As I have said, this year I am focusing on self-care. This is the year I am really trying to take care of my body, my mind, and my soul. To that end, I just completed my first ever hydrostatic body fat test by getting dunked in a tank of water. The process was really quick and easy! And the best part? I now know exactly how much fat is sitting on my body.
It’s no secret – I need to lose weight. When I get on my morning scale I am horrified at the weight I have gained since I hurt my back last year. Part of my self-care goal is to get myself back to a healthy weight. I am working hard to nourish my body with a balance of healthy nutrients, and I am exercising six days a week. My triathlon training schedule allows my body one rest day a week – for me it is usually Friday.
According to my hydrostatic body fat test – I not only need to lose body fat but I need to gain lean muscle mass. Uggh! I really thought that I had more muscle than I have. The good news is that I now have an accurate starting point!
So what is it like to get dunked? I honestly had no ideas of what to expect. I did not look anything up, I just went on-line and made my appointment with Fitness Wave Northern California. A friend of mine had just recently completed her test, and I was excited to give it a try. Fitness Wave has a mobile trailer that they take to different locations. When I booked my appointment I could see that they were going to be stationed at various health clubs and gyms all across the bay area – North and South Bay. I booked my dunk appointment for a Sunday morning in Oakland. I was getting started on my plan and didn’t want to wait even one week longer for the trailer to be stationed closer to my home. I purchased the three dunk pack so I will get dunked again six weeks after my first test and then another six weeks after the second test. I can tell you that getting these numbers and knowing I will be re-dunked is motivating!
When I walked into the trailer I was greeted by Aeron the owner and given some forms to complete. They have a changing room – much like a store’s dressing room. I showed up in my swim suit under my sweats – so I just needed to strip down to my suit. I was a bit nervous – not knowing what to expect, but Aeron was wonderful and made me feel very comfortable. then onto a medical scale I stepped, and Aeron recorded my weight.
Next, I climbed into a large tub of warm water. There were bars across the bottom of the tub, and I was instructed to get into a pushup position with my hands on the front bar and my feet at the back bar. The bars were connected to a scale above. I then went through a cycle of four dunks. One to see what it is like and three to get readings. With each dunk I blew out all the air from my lungs and dunked myself down so that I was fully emerged in the water.
I gotta say – I swim a lot and the feeling of releasing all your air before you go under the water is not a natural feeling. Intuitively I suck my lungs full before heading under. Also, as a swimmer I am used to swimming with goggles, so with my first dunk under I opened my eyes. Not a good thing as I wear contacts! After a quick moment of panic I shut my eyes and hoped that I did not lose a contact! Fortunately they did not wash away or else I would not have been able to drive home! I do wish I had my hair in a pony tail. Each time that I came up from the bottom of the tub my hair was stuck to my face. Next time I will be prepared.
Once I was done I climbed out, dried off, and changed back into my sweats. While I was doing this Aeron was running my numbers. Aeron spent a good amount of time reviewing my numbers with me and explaining what it all meant. He also then emailed me the report with even more explanations.
The whole process was painless and very, very informative. I look forward to my next dunk and then again to my third dunk. Afterall, this is my body, my numbers, and my starting point.
I must say it is exciting to know exactly where you stand.