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A flexible measuring tape works, as does the string method suggested, so you don't need a special tool.
But if you want one: I highly recommend the MyoTape tape measure. You can find it on Amazon etc., typically for around 10 USD. It's flexible and has a auto-adjust feature that makes it super easy to measure the more awkward parts of your body.
I got in while still pretty heavy. My run time is not NEARLY as good as yours. There's a dude in my RSP who sounds similar to you, although he's probably less than 30%. ALL that matters in your case is that you make tape. There is an app called "Army PRT" that you should download, there is a body fat calculator that is the same that is used at meps. Go get one of these: [link] and tape yourself just below your adam's apple, and just BELOW your belly button. I have a 17 1/2" neck but a 39" waist, I passed. Keep up on your run because I about died during drill last weekend.
Edit to add: some kinda miracle happened at MEPS and I got taped at 21%. LOL nope. I have a DEXA scan done about once a month and I'm probably 10-12% above that, but all that matters is the number they calculate.
You might take a look at getting one of the tape measures with a peg (kinda like this ) I've found that (with the exception of shoulders) it helps a TON!
I'd take the last couple of days before the end of the WLC off from OTF, to give your muscles a chance to shed the water tht they're likely retaining!
Be consistent and do it the same way every time.
For my waist, which I measure every training day, I relax, take a couple deep belly breaths, and take the measurement on the final exhale.
I always measure my arm flexed, at the bicep peak, without a pump.
This is helpful for consistent tape tension:
Did you take measurements before you started? You might be gaining enough muscle right now to mostly offset your fat losses. If you are new to lifting and on the path from skinny-fat to jacked, the scale isn't your best measure of progress.
Buy a tape measure, and take monthly measurements at your hips, your abdomen at the belly button, your chest right under the armpits, your thigh halfway between knee and hip, and around the center of your flexed bicep. Write it all down on paper with a date, scale weight, and maybe BF% if you have one of those Omron body fat testers. But I like the measuring tape best because it shows muscle gains as well as fat loss.
Get a Myotape and keep track!
Average weight (last 7 days)
Chest (nipple level)
2" above navel
2" below navel
Hips (widest point)
Right Thigh (widest)
Left Thigh (widest)
I'd get a good MyoTape first, then see about a tape measure.
And yeah, it's almost all water weight at first, but that's still weight, and it represents a reduction in inflammation among other things, so that's a good thing.
Measurements are so motivating! And sometimes a better metric than the scale, just because your actual weight can be influenced by so many things. I do mine once a month and they're always super encouraging. I'm down almost 20 pounds and I don't really see a difference in the mirror, but my measuring tape promises I'm getting smaller.
I got this puppy from Amazon for less than $5 shipped and it's made measuring a lot easier and more accurate.
>Also, MEASURE EVERYTHING! Take before pictures, take during pictures, use a scale, but don't trust the bastard. Invest in a measuring tape If you don't have one already. There WILL be weeks where the scale doesn't budge, but you might simply be replacing fat with muscle.
I'm buying myself a MyoTape Body Tape Measure. Got good enough reviews and it's supposed to be an easy way to accurately measure yourself without help. It's not keto per say but it'll help track my success with it!
Hunger has definitely changed and I'm never "starving". I'll start to feel hungry 5-8 hours after a meal and like you said it's just a "you should eat" feeling. This is completely normal!
Keeping my water intake high, taking magnesium & potassium supplements, and a daily coffee are what keep me regular. The water really is key as I've been sick the last 5 days and not drinking nearly enough as I should which has resulted in constipation.
I highly suggest taking measurements as they are a better indicator of fat loss than a number on the scale. This is the measuring tape I use and it's worked really well, cheap too.
I've lost nearly 50lbs in the 6 months I've been on keto. The weight has been coming off slower as I'm female but I'm happy with my results. How good I feel while eating this way has become my main reason for sticking to it and the weight loss is just an added bonus.
Be careful with artificial crab meat as I hear it has a lot of carbs. Also, make sure your wings aren't breaded as a lot of restaurants tend to do that. I kept a food log for the first 6-8 weeks until I understood what I could eat on a daily basis. It does get easier, just remember to check the nutritional content of everything that goes in your mouth. I broke down last night (in a hazy, sickened fog) and took some Nyquil only to read afterwards that it contains 19 carbs per serving! doh.
> However it's been a month now and I've only lost 2-3 pounds and I'm kind of discouraged.
