Monday, October 31, 2005

I Can Do This!

Last week I decided to go to the doctor, face the weight gain music and move onward as aggressively as possible. I went to see SupaDoc, weighed and got a much-awaited fill. The news: I gained nearly 10 pounds since mid-August.


Before you send for the goofy wagon, please let me explain. Everything but the scale shows the signs of victory and this is what we term an NSV or ‘non-scale victory.’ My body composition analysis shows that I have picked up 8-10 pounds, but reduced my body fat by nearly 20 percent. My body fat percentage is down to under 34 percent after remaining at 50-51 percent since I’ve been trying to lose weight with my lap band (Adjustable Gastric Banding).

If you get a second, you might check out how the Tanita Body Composition Analyzer works. This machine has never been my friend before. It gives a weight and then estimates what percentage of ones total weight is fat, muscle and water. There are about 3-4 ways to compute these figures. The most accurate is the use of a chamber which requires getting weighed under water. Many gyms use skin fold calibers that look like plastic fat pinchers. I’m not going to get into all the pros and cons of the methods, but I do feel Tanita gives me a decent point of reference to at least compare how my weight composition has changed over the last 14 months.

According to the device, my fat weighed more than 140 pounds on last analysis. Last week’s figures showed my 34 percent fat total weighed 99 pounds. That’s a reduction of 40 pounds of fat. Muscle mass and water are both heavier than fat, so the end result is that I’ve lost fat, gained muscle and I’m heavier. My goal of being under 30 percent body fat is well within my reach.

One might debate the benefit of this NSV. Before you challenge me to a battle, please remember that it means I may or may not be swifter in catching you, but once I do, the 280+ pounds feels the same sitting on you despite its exact composition.

So, how did I celebrate my new-found good news/bad news?

First, I made a commitment to experimenting with new types of fresh vegetable dishes. We’ve had spaghetti squash, zucchini, eggplant, onions, bell peppers, spinach and mushrooms, just to name a few.

I’m increasing my water goals to 80-100 ounces per day. That’s not too hard, but I think this will help as it gets colder because I usually dry out in fall/winter.

I’m still attempting 80 grams of protein or more per day. Drinking lots of milk and my Oatmeal-Yogurt Crunch for breakfast makes this figure easy to reach and surpass each day. Our other protein sources include Juice Plus Complete, cheese, peanut butter and some fun grilling experiments. I can eat freshly grilled steak with no problems. I can also eat MY OWN fried chicken, and this is more a stipulation of my marriage contract than an unbearable craving. Fried chicken purchased outside the home will just not do for either of us.

I’ve re-incorporated sliced bread. My baby’s entering a peanut butter and jelly phase so I started looking for some ‘family friendly’ bread that everyone could be happy with. Nature’s Own Light Honey Wheat won out because it’s tasty with 80 calories for two slices with 5 grams of protein. See how those 80 grams of protein can be easy to attain?

I’ve demoted my milk choice from lowfat/fat free Organic Valley to Carb Down fat-free milk beverage. This was a tough choice. SupaDoc once asked why I still drank milk with fat and I said I needed to buy one milk choice for my entire family. Well, since both Cecilia and I can go through 1-2 half gallons a week, this excuse just wasn’t holding up. I’m buying one of each instead of buying two of the same kind. (Shhh… don’t tell SupaDoc he was right). Carb Down milk contains no fat and much less sugar, carbohydrates and milk sugars than even fat-free milk. A serving of Carb Down milk contains 45 calories and 8 grams of protein. Duh, Frances …Just drink the milk!

I have plans to start a test-kitchen series on my blog really soon showing the steps to create some of these healthy dishes. I have pictures and recipes ready to go. Most of them are vegetables because I’m craving fresh vegetable dishes right now (yes, Toto, we are NOT in Kansas any more).

Finally, a few days after my 39th birthday and the day after my second fill, (I have 1 cc in my 4 cc band), we purchased a family fitness tool. Scott and I have been riding separately, but rarely together because we have a 3-year-old hitchhiker. We now have a two-seater child trailer attached to my bicycle. I can now ride my bike up and down hills pulling trailer and 40 pound preschooler. (Ouch, was that my back?).

Yes, it hurt a lot at first, but I don’t need a babysitter or nursery to get my exercise. Where I go, she goes and she adds some extra resistance to my cycling workouts. SupaDoc’s nurse Shari deserves the praise for making that wonderful suggestion. I guess I can hand it down to her when she gets married and has two or three kids. (Shh … don’t tell [single, very thin] Shari about these plans)

Cece thinks the cycling is really fun, so we have a win-win situation here.


RisibleGirl said...

I am SO glad you have a blog!!! You are so wonderfully positive and I enjoy reading ever one of your posts. I don't post or read much on the board anymore, and missed your uplifting words. Now I won't need to worry about missing anything from you anymore!


Raquel said...

Hey, Fran! Awesome blog.... I started one here recently, as well, and wanted to ask you for a little technical advice, if you don't mind. When I post photos to my blog, I only get a choice of it being at the top of my post to the left of text, right of text, or centered above the text. How do you get your pics placed in the middle of your post (i.e. in relation to the paragraph the photo is about)? Thanks for any help! If you have any interest, my blog is at

Love, Raquel (from OH)

Anonymous said...


I LOVE the pic of you taking a pic of you. It brings back the delightful feeling of infinite regress when I would play with the full-length tryptic mirrors in Hinshaws department store (me looking at me, looking at me, looking at me...) while my mother tried on every last thing in the petite section.

I am so very proud of your progress... good and bad news aside! Hang in there!


Brooke said...

Hey I remember you! I'm so with you about store bought fried chicken, it will never compare with your own.

You're a braver gal than I. I tried the fat free Carb countdown milk and just couldn't stand it; I had to go back to 2%, although I wondered about mixing 'em both and see what happens.

Reinventing Fran said...

Hi Brooke,

Thanks for visiting and leaving a note. I seldomly drink the Carb down alone. I mix it with sugar free hot chocolate and instant coffee or with a meal replacement powder.

It's a little tough to get used to indeed. Why not try a mix with 1 percent or skim. Those 45 calories a serving make this stuff very attractive.

All my best,