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Segmental Body Composition Analysis

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today I took a segmental body composition analysis using a Tanita scale. Now I was not at all anxious about doing this analysis, after all I had a solid year of fitness and good nutrition behind me. Did you hear that? That popping was my bubble being burst!!! Not quite the results I anticipated in the body fat "percent" area. Before sharing them I have a few comments:

About the Tanita segmental body composition analysis scale: The instrument looks like a digital scale, after having you height and age entered, you step onto it with your shoes and socks off wait for the weight to be displayed then step off. The other information is then displayed. (You can get more info on the company website.) This model did not require me to hold anything.

I was told that the benefit of this analysis is that it is a more accurate indicator of your overall body composition because it not only looks at body fat but also takes into account your bone mass. I cannot definitively attest to its accuracy in relationship to other devices. I can say that my previous body fat readings were done with the Tanita handheld and that the difference between the reading today and my last reading in November was 5% increase. Whereas there was no difference in change between June and November.

My personal measure of health and what I had based my health goal by has been the BMI. After today, I realize this is just one tool and that I cannot use it as a sole indicator of my fat fitness level. I think this has lead to my overall disappointment today, the fact that I have worked so hard to reach a "healthy" range on the BMI scale only to take this test and find that the results don't quite match. If there is anyone else solely relying on BMI, I say find out your body fat % (it's not the same as your BMI.) and if you can get a detailed body composition analysis do it so that you have a true bench mark of your progress through your fitness/weightloss journey.

Finally, I do have to be truthful and admit that over the past three months I have not consistently worked out as I had been doing 15 months. And, while my overall eating has been good, I have indulged in a few more chocolate chip cookie desserts (literally) and other sweets during this same time frame.

I'm posting my results because I now have a new benchmark & goal. When I began my fitness challenge in 2009 I didn't know about SparkPeople, in fact I did not find r it until "after" I'd met my weight goal and finished my challenge. So now with a new challenge ahead of me I want to use SP to help me through it.

(Note I've added explanations where I could. Keep in mind these are my personal results based on my gender, weight, age, and height your results will vary. The analysis ratings are taken from Tanita's chart, I've only included the women's standards, sorry guys.)

Weight: My goal weight is 155 lbs, I have consistently maintained for more than a year. Today I weighed 159, which I expected due to clothes and extra water. What I did not expect was to be told that I could weigh up to between 160-170 lbs and still be healthy! And that as we go through my new routine that may occur. I am going to have to wrap my head round that. I do know that muscle weighs more but I need to mentally digest the "numbers" especially since I spent a year getting away from those numbers.)

Body Fat %: 35.3 Overfat!!! (This is what has me so bummed. June & November I was at 28.2 & 28.7% "Healthy")
Percent of body fat on my body. What this tells me is that while I've been stepping on the scale once a week to once every two weeks, although my weight is not changing my muscle/fat ratio has been!
(Women: Healthy 18-39=21-33% | 40-59 year old= 23-34% | 60-99=24-36%)

Body Water %: 45.4% Healthy
Percent of water in my body.
(Women Healthly %: 45-60%)

Muscle Mass: 97.8 lbs
Pounds of muscle on my body

Physique Rating: 2 overfat, pear shape
Nine shapes are represented 1-3=underfat, 4-6-Healthy, 7-9=Overfat/Obese. Both my body fat % and Muscle Mass were used to determine where I fell.

DCI/BMR: 1,400/1600/1900
1400=This base number of calories my body burns at rest and that I should consume to maintain my weight. 1600=An additional 250 calories I need to add when I workout and 1900=500 additional calorie increase needed over base needs for intense workout days. (Again, note this is my personal BMR and yours will vary.) It is also important to note that it was noted that the calories should be spread out over 5-6 meals versus 3. Something I do and know but it bears stressing. The smaller meals allows the body to efficiently use the fuel/calories you take in.

Metabolic Age: two years older than my actual age (UGH!)
Based on the analysis this thing tells you how old your body thinks it is! Now this is truly a rude awakening! The good news is linked to BF% so improving it will decrease this number.

