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facelessnumber 02-27-2013 08:03 AM

Goal reached! Now, maintain, keep going or what?
 
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I didn't really have a goal weight in mind when I started this about six months ago, just figured I'd keep going until I wasn't obese, and I exercised to keep from losing muscle... Then when I wasn't so fat and I hadn't lost any muscle I said, "Alright, let's just keep going until I'm not fat, and hell with not losing muscle let's gain some! Can I do that?" Turns out I can do that...

So then later I joined this forum and everybody's got a "goal weight." I should have a goal weight too. Found out for my height and frame I should be 149-170? Sounded absurd. I went with 180, because muscle weighs more than fat and apparently these charts don't think I should have much of either.

So... Now I'm 180! I'm thinking I should set my sights on 170. Or should I? I'm still a good bit more jiggly around the middle than I'd like to be, but I wonder how much of that is fat I can lose vs. just skin that needs time to tighten (if it's going to).

I started at 265. Pic on the left is from November. I was halfway into it by that point, already lost a lot, and was starting to be ok with the way I looked. It's pretty significant that I was ok with taking a shirtless picture. After that I started taking pictures every couple of weeks. Pic on the right is about five pounds up from where I am now.

So anyway in the board's collective opinion, where should I go from here? Do I appear to be at a healthy weight despite still technically being overweight according to the gray alien beanpole charts, or should I shoot for another 10-20 pounds?

Ntombi 02-27-2013 10:48 AM

Great job!

The skin on your belly looks to be just skin, and little, if any, fat. I think you look really good, but how about going down five more pounds, then trying to maintain there for a while? That would serve two purposes: give you a bit of a cushion, and give you some time to see if and how your skin continues to tighten up, then decide what to do from here.

Have you ever had a body fat test done? I've had mine done a few different ways, which gives a reasonable ballpark, but I just went for the gold standard method (hydrostatic) last week. It really helped me to know how much of my body is lean body mass, and what a reasonable goal weight would be, assuming I succeed in keeping all my muscle. My goal weight is still deep in the "overweight" slot on the BMI chart, but my goal BF% is 20, which would be at the cusp of lean and athletic! So not everyone is built the same, and the stupid BMI chart is stupid sometimes.

Trillex 02-27-2013 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ntombi (Post 16284223)
Have you ever had a body fat test done? I've had mine done a few different ways, which gives a reasonable ballpark, but I just went for the gold standard method (hydrostatic) last week. It really helped me to know how much of my body is lean body mass, and what a reasonable goal weight would be, assuming I succeed in keeping all my muscle. My goal weight is still deep in the "overweight" slot on the BMI chart, but my goal BF% is 20, which would be at the cusp of lean and athletic! So not everyone is built the same, and the stupid BMI chart is stupid sometimes.

Just FYI, bodybuilders get DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorbrtiometry) scans for bodyfat because they sometimes get tested while glycogen-depleted during a "cut" and sometimes they get tested while glycogen super-compensated before shows, and hydrostatic testing or the air-pod testing (I forget what it's called) can be horribly inaccurate on glycogen-depleted bodies.

For some reason -- and I'm not kidding -- the calculations are especially problematic when applied to ethnic populations. Black and Latino bodybuilders have had comically inaccurate readings from different forms of bodyfat testing. My uncles, who are Puerto Rican, have been into competitive bodybuilding since the 1970s and, back when hydrostatic weighing was the most accurate available form of testing, they've had "negative" bodyfat calculations when they were "cut" for competition.

I can't seem to find it right now, but I've read an interesting statistical paper that examines this discrepancy when applied to lean, ethnic athletes. Apparently, there needs to be a separate set of calculations for different ethnicities but the industry hasn't made an effort to produce one. And it's not just blacks and Latinos, some Eastern European populations also experience terrible inaccuracies. I haven't read anything that clarifies exactly why this happens -- I don't think anyone really knows why.

facelessnumber 02-27-2013 11:43 AM

Interesting, thank you. I've never considered having my body fat tested before. Suppose I'll ask my doctor about that next time I go.

