In the weeks and months and now years since having my children, I’ve tried to accept my new “mom bod” with grace and even positivity. I’ve grown and birthed two humans, for goodness sakes. I bought new pants and tops that flattered my fuller shape and figured someday I would find time to shed the baby weight – as if a fitness plan is the kind of thing I could discover under couch cushions like coins and cracker crumbles.And then, two things happened.
I was in the elevator with my daughter on my hip and a woman asked me ‘When are you due?’ In the intensely awkward 10 seconds it took to reach my floor, I laughed off her comment and said something sassy like “Umm, 18 months ago!” while I gestured to my wriggling toddler.
Then, I got the lab results from my annual wellness test at work and had a red flag for pre-diabetes. Suddenly, the baby weight (or bagel weight, if I’m being honest) – wasn’t something I could shrug about. I decided I needed to make some changes.
In my “before” picture, you won’t see me looking pasty and miserable in a sports bra. Instead, I went for a DXA scan at Des Moines University Clinic. My “before” is a rainbow colored full-body image highlighting my bones, lean tissue, and fat.
I didn’t need a doctor’s order. I made an appointment, showed up, and signed a waiver saying I’m not currently pregnant. Then, I changed into the scrubs provided (you could wear yoga pants and a light top if you prefer) for the scan.
The Radiologic Technologist recorded my height and weight and had me lie still on a padded platform with my legs and feet rotated inward. The scan itself took just three minutes and the radiation dose is so light others could be in the room. The scan arm hovers over you as it does three slow sweeps over your body. It’s open-air, so no worries about feeling claustrophobic.
After my scan, I changed back into my normal outfit and Brooke, the rad tech, sat with me to go over my results. We focused on my body fat percentage, and then honed in on the VAT score. This is the only scan that provides an accurate measure for visceral adipose tissue – the fat around your organs in your abdominal cavity, which can indicate your risk factor for metabolic diseases.
This “before” image and data provides a great benchmark I can use to monitor my progress. It’s more than skin deep, and gives me real percentages I can work to change.
My “after” image won’t be me smiling in a bikini (although maybe there will be some of that, too). It will be a similar rainbow-colored scan that features less orange (fat) and more red (muscle), and a reduced body fat percentage that shows me back in a healthy range.
The cost for a DXA body composition scan at Des Moines University Clinic is just $48 and most health flex spending account will cover it. It is a helpful tool for moms who are starting or monitoring progress as part of a weight-loss journey. Patients are provided with a printout of results that can be shared with a family physician or fitness expert.
About Des Moines University Clinic
Des Moines University Clinic is a part of Des Moines University, a graduate health sciences university. DMU Clinic features comprehensive family medicine services all in one location, quick scheduling and prompt appointments and specially trained physicians and staff with a focus on wellness and prevention.
Call 515-271-1715 to schedule a body composition analysis.