Wine for Bodybuilding

It’s been a hot minute since I posted anything. End of the semester craziness along with competing priorities have gotten me out of my blogging groove. No matter what is happening in my life, though, I never miss a workout. I’m still a huge fan of Lyzabeth Lopez and will be meeting her at the end of June when my husband and I visit Toronto. I hope to train with her, too!

But, as fitness freaks know we often need to do something different to switch things up and shock our muscles a bit. One goal of mine has been to create an hourglass shape and more curves on my banana frame. I have an amazing foundation from the Train with Lyzabeth program and now I’m working on my overall strength. Enter BUILD 1.0 by Stephanie Sanzo.

BUILD is part of the SWEAT app, which I have mentioned in previous posts. The app includes several trainers all focused on a different type of training. BUILD is a powerlifting, bodybuilding style workout. I chose it because Sanzo has a tiny frame like me. She’s five feet tall! If she can build muscle, so can I! So far, I’m really enjoying this style of training. I feel like such a badass lifting all that weight.

Basically, each workout focuses on one major movement, such as a sumo deadlift, squat or bench press, plus a series of supplemental exercises or accessories, designed to build the muscles. Some sets include higher reps and others are only 4 to 6 reps. It’s been fun trying to see how much I can lift when the reps are lower. I finally feel like I will reach the strength goals I’ve set for myself based on research and my bodyweight and fitness level – 80 pound bench press, 120 pound squat and a 150-pound deadlift. After nearly two weeks on her 12-week program, I’ve gotten to a 65-pound bench, 80-pound squat and 85-pound deadlift. I’m on my way!

Like Lopez, Sanzo is extremely active on social media, particularly Instagram, which I find empowering and uplifting. What’s more, she responds when you mention her or ask her questions, providing helpful tips. This week, I had some difficulty with the front squat because it was bothering my wrists to hold the heavy weight that way. She suggested a reverse lunge instead or showed me a picture of straps that you can use around your wrists to help position the bar, all through Instagram messaging!

stephanie sanzo's instagram

I’m still trying to figure out my best macro combination. I’m sticking with the 158c/131p/105f for now but increasing my calories when I can. Some days I go a bit higher on the carbs, too. I am curious how Sanzo breaks down her calories because her overall total seems a lot lower than me. So, in time, I hope to figure that part out.

I haven’t been drinking as much wine lately just because I’ve been so busy and tired to be honest! In the evening, all I really want to do is curl up on the couch for a bit and then head to bed! But, last night, since it was #WineWednesday I enjoyed a Chenin Blanc from Dry Creek Vineyard in Sonoma County, California. It was tough waking up this morning, between the wine last night, which kept me up a bit later and the soreness from my new workout routine.

Overall, I think BUILD 1.0 is amazing and I’m excited that 2.0 is being launched soon. If I really love it, I don’t have to stop! Download a free trial today and see for yourself if BUILD or any of the SWEAT workouts are right for you. Cheers!


Wine for Holy Week

Faithful readers of this blog will recall that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read the Bible. I read it once a long time ago in college but it was for a humanities class and not read through the lens of my Catholic faith. This year, I decided to read it again, thinking about my faith and more carefully about what’s happening through each passage.

I started out reading one chapter a night starting at the beginning. I, of course, fell out of that routine after about three weeks, reading a few nights a week instead. That same week I learned that my parish was sponsoring a Bible Study during Lent. Though the Wednesday evening meetings were tough for me to make, I signed up and have been following along on my own, watching the videos, using the workbook and reading for homework each week. We’re at week 5 now, and this week I’ll attend my second in-person study.

Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible, by Ascension, teaches the reader to think strategically about the Bible and recommends only some books read together and in conjunction with related books. This makes the whole book more manageable and it helps it make more sense. An accompanying chart helps the reader identify key characters, plot lines, themes and historical references. In a somewhat linear fashion, the reader can see how something that happens in Genesis foreshadows what’s to come in the New Testament.