Kimberli33 02-27-2013 01:05 PM

My Dh is into bodybuilding.He isnt too tall(5 ft 10) but has a massive amount of muscle on him and a really large frame.The charts have him as obese.:)It is crazy because his body fat is super low.His Drs said that some guys have to ignore the charts,him being one of them.He would have to be horribly sick to ever weigh what the charts recommend.

Ntombi 02-27-2013 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trillex (Post 16284287)
Just FYI, bodybuilders get DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorbrtiometry) scans for bodyfat because they sometimes get tested while glycogen-depleted during a "cut" and sometimes they get tested while glycogen super-compensated before shows, and hydrostatic testing or the air-pod testing (I forget what it's called) can be horribly inaccurate on glycogen-depleted bodies.

For some reason -- and I'm not kidding -- the calculations are especially problematic when applied to ethnic populations. Black and Latino bodybuilders have had comically inaccurate readings from different forms of bodyfat testing. My uncles, who are Puerto Rican, have been into competitive bodybuilding since the 1970s and, back when hydrostatic weighing was the most accurate available form of testing, they've had "negative" bodyfat calculations when they were "cut" for competition.

I can't seem to find it right now, but I've read an interesting statistical paper that examines this discrepancy when applied to lean, ethnic athletes. Apparently, there needs to be a separate set of calculations for different ethnicities but the industry hasn't made an effort to produce one. And it's not just blacks and Latinos, some Eastern European populations also experience terrible inaccuracies. I haven't read anything that clarifies exactly why this happens -- I don't think anyone really knows why.

That is so interesting! I knew from my research that there are variations in non-fat mass across ethnicities, and that that can affect the tests a tiny bit, but I never thought about it in relation to body builders.

I know that bod pods aren't as accurate as either DEXA or hydrostatic testing. For those of us who aren't body builders, though, I think any of the three tests would be accurate enough for our needs.

svenskamae 02-27-2013 01:25 PM

You look great to me. And you are clearly muscular; people who are very muscular tend to test as "overweight" or even "obese" according to their BMI. For example, I've read that star football players and actors like Tom Cruise (or Kimberli33's boyfriend, according to the above post) are "obese" according to their BMI, while they in fact have very little body fat and lots of muscle. I think you could stop where you are, but if you want confirmation, get a body fat measurement done.

Trillex 02-27-2013 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ntombi (Post 16284537)
That is so interesting! I knew from my research that there are variations in non-fat mass across ethnicities, and that that can affect the tests a tiny bit, but I never thought about it in relation to body builders.

I know that bod pods aren't as accurate as either DEXA or hydrostatic testing. For those of us who aren't body builders, though, I think any of the three tests would be accurate enough for our needs.

I don't want to distract attention from the original question but I wanted to point the situation out, as the original poster approaches an athletic-level of bodyfat, in case he belongs to one of the demographics that this situation impacts.

For people who have average and above-average levels of bodyfat, as far as I know, anything except calipers will work well enough for government statistics. When talking about cut bodybuilding men, we're dealing with a particular demographic, with a particular body type, under particular circumstances. Almost nothing works for them the way it does for other bodies.

Super-elite coaches order cross-section MRIs to analyze bodyfat -- which is BALLER!

thealything 02-27-2013 03:45 PM

You look awesome! Amazing job!

I would try to maintain and give it some time to see how you feel and how your skin reacts. Like six months? A year? I don't think losing ten pounds would necessarily be bad if you are going for the "super ripped" look, but you look healthy and muscular as you are now.

Arctic_Mama 02-27-2013 04:10 PM

Oh, I'm voting skin - your body fat looks to be quite low for someone not specifically cutting for a competition, you know. Maintain the weight, maybe increase your fitness/strength goals as needed, and give it time. I think you'll be very pleased in six months if you don't change anything other than your lifting loads. And if you DO find there is still subcutaneous fat you'd like to manage, you can always do that down the road. But it's awfully hard to be both strong AND extremely lean long term. Leaning down for a season is one thing, but for most bodies and most of the year your physique would be maintainable and quite attractive :)

LiterateGriffin 02-28-2013 07:11 AM

lol I was going to suggest body-fat analysis, but Trillex beat me to it. :)

BMI would consider Mr. Universe obese. Basically, it doesn't apply if you're muscular. Fat-percentage and how you like what you see in the mirror is what matters.

