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:


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:


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.


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!

Waitin’ on the Next Big Thing

Let me share with you one of my flaws. It annoys the hell out of me, but at least I know that I do it – and that makes me pretty good at catching myself doing it and spying it in other people.

No, it’s not endlessly complaining about the weather. Or interuppting. Or standing in doorways chatting holding up people trying to get through. People find those things adorable right? Right??


It’s my habit of wanting to wait for THE NEXT BIG THING. That shiny new thing that I’m going to see/have/do next. Now, wanting something big and new is not a bad thing. But the trouble is that I sometimes lose focus on the thing I’m doing right now.

Take my nutrition approaches. At the moment, I’m working at gradually leaning down again, managing my food intolerances and still using and enjoying the flexible dieting/IIFYM approach. It’s good. It’s working for me. I’m happy and the weight is coming off, muscle staying on and I’m feeling good. BUT…. buh buh baaaa


I’m going to a seminar at the end of this month that will be about fat loss in the female figure athletes and competitors and I’m fascinated to hear the approach of the pro’s that are presenting. I find myself second-guessing my planning for TODAY, sneaking a few extra carb macros and losing a bit of my focus on the NOW because “I’ll probably change it all again next week”.

And it doesn’t need to be something as big as a full nutrition change. Sometimes I feel like this when I’ve ordered a new product online and I’m just waiting for it to be delivered. I won’t train legs tonight as my new tights will probably get delivered tomorrow! :p Or when I know I’m coming up to a program change for my gym sessions. Suddenly, my ‘right now’ is less shiny and important that the new whatever-it-is around the corner.

It’s a common issue for my fellow 12wbt alumni and current members for ‘between rounds’. Two weeks off turns into four kilos gained because ‘it hasn’t started yet’.


So I can’t give authentic advice here as it’s still very much a glitch in my own journey. I own that couple of days with silly lapses and am right back onto today’s goals and aims. But with each mistake I make, it gets easier to see and feel myself holding out. Making less of today because of the promise of tomorrow.

So do the best you can with everyday – even if tomorrow promises to be bigger, better, bright or even just completely different. Like another of my favourite Roosevelt quotes (from Teddy this time though):


Tomorrow is another day, let’s make today awesome first!

Cheers Mateys,

“I just want to get toned.”

From the gurus at http://www.bodybuilding.com…

For some reason, women, their trainers, and advertisers have kidnapped the word “toned” and turned it into the ultimate lady goal. It seems that being muscular is not a goal women should aspire to. Here’s the real deal: You can’t see shape without muscles. You can run on the treadmill or swoosh away on the elliptical all day. Sure, you might get thinner, but without some meat on your delts, triceps, and biceps, you’ll never see those awesome shoulder caps.

Ladies, “I want more muscle,” is an absolutely legitimate goal to tell your trainer or your friends.

On a scientific note, “tone” actually has meaning on a physiological level. Your muscles maintain a low-level contraction, even when you’re at rest. That’s why your muscles are always at least a little firm. This is called “muscle tone,” or “residual muscle tension.” It helps keep you upright, and maintain balance and posture. In this light, there’s really no way to “tone up” your muscles—they’re already toned.

(nearly) Naked in (almost) Public

So, today was pretty hot here.

A year ago I would have hid in the house trying desperately to stay cool.

This year, I was STINKING hot – but I was sweltering while running around with the kids, heading to the gym, cooking up my weeks meals and playing in the garden. It was awesome.

Best part, in the near-total privacy of my own garden, I got about looking like this:

Bella summer


This is just me. Not in a ‘lean phase’ like I try to be at the end of rounds, not tanned, no heels, not flexing or posing or being anything other than a hot-but-happy mama at home.

I am truly aware that there is A LOT of work to do on my physique. But I also have a whole life to live and enjoy and work towards my goals during. And I’ve come a long way. I’m getting that now.

I’m getting pretty okay with who I am. And that’s an awesome feeling. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to look a bit more like this in next summer’s snaps:

Michelle summer



So it’s been a good day. It’s new for me, being okay in my self.

