I have a story.
I had turned 40. It had happened and I survived, barely. I had given birth to four children and I was ready to take back possession of my body and so the crazy took over to make it happen. After years of not being nice to myself physically, I wondered if it was possible to whack out my metabolism to the point of rebellion and it’s refusal to comply with my efforts. Was this even possible and how could I test that?
After some research, I discovered hydrostatic body fat testing.
You are submerged underwater for the most accurate testing there is. Almost fool proof, I read. Sounded good to me. This would tell me how many calories that I burned in a day, not what some chart would guess I would burn. If I knew that, then I could set how many calories to eat accordingly and loose some weight. Seemed easy enough. I needed this information.
I set out to find where I could have this testing done in my city and lo and behold I discovered that it was going to be on a truck. Oh yeah, high class. This truck traveled around the state and visited various fitness centers for the testing. It seemed legit and I signed up, using $50 of my birthday money. Welcome to the forties.
I called up one of my besties because obviously a girl just doesn’t do this kind of thing alone. I was so excited to find out what my metabolism was like, I really didn’t stop and think through what the test would entail. Turns out that was probably best.
We arrived in the parking lot of Gold’s Gym and pulled up to the truck that reminded me of one of those crazy food trucks. We started to walk over when I first started to think through the awkwardness of what was about to take place. Just then, the door swung open, the setting sun cast a halo effect around this man, the heavenly choir was singing, and it was clear that God had spent extra time on him. He was very nice looking, which is obviously, exactly what one would hope for in this awkward situation. I tried to find some sort of dignity to walk up the five steps to meet him. I heard the memorized instructions being shared with me and I had a slight out of body experience realizing that in a matter of moments I was going to be the only one in a bathing suit under fluorescent lights with my bestie and a Greek god that had 2 % body fat– in a truck. AND, I voluntarily paid money to do this. What is wrong with me?
I changed behind the curtain, took a deep breath, and came out trying to act normal. I made it. I was standing in a bathing suit, head held high thinking I got this. THEN he says “please step on the scale”. For the love of all things that are right in the world. Now Zeuss man was going to weigh me? I close my eyes and start chanting, “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” It didn’t work.
Then I saw it. A giant jelly roll pan submerged in a big tank. Oh Father, what have I done? It’s too late to run from Zeus’ truck, for many reasons. The least of which is not that I am 6 months post 4th baby delivery and in a bathing suit. So, I acted casual, breezy, if you will. This is completely normal behavior and didn’t bother me at all. Pinky swear.
I am instructed to get in the tank and lie face down on the jelly roll pan. I imagined that this is what they haul whales and large under water sea life around in. But wait, that’s ridiculous because the whale would blubber off the sides, or is that why we went for a jelly roll giant pan rather than a plain baking sheet type? Then I realize that I am missing my further instructions with all this nonsense and I start paying attention. I’m laying face down, trying to awkwardly keep eye contact with the man towering above me while trying to figure out how to maintain modesty of my bathing suit top while I am in the most awkward position imaginable.
Then it gets worse.
Zeuss man puts weights on my lower back to keep me from floating. He then tells me that I am going to take a big breath in and go under water, blow all my air out until I am about to pass out and then count to 5, while laying my head on the jelly roll pan. After that, I can come out of the water and breathe. I need to empty my lungs of air for an accurate reading. Um, yeah. As it turns out, that’s incredibly difficult by the way. I would say try it, but I like you. So, please don’t.
I’m laying face down covered in weights, trying to achieve a state of pre fainting, while underwater in a tank, in a truck, with a Greek god leaning over the side yelling instructions and banging the side of the tank in efforts to cheer me on. It’s official, I have reached a new low. All I can think is my bestie owes me SO big for me allowing her the pleasure of attending this natural disaster with me.
To make matters worse, every time I come out of the water gasping for breath, like I’m about to die, I get annihilated. I am face down and so as I come up for air, my long wet hair starts attacking me like octopus tentacles around my oxygen deprived face. That only adds to my gracefulness.
After multiple times at this horrific ritual, I am told that he is done. He has it. He now knows the magical information that I am after. I can go dry off and get changed. I thought the day would never come.
If you have ever doubted my commitment to my health, please don’t do it again.
…and yes, my metabolism is perfectly normal.