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Measuring Up, Writing Down October 2, 2009

images-1I took my measurements today, for the Biggest Loser challenge.  I still have a bit to lose at my waist, which is 32″ at the smallest level. According to J. Crew size charts, this puts me at size 14-ish for most clothes, and I’m off the chart for Petites, which I am height wise. I’m definitely still an apple. But it doesn’t make sense, because a size 14 would be pretty swimmy on me right now. How can anyone really order stuff online?

Bust: 38″  Waist: 32″  Hips: 38″  Arm: 9″ Thigh: 18″

I’m not sure about my BL goal, but let me just say I would be OVERJOYED if I could get my waist under 30″. Anything, even 29.999″ would be fantastic. This is truly where my body fat all concentrates, and I still have big handfuls of it. And the part where it’s the most dangerous for one’s health. According to WebMD,

Are You an Apple or a Pear?

So how do you tell if you have more belly fat than is healthy?

  • To measure your waist circumference, place a tape measure around your waist at the smallest point, which is usually just above the navel. A waist size of 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women is generally considered to indicate increased health risk.
  • Waist-to-hip ratio is calculated by measuring your waist at the smallest point and your hips at the widest point — usually at the widest part of the buttocks — and dividing the waist measurement by the hip measurement. A waist-to-hip ratio of greater than 0.9 for men and 0.8 for women is generally considered high risk.

My waist-to-hip ratio is o.84 – high risk! So my goal for the BL challenge is to get my ratio down UNDER .8.

I like this goal. It’s a reasonable one for me, and something I hope I can do in 12 weeks or so, and it’s medically the next thing I need to do for my health. When I began this in January I think my waist circumference was around 37″. So I’ve definitely come a long way, but I’d like to go that last bit more.

In other measuring news, I’ve been counting my WW points yesterday and today. It’s illuminating! Let me say that for SURE I have been eating wayyy over my points since reaching Lifetime, and I am just lucky that whatever activity I’ve been doing has allowed me to maintain at that level. Once I started writing things down, it became obvious to me that if I were doing WW again actively now (ie in LOSS Mode rather than Maintain Mode) I’d be needing to eat a lot less food. Which makes sense.

And it has showed me how I’ve gotten kind of complacent and kind of “I can get away with that!” And how some habits have crept in. I’ve gotten into the habit of eating a WW or Skinny Cow frozen bar after dinner most nights.  Or some sugar free tapioca pudding – some small dessert that is in the 90-100 calorie range. But last night, as my husband was “taking orders” from the freezer after dinner (we all have our favorites) I thought, do I really need this? Do I want it? I was already plenty full from dinner. But I like to have something sweet after dinner. A frozen bar is only one point. But I said no, and instead I had a sugarfree caramel/butterscotch hard candy thing. Which has like 5 calories. I felt fine, and satisfied my little sweet craving, and I didn’t have that 100 extra calories (which over a week = 700)

So it was good to remember this, something I was a lot more conscious of last spring, but which has slipped. I know that pretty soon I am going to have to be telling people, “You bite it, you write it!” and it really IS good practice to be doing it again myself. They say that people who write down their food lose like 50% more than people who don’t write it down, and I can see why. It does make a difference. I am about to put something in my mouth, and I think, “Do I realllllly want to write this down?” and I think twice.

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14 Responses to “Measuring Up, Writing Down”

  1. jadepark Says:

    I want to do this with you! My waist is 33″ (down from 36″ at my biggest earlier this year when I was getting off the couch to do that couch to 5K with you) and my hips are 38″ so my waist to hip ratio is .86. I am so an apple.

    I would like to get my waist down below 30″–with our personal trainer, I went down to 31 or 31 inches. My hips pretty much stay at 38″ because they’re pretty lean. I’m just all belly.

  2. Larkspur Says:

    Foodie, I was reading one of your earliest entries (just as you got a high FBS back) and what you had to say mirrors so closely how I feel now. I have a definite why-me problem. My particular source of irritation is that I am PEAR shaped, not APPLE shaped. I have *never* been apple shaped. My waist to hip ratio is .72. I never got gestational diabetes even in my 3rd pregnancy at 35. But I was hypoglycemic as a teen (precursor to diabetes?) even though my weight was normal. Just one of those things. And wearing 50 pounds of baby weight for 17 years didn’t help matters.

