Wow. I was not prepared for this. I have a mirror, I have a scale, and I even have a bodyfat monitor. So I knew/know that I could stand to improve somewhat. But after getting my bloodwork done using InsideTracker.com, I was completely unprepared to see this:
InsideTracker uses the hormones, cholesterol, and other stuff in your blood to determine what they call an ‘InnerAge’. The InnerAge is basically their measure of your overall health, as far as I can tell. The picture below shows the ‘biomarkers’ they use to determine InnerAge:
That was a shock. Again, I knew that I wasn’t the healthiest person in the world, but I honestly thought that I was ‘making up’ for an overall mediocre diet with enough exercise. Newsflash: I can’t get away with it anymore. Truth be told, I probably haven’t been ‘getting away’ with a poor diet for 10+ years.
Overall, I’m glad I did this – the results force me to face the fact that I have had a very poor diet, and my exercise regimen was nowhere near good enough to correct the imbalances. And honestly, if I was working out a lot, and intensely, wouldn’t I want to increase the progress by eating healthier foods? Sure, in theory. Yet every time I was faced with a decision, I was ignoring what I knew was a good choice for something sweet and salty. In my case, most likely pizza.
I would love to tell you that I immediately changed my ways, and corrected everything that I was doing wrong, and I’m well on my way to losing some weight and reducing my InnerAge. But the truth is I sat down and watched Netflix for a few hours, pouted, looked at the results again to make sure I didn’t misread them, and then went to sleep. I’m not sure if there is some sort of science behind this, but I feel like I was going through some sort of mental reset process where I was truly internalizing the reality of the results. I have read about cognitive dissonance before, but this might have been one of the most obvious cases for me. Mainly because I think I tied so much of my personal image of myself to being young, having good fitness, etc. And this directly refutes that.
As I mentioned above, I also have a bodyfat tracker. Yes, I have a scale similar to this one: iHealth Body Composition Scale but I also have the coolest little thing:
The Chisel Skulpt Scanner.It is a little device that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and then you measure your muscles and bodyfat at 24 different locations around your body. With the bodyfat scale, you have only two points of contact – your feet. Yes, you are supposed to put in your height and age, and I’m sure that there are some decent algorithms to determine your bodyfat percentage, but I really prefer the Skult Chisel. In addition to bodyfat percentage, it also gives a muscle quality score. Which, frankly has been disappointing for me, but again, I think I was kidding myself. In the pictures below, the one on the left shows my bodyfat percentage, and the one on the right shows my muscle quality. I like to take measurements in the morning, before any food, and do that three days in a row to balance out any inconsistencies.
What is the result of all of this data? What will I do with it? Well, I mentioned my illusions earlier, and how I was kidding myself into believing that I was in better shape than I really was. While I would openly admit to anyone that I could improve, I think that I knew and admitted that intellectually – that is my rational mind knew it and accepted it. However, I don’t think I have accepted that at a gut level, at an emotional base level where most of my (and I think many peoples’) motivation really comes from. Accepting these realities at a gut level is the first step in taking some corrective action.