I’ve been getting a great baseline for my 2017-18 wellness plan. Many people wonder why, as a clinical herbalist, I am so interested in wellness plans. “Don’t you just wait until something is wrong and then take an herb for the problem?” Sometimes that situation does present itself, however, I found herbal medicine through a 18+ year chronic health problem. Once you have symptoms develop slowly over a long period of time (now a chronic problem), it might seem like random aches, pains, rashes, gas/bloating and other annoyances showing up, but those symptoms could be tearing down multiple organ systems potentially causing major health problems in the long run. I prefer to look at a much bigger – more holistic – picture of health. I’m a pattern-oriented person by nature, so looking at an herb for a chronic health problem seems to be short-sighted.
One example is the number of people who have surpassed their body’s ideal weight – that is a classic chronic health problem affecting many organ systems.
Last year I did my yearly Bod Pod test (yes you get in that mini space ship pictured above). Hard to believe in less than a minute it will tell you so much about what’s going on INSIDE your body. It gives me guidelines to work toward over the next year. I’m excited that last year I shed (won’t say lost because I don’t want to find them) NINE POUNDS and almost 2% of that was body fat. Almost as exciting was that I came close to maintaining my muscle mass. If you know me you know I work out in a free weight room and at the Bar Method exercise class. You might think I should be muscling up. While I did develop some muscles, in my age group (62 yrs) maintaining muscle is challenging. But I was delighted to see the young exercise physiology/sports science student’s face when she looked at my results. “You work out! Good job!!”
Between my Bod Pod scores and my annual physical with outstanding lab test results, you might think I’m set for the year. But not the case! I’m always working on improving my health. I believe that each of us needs to step up to the plate and add one or two things toward self-responsibility for our health. Sometimes that could be substituting a health promoting item for one that has been tearing down our health.
The easy goals for me are the last 10 pounds and, as my waist circumference is at 35 inches, a few inches off my waist. A waist circumference of 35+ inches is a new vital sign for cardiac and diabetic risk factors in women (40+ inches for men). So by shedding another 9-10 pounds while continuing to work on building muscle might bring my body fat % down to an acceptable good health level and bring firm up my waist.
So I’m going to use my last 10 pounds and a few inches off my waist as a way to show how a clinical herbalist might approach a healthier you. I’m not going to focus on the weight. Instead I’m going to focus on vitality, which in turn shifts the thinking. Remember – what you focus on expands!
Stay tuned for more on my wellness plan as this weekend I’m meeting up with my wellness tracker after I go through my thorough herbal intake form so I notice what patterns of behavior / foods / drink / stress factors / thought patterns and more might be holding me back.
What’s your wellness plan?
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