So I got my body comp test yesterday, and I can’t lie – it was depressing at first.
Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt for me. I have convinced myself that while my weight was higher than it should be, I am a fairly muscular gal. I must just be bucking the trend and I’m fine, right? Not so much.
34% Body Fat. Anything over 32% is considered “obese”.
It doesn’t help that their scale weighed me 2 lbs heavier at 180, which just inched my BMI to obese.
I was in an awesome mood yesterday morning, let me tell you.
A half marathoner, triathlete, eater of as many healthy foods, and rocker of worlds should not be obese. And I was.
I met with the nutritionist today and she told me not to stress so much about the numbers. She was happy with a) my BMR at 1672 was pretty great for my height and b) I have 118 lbs of lean mass. She said her goal for me was to even increase the lean mass more – up to 120 at the next reading – while working to decrease the fat.
So to contrast the negatives, I can toot my own horn that I have more purely lean mass on me (118 lbs) than the bottom low weight for my BMI (my range at 5’5″ is 115 to 150 lbs). At the bare minimum 10% body fat for women, I’d weight about 130 lbs. At a very athletic 20%, I’d weigh 142. At 120 lbs of lean mass I’d be 132 and 144 respectively. I think 144 and 20% body fat is a great long term goal to work towards.
How are we going to do this? It’s time to recreate the past, my friends.
Step 1: No goal races in the first half of this year. I always have to balance my training and eating with what will get me to my A race. Being in the negative with the calorie intake is always scary when you’re trying to train for max effort, and tapering means a LOT less activity than normal + cutting any weight training. So, I’m going to take that out of the equation. The one *sorta* exception will be my 10 miler in April, but really, I just want to run that one as hard as I can (and the best way for me to run harder will be to take off weight).
Step 2: Change my training program. I will craft my training around lowering fat, increasing muscle, and we’ll see how that goes when I toe the start line. I’m not doing anything in the first half of this year I can’t do with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back. This means no tapers, less steady state long cardio, more HIIT, more lifting heavy things/crunchtime/pilates. I am giving myself one day per week to do a 10 mile run to keep my run endurance up.
I will be putting in some long slow bike trainer time, but I expect most of that will be the calorie burn equivalent of a walk, so they don’t really count until I really start going more than a coasting pace. Same with fun bike rides around town. This is the stuff you file under “being active” not really “working out”.
Step 3: Figure out all the math to get to a calorie goal and stick to it. This is another thing I did. I hit a certain amount of calories on average per week. When I did that, I lost. I eat WAY WAY WAY frickin’ better than I used to (looking at some of the days of food consumption from 2008 when I was losing weight I wanted to a) gag and b) pass out from exhaustion from eating way too little volume because it was all junk food), so I’m pretty sure I’ll have less energy issues like I used to.
Nutrition lady person says 1672 (BMR) + Activity calories = Total expended. For example, today would have been 1672 + 235 (for 50 mins pilates) = 1907 is my total expended for today.
Total expended – total intake should equal 500-700 (so the goal is a 500-700 calorie debt PER DAY). Or, in more simple terms, 1000-1200 + activity calories = what I can eat per day. With today’s example, I would take total expended (1907) – total intake, and get =500-700. In this case, it would be about 1200 – 1400 (since I wasn’t super active today). Looking at it another way, 1000-1200 + 235 is about 1235-1435.
Today, I’m at 1237 after dinner and not feeling 100% satiated, so I’ll look for some sort of snack later that keeps me under 1400.
She said to pay STRICT attention to getting lots of nutrients/good food on my true rest days when I do nothing (1200 cal). I have a feeling this is going to be motivation to take less 100% sacked out on the couch days anymore and spread things out a little more. I’m fairly certain actually learning how to do some active recovery will do me good.
Step 4: Get accurate estimates of how much I actually burn during activities via Body Bug. She’s loaning me hers that she doesn’t use to try for a few weeks so I can get a more accurate estimate of what I burn during different fitness activities (NOTE: LMAO of how bad this first draft grammar is and leaving it for posterity because it made me giggle – enjoy!). If I love it I’ll buy one, but if I don’t, at least I’ll have a pretty good baseline to estimate from (which means you know I’m going to have to try to hit just about every type of workout I might do in the next few weeks… no complaints here!).
So while January has been sort of a bust for weight loss (I’m really sick of seeing 178), I’ve really gotten my shit together. No/very little sugar. Very little eating out. More like 95/5 healthy/not healthy food. My calorie goal has gone from a challenge to me needing to eat more most days. I’ve gotten my weekend head in check and realized that when I was losing I never used to imbibe alcohol and eat high calorie food on the same day (or if I did, I VERY VERY carefully planned for it). I’m just one of those unlucky people that no matter how great or crappy I eat, it really and truly matters how much goes in my cakehole (pertaining to weight loss, I can tell you I FEEL much better eating good stuff).
So, let me lay it out for you…
Next Week’s Plan:
Monday – 30-45 mins bike hills, crunchtime (food goal around 1400-1600)
Tuesday – group power or my own lifting for at least 45, 30 mins HIIT (short intervals) run (food goal 1550-1750)
Wednesday – Pilates, 30 min swim (food goal around 1400-1600)
Thursday – group power or my own lifting for at least 45, 30 mins HIIT run (food goal 1550-1750)
Friday – off/mellow (food goal 1200 + any activity)
Saturday – 10 mile run (food goal 2050-2250)
Sunday – off/mellow (food goal 1200 + any activity)
The calorie goals are from my own estimations on how much I *think* I burn for each activity, and once I play with the body bug, I’ll have a better idea.
It took over 6 months to exhaust other options, but we have determined that my body must need balanced equations to make the scale come down. I’m ready to let science be the win.
Questions of the day: What does your strength routine consist of on a weekly basis? What is the one most important thing you did to lose the weight?