Monday, July 22, 2013

Fat Loss Monitor

Well over a year ago, I wrote about my new fat loss monitor. I wasn't aware that it would error out if your body fat is over 50%, but I figured I'd hang onto it and use it once I lost more weight.

When I did the measurement/caliper test back then, my body fat percentage was around 60-62%, depending on the calculator I used.

A couple of days ago, I decided to update my settings in my fat monitor and give it another try, just for the heck of it.

Here are the results:

While this is still nowhere near acceptable, at least I have a reading now. :)

I'm still not sure about the accuracy of these things. I've read a lot of conflicting reports about body fat scales, but this isn't a scale. I'm going to do a little more digging.

I took another reading today (about one week later), and it's down 0.2%. I lost close to a pound during the week too. I have a feeling all of this swimming is helping me maintain lean body mass and that's why the scale has been pretty steady around my most recent plateau weight. Anyway, I'll have to see if I have a steady downward slope or if the readings are all over the place over the next few weeks. That said, I'm not going to rely on the fat monitor any more than I rely on my scale. The only reliable thing is the tape measure.

Regardless, I'm pleased. It's nice to know there's one more thing I'm not too heavy for anymore.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


My schedule this summer has been kah-razy. No lie. Right after we got home from San Francisco, my work schedule changed to allow for my summer class, a 500-level Literature class. Holy cow. I haven't been in school in eight years, and boyyyy do I feel rusty.

Anyway, being a student at WMU means I have free access to the pool! Yay! I LOVE swimming, and it is THE best exercise since it doesn't hurt my joints, I don't get all hot and sweaty, and it works all of my muscles while boosting my cardio.

So, my schedule on Tuesday and Thursday has been: work from 7:00 - 3:00, class from 4:00 - 6:30, and then swimming from 7:00 - 8:00. I also swim on Friday evenings since I get out of work at 6:00. I would love to swim on Monday and Wednesday and make it a full five days, but my work schedule simply doesn't work with the lap swim schedule. Boo. :(

WMU's pool is set up kind of cool. They put that bulkhead about 2/3 of the way down the pool and set up the longer side with lap lanes and leave the shorter side open. The lap side varies day to day. Sometimes you swim laps in the shallow-ish end (the bulkhead is just past the drop to the deep end), and sometimes you swim laps in the deep end. I've noticed laps in the deep end are harder, most likely because more water = more resistance.

Sometimes, if the lap lanes are full and I'm too chicken to share, I swim in the shorter, open end. A lot of people use that area to water jog, use kickboards, and swim more leisurely. It's less crowded, and I don't feel as slow since it's not meant for timed laps. The lap swimmers are serious business, and while no one has given me a second glance, I still feel pretty silly sharing a lane with someone who's passing me like crazy (luckily, the lanes are wide enough that you can swim up and down without having to circle - you just have to be careful not to splash or hit the other person as you pass).

I'm really digging it so far. Swimming three times per week will help a lot when it comes to maintaining lean muscle mass.

Also, I might start going to Planet Fitness again on Monday and Wednesday, just to walk and/or use the elliptical. As much as I'd love to swim on Monday and Wednesday, they really do have to be pure cardio days since Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are sort of like weight days, given how much I'm working in that water. It takes a LOT to move this body through water. My arms are red and sore by the time I get out of the pool. It feels like I've been lifting weights for an hour.

I've thought about canceling my membership with Planet Fitness since I can use the student rec center for free, but it's only $10/month, and I'm a bit intimidated about working out around a bunch of students. I've always felt really comfortable at Planet Fitness, but the student rec center always feels like junior high all over again. I suck it up for swimming since I REFUSE to avoid the pool, but if I could pay $10 to use another pool (like the one at the Y), I totally would. I can only handle so much social anxiety in one week. ;) The pool at the Y was always empty, except for maybe one or two other swimmers, and the locker room had much more privacy. The Y is $40/month, though, so screw that.


