Friday, November 22, 2013

IS WEIGHT THE BEST BIOMARKER?

I threw my scale in a dumpster years ago because whenever I lost weight I'd reward myself with something dumb like a donut and if I gained weight it would wreck my morning. So I weigh myself once a year, in the summer, at a family reunion where we use a spa. Same scale each year. That is, unless I have to go to the doctor... And what about going to the doctor? I love how every time I read a book or an article about a different way of eating there's a phrase like, of course be sure to check with your doctor beforehand...

You mean it was okay to eat all the crappy processed foods and other junk I ate without checking with my doctor, but now that I'm going to try to make some healthy change I should call up and make an appointment and say what exactly? "Hi, I'd like to make an appointment with Dr. Thomson about eating more vegetables and less meat..." I'm sure they'd get me right in... like in about 9 weeks... then I'd better have the right condition to warrant seeing the doctor about my diet or my insurance won't pay.

Of course I'm kidding. The real reason I wouldn't ask a doctor is because I don't have health insurance like 48 million other Americans who I bet see that ask your doctor line and also do the eye-roll.*

So since there's 48 million of us who had best figure out our own healthiest diets and since we probably don't know how to order our own blood tests or even take our own blood pressures, we need other biomarkers. Weight is one that lots of people without dumpsters use. But here are a few others:

What is your happiness on a scale of 1-10?
What is your average energy level on a scale of 1-10?
How well do you generally sleep on a scale of 1-10?

How is your waist to height ratio? You can check it here: http://www.health-calc.com/body-composition/waist-to-height-ratio

And what about your poo? Are you going regularly? How does your standard poo rate on the Bristol Stool Scale?
Here's what I like to do. After a Type 3 or 4 on the Bristol Scale, I take my waist measurement.

My waist hovers around 29 inches. If it goes over 30, I'm like whoa! Taking a waist measurement is something I can do when traveling too. So much easier than dragging a scale along!

But my favorite biomarker of all is how I look to myself naked in the mirror first thing in the morning. No matter what I see, I try to say something positive to myself. But there are days when I just say UGH! and that's when my happiness rating is probably below 8 and I haven't slept well and my energy is off. That's when I need to start writing in my journal or go for a fast walk for at least twenty minutes. Both are ways to clear my head and come up with an idea of how to get back on the road to good health using the things I've learned over the last three years of experimenting. Like eliminating certain foods.

Here are the some foods that are frequently linked to  illness or fat gut: processed foods, sugar, wheat, dairy, alcohol, eggs, soy, peanuts.

The key is to keep track of what you're trying and what your biomarkers tell you. Three weeks is probably the minimum amount of time to give anything a good try although four days is often enough time to see/feel some results.

*I'm in the Mexican healthcare system these days, but that's another story.



Related Posts: ENCOURAGING WORDS,
 WHAT'S WEIGHT GO TO DO WITH IT?,
 GOT BIG WAIST?

1 comment:

  1. Fortunately, a lot more people have healthcare in the US now than when I wrote this post. And I hope more doctors are talking to patients about their diets. I do believe most of us can figure out our own healthiest way to eat, however. But it takes commitment and the belief the food really matters.

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