This week was the last week before the official BetterU Go Red for Women Challenge kick-off. Let me remind you that this a 12 week challenge sponsored by the American Heart Association in which they take 12 lucky, yet incredibly unhealthy women and help turn around their lifestyles with assistance from wellness coaches, as well as personal trainers.
It all started with some blood work. Imagine, throughout my 29 (cough, cough) years, I have yet to have my cholesterol tested. I honestly thought that the lab would find about a 50/50 ratio of red blood cells to Big Macs, but to my surprise – it was perfect! Great ldl, hdl, triglycerides, blood sugar – I aced that test. Now at this point, I was feeling pretty good about myself. And then the measurements came …
We were then introduced to our personal trainer. I thought perhaps she was about twenty-five, fresh out of school, and must live at the gym. I was wrong – she was nearly 40, and a busy mother of two kids. But she did work at a gym – a gym where there’s no equipment, just a lot of go-getters with exercise bands. For some reason I find myself inherently more worried about exercising without large monuments of equipment than with them. I’m guessing it may have something to do with the ability to cheat on large equipment that just isn’t there if its only you and a couple of mats.
Then the group was weighed and measured – much like cattle. They were discreet, though. Amusing how there’s always such an effort to keep these numbers secret when, let’s face it – I’m obviously a little overweight, and chances are people already know the number on the scale is higher than it should be. One of my arms measures over an inch larger than the other one – which as someone at work pointed out, means I really do have a good side side. They measured my chest (I neglected to inform them that the measurement up top was padded to about 2 inches greater than normal), my stomach and my hips. I’m really not a pear, or an apple shape, just kind of watermelon-y at this point-but a smaller watermelon, not one of those huge ones you get in summer. Even though my blood pressure and labs were great, my weight and measurements put me at a physiological age of 50. 50 is a bit older than my actual age, and even more older than the age I keep telling people I am.
We were told to keep a food diary – which I’ve already been doing. That was especially helpful during the Superbowl when I learned that Weight-Watchers can actually track triple digit points values for a 24 hour period (jk). I did use all my extra points for the week, but don’t worry, that didn’t stop me from over-eating at any point. Fortunately, the BetterU people did provide me with a great chart so I can visualize which foods are bad (they’re in the red category), and which are good (they’re green). Unfortunately, glazed donuts fell into the red category (shocker). Red-wine was good, but only if you drink in moderation. Apparently, you’re supposed to get more than 2.5 servings out of one bottle (bigger shocker).