DIARY: Weight Management

To measure whether I am reaching my optimal performance weight, I purchased the most expensive body weight analyzer and scale on the market: The Salter MiBody 2.0 early last year.

I was dejected last Monday to detect that I weighed in at a hefty 69.9kilos (a BMI of about 21.5 for a 5'11''/181cm man like myself) and still had a body-fat percentage of 9.9% despite a good week of training and efforts to eat sensibly.

Luckily, I discovered that I hadn't set the weight at the right algorithm (the weight has a setting for sedentary, active and athletic people). With the correction my fat percent dropped to 5% which sounds more realistic (if a bit too low) but my weight has now ballooned to 70.5kg!

I'm hoping this is the large amount of water I had in my system this morning and perhaps some of the added muscle mass I can see I have gained from my strength regimen over the last few weeks. Its still disappointing, as my quest for success hinges on dropping back towards 65 kilos. Only at this weight have I ever proved a decent ascender, so its critical to return to those heedy days. (e.g. I'm just not strong enough to carry 70 kilos uphill, whereas I've got good power for 65 kilos).

The Conundrum
However, using Matt Fitzgerald's formula, 65 kilos would be too low. First and foremost I'm already at 5% body fat (more likely I'm around 7-8% I believe) according to the scale, so I need to set a new lower target.

I've always wanted to drop to the average for the elites (3.3%), so if I enter that into the Optimal Performance Weight Formula (Current body weight x current lean body mass % = lean body mass; lean body mass/optimal lean body mass percentage) (Fitzgerald 2009, 35) I come out with 69.26kilos as my goal, meaning I need to shed about 1.25kilos.

These figures are very confusing and I'm not sure they are accurate, so what I'll do for the moment is keep eating healthily and especially be mindful to continue a reduced calorie intake while I'm not running (I spend Tue-Sat in a constant state of hunger despite eating what I considered normal meals).

Looking myself in the mirror I look way too healthy still to be at optimal performance weight. You should certainly keep the glow in the eyes and healthy-looking skin, but the roundedness of the face should go completely. And if only I could get rid of the pesky muscle-mass around shoulders and chest that I accidentally built up by doing the wrong strength training while out injured.