This week, I reached a milestone. I completed my first month on my marathon training plan! On September 1 I completed the breeze test at Fitness Together. This test is designed to gauge resting energy expenditure (REE) and total energy expenditure (TEE). Honestly, given my up and down history with weight going back as long as I can remember, I expected to find that my resting energy expenditure was low. Instead, what I found is it is actually high. When calculating it, you have to list activity level, and although I am “very active” (especially now!) I chose “active”, reconciling that my “very active” is probably more equal to “active” status for someone without a disability. After choosing your appropriate activity status you enter your height and weight and breathe into an apparatus that captures your metabolic measurements. My REE actually turned out to be 1,650. This means that my body needs at least 1,650 calories per day just to engage in basic processes like breathing and circulating blood.
Since I was originally maintaining a 1,600 calorie per day limit, it was recommended that I bump up the limit to 1,850 calories per day, since falling under the REE may actually result in eating muscle. I have to say that I am very nervous about that, as I know weight loss is critical to impacting the ability to move faster and reduce overall time on my feet on race day. I am also starting to see results, having already lost 15 pounds as part of this process to get in better overall shape to take on this marathon challenge. It seems counterintuitive to increase calories, at least above 1,650. However, as one of my trainers pointed out, I just need to trust the process and if we do not see the results I want we can always adjust. I like to be in control of situations, and at times it can be hard for me to trust in anything but myself, but in this case that is exactly what I need to do: trust the process and adjust as needed.
Today I had an additional hurdle, but I am beyond pleased to say it worked out well and is an awesome example of the support received from my network. Today is Labor Day, and I was invited to a friend’s house for what promised to be an amazing lunchtime dinner party. Another friend let the host know I was going to come but would probably need to bring my own food due to my training plan. When I confirmed my attendance with the host I let him know that I would need to carefully watch my caloric intake, and if I could stick to 1,850 calories I would be good to go. I did not want to create extra work for him or be someone that could not deviate from their assigned meal plan when circumstances warranted. I need to be able to make smart choices on my own as well. However, I was scared. I have been doing so well and I did not want to derail that.
I arrived at his house for a late lunch, having only had breakfast. Knowing that I was going to this party I ran three miles, even though it is technically a rest day for me, and I went to my trainer, both as a preemptive strike on the nutrition front. When I arrived straight from my trainer, I found out the host had planned out my entire meal including scallops, high protein lasagna, salad with white wine vinegar dressing, an amazing custard, apricot and dark chocolate dessert, and even two drinks budgeted in for the day. I found out that he is used to doing meal modifications due to diet restrictions his father has. This is one of the best meals I have ever had, and so much thought, research and preparation went in to ensuring that I stayed in reasonable range of my calorie goal for the day.
I am so thankful that I know someone so thoughtful, and would help me prioritize my nutrition and meeting my goals without missing an opportunity to enjoy his meal and time with friends. I have so much gratitude for the support I am receiving in this journey.