The upper end of “normal”

*This is the post I had actually planned to write today… the one from this morning was just an added bonus, hence the two posts in a day thing*

The observant among you have probably noticed that I don’t live in the same town where I work. Every day, I get up at 6 a.m. so I can take the (stupidly early) train to work. At first, I bought monthly tickets, but that got annoying after a while so as soon as I passed my probation period, I ordered the BahnCard 100 from Deutsche Bahn.

Deutsch: BahnCard 100
The BahnCard 100 (Photo: Wikipedia)

There are three versions of the BahnCard – BahnCard 25 gets you 25% off train tickets, BahnCard 50 gets you 50% and the BahnCrad 100… well, can you guess what that one does? Correct! It allows me to travel on any train within Germany for no extra charge. The card itself costs a small fortune, of course, but it comes with CityPlus, which allows me to use opublic transport within any town that participate in the scheme. As both Karlsruhe and the town I work in have CityPlus, with my BahnCard I’m covered for the trams as well. After working out that buying three monthly tickets (for the train and both tram networks) I would only be spending €15 less than the monthly price of the BahnCard 100, my choice was clear.

The other thing that comes with BahnCard 100 is a bonus scheme. It used to be automatic, but recently they’ve changed it so you have to opt in. Non-BahnCard holders can join the scheme as well – they just have to order a separate bonus card. Basically every euro you spend (either purchasing a BahnCard itself or travel tickets) equates to one point for the bonus system. And once you get enough points, you can go to the Bahn website and exchange them for things. There are various “prizes” (for want of a better word) available – everything from train tickets and reservations to wine gift sets and iPads.

Elbling wine
Mmm, wine! (Photo: Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago, I received a letter telling me some of my points were about to expire, so I decided it was time to claim a prize. I went on the Bahn website, looked through all the options, and eventually decided to order myself a set of scales – the kind that promise to analyse your body as well as weighing you. They duly arrived on Saturday (when I was not home!) and the neighbour who had taken them for me brought them round on Monday night. Being a man, and therefore a sucker for anything with buttons, Jan wanted to set them up for me immediately. So into the scales went my age, height and the amount of exercise I do, and onto the scales I stepped.

Percent Symbols - Best Percentage Growth or In...
(Photo: SalFalko)

My weight was pretty much what I’d been expecting (and no, I’m not telling you what it is!), so no surprises there, although I would like to get it down a bit. Then came the fat analysis part. Body fat proportion: 30%, said the scales. jan, who was holding the little booklet looked that up. “It says you’re normal,” he reported. “20% to 32% is the normal range for women in your age group.” I went and had a look. He was right… 30% is normal… but the upper end of normal. I’m only 2% away from the “Overwieght” category… just like my waist to height ratio puts me at only 0.02 away from being overweight. Eeep!

I’ve said it before, I know, but this time I really do need to get serious about shifting some belly fat! So far, I still look pretty good in most of my clothes, but seeing that I’m only 2% away from an unhealthly proportion of body fat actually kind of scared me, so I want to put a stop to the weight gain before I actually am fat! I’ve been doing quite well on the exercise front recently, so now all I need to do is ditch the junk food (would now be a good time to admit that I treated myself to a Magnum after work two days in a row? What can I say… I was hot!), pay closer attention to my portion sizes and make a real effort to cook nice, healthy meals containing actual vegetables!

diet ecard

Coincidentally, while I was planning this post, The Pink Rachael introduced her new weekly series, Weigh-in Wednesdays, so from now on I shall be linking up with that. I’m hoping to get at least a centimetre or two shifted before I go to England and have to appear at a christening in – gasp – a pretty frock!


Time to lose the belly!

For about two months, I’ve been complaining that I’ve out on weight, and for that same amount of time the boyfriend has been telling me that “I’ve been that shape ever since he’s known me. Well… maybe a little thinner, but not much. Not noticeably so…”. Then, last weekend, I put on a dress that I hadn’t worn for almost a year. You know… the last time the weather was actually warm! I immediately noticed that it didn’t fit the same way it used to. There’s a definite bulge in the belly area. I pointed it out to the boyfriend, and this time his response was different. “Oh yeah… that dress didn’t used to do that on you.” At that moment, it became official. Even Jan has noticed that I’ve put on weight! It’s most definitely time for operation lose the belly fat!

Tape measure
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Since I don’t actually have any scales here in Germany (GASP! I know.. terrible, isn’t it?),  I decided I was going to measure the size of my waist instead. After measuring between 2 and 3 times a day for around a week, I’ve discovered that my waist size fluctuates between 79 cm and 82 cm. Whether that’s due to genuine fluctuations (I’m convinced my stomach is flatter beofre breakfast!) or my inability to measure correctly, this still means I have a waist size of around 80cm. The only problem was, that didn’t actually mean anything to me! I know what weight range I’m supposed to stay within the be considered healthy, but waist size? Not a clue! Time to check in with my good friend Google. I entered “waist to height ratio” and found the following:

On the NHS website:
You have a higher risk of health problems if your waist size is:

  • more than 94cm (37 inches), if you’re a man
  • more than 80cm (31.5 inches), if you’re a woman

80cm? Eeeep! That means I’m way up at the top the scale. In fact, depending on which measurements were correct, I may even already be at risk of health problems!

Next, I clicked on a waist to height calculator on

According to that, my ratio is 48.8, which, for women, falls under category 4: Ratio 46 to 49: Healthy and Attractive. Yay, healthy and attractive! But what’s that I see… only 0.2 off the next category… “Ratio 49 to 54: Overweight”. Uh oh!

A second waist to height calculator, this time at a site called Weight Loss Ladder ( gave my ratio as 0.49, healthy. But by adding on a mere two centimetres, I can change the result to “overweight”.

fat pig
fat pig (Photo credit: nishwater)

Ironically, most of the people who see me regularly would probably tell you I’m still as skinny as I always was. I’m usually pretty good at dressing to hide the belly bulge, and with it being cold for so long, I’ve been able to disguise it under bulky jumpers for longer than usual. But three websites and my pretty summer dress can’t all be lying… the fat explosion is real, and it’s here. Operation get thin for christening starts now!