Tag Archives: body fat

Some interesting telly

I’ve just switched on to a new BBC show on iView called “Trust Me I’m A Doctor“. I was skeptical – expected junk tv to be honest. But when Michael Mosley appeared in the intro, I was excited! I think he is pretty fantastic.

The very first thing this show did was take apart BMI and Body Fat Percentage as predictors of overall heath and wellbeing. Woo! Not saying I think these measures are useless, but as someone who has spent a fair chunk of her life in the “and we just divide this by this and… oh… (shake our heads) … well you are what we call ‘dead woman walking’ and should probably curl up in the wardrobe with a doughnut now” category, well, let’s just say I don’t relish that number. That simple calculation always makes me want to cry.

As a girl, I read that the BMI was engineered to diagnose anorexia, and was finely tuned at the bottom end of the scale, but a bit blunt at the fat end. Maybe that’s just me hanging on to a delusion. Its a delusion I clung to in the face of being measured with a single number regardless of my overall shape or fitness.

So I applaud Trust Me I’m A Doctor because they crack open the regular tests and then added in the VO2Max test to show that while you can be “fit and fat”, its not ok to just say “well the BMI is rubbish so order me another McWhopper”. You can be fit and fat, but you can also just be fat!


Body fat and some new goals

I really like this blog – Nerd Fitness. Despite the fact that the owner, Steve, is a big paleo convert and constantly bangs the caveman club, I enjoy his posts. I enjoy the idea of the little nerd community he’s got going (even thought don’t want to be in it) and I love the constant parallels to movies and popular (nerd) culture through the blog. Oh, and I love love LOVE that he really big-ups the nerd girls and promotes strength training for ladies.

So woo woo Nerd Fitness!

This morning, I was reading and enjoying Steve’s post on body fat percentage along with Emily fivex3’s post about women and strength training.

Together, these posts have catalyzed me into wanting to track my own body fat percentage. I am not sure I want or need to get that percentage down exactly, but I do know I want to be stronger as opposed to either bulkier or skeletal. People have been telling me for a while I ‘need to stop losing weight’ and I guess they are right in one sense – I feel it’s important to start building muscle as opposed to just shedding kilos and seeing more hip bone. On the other hand, after being fat for so long, seeing hip bone is a nice change.

Also I still need some help with my mental attitude to my body. In fact, I actually need more help right now than what I needed about 4 weeks ago. I am still losing weight. I am getting fitter (even getting compliments from my boxing instructor) but… I still see the fat. No matter how much weight I lose, I still see the jelly on my tummy (thanks kids – that pregnancy skin is going nowhere). I still see the wobbly thighs. I still see the lunch lady arms that are the trademarks of being a female who doesn’t dead-lift 200kg.

I have a set of cheap Kmart bio-impedance scales that I have been using for my measurements for a few months now. It never occurred to me to use the bio-impedance measurements. Ok, maybe it did occur to me, and then I was completely scared off by the news that I was composed 90% of fat and the other 10% water. But this morning, I decided to start tracking that info. It might be inaccurate, but we long as I stay with the same device, I’m getting the same margin of error every time, and should be able to get a reliable trend happening*.

I am currently sitting at 25.2% body fat. That sounds intensely high, but reading around, it seems that is actually pretty good to start off with. I’m doubting that I will go down much, or quickly, but this might be a good incentive for me to watch my snacking a little more closely and pay attention to all the nutrients in my food (not just the calories).

*i wish the same cold be said of Nike+’s tracking of my 12 minute run tests!!