My initial measurements:
Weight - 143.3 lbs
Body fat - 30.3% (WTF HOW DID THAT HAPPEN)
Waist - 33 inches
At my best I was:
Weight - 125 lbs (this wasn't my lowest, but it was where I had the tone I wanted)
Body fat - 18%
Waist - 26 inches
Do I think I'll get back to those numbers? No. Am I going to aim for them anyways (safely of course)? You betcha.
First Stop? Diet.
Without making any changes to what I was eating, I tracked my diet for a couple of days to see where I was starting. Turns out that I routinely only take in 1400-1600 calories a day. Without meaning to, I've been starving myself, and it's likely that some of my weight gain is a result of my body going "hot damn I don't know when we're going to eat enough again better store as much as possible just in case". Counter to what conventional wisdom says, I need to increase how much I'm eating in order to see the changes I want to see. But it needs to be the right kind of increase, which is where the macros come in.
Macronutrients are the things your body needs in large amounts in order to function. In an overly simplified form protein is for muscle repair and maintenance, carbs are the primary fuel (many body processes require glucose, the base of carbs, and will break down important things like muscle tissue to get enough to do their thing if you aren't consuming enough), and fat is a secondary but also necessary fuel (fuels other body functions like hormone production). There are all kinds of ways to calculate how much your body theoretically needs of each, usually starting from however many calories you've decided on as your daily goal.
My breakdown ended up being:
Protein - 129 grams (515 calories)
Fat - 54 grams (483 calories)
Carbs - 233 grams (933 calories)
Going back to my original baseline tracking, without making any changes I'm taking in less than half of the carbs I need. No wonder I feel so tired all the time and my strength is lacking! Also not surprisingly I'm hitting my fat macro. Pretty much I'm just a mess. So, what do I do with all this info?
Jumping straight up to my theoretical calorie intake is likely to cause a bit of an issue, so I'm slowly ramping up and currently aiming for 1750, which is right between where I am and where I should be. Increasing my carb intake while maintaining or dropping my fat intake is going to be the biggest challenge, as often those two go hand-in-hand in many foods I would usually think of for snacking. Some foods I labeled "bad" previously are actually perfect for what I'm trying to accomplish (i.e. anything with carbs), and things commonly labeled "healthy" are actually not what I need at all. This is going to be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to seeing progress and working with my trainer to make adjustments that fit my body.