Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I went to see my anti-aging doctor today.  His name is Paul Savage, M.D., and his office, Vidabem, is in Chicago.  He is one of the doctors that was interviewed for the book Ageless by Suzanne Somers, the book that got me going in my quest to get my hormones balanced and lose weight.

One of the things that I do each visit is have my body composition checked.  Here are all my results for each time I have had it done:

February 25, 2009
Weight - 158 pounds
Body Fat - 46% - 72.7 pounds
Lean Mass - 54% - 85.3 pounds

April 1, 2009
Weight - 148.6 pounds
Body Fat - 42.9% - 63.7 pounds
Lean Mass - 57.1% - 84.9 pounds

This means that between February 25, 2009 and April 1, 2009, I lost 9 pounds of fat and I also lost 0.4 pounds of lean mass, which would include, muscle, bones, water and anything else that is not fat.

May 15, 2009
Weight - 145 pounds
Body Fat - 41.3% - 59.9 pounds
Lean Mass - 58.7% - 85.1 pounds

This means that between  April 1, 2009 and May 15, 2009, I lost 3.8 pounds of fat and I gained 0.2 pounds of lean mass.

August 21, 2009
Weight - 141.6 pounds
Body Fat - 35.2% - 49.8 pounds
Lean Mass - 64.8% - 91.8 pounds

This means that between  May 15, 2009 and August 21, 2009, I lost 10.1 pounds of fat and I gained 6.7 pounds of lean mass.  This was due to the fact that I had a testosterone implant, and I was working out at the gym, lifting weights.  During this time, I was also doing interval training on the treadmill, and going to Hatha Yoga twice per week.

January 20, 2010
Weight - 142.4 pounds
Body Fat - 38.3% - 54.5 pounds
Lean Mass - 61.7% - 87.9 pounds

This means that between August 21, 2009 and January 20, 2010, I gained 4.7 pounds of fat and I lost 3.9 pounds of lean mass.  This was due to the fact that I had stopped the testosterone implant and had started cream instead, and it did not work for me.  And due to the fact that I was getting no testosterone, I could no longer lift weights at the gym.  My strength was waning so much that I finally gave up all exercise altogether in October 2009.

What many people do not know is that in the absence of testosterone, muscle cannot be increased, and will decrease over time.  And the less muscle you have to burn energy, the more fat you will store.  So having low testosterone makes you lose muscle and gain fat, even if your weight is staying the same.  I can remember many times in the past when I have joined gyms and worked out like crazy, and tried to lift weights, and never got any results.  Now I know why that happened.  The lower my testosterone got, the more muscle I lost and the more fat I gained.

Here are my results for today, which is why I am so unhappy:

May 25, 2010

Weight - 139 pounds
Body Fat - 40.1% - 55.7 pounds
Lean Mass - 59.9% - 83.3 pounds

This means that between January 20, 2010 and May 25, 2010, I gained 1.2 pounds of fat and I lost 4.6 pounds of lean mass.

In this time span, I have only gone to the gym six times, and that was in the first two weeks of March.  I had gotten my testosterone implant again in January, but I went on vacation soon after that, and as soon as I got back, I started going to the gym again.  But in the third week of March, I became very ill and ended up having surgery on April 13, 2010, and I have been recovering since then.  I am just now at the point in my recovery where I can go back and start lifting weights again, which I plan to do next week, when my incision is healed.

I asked the doctor why I lost so much muscle recently, and he said it was because of the surgery and having done no activity for four months.  He said that even with the surgery itself, the trauma of it and the narcotics will eat up muscle.  Basically, the body starts canabalizing itself, conserving fat and burning muscle for fuel.

So between the time I started on February 25, 2009 and today, I have lost 17 pounds of fat and 2 pounds of lean mass.  So although I have lost fat, and that's good, all the muscle that I gained last summer is gone, and I have to start all over again.

My doctor wants me to weight 123.7 pounds and have 23% body fat.  My personal goals are not that low - if I can get down to 130 pounds with 25% body fat, I will be happy.  But in order to accomplish that goal, I will have to:

Lose 23.2 more pounds of fat and gain 14.2 pounds of muscle.

This seems like a pretty big undertaking for me.  I am very discouraged.  Even if I could lose the fat, putting on 14.2 pounds of muscle will take 10 months at the shortest, at 1.5 pounds of muscle per month, and could take 14 months or longer, putting on 1 pound or less per month.

I guess I have to just commit myself to getting the exercise I need, and take it a week at a time.  Starting this Friday, when I am healed from my implant, I will go back to the gym three times per week.  I go back to the doctor on October 5th, so we will see how much progress I have made.

On the bright side, all of my hormone tests came back good.  My testosterone level is good, and so are my symptoms, so no change in dosage there. The progesterone is a little high if anything, and my symptoms are good, so the doctor wants to keep that dosage the same, and may even reduce it a little bit next time, based on new test results and my symptoms.  I am still hypothyroid, with a low body temperature and slow weight loss, so he has increased my thyroid dosage.  I will be curious to see if that changes anything, as far as weight loss goes.

On a personal note, Dr. Savage wants to display something in his office that says I am one of the success stories in the new Atkins book, and he also wants to put my morphing weight loss Youtube video on his new website.  That will be cool!  I told him I would mention him on Jimmy Moore's show next week.

All in all, not a great visit.  After I left there, I went shopping, and the store had samples of mini chocolate cupcakes.  I was so mad, I ate one!  Of course, I regretted it after the first bite, but I finished it anyway.

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