Operation De-Chunkify

Shortly after I signed up for Ironman Canada, I started doing strength training once a week with a personal trainer. My goals are pretty straightforward: I want to get stronger, slim down, and be able to do some pull-ups without flailing and looking like a sad little weakling. I have managed to get stronger over the past few months and the pull-ups are getting less tragic-looking. As for the weight, well…

My strength trainer is a big nutrition buff. Shortly after I first started working with him, he urged me to write down everything I ate for about a week. I obliged and appalled him with my food log (I believe he referred to me as a “carboholic”). He made several recommendations (eat every three hours, don’t eat carbs until after my workouts, cut out fake sugars and stick with more natural foods) and told me to check back in a while.

I was all gung-ho until the holidays hit, at which point I gained back what I had lost and chubbed up to my fattest weight ever. It was pretty depressing – I wouldn’t call myself “fat,” but I was definitely at my flabbiest. I checked back in with my strength trainer, who agreed that I looked a bit “chunkier” (sigh) and told me to start writing down my food again. He also bullied me into sharing my weight every week, so instead of my vague “I’m down a pound,” I’d have to start giving actual numbers. Crap.

This week I turned in my food log and was told I had made a marked improvement in the slop I was shoving down my gullet. I’ve so far lost about 6 lbs but have a ways to go to hit my goal weight. I’m basically going for “skinniest I’ve been since I got my tonsils removed when I was sixteen” weight, only with more muscle mass and fewer popsicles. (It was the “subsist off popsicles and tea” diet, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t poop for a week. Damn was I skinny though!)


Breakfast of champions

The one thing that threw me for a loop was when I got my body composition tested. To me the fat percentage seemed inaccurate – it was about 4% higher than I expected and placed me in the “poor” category. Normally I wouldn’t think much of it, but I don’t look that fat, for crying out loud, and I do stay pretty active even if I do tend to eat utter garbage. Also, bear with me here as I introduce an example derived from VH1 of all places. I caught part of an episode of Celebrity Fit Club on TV this week, and one of the “celebrities” getting weighed in looked considerably chunkier than me but apparently had 2% less body fat. Granted, she was about 3 inches shorter than I am, but still. She was told that if she lost 20 lbs, her body fat would drop about 4% (I forget the exact number), yet my strength trainer told me that if I lost 20 lbs to hit my goal weight, I’d drop 10% of my body fat. That seems like a pretty big difference for two people with apparently similar body compositions and weight goals.

This whole body composition nonsense kind of confuses me. Either way, I know what I want my goal weight and my body fat percentage to be, so I guess it doesn’t matter too much what the test says I’m currently at. All I know is that racing should be a bit easier when I’m hauling 20-25 fewer pounds through the water, on the bike and while I’m running. I’d also like my Ironman Canada finish photo to look pretty hardcore and not “Hey, that fat kid is blocking the finish line!”, at which point I’d start sobbing and trying to unwrap my finisher’s medal thinking there’s chocolate inside.


I don't even like chocolate that much, but I'd still chow this down

4 Responses to “ “Operation De-Chunkify”

  1. teresa says:

    Girl…you amaze me…You are beautiful, strong and powerful and you WILL reach your goals! Believe!


  2. Triathlete-Wannabe... says:

    This article might help you out… http://www.healthchecksystems.com/bodyfat.htm

  3. Sara Keogh says:

    Rebecca, I keep checking for a new post! Want new post! Need new post! Puhhleeeeeeeeez! I’m involved in my own operation de-chunkify, and am currently the cheese who runs alone (unless Wendy is at track). Need more posts!!!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Haha, ask and ye shall receive, Sara. New post is up, with more on the way!

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