I’m happy with where I’m at but excited about where I want to go as well.


Sailor Vee

I promise I was fat.

Hi Everybody

I’ve had lots of lovely new visitors to the blog after being featured on Michelle Bridges 12wbt facebook page and being interviewed on the 12wbt blog  – and it’s been an overwhelming experience receiving so much positive feedback all at once. People are really very sweet.

Funny though, a few people insisted my photos were fakes and horrifically, suggested that I was not ‘fat’ in my before photo, but pregnant instead.

Nope. I was just fat. Really quite fat and carrying it mostly on my abdomen. Kid #2 was actually about 5 months old when the photo was taken. Cue my total horror. ‘Old me’ or not, I still got around living life in that body for a few years and it stings slightly knowing that what I felt people might think and what they DID think were pretty closely aligned.

But it’s totally true, I looked pregnant. I can’t be cranky at anyone for thinking that. But I can be super glad that I was able to turn it around the way that I have.

I’ve promised some people more photos to prove (indeed and for sure) that I was actually fat. I also suggest they read my blog post here about a habit I had with ‘inspirational’ stories prior to deciding to change my own life.

So here we go:

Bella Before Bella Before4 Bella Before3

That was before. This is the direction I’m going in now 🙂

anniversary 536586_4458578977809_1440626264_n

Round 3

And there is no surgery here, no pills or potion. Eat clean, move my ass, repeat.

Thank you again for all of the virtual love and support. Can’t wait to keep working my butt of to share more of the journey with you.

Sailor Vee. xx

I like strong butts and I cannot lie…

And, now that I’ve got that in your head alllllll day – here’s why.

One of my favourite things about training with Corey from Motivate Fitness is the brutal but awesome butt (glutes) component of our leg day workout. I seriously got some butt muscle!

While I’m on a training break from Corey, I’m finding the old derriere just isn’t getting the workout it needs.

And it’s not ALL vanity. The glutes are the biggest and strongest muscle in your whole body. Good strong glutes will make you faster, better able to accelerate/decelerate/rotate and extend your hip. They improve your posture and will make sitting down, standing up, walking up hills and up stairs easier and decrease your risk of injury.


And you’ll look smoking hot back on. Bonus.

But how are we doing this? I’m going to get back into making sure I challenge myself on leg days with some heavier weights on exercises like this one:

It looks crazy right? Surely weights that heavy would make you bulky? This girls butt says nuh-uh!!

Kellie Davis - Fitness Model

Kellie Davis – Fitness Model

That amazing bod both on the weights bench and in the photos above belongs to Kellie Davis. Fitness model, heavy lifter, GREAT blogger and owner of a pretty awesome set of glutes. Did I mention she’s also a mum? And a health food nut? Check out her site at http://www.motherfitness.com

But what if you aren’t gym crazy? Want to get some tone into your behind without leaving your living room? Join me in the below butt calendar for January. I’ll be doing it in addition to my normal workouts but even on it’s own you should start to feel the end of flat-butt syndrome by the end 🙂

Print it out. Stick it somewhere you’ll see it and cross off each day with a big texta like a kid!

Tuff Butt January

And for added cardio, stand up and dance like a goon to this right now. You know you want to.

Shake that healthy butt!!

Sailor Vee.

What’s a Band Wagon without Cyd anyway?

Whatever it is, I’ve pretty much been off it this week.

Way less than awesome food choices, not enough training, too much wine, essentially no water….

And I hate it. I can’t imagine that this used to be my life. So today I’m going back to normal.

Not getting on some freaking wagon though. Walking the walk. This is how I want to live 🙂


Sailor Vee

PS – The only good band wagon in my vocab is this one:

Band Wagon movie poster

Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire together = bliss 🙂

Mainly because of this gorgeous creature who I wanted (and still want) to be when I grew up – Cyd Charisse. This was a kick-ass lady with LEGS and who knew how to use them 🙂

Cyd and Mr. Astaire

Cyd and Mr. Astaire

This is what I imagined I'd do for a living as a child. Sit around between takes looking glamourous :)

This is what I imagined I’d do for a living as a child. Sit around between takes looking glamorous 🙂

Legs! She had fantastically strong dancer's legs & wasn't shy about getting them out. Love her.

