A little over four years ago, I had a fitness assessment at a GloboGym as part of a 30-day trial to find out if it was the right gym for me (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). I was four months postpartum, and I was mostly interested in losing body fat and building muscle. It turned out that was a good goal; the electrode body fat measurement device, which isn’t always very accurate, informed me that I was at 26% body fat. It’s a generally acceptable level for health, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be.
|This thingie isn’t always accurate.|
Fast forward to today. I’ve been caliper-ing myself with the Accu-Measure calipers shown above and getting readings all over the place (17.4%, 18.3%, whatever, so I err on the high side). My box had the mobile bod pod come out, but it was the same day as the Toughest 10K Kemah, so I had to pass. Still, I was curious: after four years of living a healthier, fitter lifestyle, what’s my body composition?
|I think I had the same expression.|
First up, before you go, you can’t eat or drink anything for two hours beforehand. You also can’t exercise. The latter part was fine, but by the time I got to my appointment, I was pretty hungry. I had packed a pair of compression shorts (my Asics PR run briefs) and a lightweight sports bra (finally found a use for the Fabletics Sevan sports bra other than sleeping!) since you can’t wear regular clothes and they recommend spandex and form-fitting items. They provide a swim cap.
I met with Brett, the nutritionist there, and I was really, really anxious. First of all, because I realized I was going to be in a room with this guy in my sports bra and spandex (not that he hadn’t seen this a gazillion times), and second because I realized I’d have to step on a scale. But Brett was very professional, and he explained how I’d have to take off my jewelry (I could leave in my earrings, which is good, because they are a pain to keep taking out) and what would happen in the bod pod. Basically, I might feel some ear discomfort as the air displacement happened, but it would be painless, and I was supposed to relax and breathe normally.
Brett left me alone to change, and I wish I had snapped a selfie of myself in that silly swim cap that was keeping my hair out of the way. The room was nice and warm, so I didn’t have to worry about headlights, either. (This is why I wear well-lined or padded sports bras. Well, that and because wall balls smacking me in the chest hurt more unpadded.) I cracked the door open so Brett would know I was ready. He had me sit in the bod pod, and he ran the test three times. It took 45 seconds each time, and the first two times, I kept my eyes closed and focused on breathing normally. The third time, I opened my eyes. It was totally fine – there was nothing scary about it. In between each test, Brett checked to make sure I was okay. Once he was done, he left me to change back into my street clothes, and once again, when I was dressed, I cracked the door open. He came in to go over my results with me:
I am not comfortable posting my full results. However, I am comfortable posting that my body fat percentage is 17.4%, which puts me in the Ultra Lean category, most often found in elite athletes.
I’m not an elite athlete.
Brett and I talked about my general calorie intake, and he suggested I up it a little more and put on a little (not a lot) of body fat. I’m going to discuss some healthy weight gain strategies with my coach; I do need to put on a couple pounds since I weighed in at the low end of my comfort zone as well. This is where I’m revising my nutrition strategy. I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who wants to gain weight. But it’s possible, and I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to do it without completely losing my mind. I will say that my eyes widened when I saw how much I weighed according to the scale in the room; it’s not a lot. It explains a lot, though, including why I feel exhausted entirely too often.
And just for fun, I’m going to post this picture of me power cleaning a 55-lb. barbell:
That’s what a woman with 17.4% body fat looks like when she’s power cleaning 🙂 Yeah, you can’t see my abs, but I do have visible abs, and you can tell I’m lean from the pic. The good news is, if I gain a little weight, I’ll be able to put that weight behind my lifts!