I was training for my first INBA Bikini competition, and to say I was inexperienced is an understatement. I had never tried to put on muscle and loose body fat, so really, I did not know how or where to start. I was picking up heavy things and putting them down over and over again, and trying to eat a “clean” diet. Safe to say I wasn’t really getting the results I desperately wanted.Coming from a scientific background, I decided I needed figures and facts that we highly accurate! My own figures and numbers, that told my individual story about my body. I needed to be able to track my progress and get a clear idea about what I needed to do for ME, my body!
So I did my research and came across DEXA and BMR. I went and had my first DEXA scan, and discovered that I was carrying far more body fat than I should have been (33%) to reach my goal of standing on stage ripped. That was my reference point, I set my goal to lose 15% body fat to step out onto stage. Unfortunately, training alone was nowhere near enough to reach my goals.
I needed to know how much “fuel” I needed to consume, as estimated resting basal metabolic rates weren’t doing it for me. Previous to my BMR I had assumed I would use 1800cal at rest per day, my assumptions were very wrong… my BMR revealed the number was much, much lower, 1350cal a day. I was over eating (although clean) and not stripping body fat!
My results have changed drastically now that I have exact figures for MY body, there is no guess work involved, only straight out results!
I have been weight training and keeping fit for many years but have never really kept myself accountable. I maintained what I thought to be a fairly healthy level of body fat and overall lean muscle for the last 10 years. As part of my new years resolution I decided to drop a few of those extra “ comfy” kilos and try and add some lean muscle mass.
Being a health professional I knew of DEXA and have had patients who utilised it in the past but had never explored the option myself. So I booked in for a scan and the rest is history. I was quite surprised when I got my results back.
My overall body fat percentage was quite a bit higher than I thought, albeit it healthy at 19.14% I really wanted to get down below 13%. I cleaned up my diet and increased my resistance training frequency over the next 8 weeks. I then booked in for my next scan, much to my amazement I had dropped 5% in body fat to 14% and gained 1.1kg in lean muscle (fat free mass).
It is quite a surreal experience to see these measurable and significant changes in such a short space of time. I found my baseline scan really served as a great motivation. It lingered in my mind that in 8 weeks I would be held accountable when I had my re scan, there was no where to hide. I had a follow up scan at 12 weeks and had dropped to 11.4% body fat and for the first time since high school had visible abs. DEXA help keep me accountable and gave me the objective data to show me if I was on the right track.