Fat - The Good and the Bad

The Good

I love fat, in food that is. Real fat - the animal kind (meat and dairy) or natural nut oils. It seems as though the news about fat isn't all that we've been told for the past Here are two great articles on fat (one link, one below). I hope that after reading both you re-think your relationship with the food you eat. Fat in and of itself in naturally occurring forms in not bad for you. I know this because as posted in an earlier blog my total cholesterol is insanely low while my HDL (good) is really high and LDL (bad) is again, low. Fats are vital for brain function, for nerve conduction, for vitamin and mineral absorption, for satiety, and so many other things. Did you know that the majority of calories in breast milk are from fat and over 50% of that is saturated? Now by now means am I advocating a high fat diet. I am though advocating for a diet that has a balance of healthy fats - especially as an athlete.

The Bad

There are two numbers on my scale. One which I accept, and one which I cringe at. I am comfortable with my weight but my body fat % - not so much. Why? Because according to the charts I'm on the high end of average and a good number of points away from even being considered athletic. Worse, I'm even closer to being considered obese according to the charts even though I have a healthy BMI. Over the years the scale has rarely budged in this department and I have to wonder, why? And I have to wonder - am I really that fat? And if I am, then where is it hiding? Thankfully I have found this disclaimer on Wikipedia with regards to our scale:

Also reducing the reliability of this method is the variation between models of the BIA devices: for instance when comparing outputs from a Tanita scale to an Omron Body Logic handheld device the Tanita scale overestimated the percentage body fat in college-aged men by 40% and in college-aged women by 55%.

Phew. Wait. That means I could have have a body fat of approximately 10% less than what the scale shows. And hey, that puts me on the border of athletic and fitness on the percentage chart. According to the calculation on the Wiki site using my BMI I'm well within the Athletic Range. Well, I'd like to be hopeful that that could be true but I'm realistic. Using six different online calculators and the scale my average % comes out 3% less than the scale so what does that tell you? Squat all. What does it tell me? I need to work my butt off, literally. Here's the thing though, from way back when (pre-baby)- three years ago - I had a nice little chart to measure my weight, body fat, circumferences of various body parts and at my lowest weight, four pounds less than now, my body fat was only 2% less than it is currently. What gives? For now, that is the number I would like to see shrink. I am hoping that as I ramp up my mileage again in training for another half-marathon it'll help out.

So to answer where it's hiding, it's not hiding at all. Darn.

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