I’ve really enjoyed the videos, as well, since the leader of the study is engaging, smart and funny. I can imagine he must be amazing to hear in person, as well. The workbooks follow his talks and there is lots of room to make notes, which I have done fastidiously.

Not many people have an opportunity to do studies like this one. What’s more, I’m fortunate that this came at a time when I was attempting to read the Bible on my own. This support has made it all the more possible that I will make it through, if only through the books highlighted in this study.

The wine that I have enjoyed during one Bible reading session is Liberty Vineyards and Winery’s Pinot Grigio. It is described as a wine you want to sip while reading a good book. And there is no greater book than the Bible.

Wine for a Cheer Road Trip

As our first all-star cheerleading season comes to an end this week with a trip to the Platinum Nationals in Rochester, New York, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about our recent road trip to Erie, Pennsylvania for the
Lake Erie Cheer and Dance National Championships.

Our Little Winds are a mini-prep team; nearly all the girls are in their first year and it’s been a learning experience for the 6 to 9-year-olds. This was the first time we traveled this far from home for a competition and they were so excited to stay in a hotel! Plus, one of the girls on the team celebrated her 8th birthday and we had the opportunity to have lunch and cake together as a team with her.

I absolutely hate driving. I don’t mind long car rides but I really dislike being the driver. So, this trip was about three hours and 45 minutes and, man, it felt like forever — that is until I started to see an exciting sight out my windows. On either side of New York State Thruway were vineyards are far as the eye could see. It was almost like seeing cornfields spread out for miles but it was grapes. Now, the grapes are still dormant in Upstate New York but my mind could imagine how beautiful this sight would be come later spring and through summer and fall.

When I first spotted the grapevines, I was curious. What winemaking region is this? Part of Niagara? Something else? Then, I told myself maybe it was where grapes are mostly grown to make jelly and jam. I could not have been more incorrect. It turns out we were driving through Lake Erie Wine Country, the largest grape-growing region east of the Rockies. It extends roughly 50 miles from Chautauqua County in New York to Erie County in Pennsylvania. The farther we drove, the more vineyards we saw until we started to see many blue signs noting the names of the different wineries we could visit.

I made a mental note to stop on the way home and see what this region is all about. Since we left Sunday morning, many of the wineries in Pennsylvania were not open but just outside of Fredonia, New York, we stumbled upon Liberty Vineyards and Winery in Sheridan, New York. After a warm welcome from one of the owners, my daughter and I surveyed the scene. They were having an Easter-themed tasting complete with wines paired with Peeps, dark chocolate and milk chocolate eggs and jelly beans. I was mainly interested in what they were known for and wanted to taste the wine not the candy! But, they were smart and provided the candy to my 9-year-old along with a bottle of grape juice!

I tried wines from various profiles, including a Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Diamond Select, Red Blend, Fredonia and Sparkling Riesling. My favorites were the Diamond and Fredonia, which I could imagine having with dark chocolate, pizza or a burger. In addition, I tried their best-selling Reds, Whites & Blues, which is a sweet rose they use in their popular sangria recipe.

We left with seven bottles of wine for about $100, as well as a fun bottle stopper we won after Lucia chose a plastic egg from the basket. We also learned enough about the region for me to want to make another trip back with my husband. It looks like there is a lot to see and taste in this area, which to me is a well-kept wine secret in New York State!

Oh, and about that cheer competition? Those Little Winds won the national championship! Their winning routine is below:

CNY Storm Little Winds gave a flawless performance to become national champions in their class at the Lake Erie Cheer and Dance National Championships April 6.

Wine for the Annual Slump

It’s just past the Ides of March, the time of year when inevitably, no matter what is happening in my life, I hit the biggest slump. I don’t really know why. Sometimes I think it might be the time change; Daylight Saving Time is usually just before the middle of March. Other times I blame it on the weather; it’s usually still winter and gray and cold but with a few 50-degree days thrown in to remind us that spring is coming. Whatever the reason, I’m grouchy, groggy and listless.

