Saturday, May 15, 2010
I do better when I have a goal to work toward. My most recent goal has been to lower my body fat percentage from 29%, the "acceptable" range, to 24%, the "fit" range. I wasn't sure that was achievable for me at age 60 after a lifetime of obesity, but I thought for sure I could at least bring it down by a percentage point or two.
One of my main motivations for joining the gym was that I would be able to measure my body fat percentage. Other reasons included learning better form for doing free weights, access to classes (Zumba, pilates, step, aquatics), and access to weight machines. I'm glad I had these secondary reasons, because it turns out that measuring body fat % has been a total flop.
At my intake interview, the Wellness Coach measured my fat percentage as 29%. After 6 weeks of every other day of weight machines and obvious improved definition of muscles in my arms and legs my fat percentage tested 29.4%. The Wellness Coach said the measurement was influenced by hydration and to try again later. After 3 weeks and 14 more strength training sessions, I tried again. I measured 31.7% body fat. The Wellness Coach said to totally discount that measure. It simply is not accurate.
So that leaves me with no way to measure this goal. One of my team members suggested asking my doctor to measure body fat percentage. My doctor was vague, but didn't order it. I'm not sure if she has access to calipers or someone who can do it or not. Maybe she doesn't think I need it done. I should have pushed her for more of an answer. A Weight Watcher friend has her fat % measured through BodPod. I think I'm too claustrophobic to feel comfortable during that procedure, plus it is a long drive and will cost $$$$.
I do want a measurable, meaningful goal to work toward. Maintaining my weight between 126 and 133 pounds is a good, measurable goal. But I'm not sure it is enough.