Moms on the Go began its Third Annual Weight Loss Challenge (WLC) again today, but it has been renamed to “Makin’ My Body Fine in 2009 Health Living Challenge.
I decided to participate in the challenge not to lose weight but to increase my muscle mass. And what better way to stay motivated than to be part of a Looking Fine in ’09 Challenge?
For this year’s first weigh in, one of the WLC coordinators brought a scale that reads your percent of body fat.
I stepped on the scale: 126 lbs. Not bad. I know better than to put a whole lot of weight (pardon the pun) on the numbers on a scale.
Feeling confident about my somewhat fit physique and lack of fat, I waited for the scale to present my percentage of body fat. I mean, how bad could it be? I work-out 5 times a week, well, except for this week. (The cold snap and snickerdoodles really put a damper on my work-out week.) Plus, I decluttered the cupboards last night by eating every bit of chocolate I could sniff out, but that was only to rid my house of all the temptations before the challenge. But, I did run 4 miles this morning…
You can not be serious.
Instantly, I became a skeptic. “How accurate are these scales?” I asked while trying to refrain from throwing the scale out the window.
“Pretty accurate,” she replied. “It uses an electric current (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) to get your reading.”
“So, you’re saying blubber is a better conductor than muscle?”
Since this morning’s fat ASSessment, I’ve obsessively researched learned that body fat scales “might be off by 5%, plus or minus”, according to medicinenet.com.
Before stepping on a body fat scale, sport-fitness-advisor.com states users consider their physical activity, food intake and water consumed prior to each reading.
Your body position, the amount of water in your body, your food intake, skin temperature and recent physical activity can all adversely affect the results of body fat scales.
Sport-fitness-advisor.com further explains that you should consider what body fat level is appropriate for your age and athletic performance. (Body fat charts posted on sport-fitness-advisor.com offer guildeines to help determine your appropriate range.)
Even considering all those factors and the room for error off my reading, my body fat is still pretty high.
Then, I stumbled upon this bit of information from goodhousekeeping.com, which made feel a little better about my blubber.
Interpreting the Numbers
Body fat percentage is more than a number. By indicating what percentage of your actual weight is composed of fat, it reveals important information about your health status.
Age 20 to 39:
- Low (underfat) = <21
- Average (healthy) = 21 to 33
- High (overfat) = 33 to 39
- Obese = >39
With 28% body blubber fat, I suppose my “Will run for chocolate” (or beer or wine or margaritas or cheeseburgers or snickerdoodles) days are over. Great. But, kickboxing doesn’t offer the same satisfaction as chocolate when I’m PMSing.