Thursday, August 7, 2014

Running and Weight

Am I "skinny fat?"

I've worked very hard for years to not obsess about my weight, to not worry about every calorie that goes into my body and to think of food as fuel, not as an enemy.   One of the reasons why I love running is because it takes my focus away from all the issues that I find with my body to all the cool things my body can do while I run.  

A few weeks ago, I started reading "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald;  it's a great book that emphasizes the need for whole, natural foods and why popular diets (i.e. Paleo) do not really work well with endurance athletes.  In the book, it suggests that to feel your best while running, you should get down to your optimal running weight (provided you feel healthy at that weight.)  It's suggested that you measure your body fat with a home scale and compare it to the suggested chart in the book.   What did I do? I bought a cheap body fat/body weight scale on Groupon.  Yep, bad idea for me.  When I received the scale, I plugged in my age, height and sex.  I weighed myself, it seemed right in-line with what I thought I was...but, then it calibrated my body fat and popped up with a large message reading "OVERFAT."  Over what???  I double checked that my height, sex and age were correct...all correct.  I checked it again, and again and again, each time overfat.  The next morning, I measured my body fat again; this time I was at the upper range of healthy.  I don't know how accurate my scale is but, if I want to be at my optimal "racing" weight per the "Racing Weight" book, I need to lose more than 15% of my body fat and lose 2-3 lbs. Am I "Skinny fat??"    I run 5-6 times a week and do core/weights 15-20 minutes 5-6 times a week.  I also eat pretty well, besides the occasional (ok, frequent dishes of ice cream.)  Of course after seeing my body fat percentage, I started obsessing about my high percentage of body fat and, started worrying that I was at an unhealthy range.  I felt frustrated, sad and started to feel down on myself. 

Finally, I got over self-wallowing and said

Whatever.  Maybe it's accurate, maybe it's not.  I will keep doing the best I can do;  I'm going to continue with my healthy habits, after all, training for the Honolulu Marathon starts this weekend!!

  ...and I might cut down on ice cream.

Anyone else have luck with body fat scales?  Do you have an optimal running/training weight?


  1. You are def not too fat - percentage wise or otherwise- if anything too skinny. Inexpensive tool +inaccurate readings- Advice: THROW it out! Also- ice cream is the new rage for flushing impurities etc out of body:)
    love you

  2. This concerned me :-( You are the thinnest and more importantly, one of the fittest people I know. You could cross train to build upper body strength but you certainly don't have fat!