What I learned about myself from a DEXA scan…

Sometimes I choose not to blog things. Sometimes because I am too busy to write. Sometimes because I don’t think whatever it is is interesting enough to interrupt people with. And sometimes, it’s simply stuff I don’t want you to know.

Yep. I got secrets. Sorry.

So when I preemptively told the blog-o-sphere that I was having a DEXA scan, I sort of set myself up to NOT be able to do that. Which kinda sucks.

To clarify, the whole reason I wanted the scan was I know that I need to move away from the significant obsession I have with weighing myself at least once a day. I do KNOW it’s a bad idea, not a great reflection of my body composition and can’t really be trusted to give me accurate information. In fact, Cathy knows my level of pain with the scale and tagged me in this post on IG during the DEXA day:

weigh

So I had the scan. I had it done at the University of Tasmania sports science unit. To be fair, the scientist did advise me that it was a very old machine and not capable of the type of information that modern DEXA units are. I still was a little taken aback at the sheer age of the thing. It looked like it was made in the 70’s from a factory conveyer belt and my Grandad’s camera. Fo Realz.

The UTas DEXA is older than this model and not in quite as good condition. Notice the natty computer it runs off.

The UTas DEXA is older than this model and not in quite as good condition. Notice the natty computer it runs off.

Also different is the level of information you get back from a modern DEXA. I was hoping for detailed information about the specific location of body fat held, but sadly this model was only capable of averages per limb and the trunk. You don’t get a print out of the information, but a written summary of what the operator interpreted from the scan. Even my sports scientist wrote though there was some ambiguity in the scan and the results may have been skewed in certain aspects.

But hey, enough blaming the equipment.

I came in at just over 32% bodyfat.

Huh. 32%.

In all honesty – I was expecting 25-26%. I would have been annoyed but understood 27-29% and would have been stoked with anything under 25%.

Nope. The machine in all it’s science-y wisdom says 32.4%.

I waited to feel crushingly sad. I put my polite face on, paid the man and walked to the car in the eerie drizzling rain, wondering if I was going to cry. I sent a message to a friend letting her know what it had come back as and said that I might cry. But I wasn’t crying. Not even close.

I sent a message to The Captain. I had promised him that getting a DEXA would end ‘the crazy’, which is the umbrella term we use for just about anytime I talk about my weight or size based on ridiculous perceptions I have of myself.

Message read:

wpid-2014-09-10-21.00.19.png.png

Being the awesome husband that he is, he offered to come out and hang out with me for awhile. He knows this stuff can knock me about a bit. But still, I was fine.

Not quite fine enough to leave it alone though…..

I mentioned in my previous post that I have in recent times been using an Inbody scanner to do a electrical bio-impedance measure of weight, muscle mass and body fat. So….

I drove straight to the gym and did another one. To compare apples with apples. As best I could.

On scan 2 months ago exactly I came up as – having 31.6kg muscle mass and 28.7% Body fat.

Yesterday – 33.2kg muscle mass and 23.8% Body fat

So, what did that experiment tell me? That comparing data from the same machine with conditions as similar as I could (same time, similar clothing etc) showed that I was heading in the direction I need to.

AND – because I want a third and independent non-scale reference point – I have an appointment to have my body fat read with calipers next week.

But what did I LEARN from today?

That peace of mind for me in not in the numbers. Not even in the better numbers from the InBody scan. It doesn’t put my soul at rest. It doesn’t make my life easier or even really validate my feelings about the work I put in being worth it. I wish it did. Some part of me really, really wants to cling to data to tell me it’s all okay. Numbers are part of a sport that I really enjoy. Transforming your body in incremental steps is far easier to celebrate when you know the height you need to climb and the progress you make each week. That’s going to be the ongoing struggle.

But at the very end of the day, hanging out at home, I kept coming back to the idea of what I wanted to know from this whole exercise. I wanted a non-scale baseline where I could come back and reference this point in the preparation in three, six, twelve months and know then what I’d been doing for my body.

It was never going to tell me if I was happy with myself. Only I can do that.

So I did. Stripped down, no make-up, at the end of the day with 4 litres of water and 1900 calories in my belly – this is me.

wpid-img_20140910_145610.jpg

This is me. At 32.4% Body Fat. Or 23.8%, depending on who you ask. Look at that smile and ask me if I care 🙂

And if this is 32.4% body fat, or 23.8% body fat or 40% body fat – I’m pretty darn okay with where I am.

