I am really confused about this topic. I did some research on body fat % for triathlon and I found some information that said for triathlon women are 10% - 15%. I had mine measured by a scale that does bio-electrical impedance and it estimated my BF to be around 15%. I also went to a personal trainer/body builder and she said it looked like I was around 18%.
Obviously for triathlon when you are looking at weight loss, the idea is to lose the body fat but retain the muscle mass, which makes sense. But how many pounds of body fat should we be carrying around on us? This is what causes the confusion because a friend of mine is trying to lose weight, and I was telling him that he should have his BF estimated. He responded by saying "you're not trying to lose weight are you?!" He thinks that I am too skinny, but the truth is that I am supposed to lose about 3 more lbs by next season, so yeah I am.
Then this got me thinking, I get this all the time, people telling me I am too skinny and that people saying that I have an eating disorder. I just don't get it, when I look at myself in the mirror I think I look fit. And I found it was much easier to run a half marathon this season at 112 lbs than running a 5K last year at 142 lbs. This makes me think that the average person must be carrying around a lot more excess body fat than they realize. Has our culture just gotten so fat, that no one recognizes what a normal person looks like anymore?