Never Been a Numbers Girl Anyway

This morning, I had a revelation. Now that I don’t see Traci every Wednesday for nutrition counseling, I’ve gotten a little off course. I’m still using MyFitnessPal to record my food, which is good. But instead of reviewing my weekly log with Traci – discussing the good choices and perhaps things I need to work on – I’m just looking at the bottom line, calories.

MyFitnessPal has always been numbers oriented. When you first sign up and add your weight loss goals, it gives you a calorie “limit,” which Traci informs me is probably a little low given my muscle mass and metabolism. When you add a food item, it adds the calories and nutrient totals to a tally, which is available both by the week and by the day.  And while I don’t doubt that counting calories works, for me, it is distracting me from my real goals: to incorporate clean eating and more plant-based foods into my eating.

This morning, I decided that I would take a break from MyFitnessPal and just record my foods old style, on paper. If I focus on what I’m eating and the amounts, the calories will take care of themselves. This decision was confirmed today when I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with orthostatic hypotension (OH), a form of low blood pressure.

For the past week, I’ve experienced a regular “head rush” when I stand from sitting, get up from bed and/or get off of the elliptical. Turns out, my blood pressure is dropping when I change positions, thus causing said head rush, often accompanied by nausea and a dull headache. In the office today, my blood pressure went from 120/84 sitting to 80/something when I stood up. Dr. Word took blood for some tests, but said that it is likely a result of my weight loss, which is not uncommon. He explained that usually your body will “reset” itself after a large weight loss, but sometimes needs some help. I got some meds and go back in two weeks.

The OH isn’t caused by not eating enough or focusing too much on calories, but it brought home to me that the reason I started this lifestyle change was to improve my health, first and foremost. That, and Dr. Word said that until we got this under control, he would recommend that I not focus too much on losing those last eight pounds.

All of that being said, I did get Dr. Word’s nurse to look through my chart so we could find my all-time high weight. It was 235 in December, 2007. When I do decide to focus back on the weight loss side, I will shoot for 135 lbs., which will mark 100 lbs. lost from my highest “official” weight. Dr. Word said that he understood why I wanted to reach that milestone, and that it wasn’t an unreasonable goal. He added, however, that he is pleased with where I am now, weight-wise and health-wise, and that he would be perfectly thrilled if  I simply maintained that weight.

There’s time for me to figure all of that out later.  For now, I want to focus on listening to what my body needs, feeding it clean and green foods, and continuing to build strength through my training and work outs. Stay tuned!

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