Yes, I want to grow and develop and be lean and have a physique that others aspire to. But feck it – I’m strong, happy and healthy and capable of doing anything I want.

And I want to continue on this fun-filled adventure of eating lots and well, lifting heavy things and generally living life like a boss without guilt or shame or feeling like I am supposed to be anything other than where I am.

So yes, I’m going to change. I’m happy to be open and honest with you about the road and the fact it’s not going to be easy, and sometimes not pretty. And yes, there will be more scans, and tests, and weigh-ins.

But what did I actually LEARN from the DEXA. I learned that I’m okay. I’m better than okay, I’m good. And that I don’t need a machine to tell me that.

Beep. Boop. Beep.

Night all!
SV

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Who are you calling disgusting?

Does your body appeal to everyone? Are you universally the most attractive human on the planet? If so, please stop reading this. You could (if you chose to) pass judgement on others. I bet you don’t though.

I bet you are like EVERYONE else. You have features that others find attractive. Maybe a whole lot of them. Maybe a few. Maybe you don’t even realise what they are! But the thing is, different things and different bodies appeal to different people.

I have a bit of a gripe today. I really want us all to make an undertaking never to use the words ‘gross’ or ‘disgusting’ when we are talking about another woman’s body.

I’ve decided to train towards a ‘figure international’ style body type. It’s a style of bodybuilding.

Yes. I said bodybuilding.

Cue the “EWWWWW”, “Those women are disgusting” or the even more abhorrent “They look like men”.

Shut up.

On stage, pumped-up, tanned-up and at the extremes of their musculature, the women I am inspired by look like this:

2012 Arnold Sports Festival and Fitness Expo Nicole Wilkins allisonethier2 allisonethier

 

These same women in their regular life? These are not BEFORE photos, they are just off stage photos.

Nicole Wilkins3allisonethier3

These women are fit, active examples of the type of fitness and shape I aspire to. Yet fifty percent of the people I’ve told that I am training for this have referred to this type of body as disgusting, unwomanly and freakish.

You can jump to their defence and say – oh they wouldn’t have meant these women. These women are hot. But what if a woman were more musclular?

DanaLinnBailey

What if a woman were much thinner?

thin

Or significantly overweight?

Bella Before

Ask yourself – which of these women deserve to be called disgusting? Or unwomanly?

And you KNOW that the answer is none of them. Do you personally aspire to all of the body types here? No.

But these are people. And you are a person. And none of us are disgusting.

So let’s make an effort to expand our ideas of beauty and acceptance of others hey? For me?

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite ads from M.A.C cosmetics, a photo of the model and the poignant words of the girl band TLC.

Jelena Abbou

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make-up 
that M.AC. can make 
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel 
So damn unpretty
It’ll make you feel unpretty too

Rant overboard!

SV

31 – 45 – 3

I try not to think about numbers too much. Mostly ‘cos I’m terrible at maths and it hurts my brain. But three numbers are rattling around in this little old head today.

31 – It’s my birthday tomorrow. I’ll turn thirty one. Now, this time last year I was filled with fear and disappointment at turning thirty. I felt it was the end of an era in lots of ways and funnily enough (because I had no idea what was to come) I was right. It’s been a mammoth year of learning, growing, shrinking and embracing the important things in life. And because of that, I’m pretty excited to turn thirty one. And I’m feeling pretty happy with how I’m holding up as an old girl!

005

 

45 – Did you know it’s now 45kg (100lbs) that I’ve lost? I didn’t until the other day. As I said, I don’t think about the numbers too much anymore and when I do it sounds a little unreal. My mind is catching up though and I do feel smaller. But now I don’t remember being bigger. Almost as though the near decade I spent overweight didn’t happen. But it did. And I addressed it and so get to move forward in the direction I want to move in for the rest of my life. But what does 45kg look like? Kinda like this:

45kg

 

Or when you take it off a body – a bit more like this:

Before and After 290313

 

3 – It’s the Easter weekend. Surrounded by the Captain and the kidlets, it’s hard to feel anything less than astoundingly grateful. I can’t imagine my life without the three of them and love that we are growing up and growing older together. That makes everything okay.

Have a fabbo weekend and see you soon!
Sailor Vee

Giving it away for Free! Competition TIme!

Double passes that is!!

Exciting news guys, the promoters of the Australian Fitness & Health Expo (fitnessexpo.com.au) have asked me to giveaway 3 x double passes for the Saturday or Sunday (20th or 21st of April 2013)!

So I’m running a ‘post your workout pic’ competition this week and will randomly choose three winners.

