OK. I admit it.
I have an ego.
It makes me feel good.
And like it or not I can’t get rid of it. I tried once. I learned a Buddhist meditation technique and practiced and practiced it. Eventually, I had a kind of ‘enlightened’ moment. I genuinely felt that during that moment, my ego had dissolved and that I was without ego. Elated, I came back to normality and thought to myself “Fantastic! I lost my ego. How cool is that?!!! I guess that makes me a pretty special kind of guy. Oh yes. I am a cool, fully Zenned up, spiritual guru! I AM pretty bloody WONDERFUL!!!”
“Damn… egolessness didn’t last long, did it?”
Anyway, I find myself wrestling with my ego currently over what the body composition measuring machine is telling me.
I am trying to lose fat mass (FM) and retain lean body mass (LBM). I measure weekly on that device where you put in height, weight, age, sex, hold the thing out in front of you by the handles and press the go button and it gives you the readings. These I record on an excel spreadsheet so I can graph weight, body fat % (BF%), FM and LBM. I notice that there are some fluctuations from week to week and not necessarily in the direction I want or expect. Visually, I feel I can see more and more abs, so overall, I am happy with the way things are going.
At this point, my irrepressible ego elbows its way back into the story. I discovered that if you lie about your age, the machine gives you a much more favourable reading! A long internal exchange ensued about which age should be used. In the blue corner, logic argued that clearly my natural age should be chosen. However, in the red corner, ego gave a fine account of himself as usual and suggested an hypothetical age derived from a series of blood and exercise tests that rather flatteringly told me that my ‘biological age’ was 28. A compromise was reached to avoid further bloodshed. I now record two readings, one at my natural age (38), one at my ‘biological age’ (28). Now, while I freely admit to finding this compromise absurd ( just choose one and stick to it! ), each reading is useful. I use both to motivate myself in different ways - if I am feeling that I will respond better to encouragement as things are going well, I use the more favourable age 28 reading. If I feel that I will get more motivated by how bad things are and that I need to put more effort in to change it I beat myself up with the 38 reading. I manipulate my motivation according to how I am feeling about myself.
Recently, in spite of the visual improvements, I found that my BF% reading has been going up for the last 2 weeks according to the body composition measuring machine (0.8% and 0.4%). This bothers me. Either the readings are not accurate, or they vary from day to day and I happened to take readings at progressively unfavourable times over the last 3 weeks. Or, more worryingly, I am taking in all this fine spring weather and it is making me feel so gosh darn good that is effecting my self image so positively that I ‘see’ these good feelings reflected in the mirror when, in fact, I am actually putting on BF just like the machine says. An episode of positive body dismorphia?
So, my questions are:
Has anyone else experienced variability with these hand held electronic measuring devices?
What methods of divining body composition do you find effective or consistent?
Does anyone else find that how you are feeling effects the way you interpret what you see in the mirror?
Does anyone else find themselves in conflict with their egos over this (or other) issue(s)?
Does anyone have any attitudes or approaches to dealing with their ego that they find useful?
I have been going on a reduced carb diet for 4/5 weeks loosely along the John Berardi/Chris Shugart lines.
My goal is to get to 10BF%.
I don’t like Ephedrine/caffeine stacks much.
I find forskolin effective.
I have a delivery of Hot Rox on its way in the post.
I am doing Dr. Lonnie Lowery’s early morning caffeine fuelled running.
Weights 2/3 times a week. Legs only at the moment as I have a neck injury.
Thai Boxing or Boxercise 2 times a week.
Not always as consistent as I’d like on avoiding carbs…