I’m not sure there is a wine on earth that can help when you’re feeling exhausted, bored and drained. It’s hard to know what to do other than to put one foot in front of the other and try to stay motivated. I also am trying to get enough sleep, though the past few nights I’ve actually gone to bed later than usual, which isn’t helping. At any rate, I am trying to stay on my game and motivated despite the lack of energy. Here are my top 5 tips on how to survive a slump:

  1. Recommit to your New Year’s resolutions. By now, if I’m being honest, some of my resolutions have gone by the wayside. One way that I recharge my batteries is to review my progress and step up my game, if needed. For example, one of my resolutions was to read the Bible and I realized I haven’t been reading a chapter a night as I intended. I went all in and joined a Bible study at my church. Now, I have a game plan and a new way to understand how to read the Bible, which is reinvigorating that resolution for me.
  2. Read a few great books. I love to read. I always have. When I’m feeling lethargic, there is nothing better than curling up on the couch with a blanket and a good book.
  3. Give yourself a new goal. If you need motivating, set a new goal for yourself. You can reach for a new personal record at the gym or start training for a 5K. If there is a hobby you’ve wanted to explore or skill you’ve always wanted to master, do that. Find something toward which you can work.
  4. Clean out. Start your spring cleaning a little early. It helps to reduce the clutter in your life physically, so you can feel spiritually cleansed, too. I’ve seen a meme floating around social media about getting rid of 40 items during the 40 days of Lent. It’s a great way to get started.
  5. Start planning summer camps and vacations. Looking ahead to summer is great way to beat the blues of mid-March. Begin to plan your kids’ summer camp schedules or your family vacation. Thinking about warmer weather just might kick you into a higher gear.

As I mentioned earlier, wine typically makes me more sluggish and relaxed, not more energetic! But, I suppose if you’re in a slump, trying something new is one way to beat it. For #WineWednesday this week, I’m planning to try a Chardonnay/Riesling from Salmon Run, one of Dr. Konstantin Frank’s from New York State’s Finger Lakes region. It sounded interesting to cross the two grapes together. It’s not the riskiest move in terms of trying a new wine but it’s new to me! Maybe, it will remind me of warmer days driving through the vineyards along Seneca Lake without a care in the world! Cheers!

Wine for a Gym Challenge – The Outcome

As promised I’m sharing the outcome of my 45-day Athletic Apex Transformation Challenge. I killed it. Nailed it. Beat my own goals. And it feels great! In only 45 days, I managed to gain 1.24 pounds of muscle, reduce my body fat from 15.2 percent to 14.9 percent and nearly everything across the board moved in the positive direction. How cool is that? Below is a chart I made to show the improvements:

A comparison of my two Dexascans, 45 days apart.

Below is a comparison of my two Fit3D Scans, showing my measurements at the beginning and today.

A comparison of my body measurements, 45 days apart.

What is so amazing about this is how much I gained in such a short period of time. I really didn’t get into my new workout and macros until about two weeks ago. If I can do all this in 45 days, imagine what I can do, if I stick to this plan?

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have data helping to support you on your fitness journey. You can’t argue with the numbers and they help keep you honest. But, even more than that, I was focused in a way that I haven’t been before. I knew what I needed to do and I was able to dedicate myself to reaching the goal. For me, the numbers were motivating and inspiring. If there is a future challenge, including scans, I will definitely jump right in again, but even if there isn’t I can seem myself getting these assessments every three to six months just to see my progress.

For me, these last 45 days have been a reboot that I desperately needed for my own fitness journey. I’m excited about the next 45 days and beyond. What kind of wine goes with killing all your workout goals? Why, a glass of bubbly, of course! Prosecco is my go to. But, since it’s not #WineWednesday just yet, that celebration sip will have to wait. Cheers!

