Body for Life, the Universe, and Everything

Being a description of the author's thoughts on the experience of participating in the "Body for Life" Challenge, questions of great philosophical import, and randomly selected topics of no significance whatsoever

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Location: Missouri, United States

In no particular order, I'm a professional lettering artist, a yoga practitioner, a cat lover, a vegetarian, a reader of everything from books to cereal boxes, married to a very attractive guy named Tom (nope, no kids), an exercise enthusiast, and a lot of other things I don't care to admit in a public forum. I have a BS in applied math that I haven't used in over 10 years, and I can put both feet behind my head. What else would you like to know?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Fitness goddess (and stellar comic writer) Skwigg posted an entry in her blog yesterday about ordering a Tanita scale. It inspired me to post a comment to her--my first one after nearly a year of laughing myself into oxygen depletion at her latest adventures and pithy, wry observations. Here, see what she said for yourself; I'll wait....

You're back?'s what I said in response (very slightly modified):

Oh boy, the Tanita scale...I think it might be the work of the devil. Tom (hubby) bought one for us when we started BFL a year ago, and I'm really glad he bought calipers, too, because if I only had the Tanita body fat percentages to go by, I would have put my head in the oven by now. Initially my BF% from the calipers and the Tanita scale were in the same range, but over time they have started drifting apart, and now they're not even on speaking terms. I use both calipers and scale every day, and today was typical: calipers-19.7% BF; Tanita scale-30.4% BF!!

I do not believe that my body is 30% fat. (You can see for yourself; there are pix of me on our home page, although I'm not fond of them.) Most people don't understand why I feel a need to lose fat, because I have pretty much always looked thin in street clothes. I am 5'2" and today I weigh 132--I have gained around 10 pounds of muscle on BFL, and I'm on my 5th Challenge (I just keep going), hoping to lose some fat this time by improving my diet (mainly eating more often), instead of just building muscle by working out. I just love those life insurance weight tables that say that a woman my height should weigh between 105 and 118 pounds. Uh, dudes? My current LEAN weight is somewhere around 106 pounds. How much muscle do you want me to lose to fit into your guidelines?

I will also say that I take my weight and BF% measurements first thing in the morning, and occasionally I'll get on the scale again later in the day, and the BF% is ALWAYS lower--usually by 1-2%, sometimes up to 3%. It would really mess with my head if I didn't know how squirrelly it is! I mostly just check it for amusement. (It just occurred to me that that is a rather unusual form of amusement--checking variances in body fat readings....) I'll also mention that although the change over the course of the day seems to be across the board, Tom doesn't have nearly as much of a discrepancy between BF% from the Tanita and from the calipers. the Tanita/caliper discrepancy issue just me? I will be very interested to hear your comments, Skwigg. Please keep us posted!


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