I'm human. I have been on a weight loss journey my entire life. Has it always been the healthiest? No. I have battled the demons that come along with eating disorders. I have fought with the desire to cut when making incorrect choices in my life, including those with food.
It wasn't until 2009 when I joined Weight Watchers that my relationship with food took the turn I needed. I worked to recognize the trigger foods or warning signs before a purging session would occur. I could actually see when my thoughts would turn to withholding food until the scale went in the correct direction.
Weight Watchers helped me find the inner strength to battle those demons and learn that I was stronger than they are!
Since 2009, I have fallen. I have slipped into bad habits before refocusing, picking myself back up and starting again.
I learned that I never FAIL until I STOP trying!
Unfortunately 2016 has been one of those slips that I can't seem to recover from. I am having a hard time holding on to the healthy habits I have grown to love. My health taking a back seat to the dark thoughts.
I have slipped back into the "fat kid" mentality that I called home for so long. Why should I bother trying? I'm not worth it.
BUT I AM!
Besides feeling good in my own skin, I have an athletic hobby to think about. That's right. I LOVE being active. I love running. I love swimming. I *tolerate* biking. I like triathloning.
Over the course of this weight loss journey, I became an athlete.
Sure I doubt myself all the time about using that phrase - athlete. I feel like a poser. Like someone is going to come up behind me and arrest me for using it.
But I have earned that title. I have completed 42 half marathons, 11 marathons, 1 ultra marathon, 11 triathlons (including 1 half ironman) and countless more races.
THAT is the reason I decided to meet with Inside Tracker again. I took one test in 2015, but didn't use the results to the best of my ability as I went through a job change and life took over.
THIS TIME it's serious. I want to lose weight, eat the foods that will make me stronger and improve my overall health and happiness.
So when InsideTracker asked to partner for this activity, I had to jump at the opportunity!
With Jonathan's help, I was signed up for two Ultimate blood tests. The goal would be to take one test, find out the results, alter my diet thanks to the suggestions from the site and test again 9-12 weeks later to see how the numbers changed. Alright I could do that. Until trying to get to a location to get my blood drawn was needed. Why must work be insanely busy the one time you want to sneak out at lunch to get some blood drawn.
Luckily Jonathan told me about the "home visit" option. That's right. A tech that makes house calls! Thank heaven. I immediately scheduled a visit for a Friday morning before work hours. Kevin, the technician, texted me to say he would be there around 7am. At 7:08am, he arrived at my door. I filled out some paperwork while he set up his tools.
He was a friendly guy from a nearby hospital who just started making house calls for Inside Tracker. He walked me through what he would be doing, drew my blood...
and was out the door by 7:17am! My wife and two dogs missed the entire thing.
Special thanks to Jonathan for also hooking me up with the sweet InsideTracker bandaid. :) I didn't get one last year so he made sure I had one this year.
Kevin was cordial, efficient and calming. Everything I look for in someone stabbing me with a needle. :P
I bid Kevin adieu and headed to work.
It took about a week to receive my results back. I was traveling for races so I wasn't able to really sink in to the information until this past weekend.
The first thing I wanted to look at was...
When I took the test in September 2015, my inner age was...
When I took the test in September 2016, my inner age was...
OH SNAP!!! I got younger! What about that????? :)
Now let's see what I need to do to get even closer to 21!! Here are the 5 foods InsideTracker recommends I eat to do just that:
Well I enjoy three out of five of these foods. I am not a fan of Salmon and Avocado, but maybe this is the time to give them another try. I usually only eat avocado in sushi. Hey! I could maybe get avocado and salmon in sushi? Eh? Anyone? :P It's worth a try.
With the Ultimate Test (value $499), you are testing 30 biomakers.
I won't go through every single one, but I am going to share the top three that stood out to me.
Number One: Ferritin (Iron Storage)
As you can tell I am wicked low in this one, but thankfully higher than last year. So silver lining?
I love the amount of information I can take away just from the screenshot above.
I mean if I have to eat more dark chocolate then I'll eat more dark chocolate. ;)
While suggestions are helpful, it is also great to learn the science behind it. Especially where it says "Low iron is a common nutritional issue for anyone who regularly participates in intense exercise, such as running, and cycling." Well today (10/3) marked Day 710 of my runstreak so I guess I would lump myself in that category.
Focusing on this biomarker is really important to me.
Number Two: Vitamin D (Bone Health & Energy)
As someone that has been feeling mentally and physically exhausted for months, this caught my eye.
Additionally my mom suffers from osteoporosis so bone health is important to my family.
Well well well science. You are nailing me right on the head with the information above. I've gained 10 pounds in the las year, been fighting the inner demons more in the last year than in the previous few years and I have been stuck inside more than usual. Not good my friends. And my blood is reminding me of this.
I need to get myself outside and drinking more milk. Thankfully Soy Milk is also listed above since that is what I like to put in my smoothies... when I drank smoothies.
Okay universe I see I need to bring those back into my life. :)
Number Three: Cortisol (Stress Indicator)
Oh boy this one is a doozy my friends.
Well this is painful to read.
Now I know my constant feeling of stress and anxiety is affecting my health... and not in a good way.
This is telling me I need more sleep and to focus more on the things that make me happy. I've wanted to do both, but put their importance on the back burner... until I saw these results.
While I have learned more from the additional 27 biomarkers, these three are my top 3.
So what are my next steps?
I went to the Food Basket option on the website to see what InsideTracker suggests for a meal plan to help with these 3 biomarkers.
I set the calorie marker to 1600 daily calories, which matches what I have in my My Fitness Pal app and viola here is what InsideTracker suggested.
While there are some things i need to tweak (like I don't eat cheese), this gives me a great base when meal planning for the week.
With the support of my wife, we are going to use the Food Basket option to assist with our meal planning.
Additionally I signed up for InsideTracker's daily text options. Can you tell they know I'm stressed?
I can't wait to see what the next 9-12 weeks have to offer.
I look forward to reporting back to you all how I feel because #BloodDontLie!
Note: I received a complimentary blood test through InsideTracker, but all thoughts are my own! Ain't no time for lyin'!