Wow. I have made it past the two thirds mark, and honestly, I am feeling exhausted. Not physically, but emotionally.
I edited a video to explain. Have a watch if you haven’t yet.
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Anyway, still working on hardening up my heart so I can make it through the next 30 days in a healthy mental state. I will keep you posted on whether or not I decide to continue to share my workouts and meal plans. I don’t want to give power to those who want to see me fail by letting them silence me. But at the same time, is the mental battering worth it?
I miss the old days where my blog was just my diary…
I was actually feeling a little nervous walking into my Day 60 Dexa Scan because of what people were saying about how “impossible” my numbers were from last time. Like, I KNOW I’ve been putting in the work, I KNOW I’ve been lifting heavier, I KNOW I see muscle developing, and yet I still allow what other people say to strip me of my confidence and discount my achievements. I am struggling so hard with this, but I am working on it. You would think that after over a decade of being online, I would have grown a thicker skin. But, I’m just wired like this. I always have been. If anyone has tips on how to not care, PLEASE share.
Anyway, time to go over the numbers. I decided to make a chart to consolidate all the info that matters to me. The original charts are embedded below this one for your further reference.
DEXA SCAN DATA:
In the past 60 days:
- I gained 6.5 lbs
- I lost 3.2% body fat
- I lost 2.5 lbs of fat tissue
- I gained 9 lbs of lean tissue!!! (Up from 6.3 lbs last time)
Day 30 to Day 60 regional deep dive:
Arms: I noticed that I was not able to increase my weights significantly week to week, and this is confirmed with my arm lean tissue showing ZERO change. Additionally, my Dexa Scan fat tissue report (not uploaded) shows that I gained fat mass in my arms which correlates with the increase in bicep circumference.
Legs: My leg muscle mass continued to grow (0.9 lbs) but not as much as last month. I think “newbie” gains from Month 1 had their run and now my body is now settling into slower and more “typical” muscle growth.
Trunk: I gained 1.4 lbs of lean tissue in my trunk (neck to hips) which is interesting, especially given that my chest circumference decreased by 0.5 inches. However! My fat tissue report indicates that I lost 1.4 lbs of fat mass in my trunk vs last time. This could mean a few things:
1) That all those chest and back workouts I wrote into my plan are REALLY WORKING and/or
2) My boobs got smaller due to fat loss and hormonal changes and/or
3) I am retaining some extra water (I was feeling a bit bloated on scan day – more on this in the next section) and/or
4) Same margin of error from last time and/or this time’s scan
IS THE DEXA SCAN ACCURATE?
Over and I over, I keep seeing naysayers shouting that my results aren’t real and that the Dexa Scan is not accurate.
Well, here’s the truth. Whatever measuring tool you decide to use to track your progress, there will be a margin of error. Dexa Scan may not be perfect but from what I know, Dexa Scan and Bod Pod (which I have not tried yet) are the gold standard. They are way more accurate than those bathroom scales that use bioelectrical impedance analysis to estimate your body fat % and muscle mass %. I have one, and my body fat is underestimated by 6-7% compared to my Dexa Scan.
So…what to do?
If you use the SAME measuring device, measure at the SAME time both times, under SIMILAR conditions (Did you go to the bathroom? Did you drink or eat before?) it doesn’t really matter what device you use. What matters is the change you track. I personally like to measure in the morning on an empty stomach, and with no water intake.
Ah, water intake. Let’s talk about that.
I want to thank the naysayers for bringing this whole Dexa Scan manipulation tactic to my attention. I did not even know that one could manipulate their Dexa Scan to alter their numbers until the comments section led me to some Reddit forums that explained the phenomenon. Apparently, you CAN increase your lean tissue mass if you just drink a ton of water right before.
I looked into it further, and you know what? They’re not wrong. According to this study from The Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, “Hydration status may affect DXA accuracy…Large changes in hydration (higher than 5%) can change the attenuation of fat-free soft tissue, causing an overestimation of the LST (lean soft tissue) compartment. Nevertheless, small changes in hydration levels do not greatly alter DXA estimates.”
Good to know.
1) WHY in the world would anyone want to manipulate their Dexa Scan (which costs ~$55 per scan btw) when the whole point is to get REAL data to help you reach your goals?
2) All the lean tissue mass would show up in your midsection area anyway.
I wanted to bring up the hydration discussion because maybeeeee my trunk lean mass increased due to water retention (I was feeling bloated) but could it have been 1.4 lbs of water bloat? I don’t think so but I’m not sure. Both times I measured, I did so in the morning before eating or drinking anything, so I did everything in my power to keep the conditions the same.
Numbers are just ONE part of the journey. It’s just data points. It’s what you do with it that matters. You need to also look at other factors that matter to you in order to paint the entire picture and help you reach your goals. Measurements. Run speed. Heart rate. Weights lifted. Mood. Fatigue. Clothing size.
At the end of the day, only you know your truth.
I know my truth.
30 days left. Let’s go.
My Day 60 Dexa Scan Report: