After celebrating the 18-month anniversary of the decision that changed my life I had a big week in my journey this week. I had some new wins and a little bit of a reality check about where I am in this journey. All of these things are building up to me defining my 2019 fitness goals.
Steering Committee Meeting
Every great project needs a steering committee of subject matter experts and advisors that help inform decision making; my Operation Melt project is no different. Throughout this week I had a variety of meetings with some people who I consider to be my steering committee.
- I had a follow up appointment with my doctor to check in on blood pressure, weight, general health and to draw blood to check in on progress.
- I had my weekly session with my trainer and we started with reassessing my body fat percentage and bicep size.
- I had a variety of discussions with my wife Liz to review the results from the other meetings.
These meetings all helped me evaluate where I am in this journey and produced one of my new wins.
Body Fat Percentage Victory
In August I had my first every body fat percentage assessment with a 3-point caliper test at the gym with my trainer. At that point I had a body fat percentage of 17%. As I discussed last week this compares to a 40%-50% estimated body fat when I started this journey 18 months ago. So that was pretty impressive progress.
This week’s assessment was even more impressive. I expected that I would be down 1% or 2% at the most over just 4 months. I was wrong… I was down 5%!
I now have a body fat percentage of just 12%!
So what does that mean? Well let’s look at the following table produced by the American Council on Exercise. This chart lists the average body fat percentage ranges for various categories of people.
Based on this table my 12% body fat puts me firmly into the “athlete” category! Pretty damn exciting!
Weight Loss Surprise
My other victory this week was in the weight loss category. As I have talked about repeatedly my weight loss progress has slowed. I am trading fat for muscle and muscle weighs more so my weight really hasn’t budged much over the past few months. Plus I am at a low enough weight that I really shouldn’t expect big changes.
As you can see in this graph my weight has pretty much leveled out.
So you can imagine how surprised I was on Saturday morning when I stepped on the scale expecting my weight to fluctuate up a bit and I actually hit a new low weight. When I stepped on the scale my weight was down and I had achieved a new low weight.
My weight on Saturday morning was 193.8 which is the first time I have gotten down to the 193s and puts me over the 131 pounds lost mark. So this means that I only have about 23 pounds of fat on my body! Despite that my BMI still lists me as overweight which is an indication of the flaws in the BMI calculation.
I don’t expect this to be a big turning point or unlock to restarting weight loss but it was a fun milestone.
Back to the doctor
My fitness journey originally kicked off after an appointment with my doctor on 6/15/2017. It was only fitting that I end this year and kick off these weeks of status evaluation and goal-setting with a return visit.
To goals for my visit this week were to do a general check-in on my health and progress and to confirm that my blood pressure is self-regulating. Additionally I wanted to discuss some pains and questions I had. Finally this was the time to take some blood because my last blood work was done in that first appointment and we want to see how everything is progressing for me. I am happy to say that the blood draw was way more successful this time with less fat blocking my veins and there was not vein “digging” at all.
Overall the appointment was great and everything was good news.
- Weight progress is obviously good since he hasn’t seen me for 3 months.
- Blood pressure is great and the medicine is definitely gone for good – been off meds for 3+ months.
- I will get the results of the blood in about a week.
- He also recommended that I start taking a yoga class to help protect joints and avoid pains.
- He gave me some advice about mistakes I am making at the gym and suggested rearranging the order of my longer workouts – I have been running too much before lifting heavy weights.
My doctor and I discussed my weight progress and stalled weight loss and he concluded the same thing as me and that is that I may be at the floor. Plus my body composition is changing significantly so there is still fat loss but it is being replaced with muscle gain and that is heavier. He said there is no real way to know because each person’s body is unique and he gave me a warning about losing more. In order to lose more weight I may end up losing some muscle and I should try to prevent muscle loss for as long as possible.
Reality sets in… an era coming to an end
It is very likely that my weight loss journey is done at the end of this year.
This does not mean that my fitness journey or Operation Melt is done by any means. This journey is just getting started and there are many things that I still want to accomplish and lots of room to grow and improve.
There are only 8 days left in 2018 which means it is time to start setting 2019 goals. A big focus of this week will be defining those 2019 goals and I will be sharing next week. But the one thing I am planning NOT to include in these goals is additional weight loss. I will include a goal about maintaining my weight in the 189-199 range and will continue the discipline of tracking what I eat and weighing myself regularly. But I will not be trying to lose more weight.
I feels strange thinking that my weight loss journey is coming to an end. This journey has defined me and been a big part of who I am for the past 18 months. I have made so much progress and am happy with what I have done so far. There was always going to be a stopping point and I knew that the loss would end. It is just hard to believe that day is upon me.
I am looking forward to this next chapter and to defining and sharing my goals for 2019!
Thanks for reading!
Last week’s stats (12/10-12/16):
Distance walked/run: 31.9 miles (+1.1 vs. LY)
Total calories burnt: 21,938 (-4,731 vs. LY)
Total calories consumed: 15,908 (+3,822 vs. LY)
Net calories this week: -6,030 (+8,553 vs. LY)
Weight change (week avg.): 0 pounds lost (-1.8 vs LY)