Body fat and body weight

Monday began with a 4.6 mile recovery run – 9.14 min/mile pace. Today was a strength day at the gym. Which was just as well because I am feeling all sorts of new aches and pains – new pain on top of left foot and weird shin pain on my left leg. Oy! Icing, stretching yada, yada, yada. I feel like my body can always find new ways to make me paranoid that my legs are going to stop working.

On the plus side, I managed to do some goblet squats for the first time in forever. So there’s that……

Yesterday was also the day on my now annual BOD POD. Lucky for me, the place where I work has a health program that allows employees to get a significant discount on their health insurance premium. You just have to complete a couple of easy things throughout the year including having an annual physical, going to the gym 6 (!) times a year and filling out a general health assessment. The thinking behind it is that if they can make people aware of any potential health problems before they become serious they will save money and I guess help people to become healthier.

You can also avail of a number of services including a BODPOD analysis, meet with a nutritionist or have a session with a personal trainer. All for free – pretty nice!

Before I started the training program for my first half marathon last year I booked an appointment for a BODPOD analysis. This is basically a way to measure your body composition – lean mass vs fat mass. It calculates your body volume using air displacement and then uses an algorithm based on your age and sex to work out your percentage body fat.

My first visit showed that I had a body weight of 114.5 lbs and a body fat of 26.8 %. These are pretty OK numbers. Healthy BMI and right in the middle of the “moderately lean” category for women (22.1-30%), which is a fat level that is generally acceptable for good health.

Just over four month later (and after a successful and injury free (those were the days) training program) my weight had gone down 3.7 lbs but my body fat had decreased 5.6 %. I was now (just) in the lean category (18.1-22%), which is the range that is generally excellent for health and longevity. I was thrilled!

The point of sharing these numbers is to remind myself (and maybe others?) that the scale isn’t a true indicator of health. In those four months I may have lost a couple of pounds but I actually gained muscle mass. (Bonus muscle is denser than fat. Decreasing fat mass and increasing muscle is how you “tone up” and look leaner. It also increases the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your weight.)

My new measurements for 2014 were also pretty good. Up almost a lb to 111.5 lbs but amazingly down to 19.9 % body fat! With another gain in lean mass. Awesome! It confirms something that I’ve suspected for a while – I am in the best shape of my life. It only took me 31 years. And I get $40 of my monthly premium.

Next month I have a session with a personal trainer where I’m hoping she can teach me some new exercises for strength training.

April mileage: 103.1 miles/165.9 KM

ATWRBR mileage: 219.7 miles/353.6 KM



18 thoughts on “Body fat and body weight

  1. that’s amazing! i have a scale that shows body fat percentage too, but i have yet to see a significant change in my body composition. i know that it will take me cleaning up my diet….and i really need to get on that soon šŸ™‚

  2. That is incredible. Congrats to you. I love hearing about companies that offer such awesome incentives. To me it really makes sense. Help your employees become healthy and they will be around more. I love the idea.

    • It’s great! It definitely encouraged me to do all the preventative stuff that I might not have bothered with before. I don’t know why more employers don”t offer it – seems like a no-brainer to me.

  3. I’ve always wanted to get a Bod Pod analysis and I think it’s awesome that your work give incentives for being healthy. I wish mine would. Congratulations on being in such amazing shape! My whole outlook on it is “better later than never” haha. It took me 35 years to reach mine!

    • It’s definitely a perk I’m grateful for – I think a BODPOD is around $100 which I’m not sure I’d pay.

      I spent my 20s not caring about my health at all but I’m so glad I made the switch to a more healthy lifestyle. Just a teeny bit mad I didn’t do it before but you’re right – better late than never.

  4. I love this post! I think that as women, we sometimes (I’m speaking for myself and the women I know around ME) get too carried away with the numbers and forget that it’s more important to build muscle mass than it is to be thin. I was THRILLED the other day when meggorun posted on my blog about how muscular my thighs looked. Because up until then, I just thought they looked fat. It was a simple reminder that you can look good and be in shape and you don’t have to be super thin in order to accomplish this. šŸ™‚

  5. Awesome job on the muscle gain! Lower weight and BF will certainly help your running! Be careful of getting too low, though. It’s cool to compare previous measurements and see you’re only getting better “with age” haha.

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