Wine for a Scientific Review

Last week was a blur for me with a bunch of deadlines at work so I didn’t get a chance to post about our trip to Ithaca, New York over Winter Break. I took the kids to the Sciencenter, a place we had driven by but had never visited. While it wasn’t all that large, it made up for it with the quality of the exhibits. The kids enjoyed all kinds of activities from touching a starfish and horseshoe crab, to making music with their feet to creating origami creatures.

We spent a couple hours in the morning, and then made our way to lunch at Purity, famous for its ice cream. Before we filled our bellies, though, we had to stop at a wine store, of course. Right around the corner from the center is a shop called Red Feet Wine Market and Spirit Provisions.

Red Feet Boasts a Unique Variety of Wines

At first I wasn’t sure what I would find inside, but the kids and I decided it was worth a look. I was not disappointed. From the floor to the ceiling were many rare and hard-to-find wines from smaller producers from around the world. I was shown a few different kinds of wine, based on the description I gave for what I was looking for. I went home with a French red from a smaller producer from the Cru Beaujolais region. Leading sommeliers will tell you that the best value wines on earth come from this area and I was excited to try one.

I added a white to my pairing, choosing a grape I had never tried before called Passerina from the Abruzzo region of Italy. It reminded me of a Sauvignon Blanc but instead of citrus overtones, I tasted apple and pear. It’s my new favorite white. Wow. Such a great tasting wine. I nearly drank the bottle on my own! It would be amazing with sushi and for good reason. The region is known for its fishing.

It’s a blessing and a curse that this shop is not closer to home for me. I might go broke stopping in there all the time,” but I wish I had the opportunity to stop in more often!

Purity Lives Up to the Hype

I’ve lived in Central New York my whole life and have never visited Purity. Well, if I did, I don’t recall. Since it was a kid day I knew we had to get some ice cream but we wisely decided to eat “real food” first. Everyone enjoyed what they ordered from grilled cheese to a turkey avocado BLT to a hot dog, everything was excellent. Of course, the dessert was the best part! I do understand why everyone says this is a “must do” when in Ithaca.

After lunch we headed back to the Sciencenter since the kids wanted to play with everything more. This day trip, door to door, took about seven hours so it’s doable when you have a day off or just want to skip town on the weekend. Just make sure you manage to stop at Red Feet and Purity while you’re there!

Wine for a Gym Challenge

This Monday marks the end of the Athletic Apex Transformation Challenge. A 45-day contest, the challenge allowed members to establish a baseline for their fitness journey, using data obtained from DexaScans and Fit Body 3D assessments. My challenge officially began Jan. 18 with my own scans and I learned that for me, the challenge is continuing to build muscle, particularly in my legs and trunk.

For the past nearly 45 days I’ve changed my macros a bit, taking in healthier fats and fewer carbs and I’ve worked with a personal trainer to establish a muscle building routine that will help me reach my goals, as well as improve areas where I am weak. I even added a Resting Metabolic Rate assessment to ensure my calories and macros are on target for how my body behaves.

This assessment required me to fast for 12 hours. It measured how many calories my body burns just to exist, as well as what my total energy expenditure is on a daily basis. It even showed me that I burn 66 percent of my daily calories as fat, rather than carbs, which is good information to have. Overall, the assessment was short, taking only about 20 minutes but it wasn’t the most comfortable test. You had to wear a nose plug and breathe only through a tube for the duration of the assessment, which I was not a big fan of! But, I’m glad I did it because it’s more data I can use to reach my personal fitness goals.

While I’m excited to see if I’ve made any progress at all over the last 45 days, I’m also disappointed that I didn’t have more time to reach my goals. I only just figured out my formula a couple weeks ago, which to me is not enough time to even see if it’s going to work! But, I do have two points of pride as I head into my final scans this Monday evening: 1. At my annual physical my doctor said I gained four pounds since last year! 2. Since the start of the challenge, I’ve gained one pound!

