Did you make a New Year's resolution to lose weight or get fit? Is this your second, third, or fourth time trying to lose weight? Maybe you're struggling to keep the weight off or struggling with maintaining the commitment? The truth is we get stuck. It is easier to change your religion than it is to change your eating style. Either way, you are already beautiful as you are, but of course we support your efforts to work towards your best self.
When we think about these stubborn pounds from a #functionalmedicine mindset, we recognize that weight is much more than calories in and calories out. Our #genetics play a role, as does our body burden. Inflammation can be expressed as #obesity and some lack the signal to stop eating or the hormone release which makes us feel full. Many times this is about unrecognized emotional burden. It's complex and the more you ride this weight loss/weight gain roller coaster, the more muscle mass you lose and the harder this goal becomes to yet again achieve.
We want to help you reach your goal. Jeremy and I have also rode the same roller coaster and have to mindfully commit to a wellness mindset daily. What works for us may not work for you, but we can identify with your struggle. We can also help you understand your options and help you dig into your personal challenges, at the roots. We can help you look at your diet in an individualized way, based on your epigenetics, comorbidities, and personal preferences. We can also help you dig into the underlying cause of weight gain, which is imperative for success. Our Eden community can help you find your why and create a plan that works for you.
Detoxification & Wellness
Our #detoxification and wellness program, free to our members, helps get to the root of the issue. This program works through your #epigenetics, your environmental exposures, trauma, self-care, and healthy boundaries. We even talk about grounding, creating a nurturing space, EMR, and all sorts of wellness pillars, including diet, movement, sleep, and pleasure.
If you are over 200 pounds however, we will discuss with you supplements and pharmaceuticals you may consider as part of your wellness plan, because at this weight, you are experiencing inflammation which makes working out in the gym an additional stressor. You are also having hormone fluctuations which impacts your hunger and satiation, making it difficult to stick to a diet and can even create intense cravings. Your gut health is an important part of the wellness consult. Support through supplementation or pharmaceuticals can help you kick those necessary pounds as you work to implement a new lifestyle plan.
Food sensitivities are an important part of our approach. Understanding these can help you identify foods, chemicals, and dyes which your body doesn't find as a threat so you can limit your diet to just these foods in the first week or two of your new diet plan, allowing your gut to heal. When we eat foods our body reacts to, we disrupt our hormones, damage our gut, and stress our immune system. This can represent itself as a multitude of symptoms within your body, weight gain being one of them.
The important thing is this diet is specific to you, so it doesn't wipe out large food groups like dairy, all sources of gluten, eggs or beef, unless that is specific to your needs which we identify through serum evaluation. After your body takes a break from the foods which are inflammatory to you, then it can begin to digest and absorb foods the way it was designed and you can add many foods back into your diet, one at a time.
Whole & Clean Food
This is a commitment to health though because as much as we can individualize your plan, this is a plan focused on your health; there is no shortcut. We are not just offering today's current fad or whatever is currently convenient. We haven't found a secret because the keys to optimal health are well known. We are helping you understand these principles from your individual perspective, some which maybe you've ignored previously, and helping you consider tools that might best assist you in reaching success.
Our bodies are designed to eat and digest real food - meats, vegetables, and fruits. Most products you can purchase in the grocery store is not actually human food; rather, it is "food-like" and offer dense calories, little if any nutrition, and is often full of toxic chemicals. This can be tricky too, and invades beyond the more obvious packaged and processed foods to even products like rice, which are often times more plastic than human food, or shredded cheese which is often times more sawdust than cheese. These "food-like" substances can often make us tire quickly, have difficulty concentrating, and as you can imagine, these foods are addicting, making it easy to pile on the pounds. We discuss these in our member programs.
Switching to a whole foods diet, with clean food, can reverse many of these symptoms and kick start your weight loss, but even this isn't enough. We have to move! I have discovered for myself, that I must move geographically. Time on the treadmill offers me little with regards to weight loss, but time outside hiking will easily drop pounds and add muscle. When we commit to physical exercise though, we must think as diversely as we do about our diet. We need to build strength, flexibility, and cardiac endurance. Certainly you've seen strong men who have maybe only focused on their upper body strength and move like an ox. They have no flexibility and will suffer as they age with injuries, tight joints, and potentially, arthritis. They have likely shortened many muscles which allow them freedom of movement, even vitality. Likewise, there are individuals who focus entirely on a particular sport such as swimming or running, and they too find they have increased inflammation and their early success with weight and realizing a toned body fades, as they gain discomforts and decreased performance with age. We must balance our efforts to achieve true vitality. Endurance, strength, and flexibility are all important.