Bone Mass 5.2 lbs (average bone mass)
This is the estimated weight of your bones if skin and muscle were removed. It the "small, average, or big" bone structure some analysis don't take into consideration.
(Women: Small less than 110 lbs, Average 110-165, Large 165 & up)

Visceral Fat: 6.0 (Healthy 1-12)
Visceral fat we collect around our organs. It is also considered the hardest fat to loose because it is deeper away from the skin surface. (It's important to note here that our bodies do need some amount of fat to function properly. Not having enough body fat can be as dangerous as having too much body fat.)

So what now?

My new goal is to be solidly in the healthy body fat % range. For my age that's between 27-32%. My trainer is looking at 20-24%. While I know the trend is toward thin, I have never thought I looked good model thin. At this point even visualizing myself more toned and trim I cannot see this 20-24% without seeing it as being model thin. I love the curves of my (face) cheeks and hips both of which are smaller than in years past yet.

So again, my goal is to be solidly "healthly" what "number " that ends up being will remain to be seen!

So now it's back to a consistent and simple routine that I can maintain. The carrot is to see "healthy."

I'm off...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 5/27/2011 10:05AM

    You should find "4AHealthyBMI"'s blogs on bodyfat percentages and the inconsistencies in all the methods of measuring that. Most of these machines (and to my surprise) even the "gold standard" underwater weighing, can be way off. Some have a +/- of 10-12 %, so take your results with a grain of salt.

You also may want to check out Leigh Peele (google her) she has a great blog about body fat and different ways to judge where you might be (even a series of photos of different people at different body fat %) I found all this info really helpful, as I was similarly distressed by some of my scale results. Now I just use those results as an interesting data point, but don't put too much weight on them. I think going by measurements and appearance in the mirror may actually be a better way of gauging results.

It sounds like you are really dedicated to your plan, so kudos to you!

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SLEEPYDEAN 5/26/2011 11:19PM

    It is great to have so much information.

I did a hydrostatic body fat test a few months back (you get weighed underwater and it gives many of the same details you got). I was expecting a little more detail in the results, but all she told me was that my RMR is 1402 and that I should be eating 90-110g of protein a day to drop the body fat. All other calculations say my RMR should be at 1200 so I don't know what to believe. It is all so confusing to get just the right balance.

Best of luck in getting to your goals.

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myTri Training: 9 Weeks 2 Days to Race Day

Friday, March 11, 2011

Well I'm nine weeks away for race day, my lifetime third Tri.

I got off to a great start then got sick, then lost motivation and cut training, then trained a little but I could have done more and now I'm finally getting back on track.

Not to make excuses but just to note that this winter has drained more than I can remember others doing. I can't seem to keep momentum or motivation. This is my first year in a new area so this is an adjustment year, I will have a plan in place to combat these winter blues next season.

Anywho...I had my best swim workout ever. I am not anxious about the swim in fact I really like this part of the Tri (it's the running that I have problems with) but the funny thing is my first two Tris were in a pool and I did the back stroke for all of the first one, part of the second one and my goal this year is to do this years all on my front. My workout this week was a clear sign I am on track for that. Woo Hoo.

So does anyone have suggestions for
1) fighting winter blues to or
2) know any good links to swim training tips. (I've been Googling and reading and watching YouTube but welcome specific tips/links)

At this point I only do one Triathlon a year and each year I set a new improvement goal. This year is no different, see my earlier post for the new goal. If I can keep on track with the remainder of my training I'll be able to hit my marks.

Here's to keeping on...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLEEPYDEAN 3/15/2011 10:53AM

    I only learned the front crawl (at a month long swim clinic) for my first tri this Saturday. I am kind of wishing I had learned something else, because I never really did build up my endurance. I am really worried about the swim - it is only 150 meters but I haven't swum in a 50m pool to get the feel for that long distance between walls.

Have you seen Also, I've found some decent training videos on Youtube.

