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What’s your baseline? And where do you want to be?

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Bianca realised she needs to stay on top of her her game by watching her baseline and keeping fit and healthy.

Now, everyone knows that we should eat better food, move more and generally look after ourselves better. And look, we get it – change is hard, and it can be easier just to carry on with things the way they are. But February is a great time of year to assess your health. Christmas is over, kids are back at school, and the work year is back into full swing. The social calendar is settling back down to a normal level and weekly routines are resuming.

So many of our clients come to us confused and overwhelmed by all the conflicting food, exercise and wellness advice they hear in the media and from their social circle. It can be hard to know what is accurate or what is right for their individual case.

Thankfully, our clients have taken the first step of breaking out of this cycle by booking a DEXA scan and getting a baseline. With our scans, we can provide you with a true picture of your health, not just your weight. We provide you with a breakdown of fat tissue versus lean muscle mass, and valuable insight into where your body is storing that fat. The health implications of hidden abdominal fat can be fatal, so getting a true picture of your inner health is a very effective motivator for change in a way that doing up your jeans or looking good in a bikini might not be for some people. Did you know that the Body Measure DEXA scanner is the only model in the world where you can actually see your visceral fat?

What to expect from a DEXA scan?

Getting a DEXA scan is simple and non-invasive. Unlike old fashioned, and often inaccurate skin fold testing you are fully clothed for the scan. We’ll get you to remove all metal from your body, then lie on the DEXA table, where the scan takes about five minutes.

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We’ll then use the results to provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of your body composition. You’ll be provided with:

  • Your body fat percentage
  • Your total muscle mass
  • The total fat on your body
  • The location of your body fat (intra-muscular, subcutaneous, and the dangerous visceral fat in the abdominal region)
  • Bone weight and bone density
  • Your basal metabolic rate (BMR)
  • Your BMI
  • An overview of how much fat you need to lose to achieve your goals

Our clients find this process extremely valuable and highly motivating towards their body composition goals.

Paula Beckton, a contestant on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back, reflects the sentiments of many of our clients, saying that, “having a DEXA scan at the start really sets the pace and allows you to be very clear on what your starting point is and what you want to get away from being.”

So you’ve had a scan, what next?

We’ll provide you with effective suggestions of diet and lifestyle changes that you can make that will help you to achieve your wellness goals. To keep you motivated, we recommend periodic scans to review your process, something that Paula has found very useful. As she says, “when you lose weight, you sometimes don’t see yourself how much weight you have lost. You might think, oh, I’ve only lost 12 kilograms, but when a scan can show you what that 12 kilograms actually means in health and not just weight, it can really give you a mental edge to continue to work towards your goals.”

We find that nutrition and exercise is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. All bodies respond differently, and with a follow up scan you can see how your unique body is changing and assess if further tweaks need to be made to get you results, rather than being frustrated by your progress.

So, what are you waiting for? Book in now and make this February fabulous!

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Is losing weight your New Year resolution? Here’s why we think you need to change your goal

Every year as the clock clicks over from 11.59pm on 31 December to 12.00am on 1 January, millions of people worldwide resolve that this is the year that they are going to lose weight. Promotions will abound for January detoxes, special deals on the latest meal replacement shake craze, and all the diet companies will boost their advertising spend to capture the good intentions (not to mention the hard earned dollars) of those millions. And without a doubt, some of those people will lose weight, and lose it quickly. They’ll feel very pleased with themselves, go back to living normally and BAM, a few months later that weight is right back.

Why weight loss shouldn’t be the goal

The reason behind this yo-yo weight loss and gain cycle is simple. For most people, when they lose weight quickly what they are actually losing is water and muscle tissue. This is then a double edged sword for lean muscle mass is a very effective fat burner, so not only do you lose the muscle tissue you also then create an environment where your body is less able to burn off kilojoules.weightbearingexercise-dexa-bodymeasure-sydney-crowsnest

We believe it is much better to shift your focus to fat loss. Yes, the numbers will probably still pleasingly head downwards on your scales for a nice little bit of reinforcement, but the approach taken to achieve this goal is different. You’re not going to be looking for a quick fix, but rather making lifestyle changes that will set you up for a lifetime of good health.

