I often work with men and women who everyone else would consider healthy because they are elite athletes at the height of their profession, and they are paid huge salaries to play their sport. A highly respected NFL
lineman, 6 feet 5 inches, came into my program weighing 328 pounds. He had a BMI greater than 36, a 51.7-inch waist, and a total cholesterol of 227. His HDL was low at 29. Since his triglycerides were 467, we couldn't get an accurate reading on his LDL because, as my doctors tell me, excessively high triglycerides almost always skew the LDL reading. His glucose was 120, just 6 points below the diabetic classification. The real shocker was his blood pressure, which was 190/120. We found out that he had stopped taking his blood pressure medicine and failed to tell either his trainer or the team doctor. If he had not come to us for help, it is highly likely that in the near future he would have had a stroke right there on the field. And this man was considered to be a world-class athlete.
The appearance of health is not always the same as true health. Sometimes the way a person looks can be very deceiving, especially in the case of someone who is fairly slim and exercises regularly. I once worked with a thirty-three-year-old world champion athlete. With a body fat of 9 percent, this man was certainly not overweight. But when we evaluated him, we found that he had an abnormal stress test, an elevated total cholesterol of 260, and an LDL of 190. When we took his family history, we discovered that there was a lot of heart disease present. If this man had continued to ignore his cholesterol for ten more years, he would have ended up with damage to his arteries, resulting in cardiovascular problems.
With all of the confusing information in the media and in diet and fitness books these days, people really do not have a good idea of what constitutes a healthy body. Our parents never taught us—they didn't grow up eating processed foods, living a physically inactive lifestyle, and facing the kinds of daily stressors that we face—and the great majority of us do not have wellness programs in our workplace. Nor do we understand how to monitor our health and risk factors as we grow older. Somehow we have developed the misconception that staying vigorous and healthy is an intuitive process.
That is why it is so important to have the proper tools for health evaluation. During my thirty years of experience with thousands of clients as a performance enhancement and fitness consultant, I have come to clearly understand the definitions of good health and poor health because I have seen these scenarios played out so many times. And the dozens of top medical professionals with whom I have worked in my Fat-Burning Metabolic
Fitness Plan and the Ochsner Clinic Foundation have helped to acquaint me intimately with the science behind state-of-the-art health care and health evaluation.
The Fat-Burning Metabolic Fitness Plan questionnaires presented in this book are simple and straightforward guides to help you understand how overfat you are and how healthy you really are, both inside and out. Some people will find that they might not have to lose an enormous amount of weight, but they will need to lower their cholesterol, raise their HDL, reduce their overall body fat, develop healthy eating habits, and/or learn how to exercise properly. Others will discover that they are seriously overfat and will face life-threatening health risks such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes unless they change their lifestyle.
The Fat-Burning Metabolic Fitness Self-Evaluation in this chapter covers two main areas:
1. How you measure up. This includes common indicators of risk factors such as high scale weight, body fat percentage, BMI, and waist measurement.
2. Your overall body measurements, which will help you see where you are holding your fat. These measurements will be retaken at the end of the basic four-week Fat-Burning Metabolic Fitness Plan (and every four weeks after that if you continue with Modules 2 and 3) to help you quantify how much body fat you are actually losing and how hard and lean you are becoming.
You are only as strong as your weakest link. But be assured that the lifestyle, nutritional, and exercise programs offered in this book have worked for thousands of overfat men and women.
I suggest that you make a photocopy of the Fat-Burning Metabolic Fitness Self-Evaluation Questionnaire so that you can keep a record of your progress. As you work your way through each section of this chapter, you will learn how to fill in the blanks. I describe why each of these criteria is an important indicator of overall health and how you can use them to build an accurate picture of how you measure up. In subsequent chapters I will help you to evaluate your lipid profile and glucose levels, your level of human growth hormone and your thyroid function, and your stress levels.
The Fat-Burning Metabolic Fitness Self-Evaluation Questionnaire
Overall Body Measurements:
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