I had my 2nd ever DEXA scan today! The first one was in my surgeon's center in California, this time it was in a truck outside of a kickboxing tournament in Seattle! It's been over a year since my last scan. I wish I had the paperwork from the first one to compare the two, but it's in one of dozens of boxes in storage. I do remember the nurse telling me that I had osteopenia, however, so I was curious and a little nervous about what today's scan would reveal about my bone density as well as, of course, what it would say about my body fat percentage. I was very surprised to see that my bone density is in the 99th+ percentile, so according to this scan, my bones are very strong for my age, thank goodness! Kinda weird that 15 or 16 months ago the report was apparently quite different.
The other big news from DEXAland is that my body fat is just 15.9%, with very low amounts of both subcutaneous and visceral fat. First time ever I think, because even when I weighed around what I weigh now in my early 20s, I somehow had more fat. I wish I could lay down a layer of subcutaneous fat on my forearms and hands, because I am so lean that my veins are weirdly standing at attention, and honestly it's not a very feminine look. But other than that (and the fact that plastics are needed), I am happy being here. I feel good and I am overall happy with my appearance. I feel light and yet strong. But 15.9%...I feel good, for sure, but I was surprised that % is so low. I thought I'd be around 19%, which is what the BMI calculators say.
I like being at this weight, and honestly, I feel great. But I am uncertain if 15.9% is good (hope so), or if it's too low, health-wise. The DEXA tech said it's not necessarily too low, that with women it's a more complicated calculation than with men, dependant upon hormones, etc., and that every woman is different. I dunno. I don't want to gain weight nor do I want to lose weight, so I guess this is where I'm at! I'm just surprised at the number, I guess!
15.9% is very low for a woman unless you are doing competition level bodybuilding, in which case your time spent that low should be limited. I got down that low and had some physical complications from it that I didn't even know I was having - extremely low estrogen production, high cholesterol, low B1 and B6, osteopenia, and my heart was doing strange things. It's a fact that the mortality rate of people who are underweight is significantly higher than those that are overweight (you just don't hear about it because it's fairly uncommon in the U.S. to be underweight), and you can not use your BMI to classify your "under" or "over" status when you have body fat like that.
Just something to think of, from someone who had to restore weight for their health.
5'7" HW: 283 SW: 229 CW: 135-140 GW: 145
Pre-op: 53 M1: 22 M2: 12 M3: 12 M4: 8 M5: 10 M6: 11 M7: 5 M8: 6 M9-M13: 15-ish
LBL/BL w/ Fat Transfer 1/29/18
Really I had no idea my BF was that low. I haven't been pushing too crazy hard diet-wise, just sticking with the program, and for the past couple of months have been eating a bit over 1100 calories. My exercise has been moderate, not driven. Folks were saying you'd essentially stop losing and enter maintenance naturally - you'd know when you were there when you weren't dropping any longer. 126-7 is where I've been for some time now. It wasn't hard to get here, not really, I just followed the course without having to white-knuckle much of anything, and it hasn't been hard (so far! I know it's early days!) to stay here. So this common advice about when to call your weight loss phase over is incorrect? I am confused. I'm totally ok with not losing more, in fact I don't want to, but I really prefer not to gain. I guess I'll have to talk with a doc about this.
that is really low. Mine was 22% and the scan technician and my PCP both said it was time to stop losing. I'm guessing you're at your lowest point and will likely (not inevitably, but likely) have a 10-20 lb bounce back, which in your case is probably a good idea, especially since you're an "older adult" (like moi!!!). But you sure as heck don't want to lose any more weight!
I definitely don't want to lose more (at most i had been eyeing just one more pound), but I hope not to bounce back quite that hard. It's something I'll need to talk with a doc about, and if truly necessary, to wrap my head around. Plus I have all these beautiful new clothes in tiny sizes. I look perhaps slightly thinner now (and much older of course) than when I was modeling, but some of that difference is just age. Are those very few older women who model all at risk, healthwise? I know young women who model are often improperly thin, more so now than in my day. I like my body and I look good (in clothes, anyway)...It's a disappointment to even consider a need to gain. I'll talk with a doc, and if I truly need to for my health, I will, I guess - but I won't be happy about it!
I don't know how much lose skin you have but that can fool us into thinking we have more fat on us than we do. When I had my Lower Body lift, the day I went into surgery, it looked like I still had 30-40 pounds to lose and the skin weighed a total of 4lbs, and Doc said he did no lipo because there was no fat. It did not look that way.
So I am sure that is part of why you are surprised.
As Erin said, medically things can be happening that we don't realize. That happened to me as well in different ways.
No method is a perfect calculation, but Dexascan is the best out there, it trumps BMI...so it doesn't matter at this point what your BMI says. The idea of gaining weight is terrifying. I am there and struggle with the reality. I wasn't healthy at my lowest weight. I also know that. Healthy is more important than skinny.
So talk to your Doctor.... and not about the BMI number, this number. Many Docs do not even understand the whole Dexascan for Bodyfat testing so you may have to explain it.