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.