Tomorrow will be four weeks in my body fat loss contest. It’s still going well, and this time I actually have some decent results to show for it. I have a body fat scale at home, and while they aren’t completely accurate, I ‘calibrated’ mine to the best of my ability the day the contest started, so I’m treating it as if it always measures an average of 1.35% lower than it should. So I weigh a few times to get the same measurement twice (usually only 2-3 times), and then add 1.35%.

Taking all of these measurements with a grain of salt since they are all using a home scale, as of one day before the official 4 week mark, I have lost 3.8 lbs, and about 2.45% body fat. My calculations show that I’ve lost just under 4.6 lbs of fat and gained just under 0.8 lb of lean mass. I’m very pleased with the fat loss, but the lean body mass gain is much less than I was hoping for. I’m a bit over halfway down to the total weight I want to be, and don’t want to go lower for both bone density and maintainability reasons. So that means I need to kick up the muscle building a bit. The reading I have done tells me that, horrifyingly to the average American woman, this requires eating more calories than you burn. Because your body needs extra fuel to build muscle. Logically that makes sense. You are adding weight, it’s just a different kind than you normally add when you overeat dessert or snack foods while not working out. But it’s still a pretty unnerving thing after all the lifelong mental conditioning for losing weight – especially to a person who has struggled with their weight. So I’ve got some more balancing to figure out for the next couple of months.

A couple days during week three, I felt as if I had a lot of extra energy. I was hoping that would continue, but sadly, during week four, which was a busy week schedule-wise, that surplus energy feeling went away. And my sense that semi-sweetened yogurt tastes sweet on its own has lessened, which I find somewhat odd.

My workouts have consisted of a full body weight lifting session three days a week, two days of harder cardio training, with seven to eight one minute all-out/two minute recovery intervals, with a five minute break and then 20-30 minutes of more steady cardio, and then a day where I just take a long walk. I’m still struggling with feeling like my lower body has recovered enough to handle the squats and lunges I do, but the rest of my weight lifting is going well. I’m concentrating on only doing about six reps at higher weight in the interest of building muscle mass over muscle endurance.┬áDiet-wise, I’m still eating whole foods with no refined ingredients (aside from protein bars or shakes), but giving myself one meal a week where I eat out and split a dessert.

Bring on weeks 5-13!

Monday was our initial hydrostatic weigh-in for the three-month body fat loss contest at my company. I was in no way expecting my percentage body fat to be anywhere near the 19.8% it was a couple of years after I graduated from college. And as I stated in my previous post, I was even expecting to possibly measure in the obese category, despite my BMI being in the healthy range. But after seeing my result and its firm placement between ‘unhealthy’ and ‘very unhealthy’, I was a little more disappointed than I thought I would be. I thought about whether or not I wanted to share the details, but then I thought, hey, go all-in and that way it’ll give you even more motivation. So. The bottom line details:

height: 5′ 3+3/4″
weight: 140 lbs
lean body mass: 92.9 lbs
fat body mass: 47.1 lbs
percentage body fat: 33.7%

Yikes. Well, alright then. IT’S ON! I’m not sure how much of a chance I have in the contest, but it will be nice to have support and motivation at work, and you never know! But more importantly, I have my own goals. In order to keep my body mass up for bone density reasons, I really don’t want to go below 132. So the ideal is to build muscle to trade out with fat in addition to that 8 lbs.

Bottom Line Goal:
weight: 134 lbs
lean body mass: 94.9 lbs
fat body mass: 39.1
percentage body fat: 29.2%

Desired Goal:
height: 5’7″ (if only)
weight: 132 lbs
lean body mass: 97.4 lbs
fat body mass: 34.6 lbs
percentage body fat: 26.2%

My desired goal would get me pretty close to the upper level for ‘fitness’ (vs. ‘average’) of 24%, so I’d just have a bit more muscle gain in the fall. Then of course comes a maintenance plan, but I’ll deal with that in a few months.

So there it is – all out in the open. Posts on my diet and exercise to follow.

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