How did I do with with respect to weight loss? Let's look at pictures. This first one was taken on day 3 of the trip, just outside of Twisp, WA. The one below that was taken on day 26, just outside of Somerset, PA. As you can clearly see, I have become so thin that I no longer show up in digital photos.
Below are some actual before and after pictures taken on the first day of the trip (left) and the last day of the trip (right).
Back in May, I wrote a post about Body Mass Index and % Fat (BMI vs. % Fat). I concluded that BMI was a bad measure of health and that % body fat should be used instead.
So what does the math say?
|Fat Free Mass||184||183|
|Min. Wt. at 7% BF||197||196.81|
I lost 14 pounds in 30 days. I decreased my BMI by 2.6 points. I used to be classified as "obese" by this method. Am I still?
Yep. In order to move out of the "obese" category, I need to weigh less than 180 lbs. If you look at table 1, my fat free body mass is 184 lbs. At that weight, I will have zero fat. Clearly the term obese is a mis-label for anyone with zero body fat. It makes me angry that my physicians have been using this completely misleading index to determine a healthy weight for me. The fact that life insurance companies also use this index is also maddening.
Let's see how I did on a % body fat basis. I went from 23 to 18.6%. On Table 3, below, that is from the high end of average to the low end of average. Clearly, I could still stand to lose some weight, but how much? I think my minimum should be 197 lbs (7% body fat). To be in the athletic range, I want to be no more than 13% fat which translates to about 208 lbs. Assuming I don't lose any muscle mass, that means I should lose about 16 lbs.
If you're a real data junkie, you will have noticed that my fat free body mass went down by a pound (184 to 183). I suppose it is possible that I lost muscle mass. With the amount of exercise I was doing, I would have thought I would have been adding muscle. I did constantly crave protein (give me meat). Perhaps my body scavenged from unused muscles. I didn't cut any limbs off and my hair has negligible weight (as well as neglibible volume and incidence). My best guess is that this is random error, but I welcome any ideas about this.