There are many things that I purposefully avoid because they make me feel bad about myself.
Ten pin bowling, gymnastics, old school bullies. I have a relatively robust self-esteem, but there are some no go areas to which I do not venture because it’s a bit stabby. So I was surprised to find myself volunteering to have a body scan. It had been suggested before but I had refused. Mainly because I tend to have a golden rule about my discretionary spending that it has to make me happy, or at least fix one of my many aches and pains. This was not going to fit that criteria. Why would I pay money to feel miserable unless there was gin involved?
But, as I’ve said before. I’m a sucker for a new experience, and seeing as I in the midst of a near fatal case of writer’s block, this was at least an opportunity for some blog fodder. And it probably wouldn’t be as awful as yoga. The thing that got me interested in the end was someone saying that it would appeal to my nerdy tendencies. Here was a gadget. A fitness gadget. And I knew nothing about it. It would spit out a whole host of data that I could play with. I could see months of Googling ahead.
Obviously I bit the bullet.
The gadget was much less scary than I anticipated. It was essentially a flash scale with Jar Jar Binks ears to hold on to. It was going to measure my impudence. I am impudent, I thought, it has me sussed already. We got off on a bad foot though when I was told that I was 1 cm less tall than I thought. This was obviously wrong and was what through all the figures out. That centimeter is what makes me take all the results with a pinch of salt. That centimeter has become my protective shield.
If I’m honest, the reason that I agreed is because I’m actually pretty pre-contemplative about my health. My fitness, is all good. I’m pretty fit, pretty strong. But my health, or at least what is physically going on inside my body is a concept i avoid. Its like when I was young, and studying and anxious, and I I’d go to bed desperately trying to avoid hearing the sound of my heart in case it stopped. If I didn’t listen, nothing bad could happen. This is quite similar, I somehow think that by not thinking about my insides, they will keep on doing what they are supposed to be doing. And maybe they will, And probably they will as I have taken great steps to ameliorate some of the negative affects of my love of good and not so good food. But surely it is better to have more knowledge with which to make informed decisions about my health?
One minute on the machine having my impudence measured provides a raft of results. The machines used Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis to break my curves and lumps and bumps and smile and muscles into a series of numbers. It felt rather reductionist. How much fat, how much muscle, how much protein. I am a cow for slaughter. It told me the bare bones of my experience. I’m fat. I have muscle. I should lose 30kg. But i failed to see flesh on the bones. I didn’t know what to do next. Lose fat? How does that happen? 90% of diets fail and even the biggest losers end up with messed up metabolism for 6 years later.
It has given me pause for thought though. There are some things that I can do that increase the odds of me getting a letter from King George or whomever it might be when get my century. I’m sure after more time to digest the information, I may feel more motivated to make change. It is interesting to know how much fat is in my body, how much muscle to my guns. The competitive part of me certainly wants to see more muscle in the follow up scan and that gives me a really good, reason to stop writing, go to bed and bounce out early to lift some heavy shit in the morning. Oh, and I’m not miserable. More intrigued. It wasn’t nearly as awful as ten pin bowling.