I did something stupid last week and plugged in some of my “numbers” to one of those online bodyfat calculators. I had seen little blurbs about it on a fitness website I frequent, and even though I’ve always known that those things aren’t super accurate, I finally caved in and tried it.
I was expecting the tool to place me in the athletic category, or at least the “in shape” category. But to my surprise, the results indicated that I was about 10% higher than what I would have thought–and most definitely not in one of the categories I thought I would be in! I think relying on a body composition monitor is better that using such online tool. Those calculators can be notoriously inaccurate, so what I saw probably was not your real body fat percentage. In addition, I don’t really think body fat is something the average person should be concerned with…just eat mindfully and exercise regularly and you’re good to go. I have a friend who is a bodybuilder and she do track her body fat, but don’t really put much stock into it.
For a few days, even though I knew that there were better things I could occupy my mind with, I found myself feeling a little…shall we say, “lumpy?” I’m sure my husband got tired of me bringing “that number” up, just so I could fish for his thoughts on whether I really was as out of shape as the magic little calculator said I was.
Later on, I did find some more calculators which actually put me at closer to the percentage I would have guessed for myself. But the point is (and you know this already if you’ve ever done any research on bodyfat testing and accuracy), none of those calculators will ever be able to tell you exactly what your bodyfat level is.
Also, if you have a history of body image issues like I do, you have to be really careful about how you’re assessing your fitness level. Even though a bodyfat estimate can give you an idea of how fit you are, for you, it might be best to focus on fitness goals, such as increasing the amount of weight you squat or the number of pullups you can do–or becoming strong enough to do pullups at all!
If you’re focusing on bodyfat percentage, you may begin to start viewing your body as the enemy, and trying to “defeat” certain parts of it, instead of seeing your body as an ally in a fitness expedition.
Strive to be strong and be as healthy as possible, and to accentuate your healthy body in all its beauty. Be proud of that beautiful muscle, and the curves–you are a hottie, but the only way the world will see it is if you show it!
Love, Hope, and Prayers,