How to promote fat loss

One of the most important factors in promoting fat loss, especially that dangerous fat around your abdomen, is regular exercise. Weight bearing exercise to build lean muscle tissue should be an integral part of your weekly fitness routine, combined with whatever other activities you enjoy.

What you are eating of course also plays an incredibly important role in fat loss. There’s loads of diets and approaches to food out there that go in and out of favour, so our advice is to cut down on processed foods, prioritise lots of vegetables in particular leafy greens, and avoid too much sugar (by the way, we’ve said it before, but alcohol is pretty much carbohydrate – i.e. sugar!). Don’t fall into the trap of eating “low-fat” foods, as typically the fat is replaced by a high amount of sugar to make the food more palatable. Choose quality fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and animal fat from free range, grass fed meat. Quality fat in sensible quantities are an important element of overall health. Keep the mantra “Just Eat Real Food” in your mind when making your food choices.

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“But I can’t see fat loss on my scales?” How to know if you are getting results?

It can be hard to give up the thrall of the bathroom scales when you shift to focusing on fat loss rather than weight loss. And for most people, they will absolutely lose kilos when they first embark on this lifestyle change, but it doesn’t show the full picture.

In contrast, regular DEXA scans can show how your body composition is changing and give you visual proof of fat tissue being replaced by lean muscle mass. We can show you how many kilos of fat you have lost, not just how many kilos of fat, water and muscle you have. Our clients find that this information is very motivating and helps to no only ensure their training is on track, but maintain their lifestyle changes long after rapid weight loss has stopped and they move into maintenance phases of health.

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Beer bellies and muffin tops: Are you hiding behind cute names for abdominal fat?

January has arrived, and with the New Year typically come thoughts of a renewed commitment to health and wellness. Maybe those jeans are a little bit tighter after the excesses of Christmas. (Just me? No, didn’t think so.) Maybe you’re hiding under a t-shirt at the beach. Or maybe you’ve always done those things but you’ve decided that it’s time to really change this time.

As a society, we have lots of cute and funny sounding names for abdominal fat. We call it our beer belly, a muffin top, joke about our love handles or our cuddly belly. But the harsh reality is that there is nothing cute, sweet or harmless about abdominal fat stores. Fat around your belly is literally suffocating your vital organs. That visceral, or hidden, fat is a known contributor to increased risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, a range of cancers and more.beerbelly-dexascanner-bodymeasure-sydney

In our blogs we keep banging on about the risks of abdominal fat. That’s because the research into the health implications of this type of fat is very clear – too much abdominal fat is a killer. But, on the flip side, we continually see our customers turn their health around through embracing a healthier lifestyle that focuses on freshly prepared foods and plenty of activity. With regular DEXA scans, we can see the evidence of this dangerous, deadly fat burning away and being replaced with muscle mass and lean tissue.

Five top tips for shifting that beer belly

  1. OK, we’re not going to be popular for this one, but it’s a no-brainer. Cut back on the beer. Sorry. Alcohol is high in carbohydrates but has no nutritional value. Your body will burn off alcohol before any other food, so it leads to your body storing additional calories as fat.
  2. Embrace vegetables. Increasing your vegetable intake is one of the easiest ways to reduce processed carbohydrates from your diet. Carbs aren’t bad, we just tend to eat too many in our modern, processed food culture. Try out zucchini noodles with your bolognaise sauce, or give cauliflower rice a try with your curry. There are loads of easy and tasty ideas to make veggies a bigger part of your diet.
  3. Move more. When you are starting out, the most important thing is just to be more active. Find something that you enjoy (or can at least tolerate). If you’re already active, increase the amount of weight bearing exercise that you do. Building more muscle mass will help your body to be a more efficient fat burning machine. Weight bearing exercise also improves your bone density, which is very important for both women AND men as we age.liftingweights-dexascanner-sydney-strength
  4. Rest better. Studies show that a lack of sleep is a contributing factor to excess fat storage. Inadequate or poor quality sleep can impede your body’s ability to process carbohydrate, leading to an excess of insulin production and ultimately storing more body fat and developing insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
  5. Keep measuring. The most important element to reducing abdominal fat and increasing muscle mass is consistency with your lifestyle changes. But we know that sometimes it can be hard to maintain your motivation when you aren’t always seeing immediate changes. This is where regular DEXA scans can play a vital role, as even if the number on the scale isn’t changing, our scans can show you how those hidden fat stores are reducing in size and being replaced by healthy muscle mass.

