Last Day of My Old Life

Greetings, folks! Let’s get down to business – it’s late and I am one tired lady!

Today was our final pre-20/20 appointment: meeting with the doctors that will be monitoring our progress during the program. Dr. Joseph Upton actually works for the Pro Club’s anti-aging wing and no longer handles 20/20 patients, but my endocrinologist called ahead and begged a favor for me. She’s worked with him before and trusts him to keep her in the loop regarding my care and progress. (If I haven’t mentioned Dr. Mandana Ahmadian before, I recommend her 500% for any endocrine issues that anyone has. She’s amazing, and has been kind and patient with me and my care for far longer than I deserve.)

I was pretty nervous going into things today, in part because I had a rough day yesterday. I’ve been pushing through and staying positive for weeks now, and this last week has been particularly difficult. Trying to maintain the 5,000 step amount every day has had me out and about far more than I’m used to. Even though everyone has been fabulous, and I’m adjusting fast to being at the gym so much, it’s still a lot of out-of-the-house time, a lot of people, and a lot of sustained focus on difficult things for this girl! As everyone has been quick to remind me, this program isn’t about being perfect all the time; there will be days like this, and it’s OK. Nobody’s here to judge or shame me for having them. All that matters is that I recover as fast as I can and get back on the horse. That process used to take me a week and change, so I’ve come a long way already.

The doctor visit provided us with almost all of the necessary things we need to know to get started tomorrow (?!) on the program. We went over all the things in our respective health histories, and we got all of our results from last Tuesday’s tests back. I guess I don’t get the photos they took of me until the end of the program, so y’all will have to wait on those, but anyone wanting a “before” photo can expect a photo from before my personal training session tomorrow, and a sweaty, gross photo afterward! I want one, not because it’ll make me look attractive in any way, but because I want to prove to the world that I really, honestly DID IT. I’ve been watching the other people at the gym exercise too while getting my steps in, and it’s dawning on me that even the skinny, fit folks sweat through their clothes. I’m not any worse or better than them, I’m just starting in a different place.

So, the results of all my tests… I’m going to transcribe as best I can, because there is a whole packet of papers here, and I’m not going to scan every scrap of my personal data and put it online if I don’t have to!

  • Bicep strength: 43 lbs.
  • Flexibility (sit & reach): 10.9 in.

My bicep strength is average for women my age, which surprised me! I’ve always believed I have terrible upper body strength. I don’t carry or lift a lot of heavy things, mostly because I don’t trust myself to do so without injuring myself or someone else. The flexibility, on the other hand, is laughably poor. I expected as much. The lower back problems that sent me to physical therapy a few years ago have returned due to lack of proper care, and when you combine that with being out of shape and having a big ol’ belly, it doesn’t do good things for your flexibility. I suspect I’ll be back to doing many of the same stretches and exercises I did in PT as time goes on.

  • Body fat percentage: 55.1%
  • Lean body mass: 131 lbs.

Oh, boy. I was really curious to find this out, even if I knew I wasn’t going to like the results! I probably could have guessed that over half my body weight was fat, but it’s nice to have that confirmed – and I’m a little pleased to find that it’s not more! If you took all the excess fat out of my body, I’d weigh 131 pounds.

  • Resting metabolic rate: 1580 kcal/day

This is the number of calories my body burns by default, just to stay alive. The average rate for women is 1,493, so I’m burning quite a few more calories at rest than most. This surprises me too; I would have assumed my metabolism was awful. The good news is that this will probably allow me to consume a few more calories than average when figuring out dietary restrictions going forward, since my body will handle more of it by itself. We’re not talking an extra steak or anything, but any leeway is nice!

  • Ideal weight: 156-169 lbs.

This was interesting too. When asked blind what I thought my ideal weight should be for my body, I guessed 150 pounds. Apparently, I’m not too far off the mark! I’ve never looked into these kinds of figures before, since they would just remind me how non-ideal I still was. It seems incomprehensible to me right now, but barring any severe setbacks during the program, they tell me there’s no reason I can’t achieve this. One can hope?

  • Projected rate of weight loss: approximately 1% of body weight per week, not to exceed 2% of body weight for more than 2 weeks.

This is the major timeline for the next 28 weeks, I’d say. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be shedding a ton of weight, but at a safe pace every week. If weight loss ends up being too fast or extreme, they’ll change things up to ensure that I’m not doing too much all at once. For the numbers folks: I’m starting at 292 pounds. Losing 1% of that would mean losing just under 3 pounds in the first week. 2% would mean losing just under 6 pounds. It all sounds crazy, but that’s about what I’ve been doing on my own since January.

I have loads of other data (measurements, lab results, etc.) but those are pretty standard tests and aren’t particularly unique to 20/20, so I’ll skip over them.

Tomorrow, 20/20 officially begins. We have our first personal training session at 1 PM. It sounds like the first meeting won’t be too intensive since it’s mostly a bunch of questions and figuring out where to go from there, so the nasty, sweaty photo might come after my 5,000 steps if we don’t get around to a real workout. We’ve been told to go ahead and wear our gym clothes though, so I’m not ruling anything out! We won’t see our dietitian until Tuesday, so for now, we just get to focus on the workouts. Tuesday will also be our first group session, so I’m looking forward to seeing what those will be like, going forward.

If you’re the praying sort, prayers would be deeply appreciated tomorrow as we take our first real steps into the heart of 20/20. If not, well wishes and love mean just as much! I’m truly grateful to everyone who has made time to visit and comment; knowing you all are out here rooting for us makes the hard days better and the easy days easier. I don’t ever want to reach a point where I am a burden or a struggle for the people around me, but I also know that I need every ounce of love I can get as these difficult days pass into difficult weeks and months. God, as always, will be by our side, but human hands and hearts have a special power all their own when it comes to healing damaged minds and bodies. We have always done our utmost to be there for others in our lives, no matter what; it continues to be a joy to see that love returned when we need it most.

Thanks, everyone.


  1. Carolyn

    Oh Amy. I am so proud of both you and John. And I so appreciate your sharing about your journey with the rest of us. Thank you.
    I am indeed praying for both of you, and I very much wish I was close enough to visit in person and give you warm, caring hugs. As is, I am sending what I call ‘air’ hugs, and much love.
    Mom Carolyn

  2. Mom

    You are very brave in sharing your personal stats! It will help to keep you honest as you embark on your new life. II am very proud of you 2 for showing the rest of us how to change with dignity. Every time you feel down you should go back and read what you have written. It will give you the same uplift as it does for your readers. YOU CAN DO THIS!! I am so happy that your Endo has a relationship with the 20/20 doc. I admit I was a little bit worried about that but am so appreciative of their willingness; to work together to keep you safe. My prayers have been answered and I know you’ll be fine. GO AMY!! I know that John and you will attack this new routine as a new experiment and we all know how much you two love those!! GO BRUCES!!! I am sending you my strength, prayers, and love always. Talk to you soon.

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