What is a fit body?
Assessing one’s body composition can be a harrowing experience for anyone, especially for females. Women have long been objectified and evaluated based on body composition, much more than men. Measures of a healthy body are antiquated, been revised numerous times, and have racist roots. To dive deeper, I recommend Sabrina String’s Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.
I have cautiously decided to simply measure my weight and various body measurements, such as waist to hip ratio, as well as photos, just as benchmarks for evaluating my progress. I’m a grown woman now, but did struggle with body dysmorphia and eating disorders as a kid. Fixating on what my body looks like could be a slippery slope. That is a reason it is so important to measure multiple aspects of fitness, not just looking fit. That being said, I can honestly and without judgement say that I do have extra abdominal fat. My last check up, all my panels were very healthy, however, extra abdominal fat can be dangerous for your heart. It appears fat stored in other parts of your body is not a cardiovascular risk.
One assessment done is called “the waist to hip ratio.” Measure the narrowest part of your waist, then the larger part of your hips. Divide waist by hips. For men .95 and for women .86 or higher is considered a health risk. Despite my extra muffin, my ratio was .81. I also measured my upper arms (not flexed), upper thighs, and bust. Upon reassessment, nothing changed. Except that I gained 2 lbs, which was probably period bloat. This is why it is so important to measure multiple aspects of fitness. Just as children learn to read, walk, and talk at different rates, so to do our body function and ability develop at different rates.
I did not create a specific SMART goal for body composition, as I do not have access to the equipment that actually measures muscle vs fat. I will say my pants fit more comfortably, which is odd because my measurements have not changed. I did create specific strategies. One is to put down the fork while chewing, two is to take time once or twice a week to cut up and prepare fruits and veggies for easy snacks. I am cautious not to get too specific with diet, because I don’t want to go down that road again. Nothing off limits, but fruits and veggies prioritized, as well as a bit of protein whenever I eat.
Next the 6 week recap.