February 24, 2010

Weight steady, fat down

196 lb, 27.7% body fat this morning, meaning something like 0.784 lb of fat went away and was replaced by an equal amount of muscle.

It's not awesome, but I'll take it.  I was seriously worried this was going to be a stall week.

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February 17, 2010

New Scale, New Goals, New Numbers

196 lb, 28.1% body fat according to my home scale.  The weight matches with what they determined at the gym last week, but that's 2.4% less body fat than their instrument found with the same method.  This would imply that at a constant weight, I lost 4.7 lb of fat and gained 4.7 pounds of muscle in 7 days.  Extremely unlikely.  OTOH, the home scale is free for me to use, and getting it tested at the gym again will cost money, so I'll be able to keep up the home scale measurements each week without any trouble.

The question is how to treat those numbers.  Do I assume a linear variation, where the home scale gives what the gym's scale would -2.4%?  Since I only have two data points, even though they were at least some time apart, a linear approximation is all I can really do.  So, without further data, I'll have to shoot for about 11.7% body fat on the home scale, which still means I need to lose just over 32 more lb in the absence of any muscle gains.

In case the reader thinks I might be putting too much emphasis on numbers, well, you might be right.  I'm human though, and as prone to cognitive bias as anyone, and raw data is the only objective thing I can track that will help keep me (almost) fully honest with myself.  I have to know if what I'm doing is actually working or if I just feel like it is.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 10:17 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 10, 2010

I'm 45.

At least according to my fitness test at Powerhouse (In case you missed the earlier post, I'm 34 by the calendar).

Rest Pulse: 74 "high normal", it was 42 when I was 20.
Blood pressure: 136/87  "Prehypertensive"
VO2 Max: 33.6 "Low"
Bicep Strength: 61 lb. "Fair"
Flexibility (Sit and Reach): 14.1 inches "Average"
Body Fat % (Electrical impedence testing): 30.5 on the border of "High" and "Very High"

All of which means I'm an older man with a younger guy's driver's license, by some much fuzzier notion of "biological age".  Now, I've had "high-normal" blood pressure every time I've had it checked while overweight.  Assuming the 29 lb I've dropped so far was maybe 10lb of water and 19 lb of fat, that means my initial body fat percentage was ~35% at the start of this adventure.  It also means I have lean body mass of of ~136, based on my weight at the gym of 196 (two meals, a bunch of iced tea, and a pair of shoes might explain the difference with the home scale, that and no two scales are the same).

The most important number here is body fat percentage.  Blood pressure, VO2 Max, and resting heart rate will all go along with a reduction in body fat.  Assuming no change to my LBM, 14% bodyfat (considered "healthy" for a male) would put me at about 160 lb, 20 lb. above the goal I set for myself (which would apparently require an unrealistic 3% body fat unless I gave up a lot of lean muscle).  On the other hand, it's only 31 lb down from here.  I've started lifting seriously again, having joined a gym, and I'm obviously eating plenty of protein, so it's possible if not probable that I'll put on some muscle in the coming weeks and months.  This means my original goal is probably unrealistic, if not dangerous.

All of this taken together means I need a better goal.  140 lb would mean losing muscle, and muscle is youth, when you get right down to it.  I'm keeping the category title for the sake of honesty and indexing, but I think changing the goal is reasonable.  New goal: 14% body fat.  I have an electrical impedance scale, but haven't been using it, preferring my spring-powered scale, so I'll see how it compares to the gym's value and include that value in my updates from now on.  Ideally, I'd like to add as much LBM as possible, but adding muscle is hard work, and I'd be happy just to maintain it as I lose fat.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 09:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Slow, but steady

191 lb this morning. That makes 29 lb in 112 days / 3 months, 20 days.  Not as good as I'd like, but not bad either.

Also, I'm lazy, and used this site to do the latter calculation.  I was pondering the problem of counting the days between a pair of dates and realized that it might make for a handy widget... and realized someone else had likely already done it.  Bing confirmed it for me.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 08:24 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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February 03, 2010

Don't drink and diet

194 lb this morning. I can likely blame Sunday night's cocktails. I'd love to believe that I added a pound of muscle and just didn't lose any fat, but such self-delusion is better suited to the well-paid buffoons at the top of the Executive branch. I had been down to somewhere around 192 on Saturday, and I think I got overconfident enough to think that a few drinks wouldn't hurt me.

It is always best to keep in mind the great wisdom of the Solo:


Posted by: leoncaruthers at 11:11 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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