Metabolic Insight Series
Part 1 - You Are Your Metabolism
The First Two Letters in Metabolism are ME
At the most basic level, your body is simply a big, interactive “chemistry set” comprised of three types of biochemicals.
- Your structural biochemicals make up the cells of your body, your skin, bones, organs, and glands.
- Your functional biochemicals such as antibodies, neurotransmitters, and hormones regulate cellular activity — essentially, every aspect of your physiology.
- Your energy biochemicals provide the fuel your body needs to function.
All of these structural, functional, and energy biochemicals constantly interact with each other. In doing so, they condition each other’s behavior, that is, the way they act and, therefore, their effect. This is why, as we often say, nothing in physiology happens in a vacuum. Whether directly or indirectly, everything affects everything else.
Metabolism is the totality of these constantly occurring chemical actions and interactions. Your metabolism determines how well your body functions, how healthy or sick you are, how you feel, and how long you live. Indeed, metabolism is so much more than just how efficiently you burn calories.
All of these millions of chemical actions result in either regeneration or degeneration. In other words, your metabolism has two sides — a Building Side and a Using Side.
In very basic terms, Using is what happens all day long from the time you wake up until you go to sleep at night – and, interestingly, even while you are asleep.
By being active, busy, stressed, even just thinking, reading, or watching a movie, no matter what you do, you wear out or deplete your structural, functional, and energy biochemicals.
Within limits, there is nothing wrong with Using. It is the way your body is intended to work, provided, however, you honor the other side of the metabolic equation and rebuild and replenish all of your biochemicals — a process we call Restorative Building. This is the job of the Building Side of your metabolism.
Living is a constant process of Using and Building, of degeneration and regeneration. If, each day, you restore what you have used, if Building consistently keeps pace with Using, you have a balanced metabolism. Maintaining a balanced metabolism is the key to having a long, healthy, and carefree life.
If you don’t repair or replenish all the biochemicals you use up each day, if Building doesn’t keep pace with Using, then you have what is called metabolic imbalance. Metabolic imbalance accelerates your aging process. It promotes degenerative disease and the numerous health problems that plague people from middle age through the end of their lives.
To be clear, by degenerative diseases, I am referring to :
- Heart disease
- Type II diabetes
- Alzheimer’s dementia,
– the diseases that now kill over 90% of adults in the developed world.
When you think of it, it makes sense. If you deplete more of something than you generate, you have to tap into a reserve to make up for the deficit. Finances are a great example. If you regularly spend more than you earn, you have to dip into your savings or use available credit. In both cases, you are depleting and undermining your financial foundation — your “net worth.”
If you do so for just a month or two and then are able to replenish your savings or pay back the debt, it’s not so much of a problem. But, if you constantly overspend your income, in time you will so severely erode your financial foundation as to put yourself in financial jeopardy.
Think of your metabolism as the foundation of your health. If you constantly Use more than you Build, if regeneration can’t keep up with degeneration, you are eroding this essential, life sustaining foundation. It’s called “accelerated aging”– a topic we’ll be focussing on in Session 4.
A central message in everything we will be talking about throughout this Metabolic Insights Series is the importance of Building always keeping pace with Using. Certainly, one of the ways to make sure this happens is to focus on how to maximize Building, which we’ll show you how to do.
The other strategy, of course, is to be careful about how much you Use. As I said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with Using — “within limits.” Because of their Habits, most people Use unnecessarily. There are a number of things you can do to reduce such “Excessive Using.” And, doing so doesn’t mean you have to sit around doing nothing. We’ll show you how to optimize Using.
For now and forever, remember that a balanced metabolism – Building keeping pace with Using – is the key to a long and healthy life. And, the key to keeping your metabolism balanced is to maximize Building and avoid Excessive Using. How do you do this? Well, it starts with understanding hormones, what they are, what they do, and how they do it, which is the focus of our next session.