We are not doctors. Doctors have gone to school for many years and are well educated about many of the pathologies that can impact human beings. Most are very good at their job and although overworked sometimes they are well intentioned with their actions. The problem with doctors is that they are part of a reactive model when it comes to addressing disease; they’ll encourage you to do certain things, but by in large they are more useful when you become sick. Dealing with sick people is their scope of practice.
We, as coaches, take a preventative approach when it comes to disease. We look for visual and behavioral markers that trend towards disease or ill health and set out to engage and enroll others in the possibility of eliminating these behaviors to ensure a higher quality of life. We do not prescribe anything other than exercise and good quality nutrition plan.
Our approach to disease prevention in terms of heart disease is superior to that of a traditional methods because we address no fewer than 10 of the top 20 markers for heart disease:
- Endothelial dysfunction (hardening of blood vessels)
- Increased oxidative stress and/or lack of oxidative defenses
- Dyslipidemia (increase in lipid levels of the blood)
- Increased HS-CRP and inflammation
- Elevated homocysteine
- Calcification seen on heart scans
- Hormonal deficiencies in men and women
- Diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia and increased insulin levels
- Heavy-metal toxicity
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of sleep
- Low levels of vitamins K and D
- Left ventricular hypertrophy
- Microalbuminuria and/or kidney disease
Let’s compare the potential actions of your doctor to what we will do to help you avoid heart disease.
Doctors will give you advice, medication or a referral to a specialist. In general, they’ll tell you to stop smoking, eat better quality foods, exercise more and lower you stress. If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or hormonal imbalances, they’ll likely give you medication for these. If you have become sick, they’ll get you to see a specialist who will look after the specifics and likely have a tough conversation with you about death and how your actions are going to end with you in an early grave. Most of what occurs is good and it can be helpful, but very little time will be spend on the uncovering the reasons why you choose actions that aren’t working for you and how you are going to tread into the unfamiliar and start new behaviors.
What we as coaches will give you is advice, coaching, and will refer you to a specialist if that is what is needed. We’ll help you to stop smoking, make better food choices, exercise more to help lower your stress. We won’t give you any medication to lower your cholesterol, high blood pressure or correct hormonal imbalances. And we will have the tough conversation with you about your behavior and how the whole journey ends. All of this is good because you can do everything we recommend without having to involve a doctor, pharmacist and a slew of chemical engineers and researchers. We offer one thing that the doctors don’t, ongoing external accountability and you will see us 2-5 times a week and may have 100’s of interactions with us in a few months.
Something special happens when you enroll other people in your transformation journey, the chances of it being effective increase dramatically because you will actually perform the needed actions over and over and over again. Somehow appropriate eating of healthy food and the participation in planned and spontaneous exercise becomes normalized and when something becomes normal it becomes your habit.
What does this have to do with heart disease and what the doctor may not be telling you?
Well, exercise improves the quality of the blood vessels, it improves insulin sensitivity which can lower lipid levels in the blood. It can help to lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, lower stress, improve sleep and it can make the continuation of smoking challenging.
Improving your nutritional habit will reduce oxidative stress and improve your ability to recover from all types of stress, it will stabilize insulin levels, decrease fatty acid levels in the blood (lower cholesterol), improve vitamin K and D levels, reduce the risk of kidney disease and promote thyroid functioning.
The doctor my tell you to eat better and exercise more, and take some pills. They won’t be there to help you ramp-up the exercise and manage the changes in eating because they have sick patients to see. And the pills they are prescribing treat the symptom of disease and not the underlying issue. In almost all cases, heart disease is a lifestyle disease so it is prevented by good quality food and appropriate exercise. The food and exercise do something the pills cannot, they change the internal environment profoundly such that disease creation becomes almost impossible.
Keep in mind that we are not doctors, we are nutrition and exercise coaches who are dedicated to helping our clients enjoy the full experience of a long life. Our solutions are hard work, fundamental shifts in eating behaviors and ongoing accountability to someone outside of yourself. If you are sick, go and see a doctor, if you want to avoid getting sick, come and see us.