Skip to content

Fat or Fit?

June 8, 2011

Hi friends!

After a long day of travel yesterday (BOO to plane delays…and double-BOO to plane delays due to broken air conditioning systems in the plane…ugh), I finally arrived in Pittsburgh around 7:30 last night.  My sweet husband was waiting for me at the airport, and we grabbed dinner in Squirrel Hill before heading back to Altoona.  I had a GREAT time at the spa—but I have to admit, I was very excited to see Ryan (and of course those sweet dogs too). 

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, one of the coolest things about our stay at the spa was the metabolism test we all had done.  The test measures your RMR—resting metabolic rate.  In other words, it measures how many calories your body would burn if you just laid in bed and didn’t lift a finger all day. 

Unfortunately, mine was a little low for my projected estimation (given height, age, and weight)—1380.  My estimated RMR given my height, weight, and age was 1621.  Man!  The guy who administered all of my testing said that the number wasn’t low enough that I should rush out and see a doctor, but that it could indicate an underactive thyroid, and that the next time I’m getting blood work done, it would be something to ask about.

Then came the body composition analysis.  I’d actually gotten this test done three years ago.  Basically, in addition to measuring height and weight, they use calipers to measure your body fat percentage as well. 

This was where it got interesting.

I was excited to see that I was down about five pounds from three years ago.  I figured that my body fat percentage would be the same—or maybe even a little lower, given that I now weigh a little less.

My body fat percentage was up by 5 percentage points!!!


I’m not brave enough to post the numbers on the blog…but suffice it to say that while my weight was deemed high fitness, and my waist-to-hip ratio was deemed average, my body fat percentage was in the low fitness range. 

I started thinking about what I’m doing differently now than I was three years ago, and if I’m being honest with myself (and with y’all), my strength training has kind of gone down the tubes.  I’m very active, and I definitely get in my fair share of cardio…but really it’s only cardio.  I used to spend an equal amount of time strength training with weight machines and free weights as I did running (or doing another form of cardio), but in the past few years, that balance has gotten more and more askew.  Nowadays, it’s a good week if I spend maybe 10 minutes at the end of my cardio workout doing weights—and that’s not good!

This is all a very long way of saying that I’m going to try to get that percentage number down.  My method of attack is two-fold: more weight-training, and cleaner eating.  Because, again, if I’m being honest with myself, the nights of dessert and 2 glasses of wine have definitely increased as of late.

It was interesting to see the numbers…I’ve always considered myself a healthy, fit person, and while I know I’m at a healthy weight, and lead a healthy lifestyle for the most part, I do think there are things that I can do to gain lean muscle and hopefully bring that high percentage number down!

This morning, I jumped right into my new strength-training goals by doing Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones…whew! I always forget what a tough one that is!

Long post already…but I thought I’d share my lunch.  I cooked up a big batch of (toasted!) quinoa this morning so that I’ll have it to use for lunches and dinners all week. 

This salad:

DSC_0027 (2)

DSC_0034 (2) 

packs a triple-protein punch! Quinoa, tuna, and a hard-boiled egg…yum! For an easy dressing, I mixed 1 tsp. of Smart Balance omega-plus mayo with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. 

I tried to pretend that I was at the spa while I was eating this lunch…but it just didn’t feel quite the same.  ;-) 

Hope you’re having a great Wednesday…any tips you want to share for burning fat and gaining lean muscle?  I’ve always been a cardio person, so the idea of really tackling strength training kind of intimidates me!

26 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2011 7:26 pm

    You actually can’t simultaneously gain muscle and lose fat because to gain muscle the body needs extra calories to gain mass and, generally, it will be in the form of both fat and muscle mass. That’s why body builders go through bulking and cutting cycles where they first bulk up (adding fat and muscle) and then reduce their calories and increase their cardio to cut the fat.
    You’ll probably need to focus on building muscle though if you want to increase your metabolism and weight training is VERY effective at increasing metabolism.

    I just posted a new weight training routine on my blog today if you want to take a look… I have a few more routines posted there as well.

    • June 8, 2011 7:36 pm

      Thank you!!! I’ll definitely check out the routines you’ve posted!

  2. emartinodonnell permalink
    June 8, 2011 7:40 pm

    Oh man, you’re braver than I am to find out that info and then tackle it head on. I do a lot of cardio – but I’m now worried I’m not as fit as I think. Ah.. perhaps ignorance in bliss?!

  3. June 8, 2011 7:48 pm

    The very first thing I thought was – weight training. Soooo important. But I bet you knew I’d say that 😉

  4. June 8, 2011 8:03 pm

    I’ve been doing Jillian’s Shred 2 days a week. I thought I was fit before but this is really whipping me in to shape.

    • June 8, 2011 8:07 pm

      Haha…amazing how Jillian can open up your eyes like that, right?

    • June 8, 2011 8:38 pm

      I started running last month for the first time, and now I’m just starting the 30-day Shred, and oh my goodness, I am SO sore! It’s good, but I haven’t done any strength training in ages, and I forget that cardio doesn’t do it all. Here’s to a summer of better fitness!

