Raging Body Fat and a Broken Scale

22 October 2007

[Note: This post contains some math which may be frightening to some readers. Reader discretion is advised. Unless you like math. Like me.]

I learned a couple of really disturbing things last week... I have 36% body fat, and my scale is off by 5 pounds.
Obviously, the body fat issue is the more serious problem, but I'm really quite distressed by my scale. I actually feel betrayed. I'm not really 121lbs, but 126lbs. Now, my next step is to decide what's more annoying, shelling over the extra $ for a new scale or adding 5lbs every time I weight myself.

Onward to the real trouble...

Yup, 36% of my body is fat... and you wouldn't know it just by looking at me. At 5'4" and 126lbs with a small-boned strawberry-shaped frame, it's very easy for me to camouflage any extra bulk.

And boy, have I ever added extra bulk... and in such a short amount of time at that!

Since October 1st, the day after my 20-year high school reunion weekend, I've not respected my Temple as I should. Not only have I not been CR-ing (reducing my calories), I've not been ON-ing (selecting nutrient-packed foods). Waffles with cream cheese, pasta with oily cheesy pesto sauce, and creamy cheesecake have passed my lips in quantities that would make a sumo rikishi faint.

So, have I hit rock bottom? With bad cholesterol levels and torso fat, this better be the lowest I go, because any lower and I'd be a walking heart attack. Heck, I could be a walking heart attack as we speak.

I know what I need to do. I've done it before. And thanks to the nature of CRON, everything I ate and did is well-documented. I just have to look at my records from last year when I was doing full-on CRON, and do that again... 1200-1500 calories, lots of fruits & veg, soups, lean proteins (mainly fish), fibre, water, green tea, calisthenics, yoga and hula. The good stuff.

I suspect I can lose a great deal without jeopardizing my health as long as I lose just fat, and to ensure that, I have to build/maintain lean muscle.

So, let's figure out what my goal weight could realistically be... (Hang on tight, here comes the math!)

According to the American Council on Exercise (couldn't find anything for Canada, except some beef cattle bodyfat tables... uh, no thanks...), healthy fit women should have about 21-24% body fat. So I need to go from 36% bodyfat to 24% bodyfat.

At 126lbs, I have...

126 x .36 = 45.36, or rounding down, 45 lbs of fat

which means I have ...

126 - 45 = 81 lbs of lean muscle mass

Now, if I want to decrease to 24% body fat but maintain the existing 81 lbs of lean mass...

36% - 24% = 12% fat
126 x .12 = 15.12 lbs of fat must be lost

So, the goal weight is (assuming my lean muscle stays at 81 lbs)...

126 - 15 = 111 lbs

Just in case my lean muscle goes up, I'll check my body fat again at 115-118 lbs... or 110-113 lbs on my traitorous scale.

Okay, that's all the math I needed to do. It's best that I stop now anyway. My roomie already called me a nerd for doing math on my blog in the first place.

Alright, this begins tomorrow... actually, it already started at lunch today... :)
Wish me luck!

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