Day 19: a surprise present comes my way.

My absolutely amazing sister sent me a surprise present! It’s not my birthday (or my half birthday) and there’s no major gift-giving holidays in sight. But I am now the proud owner of a body fat monitor! I am so excited about this. I will add body fat percentage to my monthly progress chart! (Not measuring my body fat for the first time until progress day, though.)

Here’s why having a way to regularly measure body fat percentage matters. Weight accounts for all tissue–muscle, bone, fluids, and fat. Weight tells you nothing about your body composition. A woman can be 130 lbs and healthy–lots of muscle, little fat– or 130 lbs and unfit–little muscle, more fat. This accounts, partly, for why 2 people of the same height can weigh the same but have significantly different sized bodies. BMI has a similar problem– it tells you whether your weight is appropriate for your height and gender presupposing you have an average body. But it doesn’t do very well for atypical bodies: it underestimates healthy weight ranges for tall people, female inverted Vs, and people with strong muscles. A lot of athletes who are extremely fit and obviously not fat have BMIs that fall in the overweight or even obese range, because per cubic inch, muscle weighs more than fat. So weight and BMI don’t tell you about your fitness,, only your size.

The best way to measure your fitness is body fat percentage. It tells you how much of your mass is fat vs. how much of our muscle is lean tissue–muscle, bone, and fluids. Tracking body fat percentage over time tells you about changes to your body composition– which is essential for weight lifters as well as for people trying to lose weight. Losing 10 lbs is all well and good if it’s 10 lbs of fat. But if it’s 10 lbs of muscle, you’ve lost fitness as well as weight.

Fitness today
None.

Food today
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 slice bacon, 1/2 avocado, 1/4 onion, 1 slice Daves Killer Bread
Lunch: leftover meatloaf and sweet potatoes
Snack: banana and PB2
Snack: 1 low fat string cheese and strawberries
Dinner: out. 1 stout, 1/2 2x IPA,fish and chips.

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