Reality and Goal Setting

Looking down the list of articles on my website you will find my resolutions for 2004. One of them says that I want to get my bodyweight down to 185. Well, I had a bit of a reality check tonight. I went to Bally’s to workout and got my body composition tested. The results were quite surprising to me. The stats they needed to do the test were weight, height, and age. I’m 31, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and currently a whopping 225 lbs. The test is done with electical impedence and is known to be slightly inaccurate for muscular individuals but the percent error is not really material so I am okay with the results. The results were as follows:

Bodyfat Percentage: 24.6

Total Fat Weight: 55 lbs.

Yikes!!! I am walking around with the equivalent of almost 4 bowling balls worth of bodyfat. But then I noticed something. My bodyweight minus my fat weight is 170 lbs. I have 170 lbs. of lean body mass, including bones, muscle, and other stuff. Let’s look at my goal weight of 185. If I get down to 10% bodyfat and weighed 185 lbs., my lean mass would be 166.5 lbs. (185 - 18.5 = 166.5). That means I would actually have to throw away almost 4 lbs. of muscle in order to get down to 185 lbs. There is no way I am going to do that. That’s like sabotaging your own body.

So I now have to come up with a more reasonable goal for myself. I thought 185 sounded good but I have gained enough muscle mass over the last few years that its not realistic or even something I would want. If I aim for 195 lbs. with 10% bodyfat, that’s 195 - 19.5 to get 175.5. That allows me to gain 5.5 lbs. of muscle. I like that much better.

So that leaves me with 30 lbs. of bodyfat to lose. At the rate of 1.5 lbs. per week, that is 15 weeks. Given that we are going on the second week of February, I should reach 195 lbs. by May 24th which is in plenty of time for triathlon season. Considering that I ran my triathlons last year at a weight of approximately 218, that’s a significant improvement. Essentially that’s the difference between running normally and running with a bowling ball in a backpack (and then some).