Sit Up Straight and Stay Away From That Sugar!


Published: April 22, 2010

After a month of soul-searching and diving into the different realms of health knowledge, I’m back on the mission for optimum health. What form have I chosen to create that visually? Six-pack abs.

I didn’t write for the last issue so that I could seek some guidance for my mission. My body was taking a turn for the worse. I was gaining weight and losing tone, and the first thing I did was start blaming my circumstances. Thoughts like “It’s because I’m not working with Travis, my trainer, anymore” and “My body’s just not made to have six-pack abs,” were bouncing around in my head.  What was the reality? I wasn’t doing what I needed to do in order to have the abs. I wasn’t logging my food or doing sufficient strength training. Every once in a while, I gave into a sugar craving (Yup, the sugar cleanse didn’t go the way I promised…) But even when I did, my body didn’t feel as strong as I wanted it to be, and I knew it was time to ask for help. So, I went to two professionals who helped me find my biggest feat and fail.

FEAT: Eliminating the enemies: wheat, dairy, refined sugars, and so on…

For those of you who don’t know about the Fitness Passbook, it is filled with guest passes and trial memberships to different gyms, yoga studios and other fitness havens around New York City. I have access to this Fitness Passbook at my internship at Social Workout, and inside this glorious treasure chest of fitness opportunities, I found a guest pass to see Diane Paxton at Inner Fire Integrative Health Services. She helped me discover that most of my diet consisted of foods that my body is sensitive to.

Paxton specializes in Eastern medicine, so she did some reflex testing with me that helped her figure out that my body is sensitive to dairy, wheat, most types of sugar (including fruit sugar, corn and glutinous grains). As soon as she told me this, I resolved to eliminate all of the foods on the list she gave me at the end of our session.

After the first two days, I felt great. My muscles felt stronger in yoga classes and I slept better. I started to regain the tone I had lost over the past few weeks as I kept eliminating the harmful foods from my diet. Soon I was so active that I could barely keep up with the calories I was burning compared to the amount I was eating. It turns out that most of the foods that contain any type of sugar are the ones with more calories, which is why I’ve been battling with the scale.

FAIL: Poor posture

I found that sometimes when I worked out, especially doing heart-pumping cardio activities like IntenSati yoga or UJAM dance workouts, I would get short of breath. Usually, when I am experiencing any sort of unpleasant symptom, I’ll go see a chiropractor because they specialize in holistic health.

So, I went to see a new chiropractor in Manhattan, and he told me that my posture was the reason I was having difficulty breathing. As a student and a part of the computer-dependent workforce, I sit in such a way that my head and neck reach further forward than my shoulders.

After years of sitting like this, the rest of my bones aligned with this head and neck positioning, which forced my clavicles forward and repositioned my shoulders so that everything skeletal above my belly button was scrunched into a hunched position, the way I lean over a book or at the computer. I took that posture with me when I worked out, and my body had to work with that during cardio training. No wonder I was having trouble taking a deep breath!