1.21.2013

A Weighty Matter

OR "how realistic is your target weight?"

This is something I've been mulling over in recent weeks. I'd sort of loosely set my target weight at 125 (I am just under 5'4"...mesomorph with some endomorph tendencies, medium-boned, nearly 40), as years ago (pre-running/cycling) I got down to 124 for about a week. I looked great and wouldn't have wanted to be slimmer, but was not particularly fit/muscular. I'm thinking my body fat was probably in the 22% range.

The photo at right was me about 11#s above my smallest weight.  I was 135#s and had lost 50#s from my heaviest non-pregnant weight.

I found some useful resources recently that have me rethinking my goal weight...and have me believing my goal weight is not so far away. Our scale has me at 25.5%...and even though body fat scales are notorious for being way off, I think ours is probably not that inaccurate, based upon these graphics:


25ish% looks about spot-on.  Granted, the people photographed appear to have better skin-tone and I don't see a lot of evidence of pregnancy/stretch-marks/c-section scars -- It would be interesting to see illustrations that use models in their 30s and 40s with a rugrat or two to illustrate the visual effect of skin sag with age and "abuse."  But the relative amount of padding looks like what I see in the mirror.

So I plugged my #s into this calculator and it spits out 20% body fat at 132#s and 18% at 129#s. This assumes I lose no muscle mass. I'd have to get down to 15.5% body fat to weigh 125#s! So totally not gonna happen, nor would I want to be that lean. 18% sounds far better for my bones and overall body type.  I'm clearly hauling around a lot more muscle now than I was in that top photo.  I'm expecting to be about 5#s heavier at that same clothing size.  5#s of muscle is so full of WIN!

In reality I will likely lose *some* muscle mass if I continue to eat enough of a deficit to lose weight and don't increase my current activity, BUT I will also be ramping my workouts back up in coming months as my wrist heals and I can log more miles on the bike (including outdoors), so come Summer the muscle mass will be increasing.  Especially if I pause the weight loss for the competitive running and cycling months.

I also put together a photographic journal page to visually document my progress.

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