Hey, it’s the baby steps. Consistency and focus are what counts when you’re on a health and fitness journey. The other night, I celebrated #WineWednesday with a Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon, a yummy, simple red perfect for sipping at the end of a long day and reflecting on success. While I’ve cut back on wine drinking quite a bit since refocusing on my fitness, I still enjoy my Wednesday habit, as well as a glass or two on the weekends. I’ll keep you posted on the final results next week! Until then, cheers!

Wine for A Personal Training Review

Faithful readers know that in the past couple of years I’ve fallen in love with training. I love to lift. Nearly every day, the first thing I do when I wake up – 5 a.m. on weekdays – is head to the gym. Currently that health club is Athletic Apex – New York, located in DestiNY USA in Syracuse, New York. This place is amazing but part of its draw is the specially-trained personal trainers it has on staff.

These trainers not only bring their own expertise and certifications but also are trained by Athletic Apex in something called bionetics. This allows them to custom tailor programs to individuals based on their bodies and goals. Already there have been some pretty spectacular transformations of members who worked with the trainers to assess their needs and create a fitness and nutrition program that works best for them.

Athletic Apex periodically hosts transformation challenge events where members can pay a fee to enter into six-12 week challenges where they commit to changing their body composition. The latest one is under way now and I’m a contender! I first went through a series of assessments to determine my own personal baseline. This data informed my goal, which is consistent with what it’s been thus far, to gain muscle. Along the way, to help me reach my goal more efficiently, I decided to pay for a few sessions with one of the personal trainers, Shawna Moran.

Shawna is no stranger to training. A former bikini competitor herself, she knows what it takes to build muscle. During my three sessions with her, I also discussed what my ideal macros and caloric requirements should be, and a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) assessment will soon be completed to provide even more insight into my own body’s needs.

One of the first things Shawna shared with me is a macro breakdown that had me consuming more healthy fats than carbs, which is different than the way I had been eating. At first, I questioned that because I knew I was trying to build muscle while maintaining or lowering my body fat, especially in my trunk and legs. But, Shawna knows that healthy fats stimulate muscle growth by affecting hormones in a certain way. So, I’m trying her plan! It sure is a challenge to eat fewer carbs after working so hard to eat all the carbs!

Shawna also is helping me with new workouts and approaches to the areas I most need to train – legs and trunk. I now have a new glute-focused leg workout, back workout, concentrating on traps, and next week a hamstring-focused leg workout! She also will write me a full workout to try for the next several weeks. I’ll check in with her periodically so she can see how I’m progressing.

Learning a new way to do curtsy lunges during my first personal training session with Shawna at Athletic Apex.

Working with a personal trainer is not an inexpensive proposition; it’s a huge investment of time and money. But it’s worth every bit of that investment, if you find the right trainer for you. Athletic Apex takes the guesswork out of a big part of that equation by using hard data and science to craft workout programs that get results. But, you also have to kinda like the person you train with! And I like Shawna!

She’s personable, encouraging, smart and efficient. Even on days I haven’t worked with her, I find myself working harder and using many of her techniques I have picked up from training with her. Today, for example, I did a chest workout from Lyzabeth Lopez that I’ve done dozens of times. But, I added a starter set of Smith machine bench presses and a decline bench dumbbell chest press to further focus on chest, an area where assessments have shown that I’m weak. Plus, I’m pushing myself to do one more rep when I think I can’t and concentrating on time under tension for the muscle groups in a way I wasn’t before.

Shawna is your best champion no matter where you are in your health and fitness journey. I’ve observed her working with beginners to people who are more advanced, young and old. And she’s not alone. Athletic Apex has a team of personal trainers, all specially trained and all with the same approach as Shawna. It’s a great place to consider if you’re new to lifting, looking for a new program or just want a nudge in the right direction.

I love my wine as much as I love my lifting routine, and although wine is not the best when you’re trying to stimulate muscle growth, I still reserve a day or two a week to have a glass at the end of a busy day. Last evening, we enjoyed Jargon Pinot Noir. Harbor View Wine and Liquors had it on sale buy one, get one free. It went wonderful with our homemade pizza (I love homemade better than any take-out and it’s healthier, too!).

