Thursday, April 21, 2016

Together We Make A Normal Person

I've been thinking a great deal lately about family, genetics and fate. 

Apropos of my subject line, my sister "Little Linda" and I together make a normal person. 

She and I are just two years apart in age. We were dressed as twins until we were nearly teenagers. We shared a bedroom through high school. We went to the same college. We both have brown hair and brown eyes. We are both under 5'4" tall. We both like getting outdoors - canoeing, hiking. That's the end of similarities.

So here we are as kids - Little Linda in a dress even though we are all out fishing :) I'm in the photo on the right - plump little girl taking care of my baby sister.  

When it comes to our situation with respect to nutrition, weight, health - we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. "Little Linda" is one of those people who can eat whatever she wants, doesn't workout, and never gains any weight. Yes, she went to all you can eat pasta dinners 2-3 nights a week during college. I don't think she weighed over 100 pounds when she was 9 months pregnant. When I look at food it transports fat to my hips and thighs nearly instantly! 

When I complained about there being no good clothing in size 20; she complains that she cannot find size 00. While I worry that I don't have enough time to spend gardening/biking/etc, she frets that she is not strong enough to carry in the groceries or go up a flight of stairs. When we went backpacking together - her boyfriend had to carry her pack as well as his. When we went on a canoe trip together - she ended up hours behind as she didn't have the strength/endurance to keep up; I ended up dehydrated from wearing long sleeves and pants to cover up my fat bod. We both have issues that come with being at the end of the continuum; too high or too low, just not normal weight. 

About a month ago she was saying that she was cutting back on carbs! but also trying to gain weight. I suggested that she start tracking her food and nutrition profile, lift weights, and meet with a trainer and nutritionist.  By that time I had been logging for nearly 14 months straight - and was complaining that I had plateaued without any progress in months; but still following the right steps.  So she started in, after a few days of logging she noticed changes that need to be made. 

"Good morning!

Wanted to let you know I’ve been really good in the last week about recording what I eat.  Has that been eye opening!  I knew I needed to cut the carbs and increase the protein, but that has been a push.  I find myself adding beans to all my soups, meat to my cheese sandwiches, etc. just to push the protein.  Still working on tweaking my daily smoothie recipe to cut the carbs, boost the protein - it’s a work in progress. Finding myself eating more at the end of the day just to boost the calorie count and even then it indicates it will take weeks to put on any weight.  At least this whole process is making me aware of what I take in, now I need to work on making it healthy and geared towards my goal.
Thank you!"

After a month she sent me this email:

"So been a little over a month with recording what I eat and wow has that been eye-opening! Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. I eat very few vegetables but am now making an effort to add them to the diet.
2. Exercising works against me - i.e. if I exercise, I usually don’t increase what I eat to make up for it.
3. Really have to make a concerted effort to get enough protein - still not hitting it on a daily basis.
4. Working on perfecting a milk shake recipe so I can increase my protein - this reminds me so much of when I was pregnant trying to put on weight. Hopefully if I can get the right recipe, I won’t mind drinking it every day.

Working on proving you can teach an old dog, new tricks!

Thank you!

Then later she sent this update:

"Ok, I gotta say I am feeling cheated.  I have religiously filled out my food diary every day.  I make sure to hit my calorie count every day, even if it means having to suffer through that extra dessert at the end of the day.  I started making protein shakes in the evening, to assure that I’d hit both the calorie AND the protein count AND it typically means I greatly exceed both, usually hitting close to 1800+ calories. So since day 1, after I log my entries, it has always indicated that if every day were like today, you’d weigh XX (95-101)in XX (3-6) weeks.  So here I am, 7 weeks into the program and I still haven’t hit 95 pounds!  I feel so cheated, like I am working so hard, and absolutely nothing is happening.  The first 3 pounds came quickly, but since then, zilch.  Ok, I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but if only we could do a poundage transfer - wouldn’t that be sweet!  I feel like when I was pregnant and had to eat, eat, eat, just to put on weight.  It shouldn't be so hard."

Poundage transfer - that made me giggle! There are many siblings in my family - genetics dealt my sister and I the hand to be on the outer edges of the curve. We had a great conversation about the cards we were both dealt. "Little Linda" said she didn't like talking to me about how much she eats or her low weight. I don't like talking to her about what I eat or how much I work out or what I weigh.  We agreed we are both dealing with the same issue and struggling to get to the same goal. 

We both want a Healthy Weight and Stronger/Fitter outlook.  

Change isn't easy. Support comes in all shapes and sizes :)

Teresa Marie

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