Taking Measurements…when I share way too much…

I’ve written about how it’s important to take measurements. It’s often something people are reluctant to do.  It holds you accountable in a way that is scary for some people.  You also will likely need assistance to take the measurements which can make you uncomfortable.  However, it is a great motivator!  So I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and share with you some of my measurements taken this morning.  (The best time to do this is in the morning, before a meal, and after elimination.)

I’m going to share some embarrassing stuff at this point to make my point.  In January of 2014 I took a body fitness challenge that required me to take before and after pics and measurements.  While I don’t have the after picture from the program (honestly there wasn’t much change), I do have one I took this morning.  So here goes…

Before I began taking my fitness seriously.

Before I began taking my fitness seriously.

And then this morning….

IMG_0057

A year later...

A year later…

Honestly I was afraid to see the pictures taken this morning.  What if I didn’t see much improvement?  What if I didn’t live up to some expectation I had? I knew I would be crushed.  That’s a risk you take when doing this, so don’t do it too often (every 6 weeks or so) and if you don’t like what you see, use it as motivation to try a little harder.  Don’t let it push you toward giving up.  Have a good sad, cry it out if you need to, then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and understand that today is a new day and the change can begin now.

Fortunately I have to say I’m pretty happy with the pictures I took. (Hence they are even showing up here! lol).  Taken alone they may not look like much but when compared to the before picture…wow!

What I failed to do at that time (a year ago) was to take measurements like my BMI (body mass index) and my muscle measurements.  But I’m not going to make the same mistake twice so I took some measurements this morning.  I’ll compare them in a few weeks.I also had a physical done recently, so I’ll share some of that information as well. and discuss what those numbers mean.

Measurements: Notice my waist size didn’t change much.  Before and after I’m still near 32 in.  Neither did my weight – both are about 153 lbs in these pictures. What has changed is the musculature and fat%.  My BMI is about 22, healthy for someone my age.  Chest is 37.5 in. Arms are 11.75 in and thighs are 19.75 in.  % body fat is about 12.7% (if the electronic scale is to be trusted…seems to change daily); Weight is 153 lbs, 126.5 of which is muscle.

Now on to the lab work: My blood pressure was 118/78 which is great considering high blood pressure runs in my family, and I’ve had high BP since I was a teen.  I am on a beta blocker to help.  Risk ranges are greater than 140/90.  Fasting glucose level was 88 mg/dL; risk level is greater than or equal to 140 mg/dL.  Doing well so far.

Now my cholesterol level surprised me, but let me explain why it’s not as bad as it may initially seem.  Total cholesterol is supposed to be below 200 mg.  Mine is at 193 mg.  However, there are two types of cholesterol – HDL and LDL.  HDL is GOOD. The more of it you have (as a % of total cholesterol) the better.  It moves plaque out of the arteries.  My HDL is 61 mg.  My LDL is 102.  An HDL below 35 mg puts you at risk so I’m doing great.  There are plenty of ways to get your cholesterol levels changed but I’ll save that for a future blog.

So I’ve bared a lot today, so what about you guys? Do you have a before and after story/pic? Have you been taking measurements?  If not, why not?  Have you experienced a moment of failure and wanted to give up? How did you overcome it?

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