If you read my blog, you know that I have been struggling to get to my goal for a long time now. Numerous people have told me that maybe I’m where my body wants to be and maybe I should accept myself as I am. I agree with this to a point but also feel like it would be giving up or quitting to stop with only five pounds to go.
In an effort to stop obsessing about the scale, I had body composition testing done last week in a BOD POD. The BOD POD estimates how much of your body is fat and how much isn’t fat (such as muscle, water, bone, organs, etc.) This can provide a more accurate picture of a person’s fitness. I am fortunate that the University of Akron has a BOD POD machine and that they offer testing to the public for only $25!
If you want to know the science behind it, check out the COSMED website, or download the BOD POD brochure. In a nutshell, the BOD POD is an Air Displacement Plethysmograph (ADP) that uses whole body densitometry to determine body composition (fat vs. lean). Similar in principle to underwater weighing, the BOD POD measures body mass (weight) using a very precise scale, and volume by sitting inside the BOD POD.
|Fat Mass:||35.206 lb|
|% Body Fat:||23.1%|
|Body Fat Rating:||Moderately Lean|
I was really surprised at my results! I have 23.1% body fat, which puts me at the low end of the “moderately lean” category. In fact, I’m just over 1% away from the “lean” category. I thought for sure that I would still be in the “excess fat” category. As much weight as I’ve lost, I know that I haven’t done as much resistance training as I should. It’s great to see I’m doing better than I thought.
I still have a small spare tire around my midsection. I have been feeling like I needed to lose more weight to lose the roll in my stomach and my back. There’s nothing worse than back fat! My husband is convinced that it is extra skin and that there might not be much I can do to fix it with diet and exercise. I guess I didn’t want to accept that there was nothing I could do. I kept thinking that I should be doing more toning and strength training to fix the issue. After seeing my numbers, I am starting to suspect that some of my issues really are just skin!
The moderately lean category is “generally acceptable for good health” and the lean category is “generally excellent for health and longevity.” At the moment, I’m acceptable but not excellent. It is comforting to know that I am already at the low end of the moderately lean category. It is a way to measure my progress other than simple pounds on the scale, and it reminds me that I am doing things right!
My original goal weight was 145 pounds. Based on the BOD POD numbers, I would need to lose 7.176 pounds. If I assume that I would lose all 7.176 pounds as fat only (which should always be the goal), that would take me to a body fat percentage of 19.3%! (28.03 fat mass/145 body mass). That would be almost a 4% change, and it would put me on the lower end of the lean category. I just don’t know if that is realistic. I am also meeting with my doctor in a couple weeks to review the results. I want to get her input on where I should be and get her opinion on my trouble spots.
The test was fast! I was only in the pod for about 2 minutes, and the entire process was only 5-10 minutes. Since the test is quick and non-invasive, it’s something I plan to repeat in 3 months to check my progress again.
My goal with completing BOD POD testing was to figure out if I’m on the right track with my goal weight or if I need to adjust my expectations. I would rather have a low body fat % than a low number on the scale. Have you heard the term skinny fat? It’s used to describe someone that might be at an appropriate weight on the BMI scale but has little muscle and may still fall into the excess fat or high fat category. I definitely don’t want that. I want to be strong and fit. Ultimately I want to figure out if my issues are extra skin that I’m stuck with or fat that I need to work off!
Do any of you suffer with extra skin after weight loss? How did you measure your progress? How do you deal with the skin?