Day 22: Metabolic testing

Day 21

I didn’t make it to the gym yesterday morning despite writing I would go. I did some quick backwards planning from my first appointment and realized I just didn’t have enough time. It was surprisingly nice outside, so I considered going for a short run, but opted to give the dog an extra long walk instead.

I’d like to write that I’ll find another time to fit in my remaining two workouts this week, but I’m a realist – it’s not going to happen. I’ll just have to start over again next week, or maybe pick up where I left off? Either way, working out isn’t one of my goals yet, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

Despite the skipped workout, taking the train into Tokyo helped get my step count up. I had to walk to and from, and in and around, the train stations. By the time I got back home, I was close to 13,000 steps. This made it fairly easy for me to hit 15,000 steps before bed, without the need to walk laps again.

I also had another successful meal logging day. My total calories: 1,526. It seems the more I commit to logging my meals, the less I eat overall. Not a bad “side effect.”

Final step count: 16,597

Day 21

Today, I have an appointment for a metabolic test at the wellness center near my home. I’m really lucky to have access to this place. It offers health and fitness-related testing at a price I can afford (free).

I started visiting the wellness center regularly when I finally started to lose weight last year. I had my bodyfat tested monthly in their Bod Pod, took a fitness test or two, and had my metabolism assessed twice. I was really interested in the metabolic assessment results because I have hypothyroidism – basically, my thyroid is slow. I take medication for it every day and I’m at an effective dose, so I feel fine; but I was curious if it was making it more difficult for me to lose weight.

If you’re wondering how a metabolic test works and what it measures, it’s like this: basically, you lay on a table in a dark room for about 10 minutes or so. The intent is to make sure you’re as relaxed as possible. Then, you’re fitted with a breathing mask and for another 10 minutes or so, you continue to lay in this dark room breathing while wearing the mask. After the time’s up, the test is over and you get your results. Oh, and you can’t do any exercise or eat anything for several hours before the test.

The test is supposed to measure your resting metabolic rate (RMR)*. Your RMR is basically the number of calories your body burns at rest. It doesn’t include any calories you might burn throughout the day by walking around, working, eating, or doing anything else other than just laying there. You’ll see some people refer to it as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). They’re sort of almost the same thing, but not really.

The initial test results showed that my metabolism was on the slow end, but the follow-up test a few of months later put me in the normal range. Although I don’t expect to see any changes to my results today, since I haven’t been lifting weights consistently or gained any significant weight, it’ll be fun to have updated results so close to the start of this challenge. Hopefully, as my step goal streak continues and I keep making new habit changes, I’ll be able to see if any of my new behaviors are affecting my metabolism.

Current step total: 1,789

Current step goal streak: 9 days
Previous step goal streak: 1 day
Longest step goal streak: 6 days

*Updated to correct what the metabolic test measures. It measures RMR, not BMR. But, again, they’re basically almost the same thing, so…

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