Visit Body Measure in Crows Nest Sydney for your DEXA scan and combat that dangerous abdominal fat!!

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Losing weight, but are you losing muscle mass too?

There’s no end of diets and weight loss strategies that promise that you’ll shed x number of kilos in y number of days. ‘Look sexy by Christmas,’ they shout from magazine covers at the supermarket checkout. ‘Drink our shakes and drop two dress sizes by Sunday,’ they claim. And yes, you probably will lose x number of kilos and you might even fit into that dress you bought on sale even though really it was straining more than a little at the zip. But what’s that rapid weight loss really made of?

What are you really losing?

Recent research has shown that rapid weight loss leads to much more muscle being lost than a more steady approach to reaching your ideal weight. It is suspected that this is because when you are on a very low kilojoule or crash diet, the body is forced to break down extra muscle tissue to create the protein and sugar that is missing from your food intake. As a result, crash dieters can lose up to 50 -80 % of their weight loss as muscle within as little as a fortnight!

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Are you burning fat or muscle?

But I’m skinny now, so why does it matter that I’ve lost muscle?

Maintaining and increasing lean muscle mass as part of your weight loss strategy is important for two key reasons. Firstly, muscle is better at burning off kilojoules than fat, which means that if you have less muscle, your body will use less energy! And that weight you just lost? Well, you can expect to see it creeping back on once you start eating normally again – and probably some extra weight too just to really give you a kick in the guts! Secondly, a body with a good proportion of lean tissue just looks better. So if you want to look good in the buff as well as in your bargain sale dress, making sure your muscle mass is maintained is just good sense.

So, how can I tell if I’m losing muscle or fat?

A DEXA scan is an easy and accurate way to determine both your body composition and where your body is storing fat. Body Measure In Crows Nest can tell you if you are storing dangerous visceral fat around your vital organs like your heart, pancreas and your liver, and let you know what your ideal ratio of body fat to lean tissue is. You can then use this information to reach both a healthy weight AND low body fat. At Body Measure we have recorded muscle loss to fat loss with ratio’s as high as 4:1 – so we have had clients that have lost 5 kg’s of body weight, with 4kg being muscle and only 1kg of weight being fat. This is clearly not ideal. By identifying this early we can make changes to the clients training and nutrition to pushed their bodies to fat burning and Muscle sparing.

The fact is that there are no quick fixes to achieving true health. An active lifestyle and plenty of exercise are vital to reduce visceral fat around the abdomen, no matter how skinny you are on the outside. And when it comes to weight loss, slow and steady so that you can protect your body’s vital muscle mass is the way to go. It might not be as rapid, but it will last a hell of a lot longer. So, eat foods that are good for your body (we know the ones), pick up some weights and commit to making changes for the long term to achieve your health goals. As you start to make changes, regular DEXA scans can show you the changes in your body composition and allow you to tweak your diet and exercise to achieve the results that you are after and say goodbye to the weight loss-gain cycle and yo-yo dieting.

Visit Body Measure in Crows Nest, Sydney, for your DEXA scan to ensure your are burning fat, not muscle!

Call 02 9460 8502 to book your appointment.

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Measure your Motivation

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” H. James Harrington

Harrington was writing about business, but his words ring just as true when it comes to your health and wellbeing. We wholeheartedly believe, and the results that our clients achieve reinforce this every day, that measurement is the first critical step towards taking charge of your health and maintaining motivation on your journey to reaching your ideal weight with more muscle mass.