I've been kind of "stuck" around the same weight for a few months now, so I hope this will help kick-start me toward 290 (I've been hovering between 296 and 301 - I HATE seeing that "3" on the scale again!) When I think back to my successful, "easy" weight losses in the past, one thing is always true - I exercised at least five days per week, sometimes six, without fail. I have been way, way, WAY too lazy, and it's so stupid. I love exercising! That's why I'm so grateful I have pool access. I love swimming so much - it's one of my favorite things - that I actually get cranky on my non-swimming days. ;) I feel great having a workout plan and schedule again. It's only been a couple weeks, but I can already feel so many changes in my body.


Because my schedule is kind of up/down/crazy, I've been making a lot of things in the crock pot. It's amazing. I can't believe I haven't been doing this forever. I've made a lot of meals with chicken (we bought a couple family packs of thighs on sale) and one meal with thin-cut pork loin. Everything uses "cream of" soup, and I've found that Campbell's Healthy Request is still WAY too salty. I hate salt, so I taste even just the tiniest bit of it. Brent didn't notice it at all, but I was practically gagging. I'm going to see if Healthy Choice has the soup I need since they have a lot of no-sodium soups. /crosses fingers

I'll post recipes a bit later, as I want to make those separate entries. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Junk in the Trunk Airlines"

Image courtesy of The Points Guy

I know I haven't updated in for-ev-er, and I promise to write a blog about our amazing trip to San Francisco at some point, but I wanted to get this out there for web searches and such.

A while back, I jokingly referred to Virgin America as "Junk in the Trunk Airlines" because they claimed their coach seats were 19.7" wide. I couldn't believe that. Usually, 20" seats are business class or first class. So, I was super excited, as I fit into 19.7" seats no problem (my office chair is the exact same measurement).

When we got on the plane, however, I realized they must have measured from the middle of the arm rests. I'd carried a small measuring tape just in case, and boy am I glad. When I measured my actual seat cushion, i.e. the distance between the inner edge of the arm rests, it was just a fraction over 18", totally normal for an airplane. 18" is better than 17", but ack!

Luckily, the arm rests went down. I was kind of smashed in, but they went down, and I had the window on my right and my boyfriend on my left. I wasn't comfortable, but it was nothing like that nightmarish trip on American. Also, since I had my boyfriend next to me, I was able to lift the arm rest once we reached cruising altitude. Even then, however, we were both wiggling a bit. Some of that may have been due to the curve of the airplane near the window, but my top is a lot smaller than my bottom, so I blame it on weight plus the fact airplane seats suck in general. Anyway, it probably would have been better if I'd been even 20 pounds lighter, and if I could go back in time, I would have bought a second seat.

The seat belt was okay, thankfully. I had a moment of panic when I thought it was a full 12" shy of clasping, but then Brent noticed it was tangled under the arm rest by the window. Once we got it free, it was fine. I couldn't tighten it, but it clasped and didn't feel too tight. If my waist had been just a couple inches larger, though, I would have needed an extender.

For reference, when we went on this trip, my waist measured 44", and my hips measured 57". I carry most of my weight in my hips and thighs, so that's where most of the "spread" is when I sit down.

One really great thing - the bathrooms didn't feel tiny! I couldn't get over that. You can't do cartwheels in them or anything, but I had plenty of room to move around and open/close the door. I was shocked. I've never been in an airplane bathroom with that much room.

All of that said, it is an AMAZING airline. I plan to use them as often as possible because they are just that good. They're funky, modern, and fresh, and they have a great approach to flying. Despite the seats not feeling awesome, I was still relatively comfortable, and their in-flight entertainment and drink system is phenomenal. If I'd been a size 16 for that trip instead of a size 22, I wouldn't even have noticed I was on a plane. I even had a ton of leg room!

So, don't take this as a slam on Virgin. I really want to emphasize that part. This is for fellow fat people who want to know how comfortable they'll be.

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