Monday, February 21, 2011

Holy BMI, Batman!

My husband did me the honor of scheduling a VO2/ CO2 Fitness Test, aka VO2 Max Test.  It's a fitness test that tells you lots about how your body performs including, Calories burned at rest, ideal heart rate for burning fat, ideal heart rate for building endurance, BMI, and bone density. 
I went in for this test Friday afternoon.  I was excited but insanely nervous.  He had his Tuesday and had given me the low down. 
To begin you get a heart rate monitor strapped to your chest and you have seat.  Then they stick a tube in your mouth and you breath into said tube for about 12 minutes.  Teeth clenching around this tube, lips pursed, trying not to drool all over yourself... really enjoyable.  This test tells you how many calories you burn doing nothing all day.  Mine read about 1700.  If I were to sit in a chair 24 hours a day and breath I would burn 1700 calories/ day. 
Test #2-  Oh yes, this is where the fun begins...  Now you are strapped into this awful face mask. 
photo coutresy of VO2 Max Testing website
With the mask on a tube feedng into the machine you get to start playing on the treadmill!  Starting out at a brisk walk for 1 minute and each minute picking up speed up to the 5 minute mark.  At the 5 minutes they start raising the incline.  Incline raises each minute for 5 minutes and then you keep trucking at 12.0 incline until you have satisfactorily maxed your heart rate (for me that was at 188).  At this point my legs felt like jello.  I was seriously unsure if I would be able to dismount the treadmill without falling off and taking the machine (that I was still hooked up to) out in the process.  Mask off finally, head spinning, legs wobbling... I was SO embarrassed!  I probably looked like a fool to this body builder doctor that is administering this test.  (This doctor by the way started off the test estimating that I need to lose 30 or more pounds.  Great doc!  Really feeling good about myself!!  Hey let's watch me approach death on your treadmill for fun!)  Anyway, the point of this test was to determine your maximum oxygen intake.  This told me what my target heart rate should be when I am trying to burn fat (120) or trying to build endurance (wasn't paying attention any longer, just focused on staying upright). 
Test #3- This was more my style.  Lay down for a body scan.  For about 10 minutes I layed there while this scanner was going head to toe determining my body composition; BMI, bone density, etc.  Allow me to point out this was ample time to question myself as to why that treadmill just owned me.  Also, plenty of time to prepare myself for what hilarity was about to come in the form of a BMI number.  "Well, if I can't even hoof up a hill I can only imagine that my BMI must be 137 or something equally absurd."  The output from the scan was a packet of paper that included the most unflattering image of you laying on the scanner, your BMI, % of fat, and the breakdown across different limbs, etc. 
While all of this is wildly informative I can tell you that I got a little girly over the whole thing.  My eyes got a little wet while I was telling the husband about the monstrosity that he married.  Self pity aside, I've moved on to my motivated self and hit the gym Saturday with a Kinect workout on Sunday. 
I go back to the doctor Tuesday when they will provide a tailored meal plan specifically for me based on the docs goal of me withering away to nothing losing 20 lbs.  20 lbs!  I have a feeling I'll be headed down a path of white fish, salmon, and unsalted almonds.... we'll see!

Until then, please stay aware of your own health and wellness.  As easy as it is to deny that maybe you are slacking on the exercise front, it is SO not worth it!  Cheers to doing better!

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