Last summer I happened upon a company that I am now partnered with. That company is Ixcela and let me share with you my personal journey on the Internal Fitness track.
I have coached many women with gut dysbiosis, with symptoms that can range from bloating, gas, overall discomfort after eating, to more serious issues that have been diagnosed by a doctor, such as IBS, IBD or Crohn’s disease.
I have also coached many perimenopausal and menopausal women experiencing weight gain around the middle, brain fog, and had trouble falling or staying asleep.
I too have experienced some of these issues and it wasn’t until I found Ixcela that I got a much better understanding of what was going on. And more importantly, how to counteract them.
You see, gut dysbiosis, or imbalance can be the culprit in so many issues that we experience not only around our digestion but also our mood, irritability, focus and sleep patterns. And it can be caused by an imbalance in the gut, a nutritional deficiency, or as is often the case lately, stress.
Have you heard of the gut-brain connection? That is, what is going on in your gut (the second brain) impacts your emotional wellbeing and vice versa. If you have chronic or extreme stress (physical or mental), it can affect your gut and lead to dysbiosis. This communication is going both ways.
My coaching success has been around changing nutrition, movement and mindset habits over time.
All of which Ixcela supports with their metabolite testing and nutritional supplements. When I found them, I felt this was a gamechanger in that I could quickly assess a new client with the metabolite testing. Pinpointing the failure points and utilizing supplements to support the dietary changes, increased activity, and mindfulness strategies, could help me decrease the standard six-month health coaching program to 90 days with much more accurate results. And let’s face it, 3 months is a short period of time to make foundational changes that would yield big results.
It was potentially a real breakthrough and a win-win proposition. I was (and am) excited!
So I did a little experiment. On myself, of course. I decided I would test the Ixcela Internal Fitness protocol on myself and see what happens.
First, I took the blood sample to test where I was initially. And then in 90 days I would take the sample again and see what had changed. I expected the baseline to be good as I consider myself a healthy eater, and I felt I got sound sleep most of the time. I was working out on a regular basis and meditate daily.
What is the Internal Fitness Test? (11) different metabolites are tested from the pinprick blood samples and this corresponds to the scores I received in the five areas of health below:
What was measured:
Here are the results of my first baseline test, my second and my most recent for comparison.
June 2021 overall score 78 Good
October 2021 overall score 59 Moderate
February 2022 overall score 86 Excellent
As I stated I expected my first test to prove I am living a healthy life and that would be reflected in the numbers. And I was right in that my scores were in the 80s, and even 90s, which wasn’t the norm. Most people taking the test for the first time, score anywhere from 55-75. However, I did have one low score in energy efficiency (68).
But that is not the most interesting thing that happened. Shortly after the initial test, my husband’s car died. We opted not to buy a car right away because I was working remotely and we could manage with one car for awhile. Good for the pocketbook.
But it had some unexpected and undesirable results. Because I was not shopping consistently and relied on my husband to purchase food items or opted for takeout, my health suffered. Even though I was walking almost every day, I think two factors impacted my results in October, which really tanked.
My numbers went from excellent to poor, with my lowest number at 47 and my highest at 66 for the October sample. For comparison, my lowest number on my June test was a 68, 2 points higher than my highest number in October. I was astonished that in a short amount of time, things could change so rapidly.
As a researcher, I decided to delve into the causes and apply the necessary changes to reverse this as fast as I could. My health was at stake.
The one factor was not eating properly or at least the way I was accustomed that worked for me. I respect that everyone has a unique dietary profile, and I am not rigid about food, except that it be mostly whole food and as diverse as possible. I was not eating enough protein, relying on processed carbs, snacking randomly and not getting enough fiber daily. Check.
The other factor was stress. I felt pressured to get back into the office and was having difficulty finding a ride. Try to buy a new or used car from mid-July to mid- October. There was no inventory. And talk about sticker shock. Everything on the lot was overpriced.
And guess what – that stress impacted my health. And it was plain to see from the results I got from my second test. My scores plummeted and I noticed my mood had room for improvement.
Fast forward to mid-February and you can see I have made a complete turnaround and then some. Most of my scores are not only in the mid-80s and 90s: I have even seen more improvements overall. Why, my cognitive acuity is 96 and my Immuno fitness is rocking it at 90.
And yes, we got a car in early November. Hooray!
It shows how impactful a strategic wellness plan, that includes sound nutrition and fitness, coupled with assessment, supplements, and a game plan supported by a seasoned health coach can affect outcomes.