Measure yourself with a tape measure. You can probably get one at walgreens or walmart or whatever, you don't have to order it online. You can do it around the wasit at the navel, around the waist at the hips (widest point), around each leg mid-thigh, and around each arm mid-bicep. If you have someone to help you can also do it around your shoulders. Use these numbers to track progress.
Weight isn't a good indicator (though it is still useful to track) since you're going to the gym and building lean muscle.
An even better solution would be to measure your bodyfat regularly but you need special equipment. Perhaps someone at the gym can do it for you.
And, no, the beer isn't helping. If you can, try and eat healthy 6 days a week and pick one day where you can have a couple beers and go out to dinner with friends. That is better than cheating a few times throughout the week.
Also take a picture of yourself wearing only shorts, make sure it is as unlfattering as possible, and put it on the mirror in your bathroom so you have to look at it in the morning. That can give you a motivational boost in the morning to stay on track. If you want to track physical changes to your appearance just go ahead and take a photo like that every week so you can compare.
I see Purple_Crayon pointed you to /r/loseit, you'll find a lot of support there so that's definitely a good place to be.
Far as the pictures. Basically that. You won't see huge changes daily, but if you do weekly or every other week you'll actually be able to see differences over time and it won't be nearly as demoralizing looking at daily pictures seeing very little change.
Also I'll second Purple_Crayon's recommendation of taking measurements when you take your pictures. Pick up something like MyoTape for cheap. Really makes measurements easier.
Bust, waist, and hips are actually good places to measure so you already hit that on the head. Sewing tape will work fine if you have someone to help you out, but for taking measurements alone, something like this will be better.
You may be interested in Bodybuilding.com, the body tracker lets you put in your measurements, weight, etc and it'll generate graphs for them. You can also set goals to meet by a future date, and it'll calculate how much you'd have to lose to meet your goal on time. Very handy. It's also really useful for, ya know, bodybuilding.
Was never terribly dissatisfied with my appearance other than acne. Was severe tomboy, short hair + glasses in high school combined with my entire closet consisting of baggy androgynous clothes (large t-shirts, long sleeve button ups, long light cargo pants, pants that weren't jeans)... meant occasionally being mistaken for a guy at times. Broad shoulders helped too. My high school ~~hobby~~ obsession was in a dramatically male dominated field; I'm now entering work in a male dominated field. Oh well!
I started changing my dress a little over a year ago. Was thinking about it for longer. Still in the process of growing myself :) Don't feel overwhelmed by the whole process! Go by what you feel you need.
This is my summary of reading fits I've gone through in the past year or so.
Know thyself (body edition)
Body shape. With measuring tape record the circumference of your shoulders, bust tip, waist, and hips. Next read up the sidebar at /r/femalefashionadvice
Also if you experience any bra discomfort ever, /r/ABraThatFits/wiki/beginners_guide
Fitness (& Diet)
/r/Fitness/wiki/getting_started for comprehensive introduction.
I follow a /r/StrongCurves routine. Guys love big butts.
Hot-as-in-super-attractive-beyond-one-night-stand people are generally confident, interesting, and have a sense of humor. They have their shit together, they know what's important in their life, and they are the chill pill. Example.
In that vein of thought, just keep becoming the best you there ever was. Go make your queendom. <--- a must-watch-completely-at-some-point TED talk.
... I also wanted to link you something else, but with a big disclaimer. See bottom.
Cal Newport believes that passion comes not from in-born "love" of something, but from getting good at it and being useful to the world. /r/getdisciplined has an extensive wiki on self-development. If you just want to free-write all day, 8760.
I think my version of seeing the passion issue is: find a wide-scale problem, try to solve it. In the end everything devolves into "problem-solving", right? Your job, playing games, sharing what's up w/ friends... we talk about problems all day, even if it's in terms of a story.
After you've figured out your body shape and satisfied what link-reading urges you have on what flatters you from step 1, Into-Mind has a great post on 10 principles for building a perfect wardrobe. I'm going to get her workbook at some point when I have a larger wardrobe budget to do a somersault dive into this.
For now, what's worked for me was coming up with regular outfits I'd like to wear, and in general just buying clothes that show off my figure and are actually my size (lol...).
(afterthought) Makeup?... more like Skincare
/r/skincareaddiction first. You can put on makeup for concealing blemishes, but beautiful skin trumps cover-up any day. Trying out makeup has helped me more strictly stick to my skincare routines though, despite wearing makeup extremely infrequently. Since you're experiencing "what... is this me..." when you try on other clothes atm, I'd push this off until later if I were you.