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Starting is easy, it’s keeping going that’s the trick

And it is maintaining motivation that is key. Starting to make better food choices and exercise more is easy. You can see that in action in the first week of January as everyone heads to the gym and stocks up on supplies for salads and green smoothies. But by late February (if it’s even that long!), life starts to get in the way, excuses are made and before you know it, you’ve not been to the gym for four weeks and you’re having takeaway pizza for dinner for the second time in a week.

Improving health and fitness doesn’t come from New Year resolutions and January detoxes. It comes from consistent actions and choices all year round. A DEXA scan to determine your starting point and periodic scans throughout the year to track the changes in your body composition can do wonders to keep you on track. Visibly seeing the reduction in your body fat percentage and an increase in muscle mass really reinforces your commitment to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight with a good proportion of lean tissue.

Knowledge is power

Certainly, this was the case for Paula Beckton when she appeared on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back. As Paula says:

“The DEXA scan revealed the true me. Knowing and facing the damage I was doing inside was really important and a pivotal point as you don’t actually know that when you weigh yourself on the scales at home. Seeing the amount of fat I had on my body was quite confronting.”

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Paula Beckton confronts her DEXA scan results on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back

But the DEXA scan didn’t just provide motivation at the beginning for Paula. As she was having regular scans to review her body composition, Paula was able to bypass the frustration that many people have when they are trying to improve their health and lose weight, but the number on the scales just isn’t shifting as much or as quickly as they might have hoped for.

“When you lose weight, you sometimes don’t see yourself how much weight you have lost. You might think, oh, I’ve only lost 12 kilograms, but when a scan can show you what that loss of 12 kilograms actually means in health and not just weight, it can really give you a mental edge to continue to work towards your goals,” says Paula.

Consistent action does get results

Don’t let your motivation to change your life and achieve your health goals fizzle out by the middle of February. Don’t let yourself become demoralised by the small changes you see on the outside, when there could well be much more significant changes to the very dangerous visceral fat on your insides. Come in for a DEXA scan, get a true picture of your health and how that IS changing as you get leaner and reduce your body fat percentage. And by this time next year, you really will see the results of making all those small actions and choices throughout the year.

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It’s what’s on the inside that counts: The risks of hidden fat

Do you have a secret killer hiding deep within your abdomen? Visceral fat, or abdominal fat, might be out of sight, but it really shouldn’t be out of mind. Visceral fat is implicated in a wide variety of health problems – much more so than the visible subcutaneous fat you can pinch between your fingers.visceralfat-dexascan-sydney-crowsnest

What’s the problem with visceral fat?

This hidden fat can be quite literally strangling your heart, liver and kidneys. It is highly toxic and releases a stream of dangerous poisons into your body. Visceral fat can also affect your mood by increasing production of the stress hormone, cortisol, and reducing levels of feel-good endorphins.

Visceral fat is linked to many serious illnesses. These include metabolic disturbances, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery. Emerging research is even showing associations between excess visceral fat and dementia.

How to identify visceral fat?

One of the biggest problems with visceral fat is that it is hidden out of sight inside the abdomen. There is a significant portion of people with normal weight – estimates are as high as 25 per cent of people of normal BMI – who have dangerous amounts of visceral fat, a phenomenon commonly known as Skinny-Fat or TOFI (Thin Outside, Fat Inside). Waist circumference is also a crude and often misleading metric. Traditionally used methods such as skin-fold testing also only measure the subcutaneous fat on the exterior of your body – and while this fat may be annoying and less than desirable from an aesthetic point-of-view, it really doesn’t have anywhere near the bearing on your overall health as abdominal fat.

The best way to identify the amount of hidden visceral fat is through a body composition scan, such as a DEXA scan. This will tell you HOW MUCH is in your body and WHERE in your body that fat is being stored.

What can you do about visceral fat?

The great news is that visceral fat responds really well to diet and exercise, particularly high-intensity exercise. Increasing exercise and improving diet also results in lower blood pressure and better cholesterol levels. Contrastingly, subcutaneous fat can be frustratingly difficult to shift, but fortunately it is not considered as much of a health threat.xercise-dexascan-bodycomposition-sydney-crowsnest-visceralfat

But how can you know that your efforts are making a difference if you can’t see the changes? Being able to zip up your jeans might indicate lower weight, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ve lost that risky abdominal fat. This is where regular body composition scans come into their own, ensuring that you are monitoring your results and staying motivated to maintain your healthy lifestyle changes. Reducing abdominal fat and increasing your lean muscle mass is one of the best things you can do for your longevity, so it’s worth sticking with these health changes for the long-term.

