lean muscle mass

Day 111: Just Hit The Panic Button

Yep, I Pressed It
Yep, I Pressed It

So, I’ve been at this Ideal Protein thing for 111 days! Yes, that’s great and all, but according to my scale, (gulp) I’ve GAINED a pound. WHAT? And to be fair, it also says my fat percentage has dropped, lean mass increased. I build muscle very easily and I’ve started using my leg more. I’m walking without the crutch around the house, and doing flexing exercises, leg lifts etc. For goodness sake, my left glute was super sore the other day after doing straight leg lifts while laying on the stomach, so using your hammies and glutes… Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve been sore? It hurt so good!

I haven’t been precise this week either, but I’ve stayed away from most carbs (except for that homemade tamale from the Farmer’s Market… woops!… where’s the tiny type when you need it?) I think I’ll go have a sit in the sauna. Hope it won’t blow up my knee. It was definitely premature to hit the big red button but I was alarmed this morning. It’s been 111 days of seeing my number go steadily downward… I was just , well, shocked! We’ll see what I can do by Wednesday!

I realize that I said slow is fine, not two days ago, but backward is not!

Ever have these panic moments?

Day 58: The Truth Comes Out?

The truth about the truth...
The truth about the truth

Today was check in day with my Ideal Protein Coach. I’m doing better. I’m working on eating all the food I’m supposed to eat, and writing it down for her. The truth is, I’m still struggling with doing what I’m told. I’m still that little red-head I was back on day 2! I’m trying though. I want to be good.

Frustration about not losing 3 or more pounds a week is mounting. My friend has lost nearly 30 pounds (you’re kicking my ass girlie!!), and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her, or more pissed off at me. Part of the “truth” is that I don’t get all my protein in, and part is that I’m still sidelined from doing really rigorously fun and sweaty stuff because of this mother-father, blasted knee. The knee part won’t change for a couple of months. Once the surgery is complete, the rehab begins. I’m wondering if I will gain muscle weight during the rehab? They work you out hard after knee surgery, and I’m bound to build back a lot of the muscle I’ve lost. On the other hand (knee) maybe the increased workouts will help me hit the 3 pounds a week? The results were on the “meh” side, but here they are.

Lost: 1.4 pounds, -1 in chest, +1 pound lean muscle, -1% bodyfat (I guess it’s a 2.4 pounds of fat gone since I replaced 1 pound with muscle?)

Total: 22.8 pounds, -4 inches chest, -4% bodyfat

It is what it is, but the truth hurts!

But, I need to remember the following:



Day 46: The Real Math, Calculating Goal Weight Based on Body Fat Percentage

Yesterday, while I was discussing my belief that body fat percentage remains my priority, I started to think about what my goal body fat percentage is. How much body fat should a grown up, athletic woman like myself shoot for? I searched the internet and found many different charts. This is the one that seems to be reasonable to me, and is based on gender/age and whether or not you want to be “average” or more lean.

Body Fat Chart

I was trying to work backward and find out how to calculate how much weight I would need to lose, given maintaining my current lean muscle mass, and was a bit surprised. However, I’m not sure that the number I have for myself  includes bones and other lean tissue. But, based on that and my goal body fat content of somewhere around 24, I might need to lose an additional 10 pounds. That being said, I’m doing NO exercise right now until I have the ol’ knee surgery. I build muscle very easily, so I have a feeling my goal weight will be dead on when I regain some muscle.

Here’s how you calculate, according to Marc Perry at

To find your lean muscle mass: Take your body weight right now and multiply it by the body fat percentage your scale shows (or your trainer has given you). Now, subtract that number from your current body weight.

Say you weigh 200 pounds. Your body fat percentage is 45%. (200 X .45 = 90) Then, take your body weight (200 – 90 = 110). You have 110 pounds of lean body mass! Great, now what? How do you figure out your goal weight?

So, say you think your goal body fat percentage should be 29%, which is average for a 26-30 year old woman. You first will subtract your desired body fat percentage from 1. (1-.29=.71) Now, divide your lean body mass (in pounds) by the .71. (110/.71= 154) So, if your muscle mass (or lean body mass) remains the same, your goal weight is 154. At that weight you should be at a body fat percentage of 29%. Isn’t that cool?

Marc has the formulas all spelled out on his site.

To me, body fat percentage is what it’s about. BMI is total horse dinky. It does NOT take into account your lean mass. If they went strictly by BMI, athletes like Lance Armstrong would be obese. Remember the whole muscle weighs more than fat thing?

I hope this helps you guys like it helps me focus. It’s not the pounds as much as the lean pounds to fat pound ratio that I’m truly concerned with… well, until that scale doesn’t move. THEN, I must remember to revisit this post and adjust my thinking from somthing less emotional to something a little more cerebral.

OR the other option is to go have an iDXA scan, which I did last year. Oh, the humiliation! However, I posted my scanned image which I think is fascinating and would be totally awesome if I didn’t know who that was in the picture. I do plan to do another scan at the end of this year come hell or high water. I want to see the difference!

Carry on!


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