When you do get into it though, I'd browse /r/makeupaddiction and also make a "free" (~$50 minimal purchase afterwards required) appointment at Sephora for an intro to makeup application + makeover. Following that subreddit's advice when I went, I requested my helper to do half of my face in steps so I could practice putting on makeup on the other half.
actual body measuring tape, it's cheap and super handy
because that "queendom" video was so awesome, re-linking it here with a strong recommendation to watch the whole thing. I'd say it's my favorite TED talk I've watched in the entire year+ [link]
from Personality section
DISCLAIMER: I used to read up on "Pick Up Artists" in high school simply because I did not want to fall prey. Lessons in what I'd call "attractive men theory" and the entire POV of that part of the blogosphere was interesting. Sue me for being an oddball.
101 Cultivating a Feminine Frame of Mind.
Yes I know which subreddit that is from. **No** I don't subscribe to their worldview where gender identity is binary and not a continuity, not to mention the sweeping generalizations made on how relationships can work.
I think this post was useful for its listing of desirable character traits in another partner.
Not sure if this is unique to my own experience, but I've gotten comments before on how I "talk like a guy" when I dip into a down / anxious mental state. I've started to notice the drastic tone change since, but... eh, not a big deal.
How one's voice sounds to others is probably an often overlooked aspect of self though.
Currently listening to "Executive Presence" via a free Audible.com trial (see either Anna Akana's Youtube offer (I think it's just audible.com / anna ... iirc) or Amazon for a free trial), how one's voice comes across is addressed in the book... like, see The King's Speech for a dramatic example. Margaret Thatcher is another one mentioned in the book; she probably would not have been as successful as she was in her career had she not tempered her shrillness w/ a speech therapist in her early days.
> I am interested in how other people (especially those with a non-feminine style to begin with) integrated all their far-flung tastes and developed their personal styles as grown-ups. I know much of it will be personal experimentation, but I wanna start with jumping off points. Whenever I try at the moment it just feels like a weird costume.
I got that a lot. Never went shopping before until two years ago. I quickly realized if anyone was with me I felt beholden and didn't want to waste their time trying things out.
I avoided V-neck shirts for a super long time because the first time I tried one on I felt silly, but still bought it anyway because "I should try tighter clothes". Then way later I realized "no, buy things that make you feel happy and look great on you". I love my gradient set of black, dark grey, grey, light grey, white (not too tight, just fitting right) V-necks now, paired with jeans :D It's not overly feminine, it's not "idgaf gonna wear sweats + random t-shirt I collected" wear, I look professional, I'm happy.
I visit 5+ stores first before buying anything, so nowadays if I do buy something, you're right I love it.
Yo, I'm prior service and would love to help you out, OP. Contractors need love, too!
I'm going to give you some advice that is easy to follow, and I'm even including the links for the things you'll need so you don't need to do anything but read, hit Amazon and then hit your gym, in that order.
If you're serious about this, it will absolutely work for you.
(1) one tape measurer for your waist measurements
(2) One food scale to weigh out your food (This is so important man, please trust me on this)
(3) A workout journal or myfitnesspal (I'm old school, paper and pen is fine for me) for tracking calories, meals and goals/workouts.
(4) A treadmill/home gym
(5) Optional: Bodyweight scale (useful, but waist measurements can suffice if you don't own one or don't want to buy one)
(5) Optional: Weight vest and or 25 lb pack (if you don't own a treadmill)
Bottom line up front: You are going to measure your waist to track your fat loss (instead of just weight loss), you are going to weigh your food to determine portion sizes and calories, as well as weigh yourself for additional accuracy if possible. The goal is to lose 1% of your total bodyweight per week while maintaining as much muscle mass as possible to keep your metabolism high.
You will be working out 3-6 days a week depending on your schedule, and workouts will consists of a 3 days of cardio per week for the first month, along with 3 days a week of a full body workout, for the last two months, which can be found on /r/fitness workout programs. If you can consistently do cardio for three days a week then you will know you have the discipline to add the 3 days of resistance training, with the added benefit of a full month of improved cardiovascular health, which makes lifting easier!
(1) If you have all the required "equipment" then take your waist, height and overall weight measurements and write them down in your journal/app.
A healthy height-to-waist ratio is 2 to 1, meaning if you are 68 inches tall your waist should be no more than 34 inches around, at the largest area of your stomach. Fear not, most people don't have this ideal ratio, but we're going to get you there little by little!
