A year and some change ago, I’d had enough. I blogged about my sluggish health, and what I felt was a matter of life and death: I had high blood pressure, was chronically tired, and 80+ pounds overweight at a lifetime-high of 284 pounds. Since that post, I went in for a sleep study and was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I began using a CPAP machine at night; I’d experienced incremental gains in health, but was still in a weight plateau, sliding between 275 and 284.
A few months ago I started doing three things consistently; six weeks later, I weighed in at 259. I’ve kept these 25 pounds off for six weeks now, and am about to step up my game for the remaining 59 pounds I’d like to lose. But I’d like to freeze-frame this moment and share the three things I’ve done to get where I am. I have a feeling that many of you are exactly where I’ve been – feeling stuck and wanting to break out of a holding pattern. While your results may vary, here’s what I’ve done:
1.) High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). When it comes to exercising, I’ve been getting more results in less time using the proven, efficient, and increasingly-popular HIIT approach. I’ve been using my trusty ROM, doing 4-8 minutes each on upper-body and lower-body, for a 12-16 minute workout, 3-4 times per week. And while I always recommend the ROM, there are other ways to achieve HIIT bliss, too; a good overview of HIIT approaches (with video discussion) can be found here.
2.) Living Fuel ‘Fasting.’ Living Fuel is bar-none the best whole-food based meal replacement on the market today. No, that’s not hype – compare this label to anything you’ve ever seen or used. I’ll wait. I use their SuperBerry Ultimate, SuperBerry Greens, and Living Protein. If I’m traveling, I’ll use it for breakfast only. If I’m home, I’ll use it twice a day, preferably for breakfast and dinner, with a nice lunch of some kind of protein, and veggies. When I’m feeling particularly plateaued, I’ll drink three shakes a day, having apples and Cocochia bars as sparing in-between meal snacks. (This is the Fuel Fast.)
These two components – exercise and nutrition – have been crucial, but I’ll be honest: I’ve done variations of these for a couple of years with only minimal results, mostly enforcing my body’s status quo. While doing these two are nonnegotiable, the addition of a third component has been necessary for catalyzing my body’s transformation.
3.) Lymphatic detoxification.
At the beginning of this year while visiting him in Myrtle Beach, my buddy (and relationship coach extraordinaire) Rick Williams introduced me to the work of Dr. Robert Morse after I vented my frustration at years of being stuck between eating well and exercising, but seeing no substantial bodily changes. Dr. Morse is a naturopath (with a Doctorate of Science in Biochemistry and a Doctorate of Naturopathy from the Brantridge Forest School in Sussex, England, as well as a Master Herbalist with degrees from many Institutes – full bio here) and raw foodist; he doesn’t mess around. But his clinic in Florida receives clients (both in-person and virtual) from around the world with chronic, supposedly-incurable diseases. This blogger sums up Dr. Morse’s approach aptly:
If given the opportunity, through fasting, cleansing, detoxing, and raw living foods, the human body can and will regenerate and rebuild at the cellular level. However, most people eat acidic meals 3 times a day every day and have never fasted or detoxed even once in their lives. This is equivalent to perpetually running a complex machine 24/7 for years and expecting it never to break down. But over time pipes get clogged, waste backs up, wear and tear take their toll, and the machine ultimately overheats and fails. Only then can repairmen come in, fix the pipes, remove the excess waste, and repair the damage done. It is exactly the same with the human body and our repairmen (self-regenerating cells/tissue) can only clean out and fix the machine when it’s turned off. Fasting gives your internal organs the break they need to repair the damage of overuse. What allopathic doctors refer to as “diseases,” Dr. Morse suggests could be more accurately termed “healing crises.” The allopathic model merely lumps together a bunch of symptoms, gives them a name based on what part of the body they affect, then offers you unnecessary pills, vaccinations, radiation and surgeries that ultimately do more harm than good.
De-toxing, like many expressions of ‘alternative’ health, has its critics – even among proponents of alternative faith expressions (ahem – Tony Jones), and I’ve certainly seen detox done in faddish, superficial, and quick-fix ways. However, I was intrigued by Dr. Morse’s approach and thought I’d give it the ‘ol Life Experiment try. (Sorry, Tony). I took this in-depth Health Questionnaire, and contacted Dr. Morse to see if he could customize his ready-made detox kits for me. He did, focusing on some of my unique brain issues. I received a variation of his Herbal Health Club’s Detox Kit – Weeks 1&2, 3&4, and 5&6, with G.I. Broom. (It’s a twelve-week program in all; I’m halfway through at this juncture.) It involves various tinctures with names like Lymphatic System I, Kidney & Bladder, Endocrine Glands, and Liver/Gallbladder, as well as capsules, that are taken on an empty stomach before meals.
The meals themselves start at a ‘moderate’ austerity level with veggies, fruits, and proteins, and move onto exclusively raw fruits and veggies if you can handle it. I have to confess, I have not yet dived into the ‘deep end’ when it comes to diet, doing mostly the Superfood smoothies and a meal a day, which usually contains a moderate amount of meat. My challenge for weeks 6-12 will be to stick more ‘to the letter’ of what Dr. Morse recommends – I have a feeling this will break me out of the “25 pound zone” of weight loss and into 50 and 80 pounds total lost. But for now I take it as good news that a gradualist approach, as I’ve espoused, has yielded substantial and sustained gains in such a short amount of time.
Almost instantly with the tinctures, I began to feel different. The cliche about fat “melting” away? That’s what I felt like, with frequent trips to the bathroom, even though there are no harsh diuretics in Dr. Morse’s products – it’s all about releasing the stored fat that exists to protect us from all of the harsh toxins we’ve ingested over the course of our lives.
In addition to 25 pounds of weight loss and my blood pressure coming well into ‘normal’ range, a frequent comment I’m getting lately is that I look younger. Not just thinner, but like I’m de-agining; my eyes are looking clearer. (Dr. Morse uses Iridology to assess the soft tissues of the body to help people achieve maximum health through detoxification and regeneration on a cellular level.) I still have a ways to go, but after six weeks of this in-depth de-tox I’m looking and feeling way better.
Here’s the enigmatic Dr. Morse himself on detoxification:
In early May, I committed to three practices:
1.) High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
2.) Living Fuel ‘Fasting.’
3.) Lymphatic detoxification.
My story is definitely to be continued. And, I’m curious about yours: When it comes to health and weight loss, what’s worked for you? What hasn’t? I’d like to hear in the comments below.