Full Time Job
I may be retired, but it's still feels like a full time job being me. As I age, I notice that time has sped up but my capacity to complete my plans has slowed down. The result is a weird fuge-like quality to time. I have all day to get stuff done, I am even rising earlier, yet I am still scrambling by nightfall to finish the day’s tasks. Such a paradox! Maybe it’s the big chunk of time that an aging body requires in terms of self-care.
It's vital to have a customized self-care plan in play and these commitments take time. Sourcing and preparing high quality, nutrient-dense foods, daily exercise, self-care appointments, medical appointments, meditation, socializing with family and friends, brain enrichment, chores, travel, and service to others are only a few of the things that consume a day's worth of time very quickly. In the Third Age knowledge is power and it is important to be on the right track for our specific health needs. There are so many options and gimmicks out there it's often confusing and overwhelming to choose a simple path. A good place to start with health hygiene is knowing our body's baseline numbers from a panel of blood work and a body analysis. These are metrics that provide a platform to motivate us towards mastery of better habits.
I recently got my blood panel done at my annual physical and reviewed it with my physician and my naturopath, Nicole Kearney, ND. I wanted two points of view and it was a good process as I was able to establish the most effective and least invasive supplement route, (and that my health is excellent, so keep on!)
The body analysis was fascinating, non-invasive, and completed in 45 seconds at my local gym. All I had to do was show up in the morning caffeine & exercise-free, wear regular clothing, sans jewelry, and stand on a small scale-like platform for 45 seconds while the scan was completed. InBody, the DSM-BIA (direct segmental measurement-bioelectrical impedance analysis) scan was administered by a registered dietitian, Jamie Sheahan, RD, who reviewed the instantaneous printout of my results on the spot. Wow, talk about instant gratification for fifty bucks!
‘I rarely take a day off, it's my version of hell.’
The Bodyscan measures a whole range of things within these areas:
1. Actual weight with regard to muscle, fat and water– way more accurate information than the antiquated BMI so you can find the right eating program.
2. Skeletal muscle mass, percent body fat, and inflammation— major markers of health.
3. Segmental Lean Analysis: determine the strength in every part of the body to help determine an optimal exercise plan.
So what did InBody mean in real-life terms? Lots of valuable feedback and two major insights:
‘The visceral fat accumulation is a silent killer.’
1. More is not more. My inflammation number was a little higher than average and since I am a plant-based eater and alcohol-free, Jamie knew right away what the source was: I don't take enough rest days from exercise. I LOVE to move A LOT everyday, so I rarely take a day off; it's my version of hell. She coached me on the science and specifics and I was sold. Lesson learned: sometimes too much of an assumed good thing can have diminishing returns.
2. Detecting silent killers. Jeff also did the scan; he's a super-fit, lean machine but his visceral fat level was higher than it should be. The scan revealed his daily penchant for Klinger's Chocolate Chip cookies–busted! While he could easily exercise off the sugar, the sugar damage was still accumulating around his organs. This is why we often hear of fit folks having heart attacks out of 'nowhere'. The visceral fat accumulation is a silent killer. My man is now down to cookie hits on weekends only.
I’d love to hear from you—feel free to send your comments to me!