Tag Archives: BodPod

Month 28: The end of numbers

Wade - apple pie pizza

I had a checkup of sorts Tuesday. I went for a Bod Pod assessment, my first since May 2 and starting a maintenance diet.

In the 2-plus years I’ve been on Project Bulk, it’s been trickier and trickier to get the test. Lakeshore Foundation (which now does the pricier and more robust DEXA scans), Samford University and St. Vincent’s One Nineteen no longer offer Bod Pod. The University of Alabama still does at a very reasonable $20, but that’s a 2-hour round trip to Tuscaloosa.

Fortunately, PhysIQ Lifestyle Medicine in Homewood has one for $40. Contact them to get an appointment on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

May marked a successful conclusion to Project Bulk, with a 15.7 percent body fat reading, very healthy for my age and gender.

Today, after 8 months of a slightly looser maintenance diet, I’m at 16.8 percent body fat.

That is very good news. I strongly encourage you to get a Bod Pod or DEXA scan to determine your body fat percentage. I learned from watching the documentary “Fed Up” how even people without weight issues can have serious problems with high body fat.

I’m going to take a big step (for me) in 2015, starting in 24 hours on New Year’s Day.

No more food diary. No more measuring ounces and counting calories.

I will continue my exact same boring workout routine and record my results. I will continue to eat the same slow carb diet 6 days a week and indulge in a cheat day once a week, with a little cheating during the week.

The only change is I won’t have to weigh every meal and calculate the calories and protein. After more than a year, I know how to shop and cook and eat within the plan. It’s super easy.

Besides, my calorie and protein calculations were often estimates. I was winging it all along.

I’m comfortable with the road ahead. Maybe in a year or two I’ll check my body fat percentage again. But I’m going to return to eating like most normal people do, without the fuss of a scale and a calculator.

I call it a big step only because the numbers, even not perfectly accurate, have been reliable and comfortable. If I need to gain or lose pounds, or gain or lose muscle or fat, I could work on the intake numbers. This has been my life since September 2012.

But I have to remember a couple of things. First, I’ve lived most of my life without this obsessive pre-meal measurement. Second, I can always restart the record keeping. I’m not throwing my kitchen scale in the trash.

Step by step, I have dialed back the major time-consuming efforts: daily photos, weekly weigh-ins, protein shakes, daily/weekly/monthly posts. And I haven’t fallen down. I haven’t screwed up.

I’ve become stronger, more confident and comfortable in this lifestyle. It’s now routine.

I hope you’ll try some of the crazy things I did from “The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links]. They worked for me most of the time, and I’m happy to help you with advice and answers and encouragement. Just ask.

I hope you’ll simply try. I did, and my life is better in ways I never imagined.

Day 238: Lean out

Day 238 - front

  • Weight: 139.0 lbs.
  • Workout C: 30 minutes, 3 seconds; next: Workout C, April 29
  • Total inches: 125.0
  • Protein: 131 g (0 g over target)
  • Calories: 1,940

I have slid backwards in body fat.

My fat went from 25.5 percent at the start of the year to 26.7 percent.

Date Aug. 30 Oct. 1 Nov. 1 Jan. 2 April 19
Body fat % 23.5 24.5 26.8 25.5 26.7

body fat percent

The challenge before me is to figure out where I need to tweak: exercise or diet. For my age and gender, 18.1 percent to 19.6 percent is considered good, while 13.6 percent to 16.3 percent is excellent. I am back in the poor to very poor range.

I already made a big adjustment last week in recalculating my protein intake based on my protein shake epiphany. For now, I stay on this new course, hoping that the next BodPod assessment — maybe in July — yields happier numbers.

Day 238 - side

Day 0: Getting ready for the 30-day experiment


Checking my body fat percentage in the BodPod.

I have nothing to lose and 10 pounds to gain.

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks, right up until today getting ready for Project Bulk, my 30-day experiment in putting on 10 pounds (or so) of muscle on my upper body.

The preparation has been fairly methodical, lots of writing down lists in Google Docs, and re-reading chapters in “The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links]. And shopping!

I hunted for the cheapest options in workout equipment and protein powder. Having ordered them last weekend, they arrived at my doorstep in a few days. No lugging 45- and 109-pound boxes (not that I could even lift the 109-pound box) to my car and then to home.

Yesterday morning, I determined my body fat level: 23.5 percent. For a man my age, that’s average to poor. Ideal is anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent, according to the body composition chart.

Today, I put together a weight bench which sits in a corner of my bedroom (which I cleared out yesterday). I’m getting a workout just putting everything in place.

I also made my big grocery run today. I’ve obsessed over how to count protein grams and menu planning, a huge disruption in my efficient grocery restocking routine.

But I’m looking forward to the surprises and the challenges that begin tomorrow.