  5. June 8, 2011 8:20 pm

    That toasted quinoa looks divine! I really need to get into strength training myself. I have always focused so much on cardio and never though weights made a difference. Boy was I wrong!

    Oh, and I live right by Squirrel Hill, funny enough. Its a great place!

    • June 8, 2011 8:24 pm

      Such a cute neighborhood!

      Yep– I’m the same exact way– ALWAYS focused on cardio!!

  6. June 8, 2011 8:22 pm

    Anna thanks for sharing this all with everyone…it takes guts to talk about it all so major hats off to you for being so open.

    You are beautiful and whatever you end up doing or how things happen…you are a rockin’ chica 🙂

    • June 8, 2011 8:25 pm

      Awww, thank you. Haha…in my depressed state yesterday in the airport, I bought an Oxygen magazine…and all those girls reminded me of you!!! In the best way possible, of course 🙂

    • June 8, 2011 8:30 pm

      AND– I’m not that brave– I didn’t post my numbers!!! Haha!! 🙂

  7. June 8, 2011 11:38 pm

    It’s funny how all those tests measure things like that. I love my strength training now. I used to be all about the cardio, but now I see such a difference with doing muscle toning and my body looks completely different. I know you’ll get it figured out. It sounds like an interesting weekend!

  8. June 9, 2011 5:43 am

    You’re very brave for getting the numbers and it sounds like you’re on a very healthy path. Strength training is a tough one for me too, I have to cram it in my intense cardio schedule.

  9. Alyssa permalink
    June 9, 2011 10:14 am

    You could try switching it up every other time you work out; cardio one day, strength the next…stick some yoga in there just so you stetch your muscles since they’re being worked in new ways.
    I had the same thing happen to me, and when I began doing the every-other-day style routine, I could see the change in my body in just a few weeks! Best of luck!

  10. mgutowsk permalink
    June 9, 2011 11:27 am

    Well, you used the magic word: thyroid! After all I went through last year, I’d say get it checked out because it can take a while to get everything balanced if you do have a problem. Your doc will just have you get a blood test. Your thyroid can do all sorts of crazy things to you, like give you heart palpitations, contribute to weight gain or loss, or just make you feel exhausted all the time. It even affected my concentration! I’m hoping it’s not a thyroid problem and the spa tech was just throwing out fancy diagnoses.

    UGH! No More Trouble Zones… I have a love/hate relationship with that video. Hate doing it, LOVE having it done!

  11. June 9, 2011 11:32 am

    Hello! Just came across your blog from How Sweet It Is! Congratulations on getting married! And becoming a vegetarian! I’m getting married next summer and I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 12 (I’m 25 now!)! I can’t wait to see what recipes you have cooking!! 🙂 I also started a vegetarian cooking blog!!


    • June 9, 2011 12:46 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! Congrats on your upcoming wedding, and welcome!

  12. greensandjeans permalink
    June 9, 2011 11:49 am

    I definitely hear you on this one. Having a boyfriend who loves food, beer, and wine as much as I do has been great for the soul, but not as kind on my waist line. But, I’m reigning it in and I’ve discovered Jackie Warner’s workouts OnDemand (because i’m too cheap to buy the DVD). I love me some Jillian, but I’ve done her workouts so many times and Jackie’s are HARD and definitely leave me feeling it!

    • June 9, 2011 12:17 pm

      Ooooh, I have one of her dvds that I kind of forgot about! Yay!

  13. June 9, 2011 12:19 pm

    I’ve been trying to strength train more lately, and what’s helped me stick with it is lifting heavy enough weights that I actually see results. For years I was using the light girly weights and not seeing any difference, but now that I’m lifting to my full potential I feel like I’m working HARD- it feels like just as good of a workout as cardio!!

    • June 9, 2011 12:29 pm

      Good tip– I usually go too light on the weights, I think.

  14. Ginger permalink
    June 9, 2011 1:43 pm

    This was a very informative post. I think weights are the way to go, with some cardio mixed in – I think I enjoy the cardio more just for my mental health! At least you can still gain muscle – at my age, the best I can do is not lose anymore muscle : ( Anyway, I bet you will be amazed at how fast your body responds to your new routine. Either way, you are very very beautiful!!

  15. June 9, 2011 3:22 pm

    Wow, that is awesome you got a chance to do that! But that is such a difference, like 300 calories or so, so I guess thats good you got that done along with the body fat test. You look like you’re in perfect shape so if you have too much body fat, I have no chance, oi 😦 I started to notice a major change in my body when I started lifting weights. I used to just go to the gym and do cardio but now I try to do an even cardio.strength training split.

  16. June 9, 2011 3:28 pm

    I find this kind of stuff so fascinating- I would love to have something like that done! My strength training is non-existent as of late, aside from some pushups here and there. At one point last year I could do three sets of twenty (real pushups) and now I can barely do five.

    I love NMTZ!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: