Too Thin to Win?

Earlier this week Rachel became the latest Biggest Loser winner on NBC. But should the show have promoted her weight loss? The short answer- at least from my point of view is – NO! When contestants return to the show the staff weighs each one of them. This lets them know where everyone is at and how to arrange the weigh-in for more excitement. The contestants and hosts do not know the weight or the order, but directors know everything. As soon as Rachel showed up she should have been sent to a doctor to ensure her health and the producers should have gotten involved and figured out a way to help her and save the integrity of the show.

Here is a before and after picture of Rachel from the Finale:

Rachel before and after. Click picture for source

Rachel before and after. Click picture for source

Rachel started at 260 pounds and weighed in at the finale at 105. That is a 155 pound, or 59.6% of body weight, loss. This also represents a BMI of 18. This is in the category of underweight. 18.5 is considered normal, so Rachel is close, but even being on the low end of BMI can be a health risk. For comparison the runner up lost only 54.8%. Not a single other contestant dropped below BMI of 21. To beat the runner up, Rachel could have weighed in at 125.

Without doing all of the math, one can see that Rachel is too thin. Here is a better picture:

Click for source

Click for source

Rachel’s lower body resembles a normal and healthy weight. But above the waist we start to see the scary features. Looking at the shoulders we can see that she has broad shoulders compared to the rest of her body. This supports and should be holding more muscle. Down the arm, we can see her bicep muscle, but not because it has been trained and worked, but because there is no body fat in the area. On the forearms you can actually see the bony processes on both ends of her ulna and radius.

The drastic amount of weight lost and the look of her body lend me to believe she worked on cardio non-stop after leaving the show and neglected strength training. By laying off the cardio and doing strength training on those days, she could balance the two types of exercise, gain about 10 pounds, become a healthy weight and maintain her current size.

What I assume happened, and the key words are that “I am ASSUMING”, is that Rachel has some things going on in life that led her to eating and gaining weight. When she went on the show she found her inner athlete again, but by not actually dealing with her issues, she became addicted to the diet and exercise and lost control in the wrong direction. I blame this on the show and the people around her. Until she works with the right people, and I love Bob, Jillian and Dolvett, she will not find a healthy weight and lifestyle for herself.

Some people have said that she will put on a little weight after the show, and that her competive side is why she dropped so low. I do not agree and think that yes she will gain some weight without the competition, but the last time she lost a reason to compete she gained weight and ultimately went on the Biggest Loser. She has not learned how to appropriately exercise and eat, and will put back on more than she should. I don’t mean she will weigh 260, but instead of 125 she will reach 145. I think, and I just have this feeling, that Rachel is going to be just find and the right help will come her way.

Quickly I want to touch on the fact that people are raising a fuss over the fact that no one is talking about the people on the show that are still over weight. Here is why I have left them alone. They lost weight! And while they are still overweight, they are on the right track. In the real world weight loss takes time. These contestants have better their lives and have a high chance of maintaining their path and reaching their goals. They will also find their lifestyle will be more fun and easier to handle.

I love to watch the biggest loser, but I have always prefaced that with “I know the flaws of the show but…”. I still like the show but I hope this season wakes them up to helping these people and not worrying 100% on the contest.



Weigh-in Day

Alright. So it has been another 2 weeks and it is time to weigh in and see how things have progressed. As far as I can see, I do not notice differences between the photos from two weeks and today. This isn’t a big deal, as long as my measured stats are changing I am on track and doing what I want to do. The aesthetic changes will come, and that is usually the hardest part of a program.

Lets see how the past two weeks have gone:

Weight- 175.4lbs, 2.2lb loss

Body fat %- 10%, 1% drop

Chest- 40″, Still not back to where it was on day 1, but it is up 1″, and is growing since the fat dropped off

Arms- 15″, is a drop of less than a quarter inch, and with my strength increasing I believe that is a fat loss

Hips- 38″, down an inch

Waist- 32″, down 3/4″

Thighs- 22.5″, .5″ drop

Calves- 15.5″, no change

Forearms- 12″, No change

Neck- 16″, no change

Shoulders- 48″, 1/2″ increase

from now on I am going to do the first week’s pictures beside the newest pictures. Here they are:

R Front 1 R Front 3 R Back 1 R Back 3 R Side 1 R Side 3R Flex 1 R Flex 3

Let me know how your workouts and goals are coming along!


Weigh-in Day

So this morning, Sunday, was weigh-in day. There was good news and bad news. First the bad news, well that’s exaggerating. The “bad news” is that I gain 0.8 pounds. The reason I say this is exaggerated and therefore not really bad, is because while it moves me away from my goals, it happens to everyone during the course of a weight loss program. Sometimes the body plateaus and needs a to hold on to a little extra. Another reason this is a little exaggerated is because I did not follow my calories last Sunday.

