Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Basal metabolic rate

When I started my first round of protein shakes July 2005, I was concerned about lowering my basal metabolic rate. Consuming 880 calories a day, that's assumed to be a given. The BMR is what your body will burn if you just lie around and do nothing all day ~ basic maintenance calorie burning. The story is that if we restrict calories severely, we'll lose at least as much muscle as fat and the result will be a smaller, less fit body with more fat and less muscle mass.

Here's what happened to me, though. I had my BMR tested with the Body Gem at Bally's in late August, a month after starting on protein shakes. I was about 10% below where I should have been given my weight, so from that we could determine that I had less muscle and more fat than the average same size big girl, one who had not been a chronic up and down dieter.

After dropping about 15 pounds, I began working out. It was slow at first, but as my fitness improved and the weight kept coming off, I increased the intensity and length of my workouts. I've always especially liked lifting weights. From my days at Mike Moguin's body building gym, replete with hulking steroid-laced sweating muscle boys, I've found there's something I love about the process of building muscle. It makes me feel tough and kickass and loaded for bear. Love it. Cardio is a necessary evil, less so since I found the elliptical and DJ Steveboy's workout mixes, but an evil still.

So I worked out hard. I slugged back those shakes, kept up with the water. It seems odd that folks who used the same process but did NOT exercise seemed to lose weight more quickly than I. I reminded myself I was in this for the life-changing long haul.

The great thing was that after about six months of this process, having lost 100 pounds, I had my BMR rechecked and I was 15% above normal for my weight and size. That would indicate more muscle mass, less fat, than one would expect for my weight.

Good news for a chronic dieter. It seemed that I had undone a lot of the damage from my years of bingeing and starving and throwing up and gaining and losing, and I'd done it through exercise. I'd not lost muscle, I'd gained it. The protein shakes had not hurt me; along with the exercise, they'd helped maintain the muscle I had and added more (calorie burning ~ yea!) muscle on top of that.

All is well in the land of protein shakes this morning. It's not for life, it's for the moment and it's a tool. But it's been a good tool for me and I'm feeling pretty happy about it this morning.

Not happy about the husband's health. Another 10 hours in the @#$!@#$@$#% ER last night and still no answers.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Belle,

That is a really convincing argument towards exercise! LOL Something which I desperately need to become more consistant with!

Thanks for the comments on my blog!


February 07, 2007 2:12 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

Sending out good vibes into the universe for The Husband. Hope all is well.

February 07, 2007 3:01 PM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

Just hang in there, dahling. Ms. Place has asthma. Can be worrisome at times.

But you know what? Life is spicier because I'm more alive knowing that, ahem, things can turn on a dime.

February 08, 2007 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Big Jim said...

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March 20, 2007 5:32 AM  

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