I think that choice of wine also goes with the idea of personal training. There’s quite a bit of jargon that you end up learning as you work with the experts. From bionetics to RDLs to RMRs, the acronyms and vocabulary are a whole new world! But, it’s a world I highly recommend for anyone who wants to look and feel like a million bucks! Cheers!

Wine for a Change of Plans

I haven’t always been the best at rolling with the punches. In fact, I often would get severe anxiety whenever plans were about to change or if I had no plans or was unable to make plans. Honestly, sometimes I still do get out of sorts but not nearly as bad as it used to be. I’m not sure why I behave this way when change is in the air but I do. Since I’ve had children and several life events over which I had/have NO control, I’ve started to adapt to changeability and am a bit more able to just handle it.

This morning, for example, I arrived bright and early at my usual haunt, Athletic Apex – New York, which opens at 5 a.m. Part of the draw for me and what contributed to me changing gyms in the first place was the fact that it opened a half hour earlier than my previous gym, the Northwest YMCA in Baldwinsville, New York. In fact, typically, it appears as though Apex has been open for hours by the time I pull into the parking lot at 5 a.m. sharp. This morning, however, I noticed that all the cars in the lot had lights on and were still running. The gym was still closed.

At first, I figured it would just be a minute. I thought I saw the guy who works there just inside the doorway and figured maybe he was waiting until exactly the stroke of 5. But then I realized he was on the outside looking in, just like us. After waiting about 10 minutes I got out of the car and asked him if someone was on their way to open. He admitted he had not gotten a hold of anyone yet. In a split second decision I decided to head back out to my old haunt, the Northwest YMCA. Fortunately, we still have the family membership there due to Jon’s voice teaching and the kids’ swimming lessons.

I arrived there just as it was opening at 5:30 a.m. and realized the more things change, the more things stay the same. I recognized the same faces, said hello to some old friends, some of whom I know by name, others simply by face. I put my stuff in the same old locker number 23 and started my workout. Immediately, I noticed how busy the place was and I had to adjust which workout I was going to do to accommodate what was available. I had gotten used to my personal space at Apex! It sure was an adjustment being so close to the person next to me and having to adjust when weights were not available.

It made me appreciate my new gym that much more. I got through the workout just fine and was able to make it home and to work only about 10 minutes behind schedule. See? Change wasn’t so bad. The more I allow myself to embrace it and just go with it, the more I realize there’s no reason to be anxious. This is something I know deep down inside but still is difficult to call forward in the moment.

Tasting new wine is always fun and not at all frightening to me, despite the fact that I may be faced with wines I’ve never had before. I tend to enjoy returning to my old haunts once in a while, too. The other night, I did one of each. I tried a new Pinot Noir called Butternut, and an old standby Sauvignon Blanc from Brancott Estate. Which one did I start with that evening? The old standby. Old habits sure do die hard. Cheers!

Wine for a Fitness Challenge

With a new year comes new opportunities for those who are committing or recommitting to fitness goals. Gyms offer sales on memberships, personal training and other ancillary services to help entice those who are thinking about prioritizing exercise and health. What’s more, trainers and gyms offer challenge opportunities to keep engagement and dedication high and provide a way for people to reach their goals.

A quick scroll through the Instagram fitness stars and you’ll find lots of fitness challenges in progress from the Sweat app to Lyzabeth Lopez’ TWL program there is no shortage of competitions out there for people to take before and after pictures and show real progress with their personal goals. I’ve participated in the Hourglass Challenge a couple of times in the past but as a hard gainer, I really struggle with making visible progress in a short period of time (usually these challenges are about 12 weeks). Despite my previous experience I decided to enter a different challenge this year – one that is only six weeks! But, to me, it’s worth it.

