The Beginning, Kinda

The plan was that Feb 1 would be the beginning, that I’d do my "official" first weigh-in and start from there, giving myself 365 days. The timing was planned too since if it comes to a panic to meet the goal, I want to do that in the off-season.

Of course, I’m off a bit. I started at 235 and am down a bit from there, but weight is the least measure to deal with. Brian Giles is 5’10, 205 (listed) but I’ll  bet his 205 is a lot different than my 230. It took a couple days to get to a point where I could be measured, weighed, poked and prodded. I did both a laser and a "dunk tank" for body fat measurement, which was an interesting adventure. It was also disturbing in a couple ways. I don’t like to think of myself as fat, even though I’ve gotten that way. Somehow, I still see myself like I was in college – in good, not great, shape. A little self-delusion is okay.

So after the poking, prodding, dunking, weighing, and measuring, we have both some statistics and some facts to deal with. With a known goal, let’s see how far I have to go:

Height: 5’10 Weight: 230
Body Fat %: 17.57 (this surprised me. I was ready for a number in the low 20s. Most importantly, it means I’m only carrying around about 13 lbs of fat. That might make hitting Giles’ 205 a real problem.) [ed. note: My math *****. The proper answer is 40.4 lbs of fat, which is plenty to lose, though still not enough to get to my "healthy" weight.]
Wrist: 8 1/2 inches (why wrist measurement? I asked and it’s used to determine whether a person has a small, medium, or large frame. It’s an area that is not affected by fat or muscle gains. For the record, I have a large frame.)
Neck: 18 inches (yeah, try buying shirts)
Biceps: 16 inches (not bad.)
Thigh: 25 inches (again, not so bad.)
Chest: 46 inches (I’ve been wearing the wrong jacket size for years apparently.)
Waist: 40 inches (Ok, this is the number that most bothers me. I do not like buying jeans that say 40 on them. That’s 10 inches over what I was in high school and I clearly remember Jerry Seinfeld saying he could still wear high school jeans. Judging your body by a line on Seinfeld is as stupid as it sounds.)

You can see how these compare to "average" at this interesting link.

Where it got really disturbing is when we sat down and looked at the charts of what my "healthy" and "ideal" weights would be. "Mr. Carroll, your ideal weight at 5′ 10 1/2 is 156 lbs." Get the bleep out. You could cut off both my legs and I wouldn’t be 156 lbs. After a long illness, I got down to 160 and actually scared children. The idea that this weight was POSSIBLE, let alone "ideal" is simply insane. As my pal Jim Baker said, "I’d have to get TB, AIDS, and amoebic dysentery to get to that weight."

He’s right and while it’s one thing for guys like me and Jim to rant about this, let’s look at it in an even more telling way. There’s actually a range of "healthy weights" and for a guy who’s 5’10 (and a 1/2, don’t forget the half!), the charts say that I should weight anywhere from 139 to 173. If 156 is insane, then 139 is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. (In my junior year, when I was shorter, I wrestled at the 135 lb weight class.) You measure "overweight" from the top of the range. You’re considered "obese" if you’re 30 lbs over the top of the range.

Brian Giles, you’re obese with two pounds to spare.

Obviously, these charts are meaningless as a guide and I’m much more comfortable saying that trying to match Brian Giles is a good goal than trying to get to 173. I might use supplements and even steroids to get to 205, but I’d have to consider amputation and anorexia to get to 173. The former is healthier.

So now we begin. The first batch of supplements is in hand while super assistant Matt Kleine is working on keeping it coming. I’ve got my Core Performance workout ready, my meal replacements and low-calorie snacks in the fridge, and you watching my back.

(Next post: What’s he taking and what’s he doing?)



    I’m confused – you say you way 230, and you’re 17.57% body fat. To me, that sounds like 40 lbs of fat, not 13. Can you explain your math to me?


    If Brian Giles is obese, what does that say about all the scary obesity stats that get thrown around? Obviously, he’s quite a specimen, but aren’t there enough people walking around with 10-15 pounds of workout muscle to skew the numbers? Keep up the good work…


    All depends on your build. I’m 5’9″ and a half (I’m with you on the “remember the and-a-half” bit), and I’ve never been much above 145 – when I was in college and lifting weights 6 days a week, I was between 140 and 145. Short of really drastic measures, I could only get up above 160 by adding flab.

  4. Dan

    I agree, build has a lot to do with it. I’m 5’9 1/2, and I weighed 205 pounds two years ago. Very out of shape. After going to a Fantasy Camp and seeing what I looked like in a major league uniform, I was disgusted. I did a Forrest Gump plan: I started running. Within four months I had lost 40 pounds. now weight between 155-160. But I;ve started lifting the last few months, adding that to my regular cardio workouts. I realize now that weight is subjective. Your ideal weight depends on how much muscle you have, what your build is (mine is small). I’ve never felt better. I am intrigued by having the body fat measurement done in a scientific way. The only time I had it done it was with the little “tongs” they use to measure your fat on your arms, stomache, and legs. Where would one go to get “dunked in the tank?”
    Great Blog – keep it up. I’m over at

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