Wednesday, May 21, 2008

frame size

So I was reading Mrs. F's blog and she talked about frame size. She'd always thought she was medium growing up, but since having lost weight, realized she's a small (through this elbow measuring thing here). Similar to my story, I always thought I had big bones. a) nice excuse for being bigger, b) I was bigger than all kids growing up, even when it wasn't fat. I looked like a year older than kids until about grade 8 or something. Early maturer. Plus I was always really solid and sturdy. I got muscles baby. I was never skinny. Never in my life would I be called skinny. You know how some 9 year old just have super skinny legs and arms and stuff. Looks like they're almost annorexic, but they're just skinny with no muscles or anything. I was the opposite. I always thought it was my bones that were bigger, but it was the muscles on my bones it turns out.

I'm small framed.

Seriously! (at least according to that elbow thing, but I think I may have small elbows but large ribs and shoulders. I have very broad shoulders folks, I don't fit in shirts!)

This also relates to another article I recently read in my Women's Health Slim Down Secrets or something like that magazine. It was at the beginning when you figure out your ideal weight or something. Unfortunately I don't remember the details, but it took your height and some kind of measurement that you could add or subract based on (it might have been if you could overlap your fingers around your wrist, subtract so many pounds, if you couldn't touch your fingers then add a couple pounds.) Anyway I can compeletly overlap my fingers. My wrists are small compared to my hands. So anyway, from that thing I also had small bones and my ideal weight could be as low as like 110 lbs or something! Which is absurd! I have never pictured myself as somebody who could actually be small! Sort of exciting. I always thought I was a short Amazon woman. Guess not.

Let's do some calculations. If I'm 30% body fat (which is what my cheapy handheld electronic thing says, though it may be totally inaccurate, I certainly don't feel that fat, but maybe i'm like a well marbled steak or something.) Anyway, at 137 lbs, that's 41 lbs of fat, 96 lbs of lean body. If I wanted to be 17% body fat, that would mean I'd weigh 116 lbs (assuming same lean mass). Wowsa. Something to think about.

I think it might help me stay on track if I felt not like I was almost there, just 5 lbs or so, but if I was only in the middle. I might not let myself cheat as much. I dunno, it probably should make me feel depressed or something. But I'm excited that I could get that small (though I'm not particularly worried about the number on the scale of course, but less than 20% body fat would be sweet, that's athlete range I think). I think I sort of set limitations on myself based on the "big boned" thing. I still don't really understand it. I know I've got wide shoulders, but that could be muscle I suppose right? I do have small hips. hmmm...

Anyway, other things. Yesterday's eating was no good again. Not horrible. But I was hungry when I got home from work and since the stupid mini muffins were on the cupboard I pollished off about 4 of them while cooking. Not to mention chips and dip (?!?) and cranberry juice and dino-sours. PLUS I ate a burrito (which is what I made for supper) and then had a cupcake for dessert. I need to get this food out of my line of sight. Anyway, I did my new TT workout. I'm doing the original TT thing now. I like this one, so far at least. I missed deadlifts. I do need some more heavier dumbells. Like a set of 20lbs, I've got 5s and 10s. I even did the intervals (though I don't know if they were the ones I was supposed to do, I just did a set of 30s sprints with 90s recovery around this big block I run) it took about 20 minutes I think. I was ready to puke by the end so that means it was good. ;)

Tonight I'm gonna do a bike ride and then a run. That's all I've got on the go tonight. No TT. Tomorrow morning is the swim. (GOTTA DO IT!) I'm feeling a little better about this tri coming up. 11 days! Especially since I've got a brick planned and a swim. I just have to remember to pace myself. While it is a race, it's not against the other people. This is my first sprint tri, the goal is to finish with a smile, not to beat anybody. Ok not true, my goal is also to come in in the top half. Though I don't know what the competition will be like and that might be too high of expectation. It's a goal.

Anyway, today's food should be good. Got chicken slow cooking right now so there will be no waiting around hungry, just gotta stir fry up some veggies as well and I'm set.

Anyway, back to work. Short week for me since tomorrow is a seminar. Only 2 days left of working then! one of them is today!

Edit - how to do the elbow thing. Put your arm up at 90 degrees, like so you can see your elbow in a mirror. Take a measuring tape and measure the width of your elbow, (the bone part) (use your fingers if you can't see the tape or something.) if it's less than 2 2/8 inches you're small. if it's 2 and 3/8 to 2 and 5/8 you're medium, and if it's 2 and 6/8 or larger you have a large frame. Mine was less than 2".