Athletic Apex New York, a gym located in Syracuse, New York, is sponsoring a fitness challenge beginning Jan. 21 and running until early March. Despite the short time period, this challenge offers something I haven’t had an opportunity to do before. It includes full body scans at the beginning and end of the challenge so you have real, hard data to use toward meeting your goals.

Understanding Full Body Scans

The scans, a DEXA and a Fit Body 3D scan, will help take the guess work out of results and progress, according to the gym. The DEXAS scan, which stands for Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, assessment gives specific and reliable data so you can see how your body is responding to training and where you are gaining or losing muscle and fat. This helps focus and optimize your efforts!

Known as the most accurate body composition bio-marker in the world, according to Athletic Apex, it’s a custom calibrated machine that measures bone mineral density, as well as body mass down to the gram in each part of your body.

My results were pretty cool, if I’m being honest. The scan showed that I have 15.2 percent body fat, the rest is lean muscle. A quick Google search shows that this is in the athlete range for women, which is pretty cool since I’m not an athlete, just a fitness enthusiast. In my arms, that percentage was more pronounced; I only have less than a pound of body fat on my arms. Most of my fat is concentrated around my middle and legs, which is normal for women.

The chart above is a breakdown of my body fat versus muscle composition. It shows right down to the body part what the breakdown is. You can see my waist and hips are the leanest parts of my body, followed by my arms. My legs and trunk are the areas on which I need to work to build more muscle while minimizing fat gain.

The scan also provides a bone density assessment; in my case I’m doing well, but could be slightly better. In the color-coded chart below, you will see that the green area is the desired outcome. The manager who performed my scan, Joshua Haan, said that the best way to increase bone density is to lift heavy weights, which I will be doing! Because in order to change my body composition, I’ll need to build lots of lean muscle while minimizing fat gain. Now, that’s a challenge!

The photo above shows my bone density results, right down to body part. Overall, my bone mineral density is in the mid-high range but it ideally should be in the dark green.

In addition, I did a Fit3D scan that includes an assessment of my full body posture, from eyes and ears to feet. A posture analysis evaluates your shoulders, hips, knees and ankle positions when you are standing. It also provides posture Wellness Metrics on body shape, waist circumference, waist to hip and trunk to leg volume ratios, and more, allowing me to see whether I truly am changing my body shape from what many call a “banana” to what I’m hoping for – an hourglass!

This was a fun scan for me because up to now I’ve been measuring on my own and who knows if that’s been accurate. This validated some of my measurements but showed that I was off in other areas. For the most part, the hourglass shape I’m striving for is slowing coming through. My measurements are shown below:

Biceps (R)9.4
Biceps (L)8.9
Thigh (R)18.8
Thigh (L)18.5

What’s interesting here is that you can see where you are “uneven.” For example, I want my biceps/arms to be the same or as close as possible, similar to my thighs. So, that is something to work on. In addition, the FitScan results tell you what your body ratios are, letting you know where you need to improve. For me, I am ideal except for my trunk to leg ratio, which could be improved to move into the ideal range.

These scans will serve as a baseline for me to use with the challenge and I will do them again at the end to see how far I’ve come. In between, I will work my tail off on the areas I need to grow or diminish to create the shape and muscle I want. Along the way, I also plan to work with a personal trainer for at least three sessions to assess my form and get some pointers to help with progress.

To me, this challenge is unique because of the access to the scans, which normally can run upwards of $125. But, I’ve never had this kind of data about my body before and as a type A, detail-oriented person this will likely focus my efforts, helping me get to my goals that much faster.

I had my scans done on a Friday evening after a long week, which included the first classes of the semester. I teach public relations writing at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in addition to my full-time job as a public relations and marketing director for the Martin J. Whitman School of Management there. So, I enjoyed a glass and a half of a Cotes du Rhone aptly named 100%.

In the coming weeks, I’ll post check-ins so you can see how I’m doing on my quest to positively alter my body composition. Challenge accepted! Cheers!