|Lean Body Mass (pure muscle weight):||163.4lbs||154.8lbs||(-8.6in)|
|Resting Heart Rate||60bpm||85-90bpm||(-30bpm)|
|Heart Rate(1min after 3min Step Test 96bpm cadence)||65bpm||115bpm||(-50bpm)|
Above are the results from my fitness evaluation today at the gym. It compares results from last year. My previous high weight was 185lbs with 7% body fat. My low during chemo was 155lbs, that’s a drastic 30lb swing. Now most people would love to lose 30lbs. However I was at an almost ideal body fat percent of 7%. If you noticed, I’ve stayed there. I’ve gained back almost 9lbs from my last treatment due to getting my appetite back and drinking more fluids throughout the day. I don’t feel so dehydrated and I’m not getting muscle cramps anymore. The reason I mention my body fat % and show how it hasn’t changed is because that 30lb loss is pure muscle. I lost 30lbs in 6 months of treatment which originally took me two years to put on!
It’s frustrating and a bit depressing, but I know I can put it back on, and much faster than I did the first time around. For all those doctors, insurance companies, and people that can’t seem to keep their weight where they want to; STOP LOOKING AT IT! I put up my BMI as a joke. The BMI is the most useless piece of information you can give to someone, doctors and insurance companies really need to stop using this, but I digress. For those that want to “lose weight” you really need to be figuring out your body fat percentage, get off of the treadmill, and start lift weights. Yes you too ladies. Body fat % is easily found by doing simple pinch tests with a pair of calipers, such as these inexpensive ones.
If you are wondering why I say you need to stop looking at your weight, it is because your weight doesn’t give you a good idea of what your body is made of. If you look at my chart above you can see that my 7% body fat tells me that I am made up of 154lbs of pure muscle(and a little bit of water, bone, and organ weight). The other 12lbs is made up of fat. This comparison is waaay more important than a silly weight number. If you want to look good you need to pay attention to the relationship of muscle vs. fat or your body fat %. If, and when, you start lifting instead of plodding along on a treadmill all the time to “lose weight” you may actually gain weight! Oh no, you didn’t want that did you!?! Well muscle weights more than fat, and if you gain muscle which doesn’t burn fat per se, but it helps “light your engine” to burn fat, then yes you may end up weighting more. But you’ll drop pant size, you’ll look better, you won’t have flabby chicken under-arms, and no you won’t look gross and bulky. Don’t believe me? Either read this book or check out these chicks who figured out that lifting is the trick, matter of fact do both! I’m not apologizing for this rant, our society has royally screwed the way women think about their bodies and how to actually take care of them. That goes for you too guys: Read and read.
I knew this was going to happen, that’s why I posted this article before I started my chemo treatment. But I’ve started back up at the gym. I can’t lift as much, but it feels good to get back into it. The hardest thing so far has been cardio as you can see by the big change in my resting heart rate. I try to warm up by doing a few laps (1/4mi) around the track before lifting. This short distance is quite a feat! My goal is to try and run the 5k at Race for the Cure on Mother’s Day. I may have a month and a half to prepare, but it seems like a big hurdle for me right now.
The only reason that I pay attention to my weight is because I want to gain it. My body fat % is right where I want it and right where it should be. I’m trying to gain back the 20-25lbs of muscle loss in six months. I’ll check back in and let you know it I hit my goal in October.
And for any of you nay-sayers that think it’s easy being my size, trust me it’s not. I’m a lanky skinny dude that had to work his ass off for two years to gain 25lbs. Don’t tell me it’s easy for me to gain weight and hard for you to lose it. It’s the same work just different goals.