Anonymous said...

i don't get it. how do i do this elbow thing???

Sagan Morrow said...

I've done the wrist one before- a year ago I was medium frame, and now I'm small frame! It's kind of crazy how that happens when you lose weight. I'd never heard of the elbow one before though.

Genevieve said...

Ah, the frame size debate - our family has been having this one a while. Even when I was overweight, my wrists were very small and I registered as a small/med, and now that I have lost weight, that is the same...and totally makes sense for my size, shape. I am in the healthy range for the small frame size at my height (though not near the low end of that range). I have not done the elbow method yet, and am waiting till I have access to calipers to measure that one, as I do not trust my fingers to do this one on my own.

Now, my mom is the same as me - small frame size, little person, healthy weight.... whereas my sister definitely is a medium or large frame size, and has broad shoulders and rib cage (she has trouble fitting shirts too). Everything you said in this blog post reminded me of her - being more 'mature' than her elementary classmates, never having the skinny little kid legs, etc... We joke with her about how she is built like a brick s$*t house - she is a solid girl. She is also extremely fit and can kick my ass anytime! Late last year (Nov or so) she got hydrostatically weighed and the result was that she is 20% body fat (athlete range)....but still at 5'4" she is 136 pounds....which to me fully explains why she could kick my ass - holy crap that is a lot of muscle!!! Seeing your bikini pictures a while back makes me think that you could be similar. You are very lean, have excellent shape and muscle tone and for the record do not look 'big' at all! Anyways, enough rambling...maybe I have provided food for thought, maybe not. Enjoy the short work week!

Jenn said...

I think that those kinds of tests are really generic and hard to apply to "real" people.
Its more important to go based on how you feel. I think that you look fantastic! And you are so freaking strong! I can't imagine you are 30% fat - you seem to be solid muscle from what I've read/seen on your blog.
It sure is interesting how those things work though, isn't it?

Step away from the food! LOL. Its hard to not munch when cooking if you are hungry - I know that story all too well. :)

Good luck with your training tonight!!

Running Knitter said...

I'm with Jenn. You look like solid muscle to me.

I got 2 inches on the elbow test too.

tash said...

". . . like I'm a well marbled steak . . . " made me roar. If you were a steak you would surely be a Kobe beef steak - the best!

Kate said...

I've done the frame measurement both wrist,and now the elbow thing, and I always come up a small frame, but seriously, I'm like you. I'm built like a football player on top. I can't fit into those cute little shirts and stuff, doesn't work for me.

eurydice said...

i definitely have a small frame... but i always knew it because when i'm overweight i'm totally jiggly, even with muscles underneath the jiggle.

Jen said...

I used to ALWAYS use that excuse (the big boned)...but yeah, if you were too see my hands you would know that's a lie (my wedding ring is a size 5 and barely stays on my finger)...and yeah, I just did the elbow thing and it was between 1.5 and 1.75 (I finally made my boss check because that seems so small!!)

Anyway, frame size, I am meant to be WAY smaller than I am...I feel bad for my bones for doing this to them (carrying so much extra weight!)...but I think the way my body is shaped I would just look weird if I weighed as little as the numbers say I should...I am wide across the front (so much so that I don't have much fat between my rib cage and my bra strap) I have a feeling if I were the weight "they" say I should be, I would be a skinny wide person!!!

MizFit said...

(echoing the musclemuscle chant coming your way)

Im gonna do the frame thing later --- Id never see this particular test.

happy thursday
happy swimming!


Jennifer said...

Sweet! Mine was about 2" as well, definitely not more, but maybe a teeny bit less. I always thought I had a medium frame, but I guess not! I could get down to the lowest for my weight range and not look sickly, yay! :)

Bi0nicw0man said...

Ya, frame size is soooo misleading.

I am 5'11" and often bought large shirts because that was the only way to get them a) long enough b) to sit properly on my big hips.

Turns out now that I'm actually a small. I have teeny tiny wrists and elbows. And now my boobs are smaller I find I swim in mediums sometimes too.

Of course, it all depends on the store and manufacturer too. I actually bought a little blazer in the petite department recently...because length didn't matter and I needed narrower shoulders.

It's all very odd and frustrating!