I talk often about yoga, as I am a huge fan, but there are many yogis which focus on the art of the movement, the joy of the experience, but aren't committing to their #asana flows when the sensation is a bit uncomfortable. Many, for example, propel through chaturanga so that their own body's momentum is propelling them through and their are failing to build proper strength. Nothing else, even hours upon hours in the gym, have helped me build upper body strength like yoga has, once I learned how to do this properly. Join a vinyasa class on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the clinic and see what you discover about your own strength and flexibility. We also offer a gentle yoga class following the more heated #vinyasa, which is great for calming the nervous system and stretching tight and sore tissues.
When we evaluate our client's body mass index, what we find often is that even those perceived to be thin have a really low muscle mass and an incredibly high body fat percentage. Some have half the water recommended in spite of my just having given them a liter of fluids in our IV Nutritional Lounge. Our body composition is important, not nearly as much as our outward appearance. Maybe like me though, you appear to be overweight when in fact, your muscle mass is high, your body fat percentage is appropriate, your flexibility is great, and your #endurance would rival those of a younger age, but you still appear several months pregnant? Join me on January 29th for my workshop on Diactasis Recti to discover how to address issues of abdominal tone, particularly if you've carried a baby and now struggle with tone in the core or suffer lower back pain, even spritz when you sneeze or laugh.
Sleep: Rest & Recover
Sleep can not be ignored. One can invest in almost every way I've mentioned and if they neglect their sleep, they will still fail to grasp true wellness. Our bodies digest and detox while we rest. We may work harder during these hours than at any other time of the day. We also process our emotions and experiences, which is vital to overall health.
Most conventional practitioners lack the necessary time to perform a complete health history and physical simply to identify and manage disease. They certainly haven't the time for wellness, nor even the training or mindset. Our expectation is that clients within our practice engage in an annual wellness exam as part of their commitment to themselves. During this visit, while we discuss wellness pillars, we do work to rule out issues that can impact your weight. Thyroid disease or even inflammation is part of this evaluation, as your thyroid manages the mitochondria in each and every cell - your energy. Thyroid health has grown in astronomical proportions just within my own career, evidence of our toxic environment. Don't wait until you have overt disease; we can identify when your thyroid is under threat. We can also help you identify what the underlying cause of your disfunction is and work to remedy this. In addition to an inability to lose weight, hypothyroidism can lead to fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, muscle and joint pain, hair loss, constipation, brain fog, and a low body temperature.
I just wrote a post for our membership in the private forum about how chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels seem to be one of the greatest determinants of #COVID outcome, whether one becomes infected and ultimately if they survive. Stress has been underappreciated throughout our lifetimes and it is high time we recognize that self-care is not a luxury; it is a necessity. With regards to weight gain, this isn't just about having had a stressful day and then longing for your favorite comfort food. Your body floods your system with cortisol when a threat is perceived (real or not) and this hormone powers your fight-or-flight response, which creates visceral fat - the most dangerous fat which surrounds our organs. It really doesn't matter what you eat or how much, as the same diet every day while thin will cause weight gain when stress is introduced. This isn't the it of it though, as these hormones lead to issues with insulin and then sex hormone disruption. Has your arm circumference increased? Have you put some weight on your back or do you have a roll on the top of your neck? This is stress. We can help you test your stress hormones and identify your baseline, so you can gain insight into your health, which is super motivating for creating change.
Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like everything will come together after you achieve this next goal or eliminate this next stressful issue or pay off this next debt, but it seems just as you do there is yet another goal around the corner? This life will chase you into the grave. The time to commit to yourself is now. Introduce mindfulness practice, maybe starting with just two minutes a day and building upon that, or maybe just stop and observe your behaviors. Pay attention to what you eat and when you go to sleep. Start to notice how you feel. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror. When we are healthy, we don't chose things that we know are harmful and we don't engage in dangerous behaviors.
The greatest impact to your DNA expression is loneliness, more so than what you eat, how much you move, or even if you smoke. Our body depends on connection. We are safest within a community. Join us as we work together to be our best selves. Jeremy and I have a few pounds we'd like to lose (we kind of went overboard for Thanksgiving and Christmas and have not embraced the cold well, so our hikes have been fewer). We have recommitted to meal planning and are using the MIC weight loss shot (amino acids) to help us break down our fats. If you are interested in learning more, connect with our office. These are cost effective and might help you shed those last few pounds. Either way, if this resonates with you, maybe our community would be a great fit for you? Schedule a consult with Dr. Layne and we can further discuss our wellness membership.