Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Weight, Body Fat and BMI

Since I am at the start of a new training plan, I figured I would baseline a few numbers (being the numbers person that I am).

Weight: 129 lbs

At the office gym, they have one of those machines that you hold in your hands and it determines your body fat and BMI. After doing just a little on-line research I found there is TONS of information on body fat and BMI - different methods of measuring and different guidelines for what is considered "normal." It is all very confusing.

The machine I used probably uses Bioelectrical Impedance to determine body fat - not the best method, but it is the one I have so....

% Body Fat: 24.6%
BMI: 22.7

According to the American Council on Exercise, a fit adult woman would be between 21-24% body fat. Athletes 14-20%. Normal would be 25.31%. I would probably rate myself as fit but not athletic..so far so good.

According to the American Diabetes Association, Normal range for women is 15-25% body fat. Overweight would be 25.1-29.9%. Ok, squeaked into the normal category that time.

For age related measures, a woman age 40-59 years old should be 23-33% body fat. I am comfortably in that range, thank you very much.

I found another method for measuring body fat based on measuring my waist size, my hips, my wrist and forearm (along with height and weight). The result: 30% body fat (Sheesh, I don't like that number at all).

Now mind you, I do tend to sport a lovely "muffin top" with much of my wardrobe (covered discreetly by loose fitting blouses). A feature I would like to lose (and maybe someday run with just the running bra on)! Why does the situation seem to be worse on days when I am feeling especially "fat" (usually coinciding with the week before my...monthly friend)?

Ah well (sigh)! I have weighed 130-135 lbs ever since I got married over 17 years ago. I never look that heavy - folks guess me to be at least 10 lbs less. I feel pretty good where I am right now, but I think I could stand to lose about 5-8 lbs - so that is what I will go for, and in the meanwhile see where the other numbers end up.

Week 1, Day 2 10K Training:
3 miles, 32:09 (10:30 min/mi)
AHR: 161 bpm MHR: 183 bpm


Rural Runner E said...

I seem to hear the same kinds of numbers and comments from my female high school students. I am going to say to you as I say to them: If you feel comfortable with your body, and your doctor says you are healthy, don't worry about how large or small those numbers are. I must admit that I too fret about my weight and BMI frequently, but then my wife shouts from the other room to "STOP, just go for a run, you'll feel better". Good luck with the training, and remember the body is just a vessel you use in order to experience a life.

Kevin said...

lol.. you crack me up. Always so honest and putting yourself out there!! A woman publishing her weight?

Hang in there my friend.

Susan said...

I have to echo Kevin -- to post your weight is super-bold! Go girl!

I know you're a numbers person... but please please please don't read into all that BMI mumbo-jumbo too much. You ARE athletic AND fit. Very fit! And to weigh less than when you got married -- wow wow wow!!!! Fantastic.

I say just keep up the excellent lifestyle. You're GREAT as-is!

Now, to flip the coin, I get this same song and dance often. As a woman I know the GLEE we feel when shedding just a wee few pounds. So when very fit friends ask my opinion (and you qualify as that), I honestly say "You're great as is! Really! But if losing a little will make you feel better - by all means do it."

Rock on!

Petraruns said...

I think I'm with rural runner e. here (and Kevin and Susan as well) I think it sounds like you're fun. A muffin top is not good, and mine too fluctuates.. But it'll be interesting to see your progress and hats off to you for posting all about it..

Maddy said...

I think you look great, and healthy - but I too can understand that freakin' muffin top and the clever ways to lessen the appearance.

Way to go putting that all out there.

One of the best things I ever did (years ago) was to have a body fat% caliper test. At the time my lean body mass was 121 lbs. At 5'2 I have my fair share of muscle (and other things like fat...) That test allowed me the freedom to stop beating myself up because my friend, also 5'2 was 100 lbs.

No matter what, I don't think I could get to 100 lbs - ever.

Just something to think about when looking at a general BMI chart.

MarathonChris said...

Thanks for all the encouragement. I am not depressed over where I am right now....at about 5'3", I don't ever believe I will get much below 125....if I get to 125. I think I have some extra I could stand to lose....but as I build muscle I will gain definition but probably not lose weight. Feeling good and losing the muffin top would be great for me :-)

Adam Tinkoff said...

ZOMG Chris - you are one of the most fit people I know. You radiate health. You are a friggen laser of all things good. Don't let a silly machine deride your spirits. Keep doing what you do to inspire all of us.

ShirleyPerly said...

If it makes you feel better to know numbers, then knock yourself out. Personally, I think you're very fit now and need not really be too focused on losing BF or weight. Just watching your diet and getting back into training will likely get you to where you want to be. Remember to smell the flowers along the way :-)

lizzie lee said...

You made me laugh....I am with you,take the numbers that make you feel better. They are only numbers anyway. Don't get too obsess with losing weight. Just hit the road. That'll do it.

IrishBlue said...

That is too funny. Lol...I agree with Kevin, your analytical mind is always working. Of course, weight really is a numbers game, but sounds like you don't have any problems.