Friday, May 25, 2007

A Husky 26%

Not to be a Type-A Bride, but I very much want to be at my fighting weight on my wedding day. Something about the fact that fifteen hundred box cameras and any number of digital camcorders will be trained in my general direction makes me want to eliminate my multitude of bodily sins.

I've been working out at the gyms of the colleges where I taught, a four-time-a-week exercise in humility. The next time you want to truly embrace your flab, get on a treadmill between an eighteen-year-old and a scholarship athlete. Feel the burn.

I got a temporary membership at a local gym, which included a free! training session with Justin, who would very much like to become my personal trainer. Oh, how he cared. Justin weighed me and said "That's it, huh?" when I fell down after merely 59 seconds in a deep squat position and finally handed me a small machine, telling me to hold it at arm's length. Apropos. The machine announced that 26% of my body is fat.

Justin looked at the number, sighed sorrowfully, and announced that 26% body fat for a woman was average, but... didn't I want to be fit? Because he really, really wanted me to be fit. For eight hundred dollars, he could make me fit. He felt that I would be much happier if only 20% of my body were fat.

I stared back at him; wasn't 20% Calista Flockhart, neck bones bursting through the upper chest like a xylophone territory? Didn't women need some fat, to grow Padawans and fill racks and make Sir Mix-A-Lot happy?

No, 20% was fit. He sensed my resistance, signed heavily once more, and announced that he didn't care what his district manager thought, he would now make me fit for only seven hundred and fifty dollars. I told him where to shove his calipers, and hauled my great gobs of blubber to the general direction of the ellipticycles.

Well, of course I could be in better shape. Who couldn't? My very favorite Olympic athlete is one I saw profiled during the Winter Games; she was shown hosting a barbell in the air that outweighed me and my ellipticycle together, and as she braced herself against the bench, I caught a very definite flash of cellulite. But a reporter with The New York Times was once sent to test various body fat measuring systems, and she sniffed at her own 27% reading as "husky". And apparently I could never fit through the door of an airplane on my way to becoming a U.S. Marshal; according to those standards, I have a "poor" glob-to-muscle ratio, and the service would prefer me to be somewhere under 13.5%.

But given the Times' reputation as an unbiased beacon of fact-checking and reliability, I compared elsewhere. I went to the Army. You know what your body fat needs to be under if you're a thirty-year-old woman in the Army, after boot camp? Thirty percent. The Air Force demands 32%, and the Navy 33% (I'm guessing the Navy allows more so you can be your own personal flotation device, if need be.)

But what about the Marines, the original tough girl mo-fos? The by-God Marines place the limit at... twenty-six percent.

anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns, hon at:


Rick said...

I feel your pain MB. I'm trying to get down to my fighting weight too. I started out well six months ago and melted away 20 pounds but now it's creeping back despite my best efforts to keep it away. I'm still about 20 pounds from where I want to be.

I have no idea what my body fat percentage is and I'm not really all that curious. I do know that I have love handles and man-boobs that must be eliminated. I'm working on it without the benefit of a gym membership or a personal trainer (can't afford either).

Good luck, MB. I'm sure you'll be a lovely bride.

Anonymous said...

The lady doth protest too much methinks!

red pill junkie said...

"... Didn't women need some fat, to grow Padawans and fill racks and make Sir Mix-A-Lot happy?"

Hylarious!!! LOL

But now to get serious, that trainer guy should have KNOWN there are actually two kinds of fat: the intra-abdominal fat which is the main ingredient of a nice "beer gut" and which is a MAJOR, major cause of health risk, and there's your average peripherial fat, the kind favored by 80's rappers coinnoseurs. This apparently is considered to be GOOD fat, and not only in the Hip Hop circles, but by physicians aswell.

Jcat said...

All that BMI and fat percent stuff is crap. All that matters is that you like how you look. (And that your Sweetie thinks you're beautiful too. :) ) Real women have curves.

ShannJ said...

26% is so not husky. I did manage to get back to my fighting weight (at least before I managed to get pregnant, and now I'm nowhere close), and I was at a healthy BMI, but they still said my body fat percentage was too high. Gimme a break!!! Just do the best you can and enjoy your day regardless!!!

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