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BF% confusion and a rather stupid question

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  • BF% confusion and a rather stupid question

    Right, we'll start with the rather stupid question...

    Where the hell is your waist...?! I always believed, because it was what the Marks & Spencer size guide told me (and they're supposed to know that kinda stuff, being one of the largest womenswear retailers in the UK) that it was just below your belly-button, right...? Okay, so I gets out the tape and I measure meself there - and it's 28". Then I measure my hips (the fullest part of your bum, right?) 38".

    So how the feck am I wearing size 6 (US 2) on me bum? Okay, I wear leggings, not jeans or trews, most of the time but the size 6 leggings I have are supposedly a 24.6" waist and a 33.1" hip. Now, I know leggings contain Lycra, so they stretch, but not 3.4" round the waist and nearly 5" on the hip, that just doesn't make sense to me! I have a bag of old size 12 clobber, from when I was a 12, and it's MASSIVE, so I know I can't really be a 12 (that's an 8 to you lot 'over there'), so how can I accurately calculate my BF% if I''m supposedly wearing clothes I shouldn't possibly be able to squeeze into...?!

    Now on to the confusion re calculating my BF% (I've been using the measurements off the Topshop size chart because I don't believe what I read off the tape, because it doesn't make sense as I've just outlined above)

    If I use the calculator here (http://http://www.easycalculation.com/health/body-fat.php) then I get 24.59. However, if I use the calculator here (http://http://www.bmi-calculator.net/body-fat-calculator/) which I believe is the one Mark mentions in the book, I get 32.43, a HUGE difference of 7.84%! Which one do I believe? Do I take an average? Other calculators use the neck measurement, not an issue for us lasses as we don't buy shirts by collar size as men do.

    Okay, we all know that these calculators can't be TOO accurate (I found another which used the upper arm, forearm and abdomen as measurements which gave me a result of 24% (+/- 2.5%).

    If it's the larger reading, I'm obese, if it's the smaller, I'm between 'fitness' and 'acceptable', a FAR nicer place to be, I'm sure you'll agree!

    Just want to be deconfused, that's all!

    Sarah
    La tristesse durera toujours...

  • #2
    Waist--pretty sure its the thinnest part of your torso. For me that is a little bit *above* my belly button. Measure the smallest part though.

    HTH!
    My Before/After Pics
    Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

    "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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    • #3
      http://www.ehow.com/how_2307504_measure-waist.html
      Find your natural waist. An easy way to do this is to stand in front of the mirror and bend at your side. The crease that forms indicates your natural waistline, directly above the belly button and below the ribcage.
      My Before/After Pics
      Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

      "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FairyRae View Post
        http://www.ehow.com/how_2307504_measure-waist.html

        Find your natural waist. An easy way to do this is to stand in front of the mirror and bend at your side. The crease that forms indicates your natural waistline, directly above the belly button and below the ribcage.
        +1 Mine is just above my belly button as well and on me is the thinnest part of my torso. Though that's not the case for those who tend to have "apple" shapes.



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        • #5
          Okay, piecing all your info together from your other posts. You are 5 feet 4 inches and have a healthy size waist. I have a 35 inch waist, weigh 161 pounds and am 5 ft 5 inches. My body fat by impedance is 30% and with measurement between 30 and 33%, so I would guess the one telling you that you are over 30% is WRONG.

          You definitely fall into the lower category, and can safely stop obsessing over it, you are healthy and can eat primally to maintain your BF% and exercise to improve your health.
          Meghan

          My MDA journal

          Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

          And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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          • #6
            You shared your weight with me privately (but not height.) If you really are 5'4, you have a BMI of 20, which is a little lighter than 'normal' for your height. I too agree that you need not obsess over this, and if you are still worried about this issue, focus on toning using primal blueprint fitness, and just try and work on relaxing into this, trying to eat primally if possible, as long as it is working for you. And *try* to let the rest go!

            Good luck again w/ all this!!!
            My Before/After Pics
            Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

            "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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            • #7
              There's something rather off about this body fat calculator: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/body-fat-calculator
              I don't seem to be able to put in a combination that produces low numbers. If I put in my own numbers (weight 108, waist 25.5, hips 37.5, wrist 5.5, forearm 9) it says I have body fat of almost 33%, or obese. I wasn't even obese when I weighed 132! My BF scales say I'm around 20%, and that's probably a little high since most of the fat is in the lower half of my body (I think those scales work by measuring electrical resistance between the feet, ie. via the legs and hips)

              Rather than rely on these calculators of unknown accuracy, why not make an appointment with a trainer to have it tested accurately? (I'd suggest simply not worrying about the number, but I know that's not going to work!)

              Oh, and I wear size 2 jeans. The whole sizing thing is totally a vanity issue by the retailers. There's no way it should be possible to squeeze a 37.5" butt into size 2 jeans But it sure makes me buy them when they fit!
              Liz.

              Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
              Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                +1 Mine is just above my belly button as well and on me is the thinnest part of my torso. Though that's not the case for those who tend to have "apple" shapes.

                According to the Ashwell chart (Google it) I'm a 'chilli' and I should 'take care'.
                La tristesse durera toujours...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FairyRae View Post
                  You shared your weight with me privately (but not height.) If you really are 5'4, you have a BMI of 20, which is a little lighter than 'normal' for your height. I too agree that you need not obsess over this, and if you are still worried about this issue, focus on toning using primal blueprint fitness, and just try and work on relaxing into this, trying to eat primally if possible, as long as it is working for you. And *try* to let the rest go!

                  Good luck again w/ all this!!!

                  Rae, how the flip do you make me that?! I weigh 122lb as of this morning.

                  My height (im m) 1.63 x 1.63 = 2.66
                  Weight in kilos = 55.5

                  Divide the second by the first = 20.9

                  For me to have a BMI of 20, I'd have to weigh 117lb/ 8st 5 - and I've NEVER been that light in my ENTIRE adult life!

                  I CAN'T "concentrate on toning using PB fitness" - I can't leave the house, and I'm forbidden from exercising in it - so how am I supposed to do that, Little Miss Clever...? If I sound frustrated, that's because I am! If you were to meet me, you'd see there's NO WAY I have a BMI of 20, I'm VERY suprised I'm only 8st 10!

                  Remember I have a VERY petite frame and 1lb on a standard framed person, would be the equivalent of 3 on me. Trust me on this I am FAT!! And seemingly only going to get fatter. I'm angry because I have had my right to a normal existence stolen from me - and I'm NEVER going to get it back.

                  Rae, I like you, you're a decent person, but this isn't your body - it's mine (and I lost it when I was just 12).

                  I really shouldn't post this late at night. I'll go away now.

                  sarah
                  Last edited by Shrinking_Violet; 09-11-2010, 04:47 PM.
                  La tristesse durera toujours...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NutMeg View Post
                    Okay, piecing all your info together from your other posts. You are 5 feet 4 inches and have a healthy size waist. I have a 35 inch waist, weigh 161 pounds and am 5 ft 5 inches. My body fat by impedance is 30% and with measurement between 30 and 33%, so I would guess the one telling you that you are over 30% is WRONG.

                    You definitely fall into the lower category, and can safely stop obsessing over it, you are healthy and can eat primally to maintain your BF% and exercise to improve your health.
                    I wouldn't say that necessarily that the higher % is wrong... and here is why- the % is not indicative of a WEIGHT value. A woman who is 5' 5" and 200lbs but is a powerlifter could be 20% body fat or less... it's the % of your body mass that is made up of fat. A woman who is 110 lbs and "skinny fat" could have 33% bf if she's sedentary.

                    Weight/size you wear is not always indicative of your body's composition.

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                    • #11
                      Violet- if you can go to a gym and have a trained professional (like a personal trainer) use calipers on you, they'll be able to tell you a more accurate number. Hydrostatic weighing is the most accurate but doesn't seem easily accessible. Caliper testing is best if you are really concerned about your %.

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                      • #12
                        Exactly CG. Still don't understand why I get wildly differing results using the same stats, though.
                        La tristesse durera toujours...

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                        • #13
                          Right, but she also included her abdominal circumference, which is 28 inches. I highly doubt a person of her height/weight and with that AC is over 30% BF. I just figured hers with the specifications I have available, and even if I guess her neck measurement at 12 she is still under 30%.
                          Meghan

                          My MDA journal

                          Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                          And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shrinking_Violet View Post
                            Exactly CG. Still don't understand why I get wildly differing results using the same stats, though.
                            I did those two also... and I got wildly different % too. I'd say there's an error in a computation somewhere on one or both of those. And, I looked at your "body shape" chart, which I find questionable... it doesn't even ask you how big your hips are in comparison-- how the hell do they know what shape you are? I could have a 30" waist and 33" hips and it'd tell me I was a pear... that's not really right.

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                            • #15
                              With the easy calculations one I am 27.3%
                              The second one gives me a percentage of 32.27

                              Since I recently used a high end impendence BF thingy, and it gave me 30%, obviously they are all not 100% accurate.

                              I still like to use them though to see if my numbers are going down. I like to stick to using the same one. I use one that includes calf measurement since my legs are muscular and if muscle weighs more than fat I need that included. I linked the one I use earlier, and it is fairly close to what the impendence test gave me for my percentage.

                              Sarah, you can't jump around and do crazy thing sin the house, but do you have a door on your room? If so there are some body weight exercises that you could do that are not going to bother anyone around you, they won't even know you are doing them. Well, if that is the reason you can't exercise inside the house that is.
                              Meghan

                              My MDA journal

                              Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                              And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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