Thursday, 18 September 2014

Changing shape again

So I wrote a post about changing body shape due to running when I was marathon training the last time. At the time I was trying to get to WW goal weight and I was struggling a little. Taking measurements helped me realize I was changing even if the scales didn't tell me that. A while after the marathon I got my body fat measured by callipers (for free) and it came out at 23%. A lot lower than the electronic scales/handheld sensors have ever put me at, I hate those things.
10 months or so later I've gained 2-3 pounds, that fluctuates a bit depending on how I eat, usually downwards when I try to eat well and then back up when I don't. It comes off easily enough so I think a lot of it is water retention when eating more processed foods.

I'm happy to have maintained my weight loss so well, as 2-3 pounds is nothing compared to the 60+ I originally lost. Maybe its a bit vain but I'm curious as to how my body is changing as I train for my second marathon. Obviously the scales aren't changing much so I brought a pair of callipers for at home use.
Granted I know I won't be the most accurate measurer but it can give me an estimate. Taking multiple measurements (multiple times) at different sites, I set out to determine my body fat. First things first you'll need some help as some of the measurements are on the back. Once you take consistent measurements you need to decide what formula you want to use, with different formulas wanting measurements from different sites. There are websites that will do these calculations automatically.
Mine ranges from 18-20% depending on the formula I use. I would lean towards the 20% being correct. That puts me in the 'athletic' range. So almost a year of running has made at least a 3% difference to my body fat without changing my weight.

Would I like to lose more body fat?
Maybe a little as I still hold more than I'd like on my stomach and thighs but not much as I don't think its healthy to go too low unless you are training as a semi/fully-professional athlete with good support in terms of nutrition.

Do I care a whole lot?
Not really. As long as I stay in my healthy range, I'm happy. Weight loss is never going to get rid of my stretch marks (only add to them), scars, cellulite and horrible tan lines. These things will only get worst with babies/age so its important to learn to accept my body as it is.

Am I curious what a hard round of marathon training will do?
Very and I'll take measurements every few weeks to see if anything changes.

1 comment:

  1. I like your confidence and the way you have learned to accept and respect your body. Replacing fat with muscle may not show up on the scale, but you can definitely see and feel the difference. I found that after a season of hard, consistent training, I didn't necessarily lose weight, but gained a lot of muscle and feel stronger and healthier. That's what is important. Good luck on your marathon journey!