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2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Monday, February 21, 2011

Power in Numbers

My cancer clinic, The West Clinic, has fantastic support services. Many of those services are funded and made available through Wings Cancer Foundation. I am forever grateful to West Clinic and Wings. Today I'm especially thankful because I got to have a complimentary BodyGem test. (Read about my first visit with this wonderful lady here.) This test measures your RMR, resting metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body needs to breathe, digest, and keep your heart beating while in a resting fasting state. That's right, fasting state. I've wanted to get my RMR tested for years, but never had the opportunity (or funds) until now. Thank you West Clinic!

There are a couple different math formulas that give an estimate of your RMR. Here is one that does the math for you. And here is a different one. I got 2 very different numbers from these sites, by the way. This link gives a good explanation of RMR and BMR along with the 2 most used formulas for the math whizzes out there. I learned today that calculating your RMR using any of these formulas is just an estimate though, because the math just can't account for your lean muscle and body fat. This is why the BodyGem test is so helpful! 

Since this test requires fasting I made the appointment for mid-morning. I arrived early because, sadly, Monday mornings at West Clinic are very busy which makes it hard to find a parking place. I'm thankful I'm healthy enough to be able to park in a spot farthest away from the building and walk. I had to wait for awhile because they had to update my insurance information. Meanwhile, I did my best to keep a restful relaxed disposition since that's an important aspect of the test. 

I used my self-guided imagery and breathing techniques to get me into a nice restful state for about 10 minutes before the test started. I use my best memories to create a peaceful trip to and from the beach for my guided imagery. The test itself was pretty simple- my nose was comfortably pinched and I wrapped my mouth around the breathing tube and all I had to do was relax and breathe. It lasted about 8 minutes. It felt much shorter to me, which was cool. 

My test results are very intriguing to me. My RMR, according to BodyGem, is 1440 calories. The good  news is that there are no good or bad RMRs. The number just is what it is. It's information, and info = power. Right?! Today I learned that the more muscle you have the higher your RMR. The reverse is true, too; RMR decreases as you lose muscle. Over the past year I have lost muscle due to cancer treatments (including the steroids I needed during chemo) and not being physically able to work out consistently. Now that a lot of my physical healing is behind me, I've been able to get back to consistently working out. You all know by now that I love my Cathe DVDs! I've been focusing on strength training for the past couple weeks just based on my intuition. Now I know my intuition was spot on! The stronger my muscles get, the stronger my metabolism will become and my risk of another recurrence will decrease. 

I'm, also, going to use this new information to tweak my daily calorie intake. I now know that I need to eat at least 1440 calories a day. I'm between lightly and moderately active, depending on the day, so I use these formulas: 1440 X 1.375 =  1980 and 1440 X 1.55= 2232 So, in order to maintain my weight I should eat between 1980 and 2232 calories a day. Since I want to LOSE weight, I have to lower that range. A pound equals 3000 calories. I want to lose about 1 pound per week. So I need to reduce my calorie range by 3000 for the week. 3000/7 = 429  So, my target calorie range is now 1550- 1800. There's power in numbers!!

Actually, that calorie range is pretty close to what I've been following the past few weeks. I'm glad I'm on the right track! So far I've lost 7 pounds. Yay!! I'm quite thankful to have this powerful information to help me lose weight which will reduce my risk for another cancer recurrence. That's what I'm all about these post-treatment days- giving the chance for another cancer a good beat down!

What are you doing to prevent cancer or a cancer recurrence? Have you had a BodyGem test? Tell me about your experience!

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