It happens every January. You think about losing weight and looking hot in time for summer barbecues or school reunions. And then you remember years past when you haven’t hit your goals and shrug in predisposed defeat… why should this year be any different?
Well, ask Anthony Barnhill.
Despite working at the PJCC, an award-winning fitness center, the Youth & Family Program Assistant kept finding reasons not to exercise. Too busy. Too tired. Too late. Too whatever. Then one day he decided he was ready for that “beach bod” he’d always dreamed about…or at least one without the belly. So, he tried the InBody 570 offered at the PJCC. He knew it would “read my body like a book.” Boy, did it.
“There was nothing to hide behind,” said the San Mateo resident. “I couldn’t even call it ‘water weight’ since the InBody told me exactly how much I was water I was retaining.”
This is a reality checker that reads your body’s composition with a fine-tooth comb. This isn’t a trendy app or workout craze de jour, nor is it, God forbid, that medieval pinching caliper device that made our parents wince. No, we’re talking about 21st Century technology that empowers you with hardcore in-your-face evidence regarding your body’s composition. Unlike the dreaded scale that points out your weight like an accusing finger, the InBody breaks down your muscle, water, and fat distribution, as well as specific body parts, so you know where and how to begin your body makeover. Barnhill learned that he needed to reduce his body fat by 12 percent. He also learned that much of his “dream bod’s” excess fat was in his visceral (chest/stomach) region, putting the 29-year old at significant risk for series health issues such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, and heart disease.
“Saying I was ‘big boned’ couldn’t cut it anymore,” Barnhill recalled. “The truth was laid before me on the results sheet and I made a decision there and then. I had to change. No more excuses.”
For Anne S., 45, her results sheet showed that she had a decent BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).This is the amount of calories your body needs, while at rest, to keep vital functions, such as breathing and keeping warm, running. “Talking with a personal trainer, I learned that by increasing my cardio and strength-training activity, I could increase my muscle mass and reduce my fat mass—while also improving my BMR,” she said. “Burn more calories while sleeping? Score!”
She was motivated by her personal trainer to change her sedentary lifestyle and start with walking and climbing stairs as often as possible. “Since then, I’ve been working my way up to more intense cardio and strength-training activities,” she said. “Combined with an improved diet that focuses on lean proteins and fruits and veggies, I’m seeing slow-but-steady progress, which is ultimately more sustainable in the long run.”
Like Anne S., Barnhill used his results sheet as a guideline and hired a personal trainer who helped get his diet and exercise routine down to a science. His diet changed drastically, his workouts became more intense, and over the course of three months, he lost 21 pounds. Hello, beach bod! But while pleased with the results, he admits the biggest reward is feeling healthier.
“Reading my results sheet, there were no excuses to hide behind,” Barnhill said. “I knew exactly what I had to do.”
And you know what you have to do. Don’t let your New Year’s resolutions slip through your Ben & Jerry-clenched fingers. Instead, drop by the PJCC and learn how we can help you reach your wellness goals, starting with a free InBody 570 analysis for new Center Members. Because understanding your body’s makeup—from the inside out—might be just the kick you need to jumpstart your fitness journey.
Vicki McGrath, ACSM-EP-C, HFD, CET, EIM, is a Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer, Post Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist, and Fitness & Wellness Manager at the PJCC.