Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You Talking to Me? - or the Tale of the 300 lb Chicken

I worked cardio tonight. About 7 minutes in the stair climber, 30 on the elliptical, 30 on the recumbent bike, and another 15 on the treadmill to cool down. The left knee and right Achilles' tendon both felt better afterwards. Still trying the stretchless workout. I haven’t noticed any ill effects yet.

Are you talking to me?

Tonight, I feel stranger than I have since I started working out. I met with Brad, the owner and head of Promatx today for my quarterly progress review.

We talked about nutrition, of course. I have some things I can do better now. Need to work harder on eating more small meals throughout the day. Right now, I have carbs in the morning and fats and protein in the evening. I need to even that out some.

Having a trainer tell me that I need to eat more was a real shock. But there was an even bigger one.

“What is your goal?”, Brad asked.

“I want to lose 200 lbs.”

“How would you feel about changing that?”

We had just measured my body fat,and it turns out that in order to reach my target weight, I will have to lose almost 50 lbs of lean muscle along with the fat. I was confused. So what should my target be?

Based on my current lean body weight, if I get my body fat down to 18% (not bad for a man of 47) I would weigh 304 lbs! Were I to get down to 10% body fat (pretty fit for anyone of any age) I would weigh around 277.

These numbers have really rattled me. Especially when I consider that since I started working out, I have gained 19 lbs of muscle and lost 53 lbs of fat.

See what’s happening there? My lean weight (in red) is increasing almost 40% as fast as my fat weight (blue) is going down. I don’t have the patience to work the figures at this hour, but it appears to me that if my muscle weight keeps increasing at this rate, I will be at 10% body fat at right around 300 lbs.

I am going to be a trim, muscular 300 lb man. That sentence freaks me out for reasons I can’t even begin to explain. The words seem so incongruous - me...fit...trim...three-hundred pounds -- I can’t even picture what that will look like. It certainly won’t look like anything I have ever imagined myself being.

It’s one thing to count your chickens before they’re hatched, but I’m starting to realize that there’s a very big chicken waiting to peck its way out of this blubbery shell and the bird scares me a little.

Jeremy Likness has posted a series of before/after pictures of himself as he reduced from 30+% to 10% body fat. (245 to 188 lbs)

Frankenpennsy will be 6 inches taller and 112 pounds heavier. - It that even possible? And will I really look that imposing in robin's egg blue underpants? This may send me to the shrink a few months early.



  1. Hi! I'm glad I found your blog and appreciate you using the example. I posted that for a very good reason. I can tell you ... I would even bet money on the fact ... that you will not be 10% and 300 pounds of body fat. That's not to be rude, but realistic.

    I've been coaching people to lose weight ... a lot of weight ... since I lost my weight in 2001 and the most common mistake that happens is that body fat percentages over around 25% are just not accurate.

    I know, people will claim they are accurate and put lots of promises behind it but I don't know of any single method that is really accurate until you reach a certain point.

    I also know the gospel is to measure body fat and look at lean mass/body fat instead of weight, but again, at heavier weights its always best to look at weight ... it's only as you approach your goal that the body fat comes into play.

    Again, just trying to help you set goals. A lot of your "lean mass" at this point isn't muscle, its water. Lean mass is "everything but fat." At 6 inches taller, you probably will be heavier ... but all you have to do is look to the bodybuilding world for some real world examples of what is realistic.

    Mr. Olympia himself is close to 300 pounds at around 6% body fat and thats with certain enhancements you or I don't use and YEARS of heavy training. Natural bodybuilding champions who dedicate their lives to putting on muscle and hiring the smartest people around weigh in at a little over 220 at low body fat.

    So there will be a ways to go but I commend you on your journey and wish you health, abundance, and success with it.


    Jeremy Likness

  2. Oops that was meant to be "300 pounds of weight" not "of body fat."


  3. Jeremy,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. I'm traveling a road I've never seen before, and hearing from someone who has walked it as successfully as you have is encouraging to me. You honor me with your insights.

    I haven't been working out long, just a few months - but in that short time I have learned that the path is long and full of turns and switchbacks -- and it is foolish to pretend that I know what is around the corner.

    What I do know is that my life is better since I started doing something about my body, and I look forward to whatever comes out of the "blubbery egg" eventually.

    Thanks again for your example and your wisdom. I hope some folks find your site through the link here.



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