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KAYOTIC 3/14/2011 10:10AM

    I'm not a swimmer, so can't help there....about the winter blues, well, my guess is you may be feeling a bit better now, with the increased sunlight, it really helps with the winter blah's. And I'm not sure what you can do about them but keep doing the things that help elevate your mood naturally, eat right, get enough sleep, exercise. I think if it's really bad they have those light boxes w/ the full spectrum of natural light that are supposed to help with "SAD".

Good luck with your training!

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myTri Training 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

I have found and signed up for my 2011 Tri this will be my first full Sprint following a mini tri in 2009 and 2010.

Sigh of relief and inhalation filled with excitement. In trying to stick close to home I was getting a little nervous that I would not find a Sprint Tri to suit me so I'm happy to find this one had been posted:

With a firm Tri date on the horizon my workouts have more purpose which, as it should, pushes me to stay on course. To anyone who has not found the worth (and implemented) short range goals let me add my voice to many others who have: THEY WORK! It's great to know you want to "insert your goal here" but if you don't put mini goals between you and the finish there are so many distractions/pitfalls that can get between you and that goal.

Mini goals help you stay the course and stay focused. They also give you reasons to celebrate along your journey.

*** my2011 Season Goals: Run at least one Tri and 3 5K races. ***
***myTri 2011 Goal: 1) Finish, 2) shave at least 5 minutes off my overall time,

WEEK 1 Training Plan: (16 Weeks total)

My workouts this month will focus on building endurance (versus intensity). They are also about training myself to train consistently. So for me it will be important to stick to my workouts and complete the planned times.

Strength Training 30 min
Bike 30 minutes

Run 20 min
Swim 15 min

Wednesday: OFF

Swim 20 min

Run 12

Bike 40

Sunday: OFF
Total 128 Minutes

I'm using the following training plan, which I've adjusted to meet my schedule:

I still consider myself a beginner, I'm not sure when I have to give up that title. But at one race a year I think it still applies.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

360NOMORE 1/12/2011 10:35AM

    Great post, thanks for the links! Its very appreciated. Good luck and know that you have my and the teams support!

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SLEEPYDEAN 1/11/2011 12:58PM

    I am training for my first tri (a sprint) in March. I was going with an 8 week plan, but the more I look I keep finding 12 week plans, so I've adjusted a bit and am officially in training. I am a little ADD when it comes to fitness and I love trying new things, so sticking to the three fundamentals will be difficult for me.

Best of luck in your training!

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It's a new Season...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Well after finishing my first 5k in September I continued to workout, however, I did cut waaaay back on my workouts. Now, the playtime is over and it's time to step it up. After finishing my second triathlon I set a goal for 2011 to improve my run time. Toward this end I have committed to do three 5k runs this year. This also gives me the mini goals I need to stay active.

I've posted the following web sites before but thought I'd do it again in case anyone else needs the resources. They are the sites I used for training information and plans.

Beginner 5k eight week training plan:

Beginner Tri Training Manual:

Tri Sites:

2010 was a good year for me in meeting my fitness goals and weight goals and I'm excited about 2011 as I push for improvement.

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Who'd have thought it...

Friday, November 05, 2010

Well this month marks my one year anniversary since I got serious about my fitness routine. In the past year I have made a point of making fitness part of my life and not simply trying to "make time for it." BTW, making time for fitness has never worked for me because I never seem to have enough time for the things I want to do let alone something I should do.

So what's changed:

I eat breakfast EVERY day.
Fitness is part of my life and yes it does include the gym and a trainer
I plan healthy meals and snacks
I eat regularly
I limit eating out (but do not deny myself)
I drink water, milk, 100% fruit juice and tea (in that order)
I do not drink soda

What I've done:

Besides working out regularly a few times a week
I ran my second triathlon and
I ran my first 5K
I'm already looking ahead to the 2011 race year and my goal is to do at least one a year.

With the holidays fast approaching I'm gearing up to enjoy them guilt free with healthy recipe updates and substitutions.

I am grateful for my progress and look forward to the new year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FISHING88 11/5/2010 6:10PM

    You have made outstanding and wise changes. Glad you are experiencing the benefits of changing your lifestyle instead of dieting!

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