Ntombi 02-28-2013 02:58 PM

Hey, I beat trillex to it!




:p

Big Stevie 02-28-2013 03:28 PM

You look great! I have been on this plan for little over 6 months as well. I am still going down. I have about 20 pounds or so to goal and I have lost over 75 to date. I think I am going to stay on induction level carbs forever and let my body tell me what my goal is. If you are feeling good where you are at and the way you are eating, why not just stick with it? If you feel like you are missing something, then add it back in on an occasional basis.

Trillex 02-28-2013 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ntombi (Post 16286937)
Hey, I beat trillex to it!




:p

Absolutely! Then, of course, I jumped in with completely useless minor details from the world of competitive bodybuilding. Even other *nerds* call me Rain Man.

Ntombi 02-28-2013 04:05 PM

I'm an information junkie, so I enjoy your posts.

svenskamae 02-28-2013 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trillex (Post 16287009)
Absolutely! Then, of course, I jumped in with completely useless minor details from the world of competitive bodybuilding. Even other *nerds* call me Rain Man.

I agree with Ntombi--as a fellow nerd, I really enjoy your posts and learn a lot from them. So keep up the good work on posting detailed responses and lots of facts. I find them fascinating. :shake:

Liz1959 02-28-2013 05:09 PM

Great Job!
I would ditch the scale and use a tape measure. Losing weight naturally makes you more active, but sometimes I get overconfident and slack off. The scale won't show it if you start gradually replacing muscle with fat.
If you google "Covert Bailey lean body mass formula" it's quick and simple to do. Fairly accurate since all you need is something trackable.
Calipers are cheap too. $6 on amazon.

I had a roommate in the military who had to pass the weigh-ins because she couldn't pass the BMI tape test. She was African American and in great shape.

facelessnumber 03-04-2013 11:56 AM

Thanks, everyone for the encouraging comments. I haven't had a lot of time to respond to messages the past few days since I've been building and installing a new engine in my new/old truck. Haven't been hitting the weights while doing that either- the amount of soreness I'm experiencing right now tells me that's been plenty of exercise, wrestling with transmissions, driveshafts, torque wrenches and whatnot... And I'm down another three pounds to 177.

I've resolved to keep it up for a while before I start gradually going into maintenance. I'm fine with my weight now. I never even intended to take it as far as I did, but it's been so effective why stop now? Plus I need as much "buffer/cushion" as I can get because I intend to quit smoking soon and that's known to cause weight gain. I figured I'd be setting myself up for failure if I tried to deal with obesity and smoking at the same time, and since the obesity would probably kill me faster than the cigarettes I decided to focus on that first.

So, one problem is dealt with, soon it will be time for the next... I think I've proven to myself I have the strength of will to accomplish it. I just hope I don't undo too much of my work.

facelessnumber 04-09-2013 07:29 AM

Just checking in again, since it's been over a month... I've stayed on plan, and lost maybe one pound. That would be discouraging if I wasn't paying attention to anything but the scale, but I knocked another hole in my belt and my M shirts are all baggy now so I decided to try an S. And the damn thing fit!

http://i.imgur.com/fZBkzPr.jpg

I've noticed some M's don't quite fit me in the arms and shoulders, but all of them are baggy around the middle. The S in this picture fits fine everywhere, but another S I bought is a little tight around the arms and shoulders. Not too tight, but a little. So I'm at a point where I can't just buy shirts without trying them on I guess. I always thought it was hard to find clothes that fit when I was wearing 2XL/44's, but I guess it's an annoyance for people of any size, just for different reasons.

Still though - what the hell?! I couldn't believe that shirt fit! I haven't worn clothes this small since I was a child!

