Remember that time I took InsideTracker’s Ultimate (Re)Test and never told you how I had progressed? Or, regressed as it were. Benjamin Button style. I never filled you in. That wasn’t nice of me. Oh. But I had a plan. So what do you think? Based on my initial experience, was I able to make diet and lifestyle changes based on InsideTracker’s personalized recommendations, turn back the greedy hands of time and perform my best?!?!CLIFFHANGER!
When last we chatted, I had taken InsideTracker’s Ultimate Test which examined my blood for biochemical and physiological markers of health. They analyzed the data extensively, and established my very own optimal ranges for each biomarker. So fancy! When markers weren’t “Optimal,” they provided me with science-driven nutritional and lifestyle interventions all geared towards improving performance, vitality and overall health.
Blood Don’t Lie, Poodles.
My Original Test was less than optimal. Girlfriend needed work. Which wasn’t shocking, considering that’s what prompted me to stage my own personal Health Intervention in the first place. Stress. Insomnia. Sluggishness. Horrible post-run recovery. And over all “Meh-ness.” I had also dealt with a very real cancer scare which thankfully had a positive outcome. I became laser focused on taking care of myself as a result. My InnerAge measurement, which examines chronological age versus specific key biomarkers was 60.3 years old. P.S. I’m 43. I was stunned.
My first set of results prompted three key health goals:
- Optimize key biomarkers
- Reduce my InnerAge
- Improve my performance and run a Boston Marathon qualifying time
Oh. And win the lottery while I’m at it. Lofty goals.
The Ultimate ReTest.
Since receiving my original results, I implemented almost all of the nutritional and lifestyle recommendations into my daily life. I also took sleep seriously. As in, it became my job. Many of my high biomarkers were influenced by stress and lack of sleep. Based on my first set of results, there were 2 main areas that needed serious work. I decided to focus on these two. Baby steps, Poodles. Baby steps.
- Cortisol. When you hear “cortisol,” think stress. Your body releases this hormone in response to stress- both physical and emotional. My body was releasing it quite a bit.
- InnerAge. Oh, InnerAge. Why have you forsaken me? I’m practically AARP card worthy. InnerAge is determined by 5 particular biomarkers integral to the aging process. Mine were awful.
Goals vs. Reality: The Verdict.
Cortisol. I achieved almost a 25% reduction in cortisol levels! I’m still no where near optimal, but my levels definitely improved. I’m just north of normal. I have made sleep a priority. I have implemented a No Screen policy before bed. I have incorporated meditation and yoga into my life. I am exercising. I have let the small things go. Why sweat them in the first place? I am managing my stress. And I do believe it’s working.
InnerAge. Well smack my ass and call me Sally O’Malley! I’m in my 50s! While I know I have a ways to go, I am gaining control. Progress! Remember, I am 43. I was 60.3. I’m at 53.1. I can’t wait to see where I am currently. I’m coming for you Optimal! With a decrease in cortisol levels, a subsequent decrease in fasting glucose levels and an increase in Vitamin D levels, I’m not surprised I’ve gotten “younger.” Isn’t 50 the new 30? #wishfulthinking
Running Performance. After I received these results, I began an intensive marathon training program, Hansons Marathon Method. It was grueling. I was concerned about recovering and adapting to the high mileage for the 18 weeks of training. See why I’m tardy? I have never run more intensely in my life. I am also acutely aware that ramping up training without adequate nutrition is goal suicide. This was training on a whole other level for me. I really took InsideTracker’s nutrition recommendations to heart. I ate cleaner and smarter. I drank more water. I slept soundly. I have never felt stronger in my life. As a result?
- I am down 10lbs
- I successfully completed training injury free
- I recovered from weekly mileage in the 50s-60s brilliantly
- I ran the fastest marathon of my life
- And I qualified for Boston!
Knowledge is power. And minor improvements can yield great rewards. Marginal gains. That’s how I am looking at InsideTracker’s results. Small incremental improvements add up to significant improvement when you add them all together. I plan on continuing to add small improvements with InsideTracker as a guide. I am overdue for my next test. I can’t wait to see where I am heading. Sadly, I did not win the lottery. Although I do feel like I’ve won the Health Lottery. And that’s priceless.