It’s no surprise that at 5’4″ I have loose skin from losing over 100 pounds. That kind of weight for anyone is a lot, but for a person my height it truly takes a toll on your skin. While there are things you can do to help loose skin, there’s nothing that 100% prevents it. I’ve been asked about creams, wraps and if I do ab work – no, no and some. Exercises that work your abdominal muscles mostly develop the muscle further, which can help with loose skin, but not like bulking muscle does in other areas of the body, like arms or legs.
Loose skin can make you feel bigger than you are because it takes up space. For me this means I have never been able to get an accurate reading when I’ve had my body fat measured. A few weeks ago I tried the tape measure method where you obviously use a tape measure and take multiple body measurements into consideration – I got a reading of 23%. Well, nice try, but I knew that wasn’t right. At the time I was 140 pounds and again in 5’4″ – I’m also wearing a size 2 pant.
I’ve tried calipers, which similar to the tape methods uses multiple points on the body, but again you’re pinching skin.
After some research, I found the bod pod, which uses air displacentcy. Kind of like a dunk tank uses water to measure this is just as effective and much less mess. There’s only 2 locations in Massachusetts – Weymouth Health Club in Weymouth and Merrimack College, well above Boston. My boyfriends family lives 15 minutes from Weymouth so an appointment there just means a quick overnight with the fam.
For a fee of $59, I would be the proud owner of accurate results that would not only get me on the right mental state because let’s face it loose skin fucks with your head; it would also help me figure out the last 4 weeks of prep. I know I’ve been busting my ass and so does my coach. At 135 and a size 2, I knew I had to be kind of fit – I feel fit, I look for with my gym clothes on. My primary care doctor is even impressed – he met me when I was hanging out over 200, so for him this is as much adventure as it is for me.
Well, I did it. I stopped by on Saturday and it took about 5 minutes.
There are my results. 16.2% body fat. I’m in the ultra lean category, which for this sport is perfect. I may actually have a shot at placing if my posing is on point. When the trainer conducting the test handed me the paper and pointed out what I should be looking at, I legit hand to mouth gasped and started crying and then had to explain why I was crying. He laughed and said “you’re more fit than most of our trainers here!” SATURDAY MADE. Just in time for my refeed on Sunday.
I have never felt more confident in the work I have been putting in, I have never felt like I could truly accomplish something like I do now. Next month I have a consult for skin removal and I can’t wait to bring here the results so she knows what I’m dealing with.
So if you’re interested in getting your body fat measured looked into various methods because one may not work for you. There can also be variance with taping or calipers, so if the measurement is high don’t be discouraged. Keep busting your butt and find a different way to measure your progress.