KeirasMom 04-09-2013 08:32 AM

Looks fantastic!

MagieDen 04-09-2013 08:51 AM

Way to go! :high5:

Chuck41 04-09-2013 09:26 AM

You have done a marvelous job! As long as you don't go back to your old eating habits you are fine. Maintain where you feel good and listen to your body, not some arbitrary chart that doesn't even apply to muscular dudes like you. We are envious of your fabulous results!

xo ashley 04-09-2013 11:14 AM

Get your body fat tested. That's a better measure than the scale for where u want to be.

According to the BMI charts I'm overweight. I have 19% body fat.

Focus on the fat %age. Especially if ur focused on fitness and how ur body looks under the clothes.

You look like lean muscle to me.

Also... I quit smoking today. Scared how it'll affect my weight. I look forward to reading ur progress!

rubidoux 04-09-2013 11:23 AM

You're looking great! I have always thought that I'd just eat the same way all the way along and at some point I'd just be done losing. I guess maybe I'd be a little freer with the calories bc now I do have quite a few low calorie days (not on purpose but bc I don't have much of an appetite when I eat HF/MP). So, maybe I'd just eat to appetite and assume that my appetite will match what my new healthy weight needs, kwim? Anyway, it looks like that may be happening with you. Maybe you are within a pound or a few of your healthiest weight and you will stay there even if you don't change your eating habits, or not much. IIRC, you're not starving yourself or anything.

BTW, I've never made it to goal. So I'm not talking from experience. :p I hope you keep us updated on how things change for you once you're solidly at your endpoint with the weight loss.

mamabear6 04-09-2013 11:40 AM

You look absolutely great! I don't believe in those BMI charts. Keep doing what you're doing! Scale weight is such an arbitrary number. If you look good, feel good, and feel strong I think that's all that matters :)

Ntombi 04-09-2013 05:42 PM

Congratulations! I can't imagine how it feels to be in a size small anything, and honestly, you're built, so you don't look like a small. I mean that in the good way. :)

You're looking great!

facelessnumber 04-10-2013 07:10 AM

Wow. Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I really had no idea when I started this that I'd actually see words like "built" used to describe me after just eight months, or ever. I never planned to take it this far, it just didn't enter my mind that I could. I just wanted to be "not quite so fat anymore," or maybe even lose "the fat guy" as a defining characteristic.

I think I'll continue what I'm doing. I feel fine, it doesn't bother me. I can't say I'm going to swear off cornbread for the rest of my life, I'll grant myself a few indulgences that are far between but not any time soon. I'll exercise more. I actually feel like being active for no good reason lately, I guess just because I can; it no longer hurts.

facelessnumber 05-20-2013 01:10 PM

Well I lost down to 170 at one point but it's come back up, seems to hover around 174 most consistently. I haven't changed anything - still eating by induction rules, still exercising, still doing the same things that got me to this point, but in a month and ten days I've lost a mind-blowing three pounds. Still wearing 32's and S's. I guess if I'm going to be stuck somewhere this is an alright place to be, but I do wish I could drop just a bit more. I don't know if I'm stalled or what. Maybe nothing's happening, or maybe it's just become more subtle at this point.

I'm not discouraged yet, but the idea that this is the best I can do, and that constant exercise and induction-level carbs is what it will take just to maintain this weight, is a bit of a downer if I let myself think about it.

I'm kind of hoping that I can get enough lean mass and lose enough more fat that my base metabolism naturally resists my genetic tendency to be obese. Or does that even really happen?

fsfty 05-20-2013 01:19 PM

I was confused when trying to set a goal, then I stopped worrying about it. Your body knows when to stop. I wanted to keep eating low carb, and I wasn't going to "force stop" anything by adding carbs I didn't want. My body stopped on its own at 185, and Im eating the way I want. Im always within a 2-3 pound range and there is nothing to think about.

VivaaLaCarlos 05-20-2013 10:31 PM

Lucky you to be at goal!! You look great. I say keep going and see what happens, if your body wants to lose more them let it. Good luck!


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