The Truth About Body Fat %

Hey friends! Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a great week. Today I’d like to chat with ya’ll about body fat. Not about how to lower it. Not about healthy ranges. Not about how to set appropriate goals. There are so many good resources on these topics from super qualified and respected individuals (but if you’d like my .02, let me know, happy to share). Instead, I’m going to talk about what so many of us know intimately well, the struggle with measuring progress.

Over the last fourteen months, I’ve been working to improve my relative strength and decrease my body fat % a little. Progress is, and should be, slow, so I only measure every few months. I tossed my scale and relied on hydrostatic weighing in California so that I could focus on changing my body composition, not necessarily my weight. LOVED it. It was a great option that removed the ups and downs of your weight day-to-day. I could focus on strength and (drum roll) how I felt.

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When I moved to Texas, a few things changed.

  1. I changed up my workouts to be more strength/lifting focused
  2. My eating reflected a goal of maintenance
  3. I could NOT find a way to hydrostatically weigh myself

In attempts to measure progress, I bought myself calipers. I could not get an accurate measurement (although it would be pretty funny to have seen me try to measure my tricep by myself!!!!)  and all I got was incredibly sore, hurt skin.

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Enter last Thursday. In desperation, I found myself a BodPod and scheduled an appointment for last Thursday. It was supposed to be just as accurate as hydrostatic weighing, so I thought what-the-hell. I put on the silly swim cap and stripped down. Totally exposed.

The result? 4% higher than my last reading. Heart sank. Palms got sweaty. Sick to my stomach. Tears in my eyes. I didn’t know what to think. Totally vulnerable. My logical brain stymied by an emotional outpour of grief and fear.

After much research and an additional hydrostatic weighing test to ease my mind, I found out a more accurate estimate of my body composition and will make a couple adjustments moving forward. However, that’s not really what’s important here.

Guys, I needed to wait a bit to process before I could share this tough experience with all of you. I needed a week to wade through all the crap keeping me from thinking straight.

But I came to an important realization: a strong woman was brought to her knees by a fucking number because no matter the number, it will not be good enough. Here it is again!

No body fat % reading will bring you self love

I’m not comfortable in my own skin and am looking for something outside of myself, something objective to tell me what’s “good enough.” I WISH it were that easy but we each have our own internal barometers telling us OUR truth.  Even if your barometer isn’t quite calibrated yet and you’re struggling to accept yourself, you gotta love yourself regardless of what the damn numbers say. The numbers can change but if your mindset doesn’t you won’t get anywhere.

If we are being real, I’m not quite there yet. I’m SO much closer than I used to be, which Is all I can ask. I’m enjoying the journey, and I hope reading this brings you one step forward in yours!

 

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