Health is a moving target, especially as we age. Our bodies are constantly changing and adapting to what we do, don’t do, and our environment. Add to the mix my history of Lyme disease, and I am discovering just how altered my body became as a result of that bacterial infection. Even though I do not have the disease any more, its toxins have remained in my cells. These toxins began attacking my brain about four years ago, and my body stopped converting fat properly. No one listened when I told them something was wrong (again) as I was doing all the right things yet gaining weight.
I was told I was getting old (again) and that it is part of menopause. Every fiber in my body knew this to be a lie, but I didn’t know why. After years of frustration and discouragement, I at least know the culprit and am embarking on a journey to retrain my brain to burn fat once again.
If you have struggled with weight no matter how hard you exercise and eat lean, pay attention. We are learning more about the importance of Leptin, a hormone that regulates body fat. It isn’t a blood sugar issue but rather a miscommunication with the brain. In normal people, Leptin just checks out, goes on vacation, and abandons the brain. It freaks out and increases fat production. The more you exercise and the less you eat, the more fat the brain says to store. How crazy is that? Who would have ever imagined that those healthy habits could work against you? In my case, toxins in my body attacked the Leptin. In either case, without treatment, this WILL lead to obesity and diabetes. It’s been really scary for me to have no control over weight, but there is hope.
If your Leptin levels are low (most people this would be the case), you can get the hormone to help. In my case, I have to reset the brain, but everyone benefits from the diet plan that helps. Here’s the basics:
- Say NO to sugar! A book that helps you understand how sugar sneaks into our diet is The Sugar Impact Diet by JJ Virgin. She gives examples of good/better/best options or low/medium/high sugar contents of food groups.
- Increase your lean protein and healthy fats.
- Don’t worry about counting calories.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- DO NOT snack – Only 3 meals a day with 4 hours between.
- Don’t exercise at first – Okay, this one is tough for me! I love being active, but right now, it works against me. Walking is okay and light weight lifting. Nothing high intensity. AND, it must be done in the evening.
- Detox the body – Activated charcoal will help pull out impurities that might be contributing to the issue. Drinks plenty of water.
- Be sure to get lots of Omega 3 and 6 – Eat fish and take a supplement.
For me, I have to follow this to the letter of the law. If you just wish to lose some weight, try a version of it. Any improvements to your diet should help…unless you have Leptin issues. The test is about $60 if you want to know definitively. I’m grateful I at least know what is wrong now, but I tell you, it’s been a heartbreaker. Yet, when we define it, we can defeat it! So, wish me luck, send good thoughts, and I appreciate your prayers. Let me know if you embark on this, and we can commiserate! Stay healthy.
I think I have officially become a movie-a-holic! I’m so sick of the news and political ads that I watch movies instead. Since movie theaters are still closed here in Arizona, I’m watching them at home. I have enjoyed discovering some interesting ones. I recently watched Lean on Pete, a 2017 movie about a young boy who bonds with a horse.
It’s actually a bit depressing because this poor boy is so neglected. It chronicles his journey with the horse and the people in his life along the way. I won’t spoil the entire movie for you, but I did want to share a lesson I gleamed from the story. Let me give you some context:
Charlie is a 15-year-old boy who lives in Oregon with his single dad who drinks too much and does not properly care for or feed his son. He leaves Charlie home alone often while he is out partying and brings all sorts of women home.
Charlie gets a job working for a man who owns and races horses. He quickly takes to Pete (horse) and his boss teaches him about the business of racing. His boss pays cash but works Charlie hard not ever pausing to ask how is it that he can work until late at night or leave home without his parent’s knowledge
Charlie’s dad dies, and he makes an emotional, bad decision to steal Pete because he fears he will be put down for lack of performance on the race track. He becomes homeless and is befriended by a man who ultimately tries to kill him for a few dollars.
Eventually, Charlie finds his lost aunt in Wyoming, and she takes him in, giving him his first real home. What’s the lesson, you ask? There are all “kinds” of people in the world. His dad was kind to him as father should be, but he was totally untrustworthy. His boss was kind in the sense of paying a worker and teaching some skills, but he was self-serving. He gave to get, no more! The homeless man was kind because he could relate but was extremely dangerous. Although they all seemed kind enough, they weren’t loving. None of them had the capacity to look beyond their own hurts, wounds, and circumstances. Meanwhile, a poor boy was starving to death and scared.
Not until his Aunt did Charlie meet a person who was kind AND loving. She nurtured him, comforted him, made time for him, listened, and just loved him. I think we mistake kindness and accept what we think is just “how it is” when the reality is, we deserve both kindness and love. We should also be striving to be both of those ourselves. Take note of the different kinds of people and who you have allowed in your circle.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything is that our health does matter! I’ve been preaching the work/life balance and wellness message for over 20 years, and I hope companies will finally realize the importance of providing workshops, training, and coaching to their employees on how to live a healthy lifestyle. It isn’t a “check the box” and be done; it requires commitment and daily attention. It is a multi-prong approach that includes diet, exercise, stress management, and proper sleep.
Having a lack of time to squeeze all of this in is often the excuse for most people, yet we are all given the same 24 hours. It is how we use those hours that counts. As a productivity expert, I help people manage their tasks and events more effectively so that they can gain more flexible time that can be used for health, hobbies and home. It begins with understanding your style and how you approach time. Then it goes further to determine your motivators and whys.
Have you taken an assessment lately? I’d love to run one on you and help you identify time traps based upon your unique wiring and how we can overcome them. My goal will be to get you that time so you can exercise, eat right, and sleep well. When you do, you will be even more productive at work, feel more fulfilled, and come home happier. Remember, work does come home and home comes to work. Work/life balance means we look at both sides. Here’s to being FIT to lead and succeed!
A great resource for looking at quick ways to find that time to exercise is my booklet, Finding Time for Getting FIT. Get your copy today for only $5!