So as many of my long-term spark buds know, I am a geek when it comes to data collecting and number crunching. If it were up to me, I would goob out with constant monitoring and uploading of all sorts of things; blood pressure, heart rate, lipids, VO2 max, glucose, insulin levels......all the news that's fit to print and track in the cloud.
Since the nanobot industry hasn't kept pace with my expectations, I have to make due with less frequent measurements and cruder tools.
Enter the Bodpod!
(for the mechanics of it, see my last Bodpod blog at www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
Today I ducked out at lunchtime and got another reading.
23% bodyfat, down from 27% in Feb....on top of that, I weigh 180 lbs today and was 186 then.
Once you crunch all the numbers it turns out I've lost about 10 lbs of fat, while adding about 4 lbs of muscle.....not bad for a guy with a day job
Still slower than I would like, but steady, relentless progress (I am truly without relent!)
I sat down with the nutritionist for a few minutes afterwards.....luckily this wasn't the same one I had to do a group session with last time.
I told her about my recent detour on to the low carb highway. Surprisingly, she was fairly knowledgeable and asked me a few pointed questions;
"Are you doing Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, or something else?"
"None of the above, I'm just keeping my carbs below 50 gms"
"Have you taken any blood glucose measurements?"
"Well you may want to see how your glucose and ketone levels are doing. How about blood lipids?
"No, but I'm scheduling my annual physical for Oct or Nov"
"OK, are you taking any multi-vitamins?"
"Yes!" I beamed
"How much calcium is in it?"
"I have no idea," I said looking down at my shoes
"Well you may want to supplement it, unless you're eating a lot of cheese. So where do you want to get to body fat and weight-wise?"
I felt like I had finally found my guru of the mountain, one who knew exactly the right questions to ask to spark my inner enlightenment, steering me on to the path of a lean-living Nirvana.
"I don't know," I confessed. "For a long time, I thought that getting below 180 would be nice. I'm pretty happy where I'm at. Sure I'd like to drive the bodyfat below 20%, maybe get the weight down to 175 or 170, but I could just as easily be pretty happy right where I'm at. I workout 4-6 days a week and feel like I finally have my eating under control"
I felt like the weight of the world had just been lifted off my shoulders. Here I was confessing to a total stranger that yes, I could indeed be happy right where I'm at today
"Well," she said, "You know these are just numbers, right?"
"Just numbers?" I thought....was this she-guru in fact just a demon-spawn trickster, lulling me into a mind-numbing comfort, before sending me into the torture-pit?
"The numbers are guidelines," she continued. "You're 52 and while you're making great progress and heading in the right direction, your progress is going to be slower than a 20-something. There is no final goal to shoot for. Look at this chart"
She shoved a poster in front of me that had pictures of all sorts of dudes (there was an equivalent one for women) of varying bodyfat percentages & weights. It was pretty cool.
"Bodyfat is just a measure, but there are many more factors at play. This guy at 22% bodyfat looks better than this guy at 15% doesn't he?"
I would have preferred staring at the chart with the women on it, but sure as hell, I had to admit that the scrawny, 15% bodyfat ectomorph with no chest and thin arms looked worse than the dude that was bigger & more buff....with 7% more bodyfat.
"Well OK, that's good info," I said. "I'm not sure I'm ready to stop pushing. I like working out and I want to see where this low carb road takes me"
"Sure, no problem. The numbers are good indicators, and in the end, you want the trend line to be steadily downward like it has been for you. Why don't you come back in December and we'll see where you're at for a tune-up?"
My God, such people really exist! I forgave her heretical defamation against the data Gods....she must pray at another temple, and took her up on the offer. Came back to the office and told my secretary to lock me in for another Bodpod session just before Christmas!
That's all for tonight Spark friends....have a great night!