I had my Cenegenics day yesterday at their Beverley Hills center. My appointment was at the ungodly hour of 7AM. When I protested the time…yes, I can be that whiney…the very helpful Brandi said they could try but that traffic starts getting bad pretty early. I opted to keep the early appointment and drove up to my son’s house Sunday night. We had a lovely visit and I retired to their guest room with a blow up bed. Not the most comfortable night’s sleep…I turned in early (since I had to get up so early). The cats were quite annoyed that I had the temerity to lock them out of the room…and proceeded to periodically rattle the door all night.
Headed through the deserted LA streets at 6:30AM and arrived in plenty of time. I was greeted by the delightful Jen, “my” fitness and nutrition coach. Jen took me in hand and we started the day.
First Jen showed me a video made by one of the Cenegenics doctors. It was actually an excellent explanation of how insulin works in the body and the general ideas of metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance. He clearly laid out how a low glycemic diet can really address the ills of glucose and insulin surges.
Next Jen did the usual blood pressure, pulse thing. Then a full body scan. You lay on a machine that has an arm that hangs over the table and moves over you calculating your bone density, muscle mass, body fat and skeletal mass. Jen is friendly and high energy which really helped keeping me involved and moving forward.
Next came the fitness test. Height and weight (yikes!). Then Jen had me jump on a stationary bike, put on a heart monitor and a VO2 mask. The machine the mask is attached to calculates your bodies ability to use oxygen and perform. You have to keep peddling in a certain range and the machine increases the resistance every 3 minutes until you give up. I gave up earlier than I would have hoped. My legs were SO tired. What a wimp I am.
Then Jen had me a do a variety of physical things: push-ups, plank, crunches. The only thing I did pretty good on were the pushups. Once that ordeal was over Jen set me up to the Cognitive Testing while she crunched my numbers. The Cognitive Testing was quite straightforward. It took about 20 minutes. I felt like it was pretty easy. Finally…something easy
Once I finished the test, Jen was finished crunching. She then spent the next hour or so going over my results. While it turns out bones are quite light (my skeleton weights 5.5 pounds…there goes my “big bones” excuse) and I have about 90 pounds of muscle the rest of me is, ick, fat. It was upsetting and disappointing to see how high my body fat percentage is but, at least, I felt like I was trying to address that so skipped any weeping. She also mentioned that the bone density around my hips showed osteopena (an early indicator of osteoporosis). Since I already knew about this I wasn’t surprised.
Jen then walked me through the low glycemic diet, figured out how much protein I should have and had lots of advice about meal spacing. She also recommended adding more cardio-based interval training and explained how that should work. My current strength training (with the dear hubbie) is fine. So I’ve committed to adding several days of interval training. Go me.
Once we made it through that, the doctor came in. She did a quick physical exam and we talked about my concerns and goals. She was very warm and approachable.
Then we sat down and went through my blood panel results. Holy cow. I am out-of-whack. The tests showed that my cortisol levels are very high which, apparently, indicates adrenal fatigue. Since the adrenal glands are responsible for producing all kinds of hormones it’s not good if they’re “tired.” Other hormone levels (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) were quite low too. My glucose and insulin were at the very high end of the normal range…also not good and potentially pre-diabetic. My cholesterol, surprisingly, was pretty good. Basically, the blood work showed some pretty significant deficits of various hormones plus DHEA and a few other things including a low T3 thyroid level. The doctor indicated that my hormone imbalances could account for my weight gain and difficulty in losing weight. Of course, she recommended the low glycemic diet and interval training (apparently interval training, in particular, is very helpful to reduce fat stores).
She then went through her recommendations for hormone therapy plus other supplements. Pretty comprehensive list. Biodentical estrogen (as a cream), progesterone and testosterone (as a cream too). Multi-vitamin plus a special antioxitive supplement. DHEA, melatonin (to help my sleep problems) and a few other things. Cenegenics provides a package that includes most of what the doctor ordered…and then you can add other things that the doctor suggests. They ship the drugs to you once a month.
It IS pricey. The package plus the monthly fee is painful. But I feel that I piss away plenty of money without any real direction so I signed up! I should be getting my first shipment tomorrow and we’ll see.
Unfortunately, I seem to have caught a nasty cold while in LA so now I’m snuffling pretty badly and feeling lousy. I’ll baby myself today and get ready to start tomorrow. It is a lot of money and I’m still not certain it is “worth” it. But there’s really only one way to find out.