Marci Garson is an Emmy award winning Television Journalist. She loves being fit and healthy and thinks people who blame aging for their problems are copping out. She also believes that humor heals and that we often take ourselves way too seriously!
One day, two years ago I bought a new digital scale. I took off all of my clothes, every piece of jewelry and, holding tightly to the edge of the sink, I tiptoed on to the high tech weighing machine. The number that popped up in black and white and stared me straight in the face was a solid ten pounds higher than the number my old scale used to dial up.
Now I really resent when people who are over 45 surrender to father time. However, I must admit that I was confused because I had not changed my routine; I still exercised seven days a week and I really wasn’t eating excessively. Still, I refused to hide behind the age card, so I went to Dr. Bruce Bloom, a man who touts himself as the “Health Coach of Westchester,” and he set me straight.
As we age, Bloom told me, “The rules of the game change dramatically. The model we once had is older and less energy efficient.” By the way, that doesn’t only mean you may gain weight, when your metabolism breaks down you can also get more wrinkles – it’s all part of the same degenerative process. “The single most important physiological function of the human body,” Bloom insists, “is to convert fuel to energy.”
The first thing we did to see what was wrong with my older and slower metabolism was to run an electrical current through my body (no it doesn’t hurt) to get a break down of how much of my weight was fat, protein, water and muscle. To my chagrin that extra ten pounds was fat.
Apparently I had killed my metabolism by eating the way I had been since college. Basically, that meant not eating at all until at least four o’clock in the afternoon. Coffee carried me through my errands, and it wasn’t until the witching hour- that would be the time when I cooked dinner for my kids- that I allowed myself some fuel. My body thought it was starving, so the food I fed it was stored as fat. UGH!
Resurrecting my metabolism took some discipline. First I had to detoxify by drinking a very foul concoction that tasted like sulphur, or perhaps you can identify better with a rotten egg; either way, you get the picture. Bloom also believes in taking natural supplements that he says help your cells burn fuel more efficiently, or as he puts it, “They turn on a metabolic switch.” Still, the most important thing I did was to eat.
For the first time in my adult life I ate breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. My calories for the day totaled about 1200. I was allowed to eat as many green vegetables as I wanted, but only three ounces of protein with each meal for the first four weeks. After that I upped the protein to six ounces and in a month and a half I had lost 15 pounds. Oh yeah, and my nighttime snack was a glass of red wine!
Now, after we pass a certain age, we have been told by beauties such as Catherine Deneuve that we have to choose between north and south – our faces or our bodies. I am 5’4” and have never worn larger than a size 6, so I was shocked, even embarrassed, that I could lose that much weight and still not look gaunt. According to my health coach that was because my body composition was divided up properly and I had lost fat without losing protein or muscle. So you see- you can have your cake and eat it too!