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Thread: No questions, just venting frustration .. maybe other women can relate ... page

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    gempdx44's Avatar
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    No questions, just venting frustration .. maybe other women can relate ...

    Primal Fuel
    Hi.

    I am driving myself crazy with the scale and comparing myself to what others weigh. You would think at my age I would know better not to compare myself to others but apparently not, because I have been in a funk all day.

    I'm 45 years old, 5'4" and for the life of me ... I cannot get below 150 pounds! Actually, I was 156 pounds this morning. I lift weights 2-3 times a week. I do HIIT 1-2 times a week. I try to incorporate as much slow movement as I can while having a desk job. I eat at a deficit, usually 1400-1600 calories a day. I eat whole foods and very little sugar or alcohol. I am hypo, but on Synthroid and feel great other than my weight.

    Last time I had my bodyfat measured I was 23.8%, down from 31% when I started training in December. I know I should not worry about the scale, but for fuck's sake - 156 pounds?

    Can it really be that my bones just "weigh more"? I always thought that was a load of crap my mom fed me, but when I see other women with similar bodies to mine that weigh 130 I have to wonder.

    Anyone else out there feel like they weigh much more than they should? I never thought I'd be a size 6 at 156 pounds, but I am and sometimes - a size 4. That just seems so weird.
    "For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic ... we enjoy the comfort of opinions without the discomfort of thought."
    ---John F. Kennedy

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    i know you're not looking for answers, but i have an unsolicited piece of advice: get rid of your scale. size 6, size 4...clearly your body composition is terrific, so stop chasing a meaningless number on a scale. get out there and strut your stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    i know you're not looking for answers, but i have an unsolicited piece of advice: get rid of your scale. size 6, size 4...clearly your body composition is terrific, so stop chasing a meaningless number on a scale. get out there and strut your stuff.
    My head knows you are correct - the number is meaningless. But still puzzled how the heck I can weigh so much at this height and be my size. It's not like I am solid muscle, I still have a lot of fat to lose!

    I have before pictures taken in a bikini prior to starting weight training last December. Maybe I need to take some new photos and then I can "see" the change. This is totally messing with my head!
    "For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic ... we enjoy the comfort of opinions without the discomfort of thought."
    ---John F. Kennedy

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    Quote Originally Posted by gempdx44 View Post
    I have before pictures taken in a bikini prior to starting weight training last December. Maybe I need to take some new photos and then I can "see" the change. This is totally messing with my head!
    definitely do the photos. those will tell you more than any scale or body fat measurer ever could.

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    Annlee's Avatar
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    Exactly how are you getting the bodyfat percentage? DEXA (also written as DXA) is the most reliable. See here - Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - this could actually let you know your bone density, fat percentage, and where it's a problem (if there is one).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Annlee View Post
    Exactly how are you getting the bodyfat percentage? DEXA (also written as DXA) is the most reliable. See here - Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - this could actually let you know your bone density, fat percentage, and where it's a problem (if there is one).
    Annlee - my personal trainer uses calipers to measure my BF. He's pretty experienced with it, and always measures the same sites, so I've always thought it was fairly accurate. Also, I have looked at photo sites that show women with different BF %'s and the 22-24% gals look pretty close to my body.

    The DEXA scan sounds interesting, because I have always wondered about my bone density! I feel like I have "heavier" bones than normal, though no way to substantiate that. Do you think it is more accurate than the hydrostatic/water dunk weighing?
    "For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic ... we enjoy the comfort of opinions without the discomfort of thought."
    ---John F. Kennedy

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    Long time lurker, first time poster here as your post is the first to truly inspire me to register and respond.

    My measurements match yours in that I am female, 5'5", and also go between a size 4 and 6, but my weight is 116 and BF hovers right around 14% . I have to tell you that keeping it at 116 is actually quite difficult for me as I have lost over 100lb since going primal and it seems like my body just keeps wanting to lose, even with getting all the cals I need or can eat. I know, I shouldn't complain. But at some point I did start to because I see myself getting closer to being considered "underweight"....even though I feel great!

