When growing a business and perhaps a family as well, being at some consistent level of tired and living on coffee is de rigueur among entrepreneurs. However, there are times when coffee no longer seems to do the trick and “a different kind of tired” sets in.
It’s one of those things that doesn’t get talked about among entrepreneurs and integrators for whom running on fumes is often a badge of honor. When a busy (and tired) colleague was frustrated about reacting to things that don’t normally phase her, it dawned on me that sharing my journey to solving the “tired issue” could help!
After all, even if you go to the doctor, a “tired” entrepreneur isn’t easy to diagnose. By the time you describe even some small portion of a busy life, a physician is as likely as anyone to shake their head and recommend getting less busy. If you persist and explain something more is going on, you might get a thyroid test. If you’re lucky and/or particularly insistent, you’ll get Vitamin D and Iron tests, too. I’m honestly shocked vitamin D and iron tests aren’t part of a normal checkup, now that I’m learning what fundamental building blocks they are to good health!
In my previous troubleshooting visits with the doc I learned that both my iron and Vitamin D were low; with Vitamin D being a particular concern. I also learned:
Fast forward a few years, and I got a chance to check up on my levels with an InsideTracker test, discounted through my triathlon team, Endurance Nation. Unlike a typical blood test with a few simple numbers, InsideTracker visualizes results in a couple of ways:
I was surprised to see my vitamin D *still* wasn’t in the optimal zone–I had been religiously taking supplements for a long time! Then again, I did take the test after a long Michigan winter… Unfortunately for us northerners, the body utilizes vitamin D from the sun much better than from supplements.
My lessons learned about vitamin D from InsideTracker
Turns out, my hemoglobin and ferritin were both low. Given I’ve been training for an Ironman 70.3 this summer, little nuggets from the test results hit home:
Oops! As someone who keeps a cup of coffee within arms reach at all times, this *could* explain how I manage to keep my iron levels consistently low. Recommendations vary on whether you should avoid coffee from 1-2 hours before and after meals… Either way, that means a big change for me! It's not one I'm excited about, but ready to make. Wouldn't it be ironic if the thing I've turned to for more energy (coffee) wound up being the thing that was sapping my energy by preventing iron absorption?!
It's crazy how much I've learned that I didn't know about nutrition. As a full grown adult who is reasonably well read, I've been shocked by how much I did't know / how big my "blind spot" was. I'm grateful to have InsideTracker as a catalyst for learning (and an incentive to stay on track!). I’m also grateful have a great doctor who is a fellow triathlete, and who has been ever-so-patient with all my new questions as I continue to learn!
It's funny how things come full circle, with this test reminding me to be a good patient and listen better when my doc says things like "don’t take iron and calcium at the same time". It's amazing to me how complex all these interactions are, and how important they truly are to building general health as well as endurance ability.
I’m thrilled to be feeling better already and looking forward to what the next round of tests show. Join me in the journey, and use the code "TRIATHLONLIFE" for a discount on your own test. I'd love to hear how it goes, and what you learn!
--adapted from my business blog, IntegratorHaven.com