This morning I had one of the most confronting, horrifying, humiliating, upsetting, and downright scary experiences of my life. It was also incredibly powerful and I hope motivating. I had a dexa scan. For those that don’t know it, a dexa scan measures your body composition… ie how much fat, muscle bone etc that your body is made up of. It had been recommended to me by some people who have been doing the 12wbt for a while. Many of them were getting them after a year of the program and wishing they had one from when they started to compare to. So I decided to give it a go.
I knew the results would not be good… in fact I was expecting downright terrible. But I thought, knowledge is power and knowing where I am starting can only help me moving forward. So I jumped on the bus and headed in to the city. My stomach was churning… partly from nerves, partly from TTOM. I tried to keep talking positively to myself. Telling myself that “no matter how bad it is, it will never be this bad again”… that “I’m already taking steps to improve it”… “I’ll be so happy I have this to compare to after I’ve lost the weight” – that kind of thing, but it wasn’t helping. I wanted to throw up the breakfast I had forced down (Eating Breakfast every day was my Week 1 change and I refuse to break that commitment to myself). I think the nerves were affecting my brain too. I’d mixed up the address in my head, couldn’t find the place and had to ring them and ask. Then when I got there, I had to fill in the form on their ipad. The girl gave me a pen for the signature box and instead of using the rubber tip on the back I kept trying to sign with the nib… resulting in ink on the ipad
Feeling like a total fool I was ushered by the friendly staff member into the room. Shoes off and onto the bed/table. I laid still while the arm of the machine slowly moved up and down over my body. I was feeling ok and then I opened my eyes. Above me, on the ceiling was a monitor that showed the scan as it was happening. Before my eyes I saw the bones in my feet emerging and then further up my body. The bones were fine, but it was what I saw around it that horrified me. The shadows that represented the rest of my body mass were HUGE. I looked like a michelllin man. The hips. Oh my god! My hip/butt fat is twice the size of the width of my pelvic bones! I was mortified. I felt the tears starting to burn behind my eyes but had to lay still while the machine finished the scan. I couldn’t control the tears and they spilled out as next my stomach and then the balloons I call arms emerged. They are threatening to come again as I remember that moment. How could I have allowed myself to get like this? Was this how other people saw me? I mean I know I’m bigger than average, but I had no idea that I was THIS big. I’m as wide as I am tall.
Scan finished and I had to face the (attractive male) technician to get the results. I couldn’t look at him. I was so embarrassed. Embarrassed at the tears, embarrassed at the fat ugly joke of a human being I had become. I wasn’t one of those body building perfect human forms that often go for these scans (to see if they had dropped any of their 3% body fat). I was ready for the lecture… sort of. I was ready for the disdain, the “well I’ll tell you what you need to do but I know you wont do it” look that I’ve seen in the past. I didn’t get that though.
He was obviously uncomfortable with my tears (who wouldn’t be?), but I was treated with respect. He congratulated me on facing the numbers and in taking the steps to fix them, telling me that this was just a baseline, and that it would be good to see how much I have changed the next time I get one. Then he started going through the report. The first bit isn’t so bad. Bone density. Mine is good Bone density is one of those areas where high numbers are good! Yay. I’m not at risk for osteoporosis etc.
Then the rest. Well I’ll put it out there. I am made up of 48% fat. 46 and a half kilos of it. Ok. It’s bad. It’s not however over 50% which is what I was expecting. So that’s something right? The really surprising thing was the muscle. I actually have almost 48kg of muscle! Who’d a thunk it??? That’s actually quite high – especially in someone as short as me! Wow. I’m taking that as a good thing! I’d only opted for the quickscan, not the full consult, so we had a brief chat about how I should start the program by sticking to the 1200 cals but if my weight loss starts to plateau I should actually increase that a bit and I should start losing again. We discussed that I need to lose around 20 – 26kg of fat but try not to lose the muscle mass. By then the tears had stopped and I was able to go pay etc.
I toddled off to the bathroom, put my HRM on and set off to walk home as planned. The walk was actually good in a way. It gave me time to get my head right again. It settled my stomach a bit. I was starting to feel positive again and enjoying being out in the sun and doing something I’d never done before (I always catch the bus or a cab). 1hr 25 min, 8.8km and 634 cals burned later I was home. Exhausted yes, but feeling good about where I’m heading. Yes the scan results are awful. But they will NEVER be that bad again. I promise that to myself.
Bellow is the pics from mine, without all the numbers that go with it. Well worth it if it is something you are considering.