Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Weighing In

Every morning I weigh myself. I know I shouldn't do this, but I have done it for years, and frankly I have a tough time stopping. When my weight is low, the morning weigh-in provides proof that I am doing something right. However, when it is high let's just say it can be a real bummer. For the last couple of weeks my weight has been high. In fact, I weigh more now than I ever have my entire life. Well, except those wonderful pregnancy months when I eventually weighed more than my 6'2" hunk-a-hunk-a-burnin'-feet husband. But I digress...

So, now I am in a quandary. Should I care? I mean, in the last six weeks I completed two marathons, and one of the toughest half-ironman races around. Clearly I am in pretty kick-ass shape. Most of my clothes fit, although the legs on some are getting tight. Could this be cycling muscles? Or am I overcompensating for my exercise and eating too much? I don't really know.

I have an older Tanita scale at home that tells me each morning my body fat is between 22 and 23%. Okay numbers, but not great for a triathlete. At the San Diego marathon, I visited the Tanita booth where the scales there said my bf was 20.5%. I want one of those new scales. Or maybe I don't. Maybe I just need to get over this and learn to move on.

For those of you that are curious, here are the numbers from the Tanita BC554 Ironman scale:
Weight: 135 up one more lb today :(
Body Fat: 20.3%
% Today Body Water: 55% (normal female range was 45-60%, so I was well hydrated)
Muscle Mass: 102
Physique Rating: 8 (This meant "This and Muscular-Athlete)
Bone Mass: 5.4
BMR: 1441 Cal
Metabolic Age: 13 ("Age level the user's body is rated at according to the BMR")
Visceral Fat Rating: 1 (this was the lowest # possible, so at least that is good)

FYI: I am 5'7.5"


Blogger tarheeltri said...

I think most everyone could probably improve their diet some, but like you said, you are certainly in shape. I wouldn't worry. I weigh myself everyday for the same reasons. The new Tanita might put you more at ease by giving you more important readings than weight alone, however. Might be worth buying.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Curly Su said...

you're FINE!!! the pants are definitely tighter from cycling muscles, and remember--muscele weighs more than fat. my weight has gone steadily up since ironman training, and i KNOW i'm in better shape than i used to be...i know ignoring the scale is hard/impossible, but the more you can go by how you feel instead of what the numbers say, the better off you'll be...

10:31 AM  
Blogger greyhound said...

Kick the scale to the curb, see a sports nutritionist to get proper fuel for performance, and everything will take care of itself. Oh, and quit making poor Kahuna and Robo feel so inadequate with your monster cycling quads.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Fe-lady said...

I threw my scale away YEARS ago! Especially didn't want to have one in the house with a teenage daughter who in "into" ballet...you can probably see why.
The only time I get weighed now is one or two times a year at the Drs. Office...
you probably have more muscle mass this year, right now, than you did before. Do your clothes fit you the same?
I really tend to go with how I feel more than what a machine can tell me. And if I were left to clibrate that thing, then I KNOW it would be telling me all sorts of "wrong" information!

1:32 PM  
Blogger Merrill said...


Love your blog. I feel your pain. As a male, I have the same if not more issues. When I step on the scale, I am either concerned that I am too heavy (too fat) or too thin (muscle atrophy/verging towards being a pure ectomorph). Advice like throw away your scale, you look great, etc. might be comforting but the bottom line is we are all vain peacocks and its something with which we have to live. Call it reason or motivation number 27 for completing a hard workout.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

I also weigh myself often. Fortunately, when I'm down a pound, it's motivating, and when I'm up, it reminds me to keep working at it!

8:35 PM  
Blogger Comm's said...

First off, I had no idea there was a Badwater movie. i must, I must watch it. I would love to finish badwater some day.

Second, its fairly typical for post marathon weight to be high. Your body goes thru a bunch of physiological changes and hydration and nutrient levels get all jacked up. Your blood gets thick, your body over hydrates to hold water. Plus you may not be training with a much mileage but still eating like you are.

It will work itself out within the next ten day, I am sure.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I wouldn't worry. We obsess way too much about our weight. I do the same thing. I don't think those things are very accurate. Everyone tells me I'm rail-thin, and it always says I have 26% body fat. WTF? If I switch it to "athlete", then it says 19%. I don't take much stock in those things. Focus on being healthy and your training. If you're fit and your clothes still fit, you're in great shape.

1:29 PM  
Blogger the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

Oh Man, I'm totally in the same place you are, except I'm up 2 lb!! What gives?

I was told the same thing about physiological changes and stuff. This is especially true during tapers - your body will hang on to extra water when it's storing up extra glycogen pre-race.

Also, I've had caliper bodyfat done, and it's really quite different from the impedance numbers. My impedance monitor (a la Tanita) says 20%, but the calipers say 13%. So don't rely on that thing to give you the right answer, just use it to see how much you change over time.

And yes - akways use the "athlete" settings over schmoe settings - it uses a more correct algorithm. It's still wrong, but less wronger...

12:37 PM  
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