A Stronger Body

by Pamela on February 11, 2013

Since I started with this diet, I’ve been exercising sporadically. No real routine, just when I felt like it and had a chance. Walking, biking, elliptical. Again, nothing consistent. In keeping with that, yesterday I met a friend at her gym and we took a class — a Pump class. Back at my old health club, we had a similar class called “Total Body Conditioning.” The bottom line is that this was a group aerobics class that focuses on lifting weights and doing other strength training — it was intense. Even my in-much-better-shape friend said she was afraid it would kick her butt.

I felt a little light headed now and then during the class. I finished my whole bottle of water and went out for a refill before it was all over. I had to modify much of it just to be safe and because I’m not nearly in good enough shape to do the standard class. But it was generally really good.

And today, I’m feeling really strong. I am aware of my muscles and I love it. I walk around and feel my leg muscles and want to jump up and down. I do boxing motions with my arms just to feel them move in an energetic fashion. I’d love to keep this feeling going. It’s really amazing how much of a mood elevator exercise can be.

Additionally, for the last week or so, I’ve really been noticing a worrying trend. My weight is going down, but so is my lean body mass. Percentage-wise, I actually gained fat in the past week. (See first chart below) In other words, I’m losing muscle — more muscle than fat. The overall trend is good, but, though I’ve lost close to 17 lbs, I’ve only gone down 1.3% in body fat. Not so good. (See second chart.) [Edit: I previously had said only 1.3 lbs, which isn't correct! Darn those numbers! In fact, I've lost 12.7 lbs of fat and 5 lbs of lean]

LeanVsFat

 Jan-FebBodyFat

All this according to my body fat scale, which may or may not be accurate. It seems to make sense, though. And it seems to indicate it’s time to exercise regularly. Especially weight training.

Because it’s good for me, and it feels so good.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Kaiser February 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I doubt you are gaining fat. From my understanding, body fat is measured by the impedance that is read so make sure you are well hydrated before taking the measurements. I’m also tracking my muscle mass and it held up pretty good for the first couple of months but is declining rapidly now. I’ve noticed that since I’ve been too busy to do much weight training the last few weeks my weight loss decreases have really increased (I was averaging 2-3 lbs per week while weight training and the last 2 weeks I lost 4 and 5 pounds). So, it is confusing, at best! As I approach my goal, I’m going to have to talk to my dr. about ways to measure my “weight” because I want to put some of that lean muscle mass back on – since November I have lost 7 lbs. of it. Fortunately I have easy access to scales that measure much more than just weight and can show me where I stand with the other stuff – BMI, muscle mass, etc. That is more important to me. I’m glad you are watching this stuff too and enjoying the exercise. I am convinced that the muscle mass helps you lose more quickly – even though it is hard to keep the muscle during this process!

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shauna February 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

wow Martha said it all so well above! you are doing fab and Body Pump is just the bee’s knee’s for muscle building :D

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Pamela February 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Thanks, ladies. I remember you talking fondly about Body Pump, Shauna! Martha, thanks for the encouragement. I am weighing at the same time each day (as soon as I wake up) so I’d think the body fat measurements would be consistent, at least, if not completely accurate. I am thinking now about setting up my weight bench (currently in the shed) in my office.

Oh, and oops. I figured out I was citing incorrect numbers above and I’ve made a correction. In fact, I’ve lost 12.7 lbs of fat and 5 lbs of muscle mass. Numbers are not my strength though I’m trying to get over it!

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