    Long story short, if your goal was to get into a size 4 and you've accomplished it, that's what matters. I'd say being able to do that at what is considered normal weight and BF (or even a little above) for our height is something I wish I could do!

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    Annlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gempdx44 View Post
    Annlee - my personal trainer uses calipers to measure my BF. He's pretty experienced with it, and always measures the same sites, so I've always thought it was fairly accurate. Also, I have looked at photo sites that show women with different BF %'s and the 22-24% gals look pretty close to my body.

    The DEXA scan sounds interesting, because I have always wondered about my bone density! I feel like I have "heavier" bones than normal, though no way to substantiate that. Do you think it is more accurate than the hydrostatic/water dunk weighing?
    To quote from Phinney and Volek,

    Beyond body weight, it is helpful to know how those pounds are divided between fat and lean tissue (aka body composition). There are many body composition techniques available in clinics and gyms, but most of them are too inaccurate to be useful for individual testing (as opposed to measuring average changes in a large group). Among the tests available, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the most accurate and provides additional information beyond other common body composition methods. Other tests you may have access to at your gym such as skin folds, Bod Pod, and bioelectrical impedance are cheaper, but their results can vary widely due to changes in hydration, body temperature, and skin moisture. A DXA scan provides information about whole body and regional lean and fat tissue, as well as bone mass. For example, specific information can be provided about fat content in the abdominal area.

    We encourage you to track your progress by measuring body composition. At the least, we highly recommend you consider having a DXA done after 3 or 6 months of keto-adaptation. Even better would be to obtain a baseline body composition study before you start a low carb diet and then after 3-6 months so you can track your reduction in body fat resulting from reduced insulin and improved access to body fat reserves for energy.

    In our experience the cost of a DXA ranges between $75 and $200 and provides quantitative information on whole body and regional fat mass, lean body mass, and bone mineral density. To obtain this test, it’s worth doing some investigative work to find a location near you. DXAs are available in most hospitals, clinics, and some commercial testing centers. You can try searching online using key words “body composition” and “DXA” and “major city, state near you”. When you schedule a DXA test, state clearly that you are looking for body fat and lean body mass results as well as bone density.

    What you can expect to get from before and after DXA studies are accurate assessments of changes in total body fat, regional body fat, and lean body mass. If you don’t see much weight loss, but your DXA studies show increased lean tissue, you can be confident that you are trading fat pounds for lean pounds. If you start with extra lean tissue and lose some of it commensurate with major weight loss, that’s potentially appropriate. In contrast, however, if you start out being overweight but relatively low in lean body mass, you need to jealously guard your lean tissue by maintaining adequate protein intake. In this case, you would want to see your lean body mass increase after a few months on a well-formulated ketogenic diet; and if not, adjust protein and minerals to allow that to happen.

    Phinney, Stephen; Jeff Volek (2012-06-15). The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (pp. 95-96). Beyond Obesity LLC. Kindle Edition.

    HTH

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    I think the whole heavy bones thing is a bit of a myth (My scales do a body comp and although it's not accurate, even my husband only has 3.6kg (about 8lbs) of bones, and he's quite big... I've only got 2.1kg of bones... yup, I'm very small, but I can't blame them for being heavy . Even if your bones weighed 6lbs... it's still just a few pounds!).

    That all said, your body comp sounds pretty good... maybe you could lose a bit more fat (get down to 20%, say, or maybe 18, but no less) and you'd lose a bit of weight... but it could just be the density of your muscle that weighs a lot.

    My husband this morning was insisting that I'm not overweight anymore, despite needing to lose 5kg (11lbs) to get to the healthy weight range (and that would be the TOP of the healthy weight range)... but obviously my weight is SOMEWHERE (I know I have plenty of fat still, but I guess to the casual observer I don't look "fat" as it's mostly hidden by my clothes).

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    I agree that body composition is a better metric to track than weight. The scale can be useful to step on from time to time if you're at the gym, but keeping one at home can be a bit of challenge for some because they begin to obsess about their weight just like you mentioned.

    Ditch the scale, focus on how you feel first and foremost. Is energy stable? Strength good or increasing? Endurance steady? Immunity good? Mind clear? The more questions like that, that you can say yes to, the better.

    Just my two cents!

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