Wednesday, August 8, 2012
You're Not as Fat as You Think.
Muscle weighs more than fat, right?
Wrong. I'll explain.
My man and I recently got our body fat percentage read, and wow, that was a wake-up call. We thought we were doing pretty darn good with our mostly meat-free & clean diet and regular workouts. Even our prior body fat reading suggested we were in the clear (average for men: 18-25%; women: 25-31%). But this particular trainer judged us by athlete standards (men: 6-13%; women: 14-20%), and this is where I clocked in.
22% body fat (down from my original reading of 25%, but my glee was shortlived. Here's why:)
The trainer said 30% is considered obese. He said I should be aiming for 14%.
I felt pretty devastated, and sunk into this funk. I really devote so much of my life to being healthy, and I feel like I work out so hard, that it was a shock to think I wasn't in "athletic" shape. Sure, I'm no Olympian, but I should at least be closure to THEIR body fat than an OBESE person's body fat.
I started analyzing my diet. I realize I eat too much whole grain (my love and I can kill a Costco-sized bag of "healthy" chips in two days). And I might be eating too many calories, too often (I eat every 2 hours or so, and I aim to keep these snacks around 200 calories, but I admit they can sometimes climb higher on an emotional day).
Then, regarding my workouts, I need to be doing consistent cross-training. Not yoga here, a run there. More like CrossFit four times a week, and yoga twice on top of that.
Depression at an all-time high, I finally thought of something that snapped me out of it.
Muscle does not weight more than fat, but it takes up less space. Example:
In 2009, before I made my first lifestyle change, I was 150 pounds and a size 9-11. Today, I'm 148 pounds, and a size 4-6.
So, I guess I'm doing alright.
Thanks to my man for helping to talk me out of my funk. He helped me realize that knowing our true statistics erases the guesswork. It helps us mark a starting point on the path to real change. And it shakes us out of the habit of rationalizing our diet choices ("but they're whole grain chips..."), and workout routines.
The lesson I'm beginning to learn: Fitness is a journey, not a destination. It's a choice to LIVE, rather than let life happen. So though there are indeed lows just as there are highs, we are choosing to better ourselves and add better energy to the world.
So quit stressing about fat, and start LIVING.