.com and writing in a journal and THIS BLOG about what’s going on throughout this initial phase. Phase One of TheWay-365 is 180 days long for a reason. Six months of sustained activity literally pushes someone into a maintenance phase. It becomes second nature. It’s HABIT!

I will reassess periodically but my first goal is to implement this program and starting DOING the DOs…if you know what I mean. Eating right, drinking right (more water, anyone?!?), and moving right.

Really, it’s that simple.

I’m ready to get started. Do you want to join me on this journey? Just get started!

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