Thursday, September 3, 2015

Eighth Monthly Assessment - August 31st

I usually hate to see the summer end, but this year it has been so much warmer than usual, I'm ready for some crisp fall days.  This month I continued to hover at 129/130 pounds.  I'm hoping it's just a plateau as my body gets used to its new smaller size and I get used to my new smaller appetite.  (Not!)  My waist is 31 inches.  I see the last time I measured was for the June assessment and my waist was 31 1/2...  I wonder if I'm holding the tape tighter, or could I actually have lost some fat and gained muscle??

Here I am in my new Stitch Fix skinny jeans.  I'm having a tough time getting used to the low rise in today's stylish pants.  (That means they don't come up to my waist - just barely over the hips.  It puts the button and zipper right at an unflattering point on my tummy and feels like they could fall down any minute.)

January 31st
August 31st

January 31st
August 31st

What went right this month?
  • Actually, I'm feeling Strong!  Here's what I notice:
    • I hiked uphill on Mt. Rainier without a problem, and down without knee pain
    • Getting up, getting out of the car and going upstairs I have my core tightened without a conscious effort to remember
    • At the gym I've increased the weights on the machines
    • I'm getting nice arm muscles and the batwings are going down
    • When I lift and carry something heavy, I am using my arm muscles and my core is tightened
  • I'm eating a lot of vegetables and enjoying them.  My breakfast stir fries and lunch salads are my usual food now and what I want.  They keep me going for a long time, too.

What needs to be improved?
  • I'd like to lose more weight.  I can tell I haven't reached my ideal weight yet because I still have plenty of flab in my belly area.

    So what is my ideal weight?  I checked my BMI and it is 23.8.  On the chart, a BMI of 25 is the first step of being overweight.  I remembered that because for the last 20 years or so, mine has been 26.  I'm happy to see it lower now!

    BMI is Body Mass Index, the relation between a person's weight and height.  So, apparently I weigh 23.8 kilograms per square meter.  The calculator says "About 42 percent of women at the age of 68 are below and 58 percent are above this value."

    While Googling around to find a BMI chart, I learned a few things about this measurement.  While some years ago it was considered a good way to assess your degree of under- or over-weight, it is not currently regarded as so important.  There are other methods, like waist-to-hip ratio or percentage of body fat, that take into consideration your level of fitness and whether you are large-boned or small-boned.

    I found a waist-to-hip-ratio calculator, and tried that out, too. Here's the result:

    You have a waist to hip ratio of 0.79. The information you entered: Sex = Female, waist = 31 inches and hip = 39 inches.
    Your shape puts you at reduced risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Frequently referred to as pear shape, you tend to keep fat off your midsection and more on your hips. Your body does not convert this lower body fat as readily as midsection fat, which keeps cholesterol down.
    All this time I thought I was an apple, due to my belly.  I know it's healthier to be a pear.  That same site has a body fat calculator, so for a few more minutes of measuring I got the following result - less complimentary and healthy-sounding than my waist-to-hip calculation:
    According to your measurements of a 31 inches waist and height of 5' 2" your body fat percentage is estimated to be 32.92 %. This method is not as accurate as a water displacement test, but is usually within 1-3%.
    The average body fat percentage for U.S. females is around 32%, with the ideal at 22%. Athletic females should be around 15-20%. You could have an eating disorder if you are below 10%. Remember these are guidelines; your physician should help you determine the ideal weight and body fat for you. 
    Aarrrgh!  I am still one-third fat!

    The advice I liked best is on Dr. Hall M.D.'s site.  About the BMI, he says:
    Women tend to believe they look their best at values between 20 to 22 and men are usually satisfied with a BMI of 23 to 25. If your BMI is between 17 to 22, your life expectancy is longer than average. You don't need to lose weight.
    If your BMI is between 23 and 25, you are not considered overweight by most people.
    But if your BMI is 26 or more, that's not good. But you knew that already.
    Above all, Don't Worry, Be Happy. It's unhealthy to have anxiety over a less-than-perfect body image. And, if this calculator's description of your body seems wrong for you, just trust your own judgment. A healthy mental attitude is just as important as physical fitness.

    Contributing to my healthy mental attitude was a visit from my granddaughter, Mira.  Stan and I took her to our par 3 golf course and played Best Ball.  Quite a few times Mira's was the best ball!  She did great!  I made a "Stitch Fix" for her with some cute clothes from Lands' End and she liked them  : )

      When Mira's here, it's tempting to throw caution (and diet) to the winds and eat whatever food I think she will like.  (She actually likes pretty much everything, so we eat lots of healthy food, but some treats as well.)  Here's our lunch, and how I tried to keep mine under control.  That's mine, on the right.  I enjoyed some mac 'n cheese, but finished the salad first.  We had fun!

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