(2) Now we need to figure out how may calories you need to eat in order to lose around 1% body weight per week so click on this calculator and under "activity level" select "1-3 hrs/wk of strenuous cardio". Under "select your goal" put "lose fat 20% calorie reduction".
Scroll down and click "calculate" and boom, it spits out:
Your Daily Calorie Requirements
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Daily calories to maintain weight (TDEE)
Daily calories based on goal in step 6
The last part is the most important. For example: for me, my daily calories according to the above formula are about 1930 calories per day. If I eat this much food per day, I will lose around 1 lb of body weight a week (more or less).
(3) Use your food scale to portion out all of your food based on on the STEP 11 macronutrient split of 35% protein, 30% carbs and 35% fat. Scroll down and there is even a meal plan with suggested food to eat and example meal sizes! It does the work for you.
(4) Get your butt to a treadmill and put that sucker on 5% incline, and walk for 30-45 minutes at an easy pace, especially on day one, week one. I would suggest trying 3MPH for an initial pace. If you don't have a treadmill than go outside and walk at a brisk but not uncomfortable pace, for 30-45 minutes, with your pack on. Do this three days a week for three months, adding 1% incline every two weeks until you hit 10% incline, and increasing your speed incrementally, every two weeks, until you hit a max pace of 4.5mph (I have short legs so I don't go past 4MPH at a 10% incline). If you're walking outside, just try and pick up the pace using a stopwatch if you have one ($35 timex will do) or your phone.
NOTE: We are NOT lifting weights for MONTH ONE. Instead, we are focusing on nutritional discipline and cardio. If you follow my instructions you will absolutely shed the fat! Just make sure your macro nutrients are around the ratios I suggested. Too many carbs and not enough fat and protein will hinder your results by promoting muscle loss increases instead of maximizing fat loss.
NOTE 2: Track your waist measurements and bodyweight measurements every week. As your fat levels and weight decrease, so too will your waist measurement, and the amount of calories you need to eat. Re-enter your info every week into the calorie calculator to make the minor adjustments needed to keep up the fat loss. Easy as pie!
NOTE 3: Not losing at least 0.75% of your weight per week? Easy fix: Reduce calories by an additional 100-200 calories per day, taking away calories from carbs. Continue as normal and re-asses weight loss 7 days later. Eventually you will get to your 1% weight loss per week and you will continue the meal plan as prescribed in the calorie calculator.
MONTHS TWO AND THREE
Do everything I said in MONTH ONE, and now add whatever 3 day full body weight training workout you think works best for you and your available gym equipment (i.e., don't have barbells? Use a dumbbell program), which can be found on /r/fitness under the wiki/program section.
If you have the time I suggest doing your weight training on days you don't do cardio, so you are doing something everyday and keeping your body active.
If you are strapped for time, then you can lift before, or after your cardio, really depending on how you feel and what works for your personality and preferences.
For me, I used to lift before I do cardio but now that I'm in my 30's I have switched to weights after cardio because I feel it really helps warm-up my muscles in order to prevent new injuries and keep old injuries from progressing. YMMV.
Cardio Note: If you're still walking outside, throw on that pack/weight vest, adding 10% more weight every two weeks, not to exceed 30% of your total body weight. This will suck, but it gives you a mean cardiovascular workout and you WILL shed fat. Just ask any infantrymen.
Please ask if you have any questions, or anyone else for that matter.
GOOD LUCK IN THE SUCK, OP!
invest in a myotape under $10 on amazon
I'm not sure if this is quite the right place to put this, but as someone who is very into fitness, health, etc, I want to put good information out there for people to see. Your statement about not losing weight possibly due to muscle gain reminded me of a pretty important idea:
Worry less about the scale and more about the mirror and your waist/hip measurements. The scale numbers matter, but not as much as you might think.
Here is an article on the average ideal waist:hip, waist:chest, and BMI for both men and women:
Ideal to real: What the perfect body really looks like
For the BMI, I'd recommend using this calculator, which BMI with an exponent of 2.5 instead of 2.0, making it better for people of significantly above or below average height:
New BMI Calculator
Here were the ideal numbers for women designed by men:
BMI of 18.8
Waist-to-hip ratio ratio of .73
Waist-to-chest ratio of .69
Obviously, you have less control over bust size than you might like, but handling your waist:hip ratio and trying to eat towards the ideal BMI is going to massively increase your sex appeal, mating options, and body satisfaction. The good news is, these are averages, and as long as you are reasonably close, you are going to be somebody's ideal.
