By Amanda Rogaly, founder and chief mommy of BabyYumYum.
Fad diets? Not a chance! After my first child at age 31, it took about eight months to lose all 32 kilos of pregnancy weight, but just as I started feeling good about my body again, number two arrived…
Over the following nine months I gained back the 32 kilos, but in the back of my mind I thought “It’s cool, I’ve got this.” I was confident I would lose it all in another eight months and while this was true, it took double the effort and focus and more dedication to diet and exercise. Age is a proper b*tch! Who knew that your metabolism seems to slow down with age?
Fast forward to 2.5 years after my second child and keeping those kilos off has been really difficult, but age has taught me to learn more about my body and what it responds to. This not just from a weight-loss point of view, but also holistically when it comes to the effects of certain medications, my fitness and endurance, and how my skin and hair react to certain things.
Although I can get caught up in the latest health “trends”, I’ve always thought that dieticians and sports trainers give me cut-and-paste eating and exercise plans (which they change marginally for each client). They then hope that I stick to their instructions for the desired outcomes and, if that doesn’t work, they simply “adjust” the plan and have me try again. This can take a lot of time resulting in frustration and loss of motivation on my part. It is no surprise then that when I was told years ago about weight loss and lifestyle changes that can be achieved through DNA testing, I thought it was just another expensive gimmick with a clever marketing spin that would soon be a distant memory. I had no idea the value that DNA testing would bring to the medical, sporting and wellness communities, let alone to a mere mortal mommy like me.
I was recently presented with a DNA swab test, which made me feel like I was a suspect in a CSI case. All I had to do was stick this long cotton bud into my mouth and rub the inside of my check, stick it back into the presentation vial and then complete a form with my personal information.
The benefits of this method include:
- Not having to make an appointment to see a professional to do the test.
- No needles or blood.
- User-friendly and no degree in science required to operate.
- You can choose your preferred professional practitioner to help you analyse the results.
The swab sample was then collected and sent to a high-tech lab to work their magic and generate a report on me and my potential perfect self, based on my DNA. After just this one swab, I was in for an entire thesis on the Perfect Me, rather than my anticipated two-page summary, as my DNA was used in six different tests. The basis of each test is that it identifies unique DNA sequences in some of your genes and qualitatively assesses particular areas of intervention for optimisation.
“Having all this personalised information is helping me move towards being “practically perfect in every way”
The tests performed were:
- DNA Diet for weight management using lifestyle and diet recommendations
This for me was the biggest lifestyle changer, as the recommendation was to follow a low-carb diet (yes, that means cutting down on all the yummy foods, but not eliminating them altogether!) Together with the DNAlysis health professional, we looked at the foods I should include in or cut down on in my diet, which would work together with all the other factors analysed including absorption and metabolism, energy homeostasis, carbohydrate responsiveness, fat metabolism, energy responsiveness, circadian rhythms, fat storage and inflammation and what priority should be given to each of these areas.
This test was also able to confirm for me things such as how much of a sweet tooth do I have, my obesity risk as well as my propensity for snacking – all of which impact my weight-management goals.
This test also recommended the amount and intensity of weekly exercise ideal to support my weight-loss journey.
My Perfect Me: My outcome after just two weeks: A total loss of 4kgs with a continued motivation and continuous “high” from feeling good and exercise-induced endorphins.
- DNA Sport to fulfil your athletic potential
This report looks at different biological areas that relate to sporting performance and how you can use these to individualise your exercise programme and optimise your athletic performance. The results summary offered me a clear picture of my risk of injury, my recovery rate, power/strength potential, endurance potential, caffeine metabolism, sleep requirements, salt sensitivity and peak training time (morning or evening).
Recommendations were made on the findings, allowing me to be the best me that I can be and take my training to another level by adjusting my training schedule, times and intensities. I also gained a better understanding of my blood flow and respiration, energy during exercise, fuel during exercise and musculoskeletal properties. My DNA results even revealed customised zone training. As a casual runner, these results are significant but can shave seconds off a winning time for serious athletes or professionals.
My Perfect Me: I have changed my routine to high-intensity exercising in the mornings two to three days a week, as opposed to every day at a moderate intensity.
- mygeneRx report
By far the most complex and “scientific” report, this study looks at how your genes, and in turn your body and mind, respond to your current medications – and if the efficacy is reduced or toxicity increased. In other words, should your medication dosage be increased or decreased, or a particular medication be changed for another one in the same group?
My Perfect Me: I am looking forward to meeting with my healthcare provider in the next week to discuss changing certain medications I am using to positively contribute to the Perfect Me.
- DNA health
This test analyses your genes to determine your risks of developing certain chronic disease conditions focusing on bone health, detoxification, inflammation, insulin sensitivity, lactose intolerance, hypertension and other life-threatening diseases, as well as diet and lifestyle recommendations.
My Perfect Me: The results of this test have really just made me more aware of the signs I need to look out for considering my predisposition for certain medical conditions/illnesses. I love this because knowledge is power!
- DNA Oestrogen
This test allows for understanding of the oestrogen in my body and the impact or lack thereof on my future self. Some diseases that occur in later life are always pushed to the back of the mind when you’re young, but it is good to get a glimpse of what future could potentially bring you (and how you can manage or prevent this from happening). I do feel less stressed and more “prepared” for any health risk, knowing that I will have done everything in my power to reduce illnesses such as breast and ovarian cancer, as well as deep vein thrombosis through effective medication, diet and lifestyle choices.
- DNA Skin
We all have some degree of concern about our skin and ageing, and this test gives you an in-depth review into your collagen formation, inflammation and the need for protection from the sun and UV exposure, as well as oxidative (environmental) stress.
My Perfect Me: I have fair skin and am very strict about applying daily sun protection before leaving the house. This was echoed in my results indicating my sun sensitivities and pigmentation. I also learned that my recovery from oxidative stresses (cigarette smoke, etc.) is very slow and that I should focus on staying away from these factors.
Having all this personalised information is helping me move towards being “practically perfect in every way”, as Mary Poppins would say, and allows me to travel my life path with clear road markings and indications of speed humps and sharp cliffs. I’m done with fads and scrounging around in the dark. I know myself better now and I am an #EmpoweredMommy!
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