Don’t become a statistic in Australia’s obesity crisis. Open your eyes to what’s going on inside your body. Start by identifying how much fat is surrounding your internal organs and take the necessary steps to improve your health and fitness. Maintaining an ideal weight with a high proportion of lean tissue to body fat doesn’t just mean you’ll look better on the outside. It means you’ll look better on the inside too – and we all know that it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.

Visit Body Measure in Crows Nest for your Dexa Scan and body composition details, and find out how much visceral fat you are carrying!

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The Skinny on Fat! Are you as healthy as you think you are?

Are you TOFI?
Are you TOFI?

There’s no doubt that one of the greatest health challenges of our time is obesity and all the associated medical problems that flow on from being over one’s ideal weight. But it’s not just the obese that need to worry.

Are you TOFI?

Studies are showing that a significant percentage of the population that are ‘skinny’ are actually carrying dangerous amounts of visceral fat inside their abdomen – that is, Thin Outside, Fat Inside (TOFI), or Skinny-Fat. Medically, it is known as Metabolically Obese But Normal Weight (MONW), and it is thought to affect anywhere from 10 to 25 per cent of people with a normal, healthy weight.

These hidden fat stores, typically inside your tummy and around your organs, can contribute to a range of health problems including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, elevated liver fat, heart disease, dementia, cancer and more. Furthermore, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there was actually a higher mortality rate in adults who were a normal weight at the time of becoming diabetic than adults who were overweight or obese.

What causes TOFI?

Being TOFI is primarily a symptom of being physically inactive and as all ways genetics plays a part. The typical TOFI is always being told how ‘lucky’ they are to be able to eat whatever they like, not exercise and remain slim. But the regular indulgence in heavily processed foods and sugary drinks, combined with a sedentary lifestyle is having an impact, even if it’s not visible. This particularly becomes apparent when the ageing process kicks in and hormone changes cause muscle mass to decrease, the metabolism slows and the so-called middle age spread starts make those jeans a bit harder to do up.

How to tell if you are a TOFI

First of all, you need to take stock of your lifestyle. If you don’t exercise as regularly as you should, chances are you probably have unhealthy fat deposits hiding beneath the surface. Being physically inactive is one of the biggest causes of visceral fat build up. Other factors such as poor diet and stress can also cause visceral fat to be deposited. Measures such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference are crude metrics at best and are not a good indicator of the visceral fat, nor the quantity of this bad fat, that you may be storing.

Measurements such as skin-fold testing are also inadequate, as they measure subcutaneous fat, and cannot measure the hidden fat in your tummy, around your organs. Subcutaneous fat does not carry the same health risks as fat on your insides. The best way to find out what’s going on inside your tum is with a DEXA scan which will reveal your body composition. This quick and painless technique can show your hidden fat within 5 minutes.

OK, so I’m TOFI – What should I do?

Your Dexa Scan will reveal if you are TOFI. Once you know your true body composition, you can then take steps to get leaner, lose fat and build muscle mass. The best way to do this is through increasing activity, particularly weight bearing exercise, interval training and by reducing processed foods in the diet. Maintaining not just your ideal weight, but also your ideal body composition with a low body fat percentage is one of the best things you can do to prevent lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes that are placing such a burden on our medical system.

The Experts at Body Measure have the only type of Dexa scanner in the world that actually shows your fat that is on the inside of your body. If this bad fat is found they can advise you on the best, safest and fastest way to get rid of it.

Regular, ongoing Dexa scans to assess your body composition and to track your fat loss can play an important role in keeping you motivated and on-track. You can actually see the fat around your organs disappear! One of the biggest causes of people not sticking to new healthier lifestyles is the lack of visible results and this is especially the case for hidden visceral fat.