Legs! She had fantastically strong dancer’s legs & wasn’t shy about getting them out. Love her.

Attack of the CBF’s

For the uninitiated, CBF is an acronym (and hopefully slightly less offensive term) for CAN’T BE F#CKED.

I’d love to have been able to tell you that Operation Short Term Hard Core was coming along swimmingly. That I was taking the increased training (including doubling of my cardio), the super strict clean eating rules that I apply to my 12wbt eating plan and the pressure of being so close to attaining my goals – in my stride.

Most of the time, I have been.

Today, I did not.

Today there was a killer attack of the CBF’s. I woke up, got the baby out of bed, changed him and fed kid#1 and kid#2 their breakfast. By fed, I mean cooked and left them with it. Then I went back to bed. CBF getting up right now.

I woke up realising I now only had 15 minutes to get kid#1 ready for school and myself and kid#2 dressed and ready for school drop-off. I toyed with the idea of just not taking the child to school. Home day for everyone. Such was the extent of the CBF.

But I did it. School drop off done. To the gym.

From the moment I had to lever myself out of the car I knew it was going to be a hard slog.

My heart wasn’t in it. I stomped my way through a warm up on the elliptical, tossed out some half-hearted sets of chest and arm weights, had to do my pushups from my knees rather than my toes and generally felt flat and hopeless. After finishing a short session with more cardio for a measly 300-ish calories I left. I just couldn’t shake the CBF’s.

I felt crappy about it all day.

So I went to get a spray tan to trial a colour before the trip to the 12wbt finale. Little known fact: This little Sailor is fair as fair. Like, I’m blue. But blue will not cut it in glamorous Sydney.

Apparently getting a tan is a simple process. Get 99% nude, let a total stranger spray you with tint and then tell you not to sweat, bump or brush past things, let any moisture touch you in any way. For at least two hours.

I suck at spray tans. Or at not ruining them in the LONGEST 2 HOURS EVER.

Actually I made all the marks in the first 20 minutes. It’s not great.

spraytan fail

How to ruin a spray tan in 20 Minutes


But something magical happened in the time I spent trying desperately not to ruin my tan (whilst ruining it anyway). I decided to tell the mental CBF’s to Eff Off.

I went back to the gym. I did a pump class using the heaviest weights I’m capable of. I poured sweat. Then I jumped on my slow cardio machines for another hour. I came out of there just shy of 1000 calories.

Moral of the story? J F D I

Just F#cking Do It.

I won’t wake up everyday wanting to slog it out at the gym. I won’t love every session I do. Hell, I didn’t even remotely like either of my trips to the gym today. But I did it. And consistency will get me everywhere I want to go.

It won’t help my tan though, that’s f#cked.


Sailor Vee

What’s the 12WBT?

Signed up for my last round of Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. It’s been an amazing success, a massive loss of weight and gain in fitness for me. I’m just giving it one last season to cement my training, set new goals & rock it out for at the party with the beautiful friends I’ve made. If anyone is keen for something that absolutely works – check it out!! We kick off again in 10 days 🙂

So far I’ve lost nearly 30kg. And changed my life. As everything got crappy at work, I was able to feel stronger because I AM STRONGER. Being fit is an amazing backbone for emotional wellbeing.

This well structured program addresses mindset, nutrition as well as training for whatever level you need.

It rocks. I don’t need to sell it because it totally sells itself. But if you want to ask me ANYTHING about the program, please do. And stayed tuned as I’ll be blogging my way through this round to show you the sparkling end result 🙂

It’s $20 a week for 12 weeks. And I almost bet if you aren’t the weight you want to be you’re already spending at least that amount on crappy foods, alcohol or some lame weight loss product when you could be changing your life.