Before I left Alaska I wanted to get a Bod Pod evaluation done as part of setting up a baseline for myself. I was pretty out of shape – we came back from a huge training exercise in the early part of the year and since then had been substituting working out for well, work. This is probably the least fit I’ve been in as long as I can remember. It’s not something I’d want to brag about by any means, but it meant that I could get a good baseline and then later on reap the warm fuzzies as I improve. I’m also one of those people who puts easy things on her list just so I can have the joy in crossing it off.
Anyway, most installations have a wellness center and they offer a variety of different things aside from Bod Pods. I had to take a class before I could even sign up for anything. They went over all their services and the requirements for each. Some of them required several hours of fasting beforehand so I can understand why they wanted to make explicitly sure that the people signing up for these evaluations were prepared for the prerequisites and didn’t waste the appointment time. Some of the ones I remember were metabolic testing where they calculate your resting metabolism rate, and I think one was your aerobic efficiency; that one had the most stringent requirements I think and involved being hooked up to a heart rate monitor as you run on a treadmill.
When it came down to it, the only appointment I could make before I moved was the Bod Pod evaluation. I wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything for two hours beforehand and was supposed to wear tight fitting clothing, like a swimsuit or, in my case, spandex shorts and a sports bra. If you have fluffy/any amount of hair other than a standard issue buzz cut they even give you a swim cap to flat your hair. The test itself was really quick. She calibrated the pod and then I sat in it twice and could feel the pressure slightly increase both times.
I wish I had taken a picture of my results, but the one I remember was that I have 30% body fat. That sounds like a lot and I’m not going to join the Healthy-At-Every-Size movement, but it isn’t just your excess fat, it’s all your fat. Unlike my BMI, which says I’m a lot healthier, the Bod Pod is accurate to within 1-2.7% of your body fat.
So what now? Well, I was already mentally prepared for a disappointing result since a coworker told me about his several months ago, so I wasn’t too surprised, but I do want to get better. The technician said normal re-evaluations are every 30 days for checks on improvement. It makes sense, under normal dieting you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week so for someone trying to lose weight that would be a noticeable change in 30 days. I’m not really aiming for weight loss, though, I’m just aiming to get faster and stronger and see what effects that has on the evaluation. The Bod Pod is a great tool and I think could be even more valuable to people working to lose weight as an honest evaluation of how they’re doing, even better than pictures or a scale could ever be.