Well we are going to have to set some goals soon, but first you need to know how to measure yourself and set your starting point.
Before we start, let me make a really important point. When you look up the recommended statistics for all the below measurements, make sure that you take into account your AGE and SEX. Because they are different, and if you don’t then you are not going to be comparing yourself correctly.
Get a notebook. Write in the date and time.
Now lets look at some ways that you can measure your starting point (I would recommend doing them all, because you might get movement one month on one and not on another) …
Go on, if it’s horrid, then thats great because you’ll be able to beat it asap!
You probably know this! I recommend you convert it into centimetres as well as feet and inches, because some of the later calculations will be easier that way. Here is a URL I found quickly via google, feel free to add a comment with a better one if you find it: http://www.onlineconversion.com/
After all this is probably what most bothers you, which is how much space you take up. So measure lots of things, otherwise you might miss some of the changes (you might need a friends help for this): Upper arms, bra line, waist, hips, thigh, calf.
Actually not always the best measure as it doesn’t take into account fat etc, but not without merit. Make sure you convert it into kilos as well as stones and just pounds, because it makes the calculators easier to use.
I admit to being a fan of gadgets, so I do have the scales that measure fat percentage. Gyms can do it too with a tool that literally ‘pinches and inch’, normally for free if you are a member, plus online there are calculators to work it out from your height and weight.
Here is one that I found: http://www.healthyforms.com/helpful-tools/index.php
Body Mass Index
I’m not a massive fan of this measurement because in cases like the big hairy northern one it doesn’t take into account big legs from years of track cycling and rugby as a young bloke. However, if you are of ‘normal’ build, then it will probably give you a decent insight.
There’s an NHS one here: http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx?Tag=Calculators
Hip to Waist Ratio
This is actually one of the most important, as when it is high there are greater chances of you having fat around your organs which has major effects on your health and life span, so I am a BIG fan of this measurement. Again a gym or a personal trainer can do this one for you. You can probably do it yourself, but you do need to be careful about where you are measuring.
Here’s one for you: http://www.healthyforms.com/helpful-tools/index.php
Pick a store and pick a dress size! Remember that different stores, will have different ways of measuring dress sizes. Potentially pick one that works for your age, for example if you are over 15 don’t pick Top Shop, if you are under 30 don’t pick Marks and Spencer’s (I’m not saying don’t buy from them, I’m just saying don’t pick them as your measurement. For my height I reckon a healthy dress size is 10-12 (being curvy, I’m likely to need a 12 trouser, or larger top if it’s tight, but 10 is a good average size for me).
If you would like to check out your general health in other areas of life and make sure that you are not living too close to the edge, then sign up for my free newsletter (don’t worry I don’t send out loads), and you will get a free Life Health Questionnaire.
How is your nutrition?
Do you eat lots of sugar and fat, some rubbish, 5 a day with a little regular treat, really good.
How is your hydration?
Do you drink no water with coffee and fizzy drinks, a couple of glasses of water a day with coffee and fizzy drinks, a couple of glasses of water a day with maybe one coffee, 8 glasses of water a day with just one coffee.
How often do you exercise?
How many steps do you manage a day? A pedometer is a really good idea. You will probably find that a ‘normal’ sedentary day is about 2-3k steps, the school run adds another 1-2k, going for a walk or shopping another 1-2k. You are aiming for 10,000 yes, TEN THOUSAND!
Do you manage to fit any exercise into your life?
- Not at all + get tired quickly with the kids
- Once per week + get tired after 30 mins with the kids
- Twice per week + get tired after 1hr with the kids
- Three times per week + lots of energy with the kids?
How do you feel about your body?
Do you hate it, dislike it, think it’s OK in clothes, think it’s OK in a bikini, or think it’s fabulous?
How sexy do you feel
(as this has little to do with actual size, just what you think about yourself)? – Not at all, a little, once in a while, often, lots, sexilicious?
So you have tonnes of ways of measuring your progress. This gives you more likelihood of making progress each week, however little.
Plus it makes sure that you keep your eyes on all important aspects of weight loss, not just a one sided view. Remember to check out my earlier posts on how to get and keep yourself motivated! Next week we are going to set some goals and make sure that they are goals that work.
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