Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Benchmarks

How do I measure my wellness success?

I used to be a Quality Assurance Analyst for a state government call center. Needless to say there were pages and pages of standards and benchmarks in place to measure the quality of work that was done by the employees. It seems to be even more complicated to come up with a matrix of what is healthy for the average human. Generally speaking, I have always been of the opinion that each person is very unique health-wise. So, I will make a list of what I think is important to measure, which is all going to be highly subjective.

If you hang around nutritionally minded or vegan folks for more than five minutes somebody is going to talk about poop. Let's get that out of the way first. I would like to have two bowel movements that I subjectively consider to be healthy every day. When consuming veg juice, colon health and food transit time should greatly improve due to the high water content combined with more fiber. One of my massage therapy teachers was also a colonic irrigation therapist who referred to love handles as "poop handles" because that area of the torso is really a bulge of the lower intestine. My waist size in inches should go down correspondingly with my colon cleansing behavior. As more mucous buildup is flushed away, my waist should narrow.

Weight in pounds is misleading when I'm trying to build muscle to replace fat in my body. My target weight for my height, according to the Wii Fit is 165. That's too low if I have a decent amount of muscle mass. A stable, toned 175 will be a long term  weight I can be happy with, but I'm not going to get hung up on some slight fluctuations. 5 pounds either way is a trip to the Chinese buffet which leads me to ignore what the bathroom scale tells me (I don't even have one actually).

Don't we all need some sexual healing. At 31 years old I shouldn't be reaching for viagra or any other more  natural supplements to improve my "performance". I think I'm in pretty average shape so if this is average, I can understand why our society is so sex consumed all the time. In fact, I got blood tested for some life insurance in the last 6 months and my status was "preferred plus" putting me ahead of the curve. Again, I don't know how to get good measurable, quantifiable data  about sexual performance since it's about the most subjective situation anyone can have. I suppose I'll know improvement and consistent vitality when I achieve it.

Circulation is closely related to the previous benchmark but separate. I have had varicose veins in my right lower leg since age 16ish. It's clearly genetic judging by my father's legs which look remarkably like mine. Several veg juice recipes are supposed to improve blood quality, circulation, and arterial health. Juice fasts have been known to lessen or even eliminate varicose veins anecdotally, so it's worth some hope in my mind. Otherwise, as I start jogging and biking, my overall cardiovascular health will improve. Exercising a cleaner, more efficient body should produce better oxygenation throughout, right? I'll be paying close attention to my  visual vein size, shape, and inflammation to judge my progress with the juice.

On the topic of juice...I consider money spent on veggies and fruits to be progress. Incorporating any tasty plants into my diet at this point is progress. And it's really easy to measure if I put my money where my mouth is.

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