Tag Archives: strength training

My Run-In With the Body Fat Machine

Yesterday, I walked into Uplift for my fat-measuring as part of their Strengthen Up(Lift) Challenge. 

I weigh myself fairly regularly, and my scale measures body fat.

It typically tells me I’m around 20% body fat. Prior to last night, I didn’t really know where that stood, but when I first started losing weight I was at 42%…so, that was all I really needed to know.

I know scales aren’t the best way to measure body fat percentage, but a few years ago, when I embarked on what I called Theodora 2.5, my trainer, Joel, measured my body fat percentage and it was around a 19.5. I’ve gained 5-8 pounds since then, but I’ve also been doing more strength training, so I thought that Official Measurements would have me fairly close to there.

I walked in to Uplift, all happy to see all of my favorite people, and I walked up to sweet tiny Helena, who NBD, was on the Today Show yesterday. 

She asked me how tall I was, how much I weighed and how old I was. I wish I could say I didn’t let numbers define me, but I sheepishly told her I weighed 145ish pounds, and I was 30. (I’m totally cool with my height, for the record.)

Omron Fat Loss Monitor

She had me squeeze one of these bad boys.

The top number read out 29 and the bottom read out 24.

I thought maybe she gave me an extra year or something, and the 29 reflected my “age” and the 24 reflected my body fat.

“What do those numbers mean?”

 She told me the 29 was my body fat percentage, and the 24 was my BMI.


I walked over to Chelsea to have measurements done. They are all relatively similar to the last round of measurements I had done a few years ago, which was a relief.

I’m not thin by any means. I consider body relatively “average” with a little extra pudge around the middle from my love of wine and carbs. 













They handed out this chart, and I was actually surprised to see that 29, for my age, fell squarely in the middle of “average” range. However, my BMI (I know, I know, BMI isn’t the most accurate measure, but still…) is on the higher end of healthy.

Five years ago, I would have been thrilled to have been in these healthy ranges at all. I don’t know if I’ve even ever talked about this on the blog, but I tried Wii Fit for a little bit before getting my act together. All I remember is that mean little Mii telling me I was obese. And with a BMI of 31.4, yeah, I was. Overweight is 25-29.9, so I was on the lower range, I told myself. I was just overweight, I wasn’t obese.

I try not to rationalize like that with myself any more and short change myself with excuses. 

Again, I’m not lean by any means, and I’m doing this challenge to challenge myself, but this number came as a huge surprise and was disappointing, since I thought it would be much closer to what my scale said.

I was texting with Jen, who talked me down from my ledge. I had a bowl of ice cream on Sunday night, you know, so that my body fat percentage would be up, and I could lose a ton. In all seriousness, I doubt that made much of a difference, but maybe being sick and not working out Tuesday – Saturday had some sort of effect…or maybe the machine was off a bit.

I can run marathons. I can push through a tough year. I work out often. I know this number doesn’t define me, but it was still hard not to be disappointed. 

Especially because I work out often. I think that’s why it stung the most. It was a harsh reminder that so much of your health and weight/fat loss is diet. And that my diet isn’t stellar. I don’t think I eat particularly poorly, but I could certainly stand to have more vegetables and less wine.

So…I have my work cut out for me in these two months. 

You guys know I’m obsessed with everyone at Uplift, but I’m really glad my team’s coach for this challenge is Michelle. She lost 40+ pounds a few years ago, maintaining it until having her cute little muffin late last year. She gets it. 

Michelle mason katy widrick

























And just because I’m the creepiest, doesn’t she look just like Katy?? They’re both new moms, and so nice and so real…so they’re basically twins.

I can’t wait to hear what kind of wisdom and fun Michelle has for us.

Let the games begin. 

What’s easier for you: diet or exercise? It flip flops for me, but given that I work for a fitness company and love running races, it’s definitely fitness currently.

2014 Goals That Have Nothing to Do with Running

I made some non-goal goals for 2014, but since this is a mostly fitness blog, I wanted to talk a little bit more about some fitness goals I do have. My only running goal as of now is to have fun.

Since 2013 was The Year I Discovered Lifting Things Up and Putting Them Down Wasn’t Too Bad and Yoga is Cheap Therapy, I have my mind on some goals of that nature for this year.

1. Pull-Up

Last year in St. Croix, we were walking around a playground of sorts near the beach, and we found a pull-up bar. Ashley sidled right up to that baby, and busted out a few. I walked up, and…LOL. Did not bust out a few, for sure.

Do you see that? My coworker Miriam’s strength is so admirable. We have a pull-up bar in the corner at work (obviously), and she just walks over and busts a few out, the same way I fill up my water bottle. Like it ain’t no thing. 

By the end of the year, I would like to be able to do a pull-up or two. 

2. Headstand.

Tara Stiles Yoga Headstand

























At a yoga event with Tara Stiles last spring, she helped me into an assisted headstand…and it was awesome. I’ve also done a few against the wall at Prana, but I’d love to be able to do one without an assist by the end of the year. I plan on giving my best try at this in yoga classes, and asking instructors for an assist if they are offering one.

[Shape has a great guide to get you there, step-by-step.]

3. Handstand

How the eff did I do this when I did gymnastics all those years ago? Like…how? 

My buddy Anne busts out handstands all over the place…and they look cool. I’d like to be able to do a handstand, too.

[Whole Living has an awesome guide to get you there.]

That’s all. Let’s meet back here Dec. 31 and discuss this, okay?

Do you have any strength-related goals for this year?