You can’t always see the changes from the outside, so let us show you what’s going on inside your abdomen and keep you committed to maintaining your lean tissue and muscle mass.

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Finding motivation in fat facts- Bringing Sexy Back!

When Paula Beckton was selected as a contestant on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back, she weighed 101 kilograms. However, Paula had convinced herself that the figure was only a number. It was only when she had her first DEXA scan, and was confronted with the facts about her body composition behind it, that Paula had what she called her moment of truth:

“The DEXA scan revealed the true me. Knowing and facing the damage I was doing inside was really important and a pivotal point. You don’t actually know that when you weigh yourself on the scales at home. Seeing the DEXA scan imaging of the amount of fat I had on my body was quite confronting, I think on the show I said that it was “really gross” and I can’t deny that it was shocking. I could see how much my weight gain had affected my health and how poor a role model I was being for my children.”

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Paula reviews her Dexa Scan on Channel Seven’s Bringing Sexy Back

 

Starting her journey with a DEXA scan and being provided with detailed body composition data was a key motivational tool for Paula. “Having a DEXA scan at the start really sets the pace and allows you to be very clear on what your starting point is and what you want to get away from being.”

As most overweight people who’ve tried to make lifestyle changes know, it can be tough. Maintaining motivation and momentum to lose weight is difficult when the number on your bathroom scales is barely shifting.

Paula was able to bypass this frustration, thanks to regular DEXA scans to review her body composition. The scans empowered Paula with critical information on maintaining momentum, keeping her focused on her journey towards a more ideal weight.

“When you lose weight, you sometimes don’t see yourself how much weight you have lost. You might think, oh, I’ve only lost 12 kilograms, but with the DEXA scan showing me what that loss of 12 kilograms actually means in regards to health and not just weight, it really gave me a mental edge to continue to work towards my goals,” says Paula.

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Paula’s weight loss transformation!

 

Thanks to Bringing Sexy Back and the insights provided by DEXA scans, Paula has been able to make significant lifestyle changes – all while managing the regular challenges of daily life.

“I made this work, I wasn’t locked away for three months. I had all my usual responsibilities as a mother, a wife, and a business owner. I worked, I cooked, I cleaned and did all the normal things that a working mother of four kids does. My exercise regime consisted of 20 minutes in the morning on a cross trainer as that was all the time I had available to me, so I made the most of those 20 minutes every day.

“I had tried and failed at so many diets in the past – otherwise I wouldn’t have reached 101 kilograms! I knew that this time around any changes would need to be sustainable in the overall context of my life.”

With four children, Paula was motivated to improve her own health so that she could continue to be present in their lives and able to keep up with them. “My kids’ obvious pride in me being healthy is a great feeling and knowing that their little arms came closer and closer together when they hug me is fantastic.”

Yet, with juggling four children and a busy work life, Paula had to recognise that one of the most important factors in her success was self-motivation and a willingness to put herself first.

“I had to commit to myself that there would not be anything that was going to stop me, not even the repertoire of excuses I had from past efforts. I needed to make the right choices for myself, and not just for the kids.”

The experience of appearing on Bringing Sexy Back and the empowering information from the DEXA scans, has been a life-changing experience for Paula.

“I have made a healthy lifestyle change and it was such a wonderful opportunity. I would strongly encourage others to take the steps to jump start their new life and embrace living, truly living, a new healthier lifestyle towards health and fitness.”

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Weight loss and Dexa scanning- Q and A with Paula Beckton from Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back

After your first Dexa scan, how did finding your truth, inspire you to begin your weight loss journey?  

‘My moment of truth’ as I call it was a big reality check and wake up call. I had known that I had put on weight and pretty much stopped weighing myself as it was only going up. However; that was only a number, I thought I could deal with ‘that number’. Seeing the amount of fat I had on my body was ‘really gross’ (I think I said on the show!). I could see the outline of my body and how much ‘that number’ had affected my health, and how much a poor role model I was being to my children.

I didn’t want to know the truth I see what I see every day and I carry it with me every day and having that scan done was just another twist of reality, for what I have become’ (quote from the show).

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Why do you believe it is important to get such accurate readings from a DEXA scan?

