Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oxygen Magazine Challenge - 10 lbs in 21 Days?

So we all know that the greatest magazine in the world! Well, they have an interesting article in it this month that is similar to the plan I created and followed during the detox I was just on. At first glance it bothers me because this is not a healthy rate of weight to lose in this amount of time, unless it were a detox; & 21 days is a lengthy time to detox. There are a lot of juicing programs that last 21 days, but those are for people with health problems other than the last pounds & should certainly be under the supervision of their doctor. Also, those are more for a chemical detox, like detox from caffeine, smoking, etc. & the people on those programs will mostly be tired & achy - NOT  likely to be exercising! I am thinking of giving their ideas a try and documenting it as well, since I still have a few more pounds of fat to lose.

I know that I said 130, but I know now that I want to get into the 120s because my body composition is not where it should be.

Having a healthy body composition, or fat mass to lean mass ratio, is one of the five essential components of physical fitness. Remember gym class when you were a kid & the scale that they referred to as the President's Challenge (oh my GOSH, I hated this!)? Here it is explained in an article on that used, you guessed it, the ACE Personal Trainer Manual: The Ultimate Resource for Fitness Professionals as it's major resource for information:

"Physical fitness is not just defined by a lean or thin appearance. It is defined as the ability of your body to meet increased intensity demands, fitness focuses on the muscular, circulatory and respiratory systems to meet the demands. There are five basic elements, or components, that together lead to overall fitness. With optimal fitness levels, health benefits are realized improving quality of life and the ability to perform everyday tasks without undue fatigue, along with a reduced risk of illness and injury."

Ok, it's me again. Here is the list of components:

  1. Cardiovascular Endurance 
  2. Muscular Strength
  3. Muscular Endurance
  4. Flexibility
  5. Body Composition: In this article, it states that recommended body fat percentages, depending on age, range from 14% to 25% for women and 9% to 19% for men according to Sports Fitness Advisor. I'm not aware of this resource, but ACE teaches that 25%-32% is still a healthy body fat percentage for women. ACE uses a little more detail than just quoting a broad range for every woman, since we are all built a little differently. 
Here is the American Council on Exercise's Body Fat Percentage Chart. I like how it shows that there are different categories of body fat.

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart1 Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: How Lean Should You Be?

I personally like to stay somewhere around 25% because my own personal preference is to have some curves! Having breasts & hips is what makes us look like women! While many people can see that it's unattractive to have a body fat percentage that is too high, it is the same for one that is too low. I always lecture my clients who say thy want to lose 20 pounds in order to fit into that dress for whatever occasion (or whatever the case may be). Who cares if the scale says that number you have been dying to reach. If you're trading fat (which weighs less) for muscle (which weighs more), you're going to look healthy, toned, & attractive. Quit thinking of numbers on the scale because they mean nothing. It's how you feel & look like that counts. You can look great on the outside, but it's what's going on inside that really matters. That's body composition in a nutshell!

In order to get to 25% body fat, my calculations say that I should weigh 128. I want to double check these numbers tomorrow morning before I eat anything, when composition readings are most accurate.

After this detox, I am feeling so great and my confidence is up. There is always more to improve (remember the body is always a work in progress!!!!) and I am excited to see things on my body change. I think that that is your best motivation! Well, we will see what new crazy adventures we can get into tomorrow... Goodnight!

Disclaimer & Resource Information