Hi, I’m Jennifer Davis-Flynn, online communications manager at Women’s Adventure, and I am overweight.
I’m not just 5-10 pounds heavier than I should be. Try 40-50.
First things first. This is not a post about losing weight to look better in a swimsuit. This is about me needing to lose a significant amount of body fat for my health and well-being. I breathe too heavily when I hike or even walk up stairs; I feel my belly hang over my waistband when I’m sitting; I’m nearing pre-diabetic. My resting blood sugar is 97. Anywhere from 100 – 125 is considered pre-diabetic. I’m in dangerous territory.
Mostly, I just don’t feel comfortable in this body. It’s heavy and slow. I’m usually bringing up the rear in a group hike or bike ride, and it’s embarrassing. I’ve always been athletic, and I continue to be, but I feel like I can’t perform my best at this weight.
And yes, I want to look and feel better in clothes. As an editor for Women’s Adventure, I get access to a lot of sample sizes that I can’t fit into right now. I also feel pressure to be more of a role model for you, dear reader: a fit, healthy, confident woman.
The weight didn’t come on quickly, and it won’t come off quickly. But, I feel like if I make a very public commitment to this weight loss goal, I will be held accountable.
Like 99.9% of the American public, I’ve tried to lose weight before. Like 99.9%, I’ve failed.
Here’s what I’m doing this time to ensure success.
First of all, in order to lose weight, you need to understand your greatest obstacles. For me, it’s food intake. I’m very physically active, and I love being outdoors. Although it keeps my heart healthy and cholesterol low, exercise alone has not helped me shed weight.
I decided that I needed to follow a serious eating plan.
Last summer, I read about BioSignature Modulation, a fat-loss plan developed by body builder, Charles Poliquin. In BioSignature Modulation (BioSig for short), calipers are used to measure 12 spots on your body. According to Poliquin, These points of fat storage determine the hormone levels in your body. For example, if you store more fat in your upper back, you are displaying insulin resistance and poor carbohydrate processing. If you store it in your hips and thighs, you are displaying signs of estrogen dominance, which is sign of body toxicity. Your liver can’t keep up with the amount of toxins it has to process and remove from your system. By regulating the hormones and toxins in your body through diet and supplementation, you can not only lose weight but also literally spot-reduce in certain areas. Does that sound like a mixture of magic and baloney? (mmmm…magic baloney.)
Yes? That’s okay. It does to me too.
My problem areas are my belly and upper arms. You will never see me in a sleeveless top, let alone a bikini.
Rally Sport in Boulder is one of the few places in the country where you can follow a supervised plan led by a licensed BioSig practitioner.
My practitioner is Jed Glass. He’s a smart, articulate, no-nonsense trainer in his mid-30s’. He’s built like a tank, so he must be doing something right. I appreciate how seriously he takes his mission to change my body–it makes me feel even more committed.
As part of my plan, I will come to see Jed every week, and he will track my progress with the calipers and scale.
My results with the calipers show that I’m estrogen dominant (fat storage in the hamstrings), suffer from excessive cortisol (belly fat), and general insulin insensitivity (love handles).
Ultimately, my liver is unable to process all the hormonal toxicity in my system.
Diet, Supplementation, and Sleep
The BioSig plan features a combination of diet and supplementation. However, as Jed says, “you can’t out-supplement a bad diet.”
That’s unfortunate. Because the diet I am supposed to follow is basically paleo: no bread or cereal, no sugar, lots of vegetables and meat. I’ve done “low-carb, high protein” before, and I’ve lost weight. The problem for me is maintaining such a strict plan. I eventually go on a frightening carb binge. You know the kind of binge where you go into almost a blackout of eating? The only telltale sign of your shame is the empty cereal box in your hands?
Jed also recommends whole and organic foods that contain less pesticides and toxins that can further wreck my body.
So, ultimately, eating paleo and clean will be the hardest part of my program. As for supplementation, Jed starts me off with 4 grams of fish oil three times a day. According to Charles Poliquin, fish oil is truly the holy grail of all supplementation due to its fat-burning and disease-fighting properties.
Another side effect of the massive dosage of fish oil I noticed almost immediately is clearer, softer skin.
Finally, Jed has assured me that if I do not get at least eight hours of restful sleep a night, I will not succeed. Sleep is just important as diet and exercise in maintaining healthy hormone levels.
Exercise and Fitness Goals
About six weeks ago, I interviewed the Queen of Pain, champion endurance athlete, Rebecca Rusch about her stunning record-breaking mountain bike ride from Fruita to Moab in a mere 13 and a half hours. At the end of our conversation, Rebecca invited me to Sun Valley, Idaho to take part in her first-ever group ride: Rebecca’s Private Idaho. It’s a 50 (or 100) mile gravel grinder with steep inclines held on September 1.
Have I ever done a gravel grinder before? Have I ever ridden 50 miles before? Do I even own a bike capable of handling dirt and gravel roads? No, no and no.
So, do you think I politely declined the invitation like a sane person?
Of course not. Instead, I discussed cyclocross bikes with Rebecca (as if I had ever even heard of cyclocross before that moment) and committed to this crazy ride.
I’ve got seven weeks to train. No, I do not hope to lose 40 pounds by then. It’s not realistic. However, I’d like to drop at least 10 and be fit enough to ride 50 miles without coming in dead last. My husband has also committed to doing the ride with me. So, I have a training partner to keep me going.
I’m working on a training schedule now, which I’ll write about in my next post.
Accountability and Tools
Now that I’ve broadcast my goals to the world, I have more reason to stay motivated. I welcome your feedback and support, especially if you have weight loss goals of your own. I’ll be checking in once every week or so with a progress report. I also invite you to friend me one myfitnesspal.com, where you can view my food and exercise diary. My user name is “jennifurious.”
Click here for a list of the helpful tools and apps I’m using to stay on track.