Brett Williams / The AS Review
A video game called me fat. Seriously.
Growing up I was always tall and lanky, yet over winter break, Nintendo's Wii Fit had the guts to tell me that things had changed. The game uses a simple test, called the Body Mass Index (BMI), to measure an individual's body fat based on height and weight. I wouldn't describe myself as paper thin anymore, but overweight?
While the BMI has been criticized for failing to take into consideration muscle distribution and bone mass, it is pretty clear to me that the test is at least somewhat accurate in labeling me a bit on the plump side. I could stand to lose some pounds around the midsection—and what better time to start than the beginning of a new year? Plus, as a staff writer for the AS Review, I can embarrass myself during the whole process by publishing my weight room woes for all to read.
In the upcoming weeks, I will work to share Western's many fitness opportunities in a series of five installments—the pool, the weight rooms, the fitness classes, the climbing wall, the nutritionist and whatever else I can think of—with you, the loyal reader.
The obvious starting place for my resolution is the Wade King Student Recreation Center. Like all full-time students, $95 per quarter, included in my tuition, gives me unlimited access to the gym—so why not use it?
The Rec Center, however, can be more than a little overwhelming for people new to regular exercise in a gym. A good way to establish a routine and become familiar with the gym is with a personal trainer. Rates start at just $20 per session and include a free ride in the gym's BOD POD.
The BOD POD, a computerized, egg-shaped chamber, uses air displacement technology to measure body mass and volume, from which whole-body density can be determined. With this data, body fat and lean muscle mass can then be calculated. To put it simply, the BOD POD is a cramped, plastic contraption that measures body fat percentage, body fat weight, lean body weight and lung volume at the push of a button.
My own experience with the BOD POD, like with the Wii Fit, wasn't glamorous. My first driver's license, issued on March 3, 2004, describes me as 6-foot 3-inches, 165 pounds. Nearly five years later, I haven't grown an inch vertically, yet the BOD POD weighed me in around 208 pounds, 43 pounds heavier than when I graduated high school.
Of my 208 pounds, I found that nearly 21 percent is fat. So what had happened to me these past five years? The answer is easy: college. Going to bed late. Getting up early. Greasy spoon restaurants open 24 hours a day. Too many video games, not enough exercise. Beer pong. Colossal pizzas from Pipeline. 2-for-1 burgers at Boomer's.
Those things considered, hopefully this will end up being the first New Year's resolution I've ever stuck with. At minimum, it might at least offer you some advice to stick by your own fitness resolutions.