Testing. Testing. One. Two. Three.

The metabolic testing has been delayed yet again. It seems the facility’s carbon dioxide sensor isn’t working so they’ve had to mail off for a new one. While this is a bit annoying, there are advantages. For one, it’s allowed me a little more time to get my adductor muscle in order so that I can do the test on a treadmill rather than on a bike. But, even better, the facility’s going to do it for free because of all the delays. I didn’t ask for this. But I didn’t turn it down either.

Today I went up to White Plains for an appointment with The Endocrinologist. As far as doctors go, she was okay. She asked lots and lots of questions and is sending me for lots and lots of tests. But she doesn’t deal with athletic types. This was clear from the get go. I could see some of the things I was saying going over her head or being attenuated by Couch Potato Bias.

Me: “I got a serious stress fracture on 50mpw, running on soft ground, after averaging 75mpw on pavement in the previous 18 months. I’m concerned about a bone density issue.”

Dr.: “But stress fractures are common among runners, aren’t they? Also we don’t usually do bone density testing on pre-menopausal women.”

Okay, whatever. The bone density question wasn’t the primary reason I was there. It was the fact that there’s either something wrong with me or I am a medical miracle when it comes to fat storage. Seriously, the military should study me because they could produce troops that don’t require MREs in the field. But still, it was a little irritating. As was being told that “women typically gain a little weight after age 40.” As was being told my BMI is 23, which is “healthy.” Yes. I know. I’m healthy. I’m a healthy fat runner. Grr.

I’m glad that The Nutritionist at least does not think I’m insane to want to lose 8-10 lbs of fat for performance reasons.

8 Responses

  1. Ugh. The military could use me too. If you figure out the magic formula to mystery fat storage, I’m all ears. I’m right there with you. I’ve never been able to figure out how to lose that extra fat weight…even as a teenager when you’d think all systems would be game. I have to think there are more of us out there, but damned if anyone ever talks about it, which may make the coach potato bias even worse.

  2. Getting those final fat pounds off is definitely frustrating. The only runner I know that’s mastered it is Jaymee: http://runawayfastjaymee.blogspot.com/2010/07/weighing-in.html

  3. Yeah, frustrating when the doctors don’t get you as an athlete. Just because women “typically” start putting on weight after 40 doesn’t mean it’s desirable or something to ignore. The average or “typical” woman in the U.S. reportedly is 5’4” 167 lb. and about 29 BMI, and your doctor has undoubtedly seen much worse. So maybe it’s not surprising she dismisses some of your concerns… but I hope that doctors don’t simply start lowering the bar just because of what is becoming “typical”.

  4. Bloody hell. If only more doctors were runners. There was something on Nate Jenkins’ latest blog about an operation on a runner that was stopped half-way through because their heart-rate was too low (the doctors didn’t know the subject was a runner). Makes you wonder.

    • When they took my BP yesterday it was 100/70. The nurse said, “Uh, is this normal for you?” I was somewhat proud to say, “Actually it’s a little high. I have White Coat Syndrome. It’s usually about 95/60 at home.”

  5. I typically think of doctors as a source of data and work to convince them to give me the tests. I then try to make sense of the data on my own or by enlisting the brains of those that I trust.

    As for Mark’s comment about me figuring out how to lose the fat last summer, the plan I devised in the link he provided did not get me where I wanted to be. It did get me close enough to accomplish my goal, though.

    I guess what continues to stun me about my own weight as a runner is how few calories my body needs to maintain my weight. Based on calculations and about 2 years of data collection, I need 1900-2000 calories to maintain my weight. That’s including an average exercise burn rate of 600 calories a day (since I’m cross training only now) and a moderately active lifestyle. Without the exercise, that would only be something like 1400-1500 calories! That’s hardly any food at all! I really want to be able to eat more than that and still achieve low body fat, but I’m not built like that either.

    • I’ve been on the trail of this mystery for about five years myself. In 2007, for seven months, I tried very low calorie intake while exercising. I did lose about 10 lbs, I was slightly smaller, yet still carrying about the same percentage (possibly more) of fat that I’m carrying now. (I have the vacation pictures to prove it.) My body does not like to let go of fat. I believe that I am genetically related to the harbor seal.

  6. Oh, right. I digressed into calorie counting land. I’ve had the same experience as you with reducing calories and seeing an overall weight loss with no loss of body fat. For me, the only time my body fat budges is during the last 2 months of a marathon training program and it’s most pronounced during the summer months. After the marathon, the body fat pops right back up 2-3% higher without any effort.

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