Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bigger Quads, Smaller Waist

I went for an early spin class today, but the instructor never showed. That was probably for the best because I did not feel at all uncomfortable doing my own pace and my own distance. I have had some pretty intense training this week, and I know the rule of thumb is no more than five sessions of training that exceed 85% percent of your heart rate max per week, so I thought I would do long and moderate today. Of course, going long on a spin bike is just mind numbingly boring so I had to get off at and hour and a quarter, but all in all it was still a good solid session.

One thing I noticed is that my quads are getting huge. I have always had large upper legs, but they are starting to look like biker legs. Other parts of me are getting smaller. I still have a large gut, but when I press down on my stomach I can feel the hard abs underneath. That is kinda neat. I actually have something solid inside there! My arms are fairly lean and I can now wear a muscle shirt without embarrassment, and my neck has shrunk at least two inches.

This is all encouraging, but let's look at the numbers! At my peak I weighed roughly 280 lbs and according to the fickle Tanita I had 42% body fat. I did develop some better eating habits which helped to knock off a few pounds and I started on a diuretic for my blood pressure which knocked off another 7 pounds of water weight, pretty much instantly, which brought me down to 264 lbs and 39% body fat. That was were I was when I started this blog. Since then my weight has steadily dropped down to around 233 pounds. Three weeks ago I switched to a new blood pressure medication which made those seven pounds come back, so now I am at 240. I haven't been able to drop any more weight lately, which has been frustrating, but I think that the new blood pressure medication has actually helped with my training. Since it is not a diuretic I retain more water, my blood volume is up and I am better hydrated. I think this may be why I made a sudden .3 mph gain in my hour long runs.

But even though my weight has shot up, my fat percentage has dropped way down. The other day Tanita read 26%! Wow, that is just crazy talk. It seems slow close to breaking 20%. That would be incredible. But that reading seems to be a fluke. Normally I have been reading at around 29-30 percent, which is still great.

So what do all these numbers mean? At 280 pounds and 42% body fat I was at 162 pounds lean and 118 pounds fat. At 264 pounds and 39% body fat I was 161 pounds lean and 103 pounds fat. That is a 15 pound drop in fat, but with a one pound loss of lean. But now at 240 pounds and 30% body fat I am 168 pounds lean and 72 pounds fat. That is an incredible 46 pounds of fat lost, and a gain of 6 pounds lean mass. Probably most of that gain, if not all is water weight, because of the change in meds, but when you are losing that much weight and not losing muscle mass you know something is going right. So I may be plateauing at 240 pounds for now, but I know I am on the right path, and it can only get better so long as I keep it up.

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