Monday, 6 September 2010

Tipping The Scales

Since returning from our cycle to Switzerland, I'm afraid to say that the touring bike hasn't yet found it's way out of the flight bag. But I have managed to get out on the road bike, with 30 mile rides the last two weekends and 60 miles next, plus I've been busy catching up on the calorie-burning chores in the garden.

It's a good job I've kept active because I received an unpleasant shock when I got on the scales at my brother's flat near Zurich about 6 weeks ago. Despite having just cycled nearly 600 miles, I tipped the scales at 16 stone.  Which officially makes me a cycling elephant!

An elephant, cycling...

That, and the pictures of me looking like Big Daddy in lycra, finally convinced me that I needed to lose a considerable amount of weight.

So for the last month I've been going to Weight Watchers, eating super healthy, having no treats and restricting booze to the weekends, as well as keeping up my exercise.

And the fantastic news is that I've already lost a stone!

I'm starting to fit comfortably into my favourite clothes (some of which had been retired, in shame, to the loft) and my build is really starting to change. I can see how it will be possible to get to what I would consider an ideal weight of 13-13.5 stone.

But that weight would still leave me at the very top of the 'normal' weight range according to the BMI measure - after losing 3 stones!  My current weight of 15 stone is, at a BMI of 28.5, on the verge of classifying me as 'obese' (for reference, I weighed around 14-14.5 stone in the picture at the top of the blog).

And this shows the idiocy of BMI for anyone athletic - the weight/height figure doesn't take into account lean muscle mass (I must carry an extra 20+ lbs of muscle on my legs alone).

I'm not using this as an excuse, I haven't weighed less than 13 stone since I was 17 and looked like a whippet!

So I was pleased to find a BMI measure designed for people who have an athletic build.  According to that, my current Lean BMI is 24, which is at the upper end of 'acceptable' - fair enough.  13 stone (180 lbs) would put me in the 'desirable' range (hopefully in more ways than one!).

My aim is to lose an extra stone (or stone-and-a-half) by Christmas and then make my mind up about an ideal weight.  Then I have to keep the weight off, which is a whole new challenge...

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