Fitness Hopeful

Fitness Hopeful, a scientist and engineer, used to be in great shape (a size 3/4), and she use to power walk 5 to 6 days per week, do karate 2 to 3 days per week, and weight train 3 days per week.  That all came crashing down when she broke all the cartilage in her chest at karate.  She had to stop all her activities as anything that involved chest movement, such as swinging her arms while walking, lifting a light box, and even vacuuming, was very painful.  She kept re-breaking her cartilage, so it took more than 2 years to heal up.  Unfortunately, Hopeful stopped working out, and she also stopped eating breakfast for the ten years she homeschooled.

She never tried to get back into shape until 2009 mainly because she was confused and overwhelmed with weight-loss information.  Her confusion stemmed from not knowing what a “balanced diet” meant for her.  All she kept seeing was that people should eat 20% protein, 60% carbs, and 20% fat.  She instinctively knew this wasn’t right for her, although she had no idea what was correct.

She practically fell into her current fitness countdown, which started in 2009 with the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan.  When she realized that processed foods where causing weight gain and other health problems (see “Are Corn and Other Food Additives Causing Weight and Other Health Problems?”), she threw out the worst of her products and switched brands or stopped buying others and made her own.  She and her husband started losing weight without trying or changing anything else.

Then, Hopeful realized her blood pressure was up due to stress, so she decided to research the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan.  She nearly jumped for joy when the balanced diet percentages seemed more reasonable: 20% protein, 54% carbs, and 26% fat.  She immediately started a food diary, faithfully tracking everything she ate to keep in line with the percentages, and started losing weight quickly.  At the time, she was sick, so she couldn’t do much exercising.  Within two weeks she lost five pounds.

Then, she went to the doctor and got put on blood pressure medication, which made her eat breakfast to take the medication.  Weight just started melting off, and then she decided to find out why this was happening.  That’s when she researched this and discovered that skipping breakfast slowed her metabolism and that she had corrected several severe nutrient deficiencies that also had previously slowed her metabolism.

Fitness Hopeful still wondered if the DASH numbers were right for her, especially when her husband read her a Runner’s World magazine article that suggested runners eat 47% carbs.  While she wasn’t a runner (at that time), she was a power walker and decided to start lowering the number of carbs she was eating.  The weight still melted off.  While she was normally walking 3 to 5 miles per day, over the 2009 holidays for twenty days she didn’t do any exercising and still lost 4.9 pounds.

Since then, she’s been experimenting further with the carbs and protein numbers.  Then, while reading Jillian Michaels book Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!, she discovered that Michaels suggested that people start with 30% protein, 40% carbs, and 30% fat and adjust the numbers for their body type with insulin-resistant people requiring less carbs.  Hopeful’s number are fairly close to Michaels’ suggested values, just through experimentation, although the fat is a little lower and carbs higher.

Anyway, Hopeful is focused on getting back in shape and has already begun to do so before starting this website.  She’s done a lot of research into how to prevent injuries when walking and running, which she will post on this site.  Yes, a few weeks ago she started to run for the first time ever!  Hopefully, she’ll be running a 5K in May. Also, she’s done a lot of research into increasing one’s metabolism, which she will also post.  Hopeful was unknowingly slowing hers.  Are you slowing yours?

Contact Fitness Hopeful.