Friday, September 26, 2008

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN



Don't know if you remember (I do know it'd take me forever to find the post), but awhile back I decided to focus, not so much on weight loss but on waist size, since my muscle mass might throw off my BMI (not that I'm that muscular, but I do have some...) Also, waist/height ratio is now being used as one of the markers for cardiovascular risk -- you're supposed to be at no more than 0.5 on this, preferably less.

When I started, my waist was at 30.5 inches, my ratio exactly 0.5, and was going to aim for 28 and a ratio of 45.9 (I'm 5'1".)

Well, my waist is currently 27.5 and my ratio is 45.8.

This puts me in very good standing. My BMI, although not stellar, is at least "normal" (below 25) at 24.2 (started at 27.4.) However, as I said, you can't always tell from that, if the person has muscle; I'm not Ms. Atlas or anything but I've been doing upper-body work all summer, as well as isotonic/isometric stuff in PT to help maintain my leg strength in the absence of running and biking.

Maybe I should mention that I've lost an inch from my hips as well, in addition to other areas where it may or may not be desirable to lose but we all know that a girl's best two points are always the first to go when weight loss happens.

Since starting controlled-carbohydrate eating, the beginning of July, my HDL (the "good" cholesterol) has skyrocketed from 43 to 76 (supposed to be over 40); my triglycerides (one of the "bad" blood fats) plummeted from 128 (supposed to be under 100) to 56.

Unfortunately, my LDL and total cholesterol went up. A lot. Not sure what happened there, except that the leap in HDL would drive the total count up, but as for the LDL, I don't know why that went up. It was supposed to go down on low-carb.

My total cholesterol/HDL ratio is better than it was before. So's my LDL/HDL. Ratios are considered at least as important as raw numbers, and my ratios improved. My doctor doesn't like my total cholesterol and LDL, though. I don't either. Seems like something is working but something else isn't.

So I'm keeping my carbs low to hopefully maintain my great HDL and triglycerides, but doing away with the beef, bacon, butter and whole eggs I was eating, going with very lean meat/poultry/tofu and monounsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil.)

And as I progress in my exercise again -- with increased biking and walking moving up a mile or so a week, I should see some improvements that may have been frustrated by my relative lack of activity all summer.

Weight? Which is supposed not to be so important? It still matters to me. I'm having a hard time shifting the emphasis off it. I lost 11 pounds in the first month of low-carb. Then when I started adding to my carbohydrate intake (often by cheating with ice cream and candy, I will admit.... addicted, can't stay away) I regained 3, but I have maintained that weight. So I'm 8 pounds below where I started almost 3 months ago.

I love that 2.5 inches off my waist.

5 comments:

Usman Pasha Siddiqui said...

Congratulations on the 2.5 inches. I know how statisfying it is when you acheive a goal like this. But you don't think that this is it and start taking it easy.

Jade Lady said...

congrats on the waist loss! I know that must feel good esp when you wear pants!

bunnygirl said...

That's terrific about your waistline. That's really all that matters. When you slip into a cute dress, what matters is how it fits and feels, not what the scale says. How many people go around trying to pick you up, anyway?

Good job!

ShirleyPerly said...

Wonderful news!! Esp. when you've not been able to be as active as usual. And the smaller waist and hips sound like you may need new pants!

Vickie said...

Congrats Ellie! I am more or less on low carb/controlled carb intake also, mainly for the blood sugar problem I had all my life. I really can't deviate from it much or find myself in trouble. I too found that my total cholesterol/LDL was higher than I would like, but like you my HDL was high (105) and my triglycerides low (44) so overall I got a good rating. I'll be following your progress as you prepare for your big walk.