Feel free to share and encourage people to be involved! I’m actually flying over for it so I’m keen too! People can enter here – http://www.facebook.com/sailorveeblog/app_79458893817

Not sure what a blatant fitness/gym selfie looks like? Have you met my friend Sarah? http://instagram.com/sarahmcgee

My other friend Cathy? http://www.iphoneogram.com/u/256060414

See, it’s easy! Get your gym gear on, get your workout on and get snapping! Post it on the competition link and you could come and hang out with me and a million other (well, lots anyway!) people at the biggest fitness expo in the Southern Hemisphere.

Why wouldn’t you?

Come on – post them here – http://www.facebook.com/sailorveeblog/app_79458893817

YAY and talk soon!
Sailor Vee

Muffin Tops – I’m finally doing it right!

So it’s a public holiday and I’m chilling at home with the kidlets. I’m also prepping for a crazy week ahead.

7 days from now I have a photo shoot so my own nutrition and training need to be wired tight, I’m working during the week and have a babysitter caring for the kids so THEY need to be prepared for and the darling Captain is working like a mad thing and also needs special snacks prepared with love.

So I things that are easy to cook (kid#1 is a junior masterchef so insists on helping), meets my ideals for what the kids and Captain should be eating, low fuss and freezable. Not asking much. Thinking cap on and ….

Behold – a new muffin recipe!

Sailor Vee’s Apple and Blackberry Muffin Marvels

  • 1 ¾ Cups gluten free self raising flour
  • Natvia brand Stevia sticks x 2
  • ¾ cup low fat milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 25g coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 x 400 gr tin of cooking apples (no added sugar, just apple!)
  • ½ cup fresh berries (I used blackberries)
  • Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (Celsius)

In a bowl, combine the milk, eggs and coconut oil. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the apple, berries, sifted flour and stevia.

Add egg mixture, combine gently (don’t overmix)

Pour into greased muffin tins. Dust tops lightly with cinnamon

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Each muffin yields:

117 calories, 1g carbs, 3g fat, 2g protein

Apple blackberry

 

Enjoy with the ones you love.

Happy Monday,

SV

Me + 500 Days – 43kg

I had a busy day. I was at work (yep, back to gainful employment) and then I did a workout and only then did I get a chance to check out my phone.

One of my lovely friends who has been a constant companion on this lose weight/gain life adventure pointed out that we signed up to the 12wbt program 500 days ago today.

It bounced around in my little head for quite a while. And as I was walking, on my own – I recorded a quick note about what 500 days has meant for me.

Love,

SV

Unexpected and Unlikely

So, I took the weird and bold step this week of getting a facebook page to match the blog. It’s brand new and shiny, you can see it – here – 

Wonderfully, surprisingly and a little scarily, I already have over 1500 likers in there. It’s cool and I love you all and I hope I can find some interesting stuff to share with you all now! Eek.

I also got a free coupon code to make a facebook ad for the page. It seemed a little wanky to advertise myself but hey, it was free! So I made a little ad. It was a bit like ‘oh hai, I’m okay. Come hang out at my blog if you like. It’s at http://www.sailorvee.com. No pressure’. It needed a picture so I figured I’d continue the massive over-exposure of my body and used this one:

Bella rnd 3 2011 to rnd3 2012

I got an email this morning. My ad had been rejected. Hmph. But it made sense. Most ads don’t allow you to actually use a website address. I went in to remove it and saw that they’d given me the reasoning behind their ruling.

The image of your ad violates our Ad guidelines. 
We don’t accept "before and after" images, and 
your image depicts unexpected or unlikely results.

What the? Unexpected or unlikely?

I see the benefit of Facebook having this rule. I’d hate to see my before and after be used for a crappo ‘magic pill’ or the ridiculous ‘This mom lost 80lbs by following this one simple tip’ ads that seem to be everywhere.

I’m so lucky to be surrounded by close friends who have achieved GREAT things. Bigger weight losses, greater transformations, faster transformations etc. But it sometimes means I forget the magnitude of what I am doing here.

Unexpected or Unlikely.

I like it. It’s a bit of a reminder that what I am working on is not an everyday result. It’s not something that a lot of people have done.

At the end of the day though, my weight loss is not extraordinary and my results really shouldn’t be considered as either unexpected or unlikely.

I’m just a girl, who found her thing. And that thing turned out to be the power I needed to change my whole life. That’s the only unexpected and unlikely part of this whole deal.

And I am grateful every day for it.

Cheers

Sailor Vee