Thursday, 30 April 2009

Really fat runner - a call to action

A few weeks ago I was asked to try out the LA Fitness gym near where I work in London, and today I finally got around to the induction, which includes a "Health MOT".

While I was prepared for the normal discussion about BMI, I was very shocked by my body fat percentage.

My BMI just about puts me in the 'obese' range, now that I've let my weight creep up to 103kg. But I've always been able to justify that (to myself) by telling myself that I have a lot more muscle than other people (I used to spend a lot of time doing weights in the gym for when I used to play American football) so it's not such a good measure. I'm sure most sprinters, for instance, have much higher BMIs than the 20-25 range which is meant to be healthy.

However, the measurement of my body fat percentage was a huge wake up call. I'm still roughly the same weight was I was when I was in my early twenties, and back then I had my body fat percentage checked twice - and it was around 18-20%. On the high side, but far from terminal. Well, despite being roughly the same weight as I was back then, my body fat percentage is now around 30%. Another way of thinking about this is that I've lost around 10kg of muscle and gained around 10kg of fat in the last 10-15 years or so...

Jennifer, the trainer at the gym, was very diplomatic about it all, and has started me on a programme of mainly interval-based cardio for the next three weeks or so to get the routine back, and then we'll reassess.

In some ways, this is good news - it is motivating me to do something about it. If the measurements had come back with 20% body fat again, I could have decided that everything was ok and I had nothing to change...

So - the three week challenge I'm setting myself is to get down to 97kg. 2kg's per week from a lot more exercise than normal, and much more sensible eating. No more big bowls of pasta and pesto at night. Breakfasts every day. Grilled meat not fried. Regular (small) meals. More vegetables and fruit. More water. Less beer. Less diet coke. Take the stairs, walk to the shops, lose the car, use the bike, cut the fat off meat, less carbs, more protein, more gym, no slacking, no cracking...

I'll post my weight at the end of every post for three weeks.

Weight this morning - 103.0kg.
Weight to lost in 20 days - 6.0kg


Pea-Funk said...

Hi there,

Found your blog through these London running blogs and really enjoying it. Just wanted to mention about the body fat percentage - those monitors are notoriously inaccurate. I did my MOT with LA Fitness earlier this year, and my body fat came out at a whopping 46%! With a BMI of 26, and a swimmer's build, that just isn't physically possible (although I checked with my brother-in-law doctor to confirm!)

But it certainly got me motivated to do something, as it has for you, so perhaps it did some good afterall...(besides giving me a major complex)