The importance of the Dexa scan was to see the true me and face all of the facts not just ‘that number.’ Knowing and facing the damage I was doing inside was really important and a pivotal point as you don’t actually know that when you weigh yourself on the scales at home.

You can’t walk away from it, you can’t turn the page or say that poor person look what happened to them because that poor person is me’ (quote from the show)

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Can you tell us more about your beliefs that weight loss needs a life style change rather than a diet change?

I can’t remember how many diets I had tried in the past and obviously failed so many times otherwise I wouldn’t of reached 101kg! This time round it was going to be a lifestyle change something that was sustainable, I wasn’t about to do another diet and fail again and again and again. Why do something short term, why not make it a moment that you can live? I now say ‘live a lifestyle not a diet’ and so what if I put a piece of bread in my mouth, I know what I need to do and I know I can’t do it every day. Life is about living not dieting. When you have kids you make the most of it and make the right choices as an adult and for yourself, not just for the kids.

What were your biggest challenges in your weight loss journey and how did you overcome it?

Portion serves was my biggest obstacle knowing that there should be a different in size to Marks plate and mine and not have him ask which one is mine. Smaller meals throughout the day and more flavour was a great option.

The 2nd obstacle was not eating, who would of thought doing this would sabotage my metabolism! I now have been reunited with my metabolism and feeling hungry is a sure sign of success. However; the true success is what I then eat. Being organised with food and setting an alarm to eat at 10am and 2pm was instrumental and then would help stop eating a massive meal at night time.

What are your favourite motivational tools on your weight loss journey?

I honestly thought I was going to use it as a piñata when Cam asked me to create a body cast of myself. That was ONE massive turning point in my life. BUT having that cast and seeing but feeling what I had became wanted to make me get so far away from that it wasn’t funny, many of tears happened looking at that thing! I absolutely love it now and I am soooo proud of it!

Like a lot of people my kids are my motivation. Being around for all 4 of them and keeping up with them as they grow but also them being proud of me being healthy is a great feeling and every hug they gave me their little arms came closer and closer together and they can hold their elbows when they hug me before they could only just touch their fingertips. Kids have their own way to motivate us without them having to say a word.

The other thing, which some people may find silly, is having a normal size bathroom towel fit around me! I love being able to close that gap and now being able to wrap it around me, I know I have change and it wasn’t the towel size.

Sometimes you have to really break things down and find the small things that matter and motivate you along the way.

PAULA

Why is it important to have a dexa scan not only at the beginning of your weight loss challenge but throughout your journey?

Having the Dexa scan at the start really sets the pace and what you want to get away from. Know the moments of achievement was inside and out, physically and emotionally was amazing to see it in front of you and broken down with no rose coloured glasses, just facts and facing the truth. When you lose weight you also sometimes don’t see yourself to how much weight you have lost and might just say oh yeah I have only lost 12kg, but seeing what that loss of 12kg actually means in health not just weight, there is nothing else like it, it give you the edge mentally.

As well as being in the public eye, you had a team supporting you on your weight loss. Why do you think is important to having a supportive and motivational team around you?

I had a small team around me to start with, but my number one team was my family. Let’s be honest you can have a support team around you but have you been honest to them? Have you broken it all down and shown them? Without getting everything out in the open with my husband I think I may of failed again and well I really didn’t give thought to getting it out in the open and doing it on national TV! until about a month into filming when it hit me and I turned to Mark glassy eyed and he asked me what’s wrong! It was that moment I said I’m going to be on Tv like ‘ALL’ of me! Wow that was a moment I will never forget, the total honesty, the total truth everything no more hiding and it was that point of knowing well that’s the truth they know it now I have to do something about it.

I found that the most important supportive person had to be myself, I had to put myself first and motivate myself if a person is going to make a change they have to want to make that change themselves. I made that commitment to myself and there was not going to be anything that would stop me, not even the repertoire of excuses I had from the past efforts.

How have you found maintaining your new lifestyle in terms of fitness activities?

