I recently had cause to put on an old beloved outfit. To my shame, shock, and horror, the outfit was quite a bit tighter than it was a year ago when I last put it on. I’m sure all of you reading can sympathize with this experience. I had gained weight, and I hadn’t even noticed. Now, this is not something I intend to simply accept. I’ve decided to determine what caused my weight gain, and to lose this new unwelcome weight.
Unfortunately a great many things happened in the last year. I changed jobs and am now sitting at a desk for the majority of the day. I am driving more than walking since my new town is more spread out. And I have been lax about both my eating habits and whatever workout I’m halfheartedly following this week.
So, now that I’ve identified some causes of the change, I should figure out what weight to aim at to be back to healthy.
How much weight to lose.
A quick search online turns up multiple “Ideal Weight” calculators. I decided to use the always handy https://www.calculator.net/ideal-weight-calculator.html . Putting my own numbers in provided not just one calculation, but five. These five are all different versions of the ‘ideal weight’ calculations. As always, remember that whatever number you see is a guideline. (You are unique, and this is formula doesn’t take every variable into account.) Further down on the page I linked to is a rough calculation for determining if you have a small, medium or large bone frame. I, it turns out, have a large bone frame, and as such intend to add some weight to my ‘ideal weight’. Now, most of these returned a weight in the ball park of 125-130 lbs. I’ll add ten for a large frame, placing my ideal weight at 140lbs.
I have about 25lbs to lose. So what exactly am I trying to lose?
What to lose.
As I researched this topic, I was pleased to find there is quite a bit of science to this fat business. The human body is made up of many materials; bone, muscles, blood, organs, skin and fat to keep it simple. Fat itself actually is split into multiple categories: brown fat, white fat, visceral fat and subcutaneous fat, etc. Now, all these kinds of fat offer their own unique benefits to the body. They provide warmth and cushioning for our more vital organs. Recent research also suggests the different kinds of fat help with regulating different hormones in the body. Unfortunately, science has not fully explored this part of the body, and we only have hypotheses at this time. As such, I don’t intend to focus as much on the type of fat until there is more knowledge.
Now, muscle, even when it is the same mass as fat, is significantly leaner. So two women could weight the exact same and be the same height. If one was athletic and the other found herself in my situation, they would not fit into the same size dress! There are multiple kinds of muscle, however it’s very similar to the fat situation above. Lots of theories and not a lot of confirmed verifiable knowledge.
What we do know is that fat (all fats) and muscle (all muscle) needs to be proportional to the rest of you. When this proportion is too low or high, for both fat and muscle, then the body starts to suffer negative effects. And that leads us to BMI.
BMI is Body Mass Index. In theory, it should help give me an ideal fat/muscle for my height and age. It even grants a greater clarity on the balance between muscle and fat without the arbitrary nature of a number on a scale.
Right now I’m around 33%. Right on the edge. I’m going to aim for 25%. I’m using the waist to hip formulas to calculate this since many BMI charts are weight/height versions. This type of chart was long ago proven an inaccurate measure of someone’s actual composition.
How to lose weight and keep it off.
So, now I have targets. A weight of 140 lbs and a BMI of 25%. Here’s the thing; I want to keep this weight off for good. So I need to change my habits to be healthier over the long haul. The next couple of posts will be focused on these habits and how I’m changing them. Things like sleep, eating, and working out among others.
I think most every woman has had a moment like this. Comment about yours and share your own tricks to get back to the shape you want. Thank you for reading and joining me on this journey.