Agh! I’m so excited you’re here. Just drop your coat there. You know I don’t believe in hanging things up.
“I’m writing you because I know you’re on a weight loss journey and well, that’s kind of my specialty. I am not your every day fitness airhead; I don’t do any calorie restrictive diets (yeah, you read that right), no crazy shit at the gym, and above all no shakes, pills, or other nonsense. Just good old science and a few strokes of logic. Our sense of humour is totally on par. If you check out my Facebook page I’m sure you’ll appreciate it. Hope you’re having fun at the mayors luncheon. Drop an F bomb for me. -Meg”
Hell yeah, her email got my attention. I value blunt honesty and irreverence in all things. We met in person last week. We played it like an online dating coffee date. We plugged the parking meters enough for a coffee. You don’t want to commit to a meal in case there’s no chemistry. However, we got along like a house on fire, topped up the meters and had lunch together. Naked. Just kidding. We wore tassles.
Meg’s very beautiful, but I need more than a hottie at my age. It was when she regaled me with fact after scientific fact about fat loss and food that my arousal began. By the end of her explanation of the stress hormone, cortisol, she could’ve had me fully and completely right there on the cafe floor.
Remember the 4-week plateau I recently slid down from? Well, that plateau just happened to coincide with me starting my job at X929. Many of us knew that had something to do with the plateau, but when Meg explained how cortisol works, it made perfect sense that my body would’ve tried to hang on to weight. I started a new career in a new industry where, when you screw up, there’s possibily 100,000 people listening. NO BIG DEAL. When I eventually took a weekend completely off, i.e. no comedy gigs, and got out of the city, I finally relaxed fully. Even though I thought I’d eaten way too much that weekend, I lost 3 pounds. Case in point, mofos!
Since I didn’t secretly record Meg’s explanation of cortisol, I’ve found one for you. This is an excerpt from an article by Mark Sisson:
“Research has demonstrated that stress can contribute to the build-up of body fat as a result of stress’s effect on hormonal secretion and its physiological consequences. Cortisol sets off an increased rush of glucose from your tissues (including breaking down muscle tissue to make glucose). Yikes! Remember, the body thinks something major is going down. In response to the rise in glucose comes the rise in insulin. You know the drill. Do this again and again, day after day, and what do you have? Insulin resistance eventually.
In the meantime, the cortisol is signaling the body to store fat. (The body thinks it will need it after all.) Specifically, the body directs fat storage in the abdomen, around the organs, where there are more receptors for cortisol and a greater supply of blood. A lot of research has been done on this in the last few years highlighting the contribution of stress to abdominal fat in particular.”
For me, learning about the science lessens the blame I’ve thrown on my shoulders for decades. Oh, I’ll absolutely take responsibility for overeating and using food as a drug. No question. Armed with scientific knowledge of the hormones that affect our eating, however, means that I was not and am not a fat, lazy slob with no self-control or will power. NEITHER ARE YOU.
As Sir Francis Bacon (oh, so ironic) said, “Knowledge is power.”
I might meet Meg at the gym this week. She doesn’t believe in crazy cardio. She’s into weight training and if her body’s an indication of the results, she is bang on. Yep, I said bang. To be dead honest, I have gym anxiety. I may need to ramp up ye olde courage for this step, but I will do it even if it’s not immediately.
Speaking of cardio, I did about an hour of it yesterday. Oh man, the sweat was flowing, I was using a lot of upper body strength, there were many semi-squats and it all happened in a 5’x5′ cell. No, not the prison workout. Worse. The Trying on Bathing Suits workout (primal scream).
I naively expected that bathing suit shopping would be less terrifying with 54 pounds gone. HA HA! Nope! I went through about 30 one-piece suits not minding my upper half. I wasn’t feeling much love for my grand and supple belly, mind you. That nifty little area at the top of your legs is quite sexy unless you have a belly teetering precariously above it threatening to avalanche down to your knees if the wind changes direction too quickly.
It was around that point that, despite my fight or flight instinct screaming, “Run! Get out of this torture chamber, you fool,” I had a brainwave and started trying on tankini tops (nothing like a garment with the word ‘tank’ in it to make me feel sultry) with a little shorts/skirt combo. I think the cool kids call it a skort. This was a better option. I found the suits at a store I hadn’t heard of before called Shapes & Figures. I didn’t think the ruffly look would be flattering but it actually is!
I posted a ‘before and during’ on Facebook last week. I was overwhelmed with cheers and encouragement from lovely friends and family, but also from complete strangers. It’s a pretty blissful feeling for which I’m damn grateful.
Oh crap, my scale’s broken! It said I gained .5 pound. I’m throwing that mother in a dumpster, damn it. Okay, wait. In the spirit of being a mature, reasonable, honest adult human (something I do twice a week, minimum), this is likely because as much as I enjoyed the treadmill this week, glancing at it several times a day rather than mounting it and walking doesn’t seem that effective in terms of weight loss. Odd…
Ah well, onward and downward!
Pounds gained this week: .5
Total pounds lost: 53.3