Last Sunday was Superbowl Sunday! I watched how much I ate, but I did not regulate what I ate. I ate bacon wraps, dessert bars, hamburgers, chips and salsa, veggies and spinach dip and some wine and beer. As you can see just one of each of those items would put me over half my daily calories, and by the evening I have less than 1/4 of my caloric intake left for dinner. Between Sunday and Monday, I weighed in Tuesday, I went up to 181.

So now the good news. I went up to 181, but lost 3 pounds and dropped to 178. So despite a huge gain early in the week, I maintained focus and dropped the extra weight. This morning I used my calipers and calculated my body fat. This week I am down to 10.5%.

So at the end of 7 weeks I am down 11 pounds and weigh 178. I am down 4% body fat and am at 10.5%. I have 5 weeks left in phase one! Next week is a full measurement and weigh in with pictures.

New Toy

Hey ya’ll. Tomorrow is another weigh in day, but I wanted to put out another post because I got a new toy! I purchased an automatic body fat percentage caliper. The first time I setup my goals for weight loss and body fat I had to estimate my body fat percentage based on the descriptions of the each percentage. Based on that I guessed I was about 18%. Since then I have been measuring my waist and using the best guess method to calculate my body fat. Most recently it was guessed to be 14%. Nice little drop.

However, neither of these methods are as accurate as measuring skin folds. So I began to shop for a skin fold caliper. I found one worth trying. It is an automatic caliper and it calculates your body fat after measuring three sites. The chest, naval and thigh, are the sites used. Base on age, weight, sex and these measurements it spits out your body fat. It is more accurate than guessing and measuring your waist, but it still isn’t the best measurement. The only other way to measure without a Bod Pod, is to use a caliper you read yourself and calculate the body fat based on 5 or 7 sites, not 3. Nonetheless, this is very close to that method.

Here is the new caliper

Here is the new caliper

Today I used the caliper and I am currently at 11.1%. Base on this number, compared to my earlier guesses, I am updating my goals. I could change the time I have to reach the goals, but I am leaving the end date the same. I feel like once I reach my weight, dropping the body fat will get more difficult and so I plan to take my time with it.

New goals to achieve by July 13, 2013:

Weight- 170 pounds. This is because if I went to 165 I would have to lose lean mass, and I only want to lose fat.

Body Fat- 8%. This is down from 10%. I am close enough to 10% that I realize my goal look is a little less than 10, but also since I am not a pro athlete or fighter, I do not need to be at 5%.

I will post new stats tomorrow. And more pictures next week!

Before Pictures

I am still working on my two day food journal for you all. I decided today would be a good day to post my before pictures. At week 5 I will post another set of pictures, and hopefully we will all see a difference.

Here are my pictures:

Front Flexed- This one is the most intriguing for me. I want to see how each muscle changes and appears as the weeks progress:Image

Front Normal-






I also want to update you on a few stats. Just three weeks in and I have dropped 9 pounds, lost 1/2 inch from my waist, gained 0.2 inches on my arms, 1 inch on my chest, and 4 inches on my shoulders!

I cant wait to see how things look in two weeks!

Next New Year, New Program: Diet and Food Journal

Starting Stats and Goals

Like I mentioned in the first post I am going to post my starting statistics and goals for the New Year, New Program. At the beginning of the year, January 1, I weighed 189 pounds. My height was 5’11 and my BMI was 26.8. BMI is not the best method for looking at your appropriate weight, but this did put me in the overweight category. My body fat percentage was estimated at 15%. This makes sense because my BMI is on the low end of overweight, and 15% body fat is described as “lean and fit…muscles are outlined and covered by a thin layer of fat”. Some of my body measurements were: Waist- 35.5, Chest- 39.5, Biceps- 15.5.

Now for my goals. In order to plan my workouts and food I needed to decide what I wanted to look like. For me this was an easy decision- MMA fighters are incredibly powerful and maintain low body fat percentages. My favorite fighter is Urijah Faber. In order to look as strong and lean as Urijah I have to have the same ratio of weight to height as he does. Urijah is 5 feet 6 and fights at 135 pounds. This puts his BMI at 22% and a height to weight ratio of  2.04 pounds per inch. His body fat percentage is around 8%.

In order for me to look as big as he does I need to drop my body fat to 8% and have a mass to height ratio of 2.04 pounds. At 5′ 11″ I would weigh 145 pounds. Now this is extremely low on the BMI scale and so I know it is healthier for me to match my BMI and body fat to Uirjah. At 165 pounds I would have a BMI of 22. Weight goals: 165, body fat of 8%. For my measurements, I would like to see me waist shrink and my arms, chest and legs grow. Because I want the body fat to match Urijah, I have to work on gaining muscle and losing fat. With that said I know the average person can gain .437 pounds of muscle each week and can lose 3.2 pounds of fat a week. This brings about an average of 2.75 pounds of weight loss in a week. This is under 1% and is a healthy pace for weight loss. This pace means I should be able to reach my goal in 25 weeks.

Long story short;

Weight- 189   Goal- 165

BMI- 26  Goal- 22

Body Fat- 15%  Goal-8%

Length 25 weeks.

Next New Year, New Program: Weight lifting prgram