Tag Archives: menopause

Another plug for the benefits of Crossfit, or whatever happened to osteopenia?

This post is long overdue. I have been so wrapped up in rehabilitating my shoulder that I haven’t shared my most recent, fabulous news.

I had a Dexa scan on December 3rd. My Crossfit gym holds an annual ‘Get Fit” challenge, and getting a baseline involved measuring fat mass via Dexa Scan. On that day I found out some very interesting information.

But first, a little history. You see, I grew up in the 70’s when margarine and diet soda were the health foods of the decade. And due to my never-ending fear of getting fat, instead of drinking beer while in college, I drank Tab soda. Tons of it. I stopped drinking soda when I discovered I was pregnant with my first child at the age of 26, so it was a bit of a surprise when I had a bone density scan done at the age of 37 and found out I had Osteopenia.I was flabbergasted and petrified! The fact that I was at risk for developing Osteoporosis was so scary.

I wanted to fix myself. I started running. I became a vegetarian. I wanted those numbers to improve. Enter another bone scan at age 49.

No change.

I wasn’t worse, but I hadn’t gotten better. The scan still showed Osteopenia.

I started taking Vitamin D, but not consistently. My doctors told me that osteopenia wasn’t reversible; at best it just wouldn’t get worse. Because of that advice, I eventually embraced a state of denial and forgot all about being diagnosed with Osteopenia. 50 happened. I went through menopause, moved out to California, and switched from a vegetarian diet to learning about and adhering to a Paleo template. I stopped running and cycling as often and added Crossfit to my life.

My coaches believe in lifting heavy stuff, so that’s what I do. Enter the December, 2013 Dexa Scan.

No more Osteopenia. The doctor was wrong.

A T-score on a Dexa Scan compares the subject to 30 year old adult females.  A Normal T score is 1.0 or higher. Osteopenia is defined as a T-score between -1.0 and -2.5

MY T score is now 1.9.  Not only did I reverse this condition, I vastly improved it. (my Z score was 2.7 in case anyone is interested..)

Most surprising was that I have been post menopausal for 3 years, and yet even without estrogen to enhance calcium absorption, the disease had reversed.

I was so enthralled that my healthy lifestyle of high saturated fat from grass fed sources, organic vegetables and fruits, no grains or legumes, and popcorn once in a while (thats my weakness…so boring!) combined with lifting heavy shit had made my health so much better. I was so excited that I didn’t even care that my Visceral Adipose Tissue ( a strong predictor for Diabetes and heart disease) was only 0.04. My body fat fell into the chart under ‘athletic.’

And I am healthy. Super-freakin’-healthy. I had better get to work on my retirement plan, because according to my numbers, unless I get hit by a bus, I’m not dying any time soon.