    • Larkspur Says:

      PS, my waist is 31, my hips are 43, and I have 26 inch thighs. I am 5’8″ and 178 pounds. A standard 14 or size L fits me just right. You’d be floating in it! I expect you’re used to looking at the styles with a little give in the waist (I have the opposite problem, I am more pear-y than most and I have trouble getting things to fit snugly in the waist and still pass over my hips. My capris keep falling off exposing my moth-white mom-tummy.)

    • Larkspur, do you have high FBS now? I’ll go check out your blog.. anyway I am glad to have you as company on this journey. All fruits of all sizes need to stick together!

      • Larkspur Says:

        Just in case you make it back this way, my fastings have been in the 104-115 range. I even had a couple in the 120s last year, before I lost any weight, but I just kind of made myself forget those. Since then I’ve lost almost 20 lbs and built up some muscle. I took a couple RBS today–one 96, one 114. I don’t know how much lower I’ll get the FBS but if I can fend off further decline, so much the better.

  3. Laura P Says:

    I totally hear you on the WW/Skinny Cow desserts. I enjoy those but afterwards I tend to think, did I really need that?

    I need to get back into the mentality of you bite it you write it. I know I am going over my points and I need to fix that. So I will!

    Apple or Pear? I’ll have to look into this. Oh and as for the waist to hip ratio, I am afraid to look at that number. EEK.

  4. I do not even have to measure to know I am high risk. However it wil be good to know how to use the equation from here on out :)
    Night time snacks are my downfall as well. It is so hard to not just eat them.
    Your awesome just so ya know and I hope your healing up well!
    XO

  5. jadepark Says:

    ok i took the other measurements:
    Bust: 41″
    Waist: 33″
    Hips: 38″
    Arm: 11″ (yikes!)
    Thigh: 19″

    I aim to get my waist below 30″ with you. Reiterating my vow to cut down my carbs (not hard, given my nearly 100% carb diet), so that I eat white bread once a week. Increase my veggies and fruits further. And more activity/exercise! And enjoy life, too. :)

    By January!

  6. biz319 Says:

    I am definitely an apple – all my weight is in the middle – rats!

    I live by the “you eat it you right it” and it has prevented me more than once from skipping something because I didn’t want to write it down.

    Happy Saturday!

  7. Kat Says:

    I am an apple too and I sure wish I wasn’t! But I can do some daily cardio and more strength training to try to change the ratios. Good luck on the challenge!

  8. Tilly Says:

    Thanks for this reminder about how useful measurements can be. It’s easy to get focused on the scale numbers. My spouse and I decided to re-measure after reading your post (we hadn’t done anything since June). It was really interesting because since we last measured my husband has lost 25.5 pounds, shaved 3.57 off his BMI, and 9 inches off his chest, waist, and hips, but his hip/waist ratio has stayed exactly the same: .95. This was really helpful for him because he wasn’t sure what he wanted his goal weight to be and so now he’s going to use the hip/waist as another indicator. Regarding points, I’ve been keeping to the food journal much more consistently this time around. It has been a eye re-opener, that’s for sure. The WW online diary has been great and I love, love, love my digital scale. Wishing you all the best with your challenge goals! T

    • I have to say I got a total thrill to read that you and your spouse remeasured after reading my post! That is so cool! How interesting that his ratio stayed the same even after losing all that weight.

      Yes, the WW online diary is nifty, and they just made a corresponding iPhone app which I am loving, since i can carry it around with me all the time.

  9. Jenny Says:

    I hate to food journal. Hate. Hate with the blazing passion of a thousand suns. Isn’t there any way around it? I mean, I might “forget” what kind of soup I had for lunch or that I went out for coffee but there’s no way I’m going to “forget” I had a brownie. And at this stage I’m hungry all. the. time. anyway. I suspect I might not be eating enough.

    I do like the idea of non-scale goals. I ought to measure myself. Thanks for the idea.

    • There are definitely ways around it Jenny. I’m actually a gadget freak, so I am super psyched that there is a WW journal/points counter app for iPhone now. It’s awesome! But if you hate to do even THAT, WW has a plan of just eating “reasonable amounts” of what they call Filling Foods- nutritional things you can eat without counting. You have to be super aware of your hunger level though, and also remove many things that you COULD have if you counted!

      And yeah, the nonscale goals I think are actually even more important. Yay for measuring.


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