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April 25, 2013


It's been creeping up for years - middle-age spread has finally struck. The scale may not have moved, but clothes my clothes do not fit right. My clothing binds, once fitting pants have gotten too short, size "long" fits better than size "regular". An occasional indulgence became a daily habit, and the slippery slide into middle age spread has caught me in free fall.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been tracking my activity, mostly walking, since I got the Fitbit for Christmas. I average about 5 miles of walking every days. My husband saw how much I was enjoying my Fitbit, so he decided to get one for himself, and got the Aria scale that you can order along with it. The Aria uses bioelectrical impedance to calculate body fat percentage when combine with weight, height, and age data.

Since its arrival, I've been plunged into a world of body composition calculations, base metabolic rate analysis, calorie counting, and classic transference. A "quick and dirty" measure of body fat percentage can be calculated with BMI and waist circumference to determine the following categories: underweight, ideal, average, and obese. BMI calculators, the traditional method for calculating ideal weight, only factors in height and weight to give a gross estimate of where we are compared to a large population of people. Where this scale breaks down is at the level of the individual. It does not factor in bone density, lean body mass, percentage of body fat, nor fitness.

For example, a shorter than average man or one who body builds may show up as "over weight," even obese, according to the BMI scale. I, having occupied the underweight region most of my adult life, now fall within the average section of the BMI scale. I hate that "blankety-blank" scale. My husband finds the transference hilarious. What the Aria has revealed is what I have known for some time.

I have "over-fatness," a term I learned in PT school, to describe body composition that is beyond the norm in adipose tissue. Our food odyssey through NYC in search of the best doughnut/gelato/bakery along with my advancing age, has changed my body composition. Unfortunately, the 5 miles of walking I accomplish every day is not the sustained activity I need to burn fat. It's time to get serious about diet and exercise before I reach an age where accomplishing fitness becomes difficult. In subsequent posts I will share what I have learned, what is working, what is not.

Posted by linda at April 25, 2013 9:02 AM

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