EDIT: Just to give a concrete example of this, I like narrower/flatter hips, a smaller chest, and a bit more muscle than most men. This will lead to a small overall size and low curves, but a somewhat higher BMI due to the higher muscle density. However, most women would be very well served by tailoring their fitness regimen to approach the above numbers over time.
You can track both your weight and your measurements pretty cheaply. Here are a couple of products on Amazon that make it very easy:
Body measurement tape, $5
Digital scale, $23
I own both of these products and I am very satisfied with them. I'd say measure yourself in the morning after relieving yourself for the most accurate & consistent results.
Fitness and health are both easier and harder than people make them out to be. Often we pursue ideals that are a bit wrongheaded, and it is difficult to form good habits. However, once you pick the right goals, and you establish the good habits, it gets fairly easy and very rewarding. Happy self-improvement, folks!
I have an awesome body tape measure and started measuring last week. Many of my measurements didn't change, but my hips seem to have lost an inch and my neck a quarter inch. I found my tape measure that I never remember to use (This one from Amazon and put it where I wouldn't lose it in my bathroom. It's now part of my Friday measuring routine as I'm in a weight loss bet/challenge with some old high school people and Friday is weigh in day.
I thought at first I was at the wrong spot, but as much as a slide it up and down the measurement never got any larger than the new one unless it hit my butt.
I also stayed keto while sick this week and went out and bought some rebel ice cream. I never understood how people liked halo top, but I really love the mint chip. The cookie dough is just gonna have to sit tight in my freezer. I'm still going to try to not have more than 1 serving a day, and not even every night, but I was shorter than I needed to be on calories the past two nights and had already hit my protein. Today however I am having rather calorie dense lunch and dinner, which I am totally looking forward to both dishes for both meals, but there isn't room today for the ice cream. I might bring the ice cream up to my sisters tomorrow for my nieces birthday party so I don't feel left out. I think she said her husband is doing low carb, so maybe he will want some.
Get a measuring tape and track your waist, hips, thighs, under bust, and upper arm. It’s coming off and sometimes it’s easier to see with measurements.
Nope, I spent like $6 to get the equipment to do it.
I use a tape measure and the Navy body fat calcuator. Specifically, I use this and this.
I have one where you can attach the end of it to the part that retracts, so you can measure around yourself without help. Here's one I found on Amazon. [link]
Might be able to find a cheaper one too.
The tape measure is soft, but it's one of these types: [link]
I have this one: [link]
It prevents me from pulling too tight or too loose.
So I know you didn't ask about measuring devices, but I really love this little tape measure gadget [link]
I have this one. Cheap and works fine [link]
Yeah, they cost ~6 bucks on amazon. Here is what I purchased for tracking my measurements.
Body Measuring Tape on Amazon
Calipers on Amazon
Yup, it happens. Here's my weightloss over three months.
If you're not already on MFP, you should join us. It's a nice simple way to keep track of all the things you ingest.
MEASURE EVERYTHING! Take before pictures, take during pictures, use a scale, but don't trust the bastard. Invest in a measuring tape If you don't have one already. There WILL be weeks where the scale doesn't budge, but you might simply be replacing fat with muscle
Nah, not stupid, merely ignorant, and already learning! :)
Be sure to check out the Keto Calculator (also over there), and sign up for MFP, so you have an impartial/unbiased record of what you're consuming.
Also, MEASURE EVERYTHING! Take before pictures, take during pictures, use a scale, but don't trust the bastard. Invest in a measuring tape If you don't have one already. There WILL be weeks where the scale doesn't budge, but you might simply be replacing fat with muscle.
I have this measuring tape: Myotape.
I agree. A difficult mental transition you're going to have to make is that your weight really doesn't matter now. It is not going to be about moving the scale down, it is going to be about moving your fat down.
My weight range this week was 164.5-170.5. I frequently gain 5lbs on weight lifting days (I eat a lot, and a lot of it is carbs). And it goes away during the rest days. I could honestly care less. I am cutting this month and all I care about is that my ab pinches go down. They go down 0.5mm about every 6 days when I am cutting.
MyTape makes it easy to measure yourself.
Fat calipers are good to have too. There is a little learning curve to get consistent readings. But once you do, it is a great way to measure progress.
A good suggestion. I have one of these MYOTape body measurement, erm, tapes. Five bucks on Amazon. Use a notebook or free app/site like [Daytum]([link]} to log your numbers over time, and see your progress.
There is a tape measure for just that purpose by the same company.