I honestly know that I can sit back and say that I made this work, I wasn’t locked away for 3months, I had to do this in my own life, as a mother, as a wife, a business owner, I had to work, I had to cook, I had to clean (ok that did get put down the priority list) I had kids to take care of and live a fairly normal life as another mum out there. I made it work and I know others can also. I made commitments to myself that I could maintain. I honestly really only did 20mins in the morning first up on the cross trainer that Fit online supplied to me, I only had 20mins free and I made it work. My lifestyle now doesn’t need as much regular training as I did, I just make sure when I do train, as I always did, I make the most of each session, I don’t got there to look pretty and come out the same way everything comes down to how much effort and commitment you are willing to put in.

Why should people enter your competition?

The life changing opportunity that I was given by Channel 7 on Bringing sexy Back was just that! It was a healthy lifestyle change and such a wonderful opportunity. If I can help give someone else a jump start at their new life and experience a little of what I have then I would be so happy knowing that I have the old saying ‘pay it forward’ it truly is how we all support each other without knowing. The emails and Face book messages have been so inspiration al from so many people out there in the same situation I was and it is just my way of trying to say thank you and help change the life of someone else to ‘live a lifestyle and not a diet’.

To enter Paula’s competition to kick start your healthy lifestyle journey- which involves winning over $4500 in prizes (including a FREE before and after Dexa scan) visit Paula Beckton “Bringing Sexy Back” Facebook page to enter!

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Direction to Health

Physiotherapist Emma Esslemont recently discovered the huge benefits of getting a Dexa Scan at Body Measure in Crows Nest. Mainly, she loved the fact she was given perspective and direction as to what is needed to be ‘healthier’.

She also asks the question: If you knew you were at higher risk of developing chronic disease would you change your lifestyle?

Check out her experience below:

Last weekend I went and got a DEXA Scan & it was probably the most interesting & worthwhile $85 I have spent in a long time.

Why?

Chronic disease is literally taking over the world. If it’s not heart disease its diabetes or cancer; obesity or depression. It’s all around us and it’s pretty scary.

This really hit home recently for me following a conversation with my mum. My parents are in their mid 60’s and both have had a pretty clean bill of health. Many of their close friends however have not been so fortunate. In the last 6 months my godfather passed suddenly from a heart attack (he had underlying heart disease), my godmother is battling breast cancer and another close family friend recently found out she had a brain tumour. Bad things happen in 3’s so I have my fingers crossed that that’s the last of the bad news.

A DEXA scan is the most accurate test to measure our body composition and bone density. Our bodies are comprised of fat, bone, muscle and of course our vital organs. In the past body mass index (BMI) has been the measure of choice in the medical world. This uses your weight and height to calculate whether you are normal, overweight, obese or morbidly obese. The shortfall of this is that people who have a lot of muscle such as sportsmen & athletes were falling into the obese category because it doesn’t account for differences in muscle mass and fat mass.

The DEXA scan addresses all of this allowing an accurate measure of body fat, lean muscle and bone density. It takes out ‘water weight’ (the mass of our bladder and bowel) and also is capable of breaking down measurements into different regions. This is particularly important medically as higher levels of visceral fat in the abdominal region (yep I’m talking beer bellies and muffin tops) is a huge risk factor for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

dexa x 3

Doctors, personal trainers and nutritionists can then use this information to implement prevention strategies into one’s lifestyle. People with lower bone density will benefit from weight bearing & resistance exercises to strengthen the bones while people with high visceral fat may need to address certain aspects of their diet.

Considering that the fitness industry is BOOMING at the moment; there’s boot camps, running groups, gym franchises popping up EVERYWHERE we really don’t seem to be getting any healthier. Australia is one of the ‘fattest’ nations in the world!

Why?

I honestly believe that it’s because so many of us are not aware of our unhealthy we really are. Health and wellbeing isn’t as simple as exercising every day, sure this helps (and I highly encourage it) BUT many other aspects need attention, especially diet and nutrition. Having this scan, and having a visual image of my body composition which is then mapped against normal values for my age group gives you a little perspective and also gives you direction as to what you need to do to be ‘healthier’.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

If you knew you were at higher risk of developing chronic disease would you change your lifestyle?

It’s $85 that could quite literally save your life.