I know I promised you this weeks ago. Sorry! Holidays, you know…
Let's start with what a DEXA scan is. DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (yes, that is really a word), and it is mainly used to determine bone mineral density. By using two low dose x-rays, a DEXA scan can measure bone density and soft tissue to determine body fat percentage. Exercise.about.com tells me that it is the gold standard for body fat measurement and has a 2-3% margin of error. One neat thing is that it measures all percent fat in your legs, arms, trunk, and head separately. Now I know that my arms and trunk are fatter than my legs (I figured), and my left arm is about 3% fatter than my right arm!
The whole procedure was very quick and easy. I wore comfy clothes with no metal. All I had to do was lie still on a cushy table while the machine moved around above me. It only took about eight minutes. In fact, here's a picture:
I have to admit, when I saw this, I was thinking what is that protuberance on my spine! Um… that would be my band. Funny.
All right, all right, get to the results, why don't I…
Weight (scale): 205
Weight (Dexa): 203 (minus clothes, etc. More of a true weight.)
Lean Mass: 120 lbs
Fat Mass: 83 lbs
Percent Body Fat: 40.9
I know 40.9% still seems like a crazy bad number, but let's break it down a little more. According to my handy-dandy results report, women age 45-59 with body fat less than or equal to 35% have reduced all-cause mortality. Assuming no change in lean mass, I would be there at 185lbs!
Acceptable body fat percentage for an average woman is 25-31%. At 31%, again assuming no change in lean mass, I would be around 175; at 25%, I'd be around 161! So my goal of 170 puts me square in the middle of an acceptable body fat percentage. This report suggests a maintenance weight range of 172 – 185 for me.
Apparently, my bone mineral density is average, so yay for no bone loss yet!
What does it mean? That I'm happy with my intended goal weight, and I'm feeling more confident than ever that I will get there. I'm really looking forward to getting my second one done once I get there!