What happens when you tell a friend or family member you are part of the 25 Again program at Body Shapes Medical? Thousands of our members are sharing the many benefits they enjoy with people on social media and in person each week. Oftentimes, this leads to important questions. Our Chief Marketing Officer shares three of the most common queries he experiences, and the answers he provides, below.
You Work There? Can I Ask You A Question?
"There are no dumb questions," I begin after hearing the person across from me at a recent luncheon start with this usual response to my introduction. "At least when it comes to hormone optimization this holds true. Almost everyone who comes to us has a lot to learn."
After working with Body Shapes Medical for the last few years I've had the benefit of learning from mountains of data and research. Unfortunately, hormones are not something most people have had time to study in school or otherwise. Even if they have, it's frightening to hear about a lot of misinformation or flat out bad information floating around regarding this growing segment of the healthcare field.
Hormones are understudied by the average person. What's more, even the above average medical professional likely has not studied the dramatic benefits of a medically supervised, safe and effective hormone therapy plan like our 25 Again program.
The last few weeks were an extremely busy time for our staff at Body Shapes Medical as we worked to open new offices, grow our membership to record levels and prepare for the summer rush as thousands more adults repair from cold and flu season while shaking off their winter weight. Every week, I get to meet many of these new people mentioned above, who have heard about hormones but do not understand short or long-term benefits. Without question, there are three standard questions adults ask when I tell them about my role as Body Shapes Medical's CMO.
Question 1: "Does it really work?"
This requires a simple and affirmative answer of "Yes, definitely!" But I always tell people they don't have to take my word for it. We have thousands of members becoming healthier everyday who testify on our behalf. Many of them can be seen in videos on our official Youtube channel and Facebook page. I've personally met with men and women of all ages who increased their energy; lost 50, 100 or more pounds; regained testosterone levels that started below 70 or 80 (or less in many cases) before surging back to the healthy amounts experienced by 20 and 30 year olds; and literally fought off disease with our help.
If you're reading this, odds are you are a current member and may even have already experienced some of these benefits. You probably also are familiar with the next question I typically hear.
Question 2: "How long do I have to do it?"
No matter how often I hear it, this is the part that still baffles me. But I've found the easiest way to answer is by asking the person a follow-up question: "Sir/Ma'am, how long do you want to be at your very best for yourself and your loved ones?"
Often, this question causes the person to pause briefly before giving a quizzical look. It goes without saying most everyone wants to be around and able for as long as possible. But unfortunately, when it comes to taking steps to make that a reality actions speak louder than words.
Consider this: Let's say you are a former high school or college athlete but you haven't worked out in years, maybe decades. One day you start a regular workout routine. You ease into it by stretching regularly, focusing on core strength and small goals as you advance. After a few weeks you feel better. After 2 months your friends notice big differences. You are now able to train harder and begin feeling and looking more athletic. After a year you appear fitter and stronger. Your confidence booms. You begin seeing someone who becomes a significant other and your life feels perfect. Would you call this a cure to your problems and then quit your exercise routine? What would happen if you did?
Certainly, some people in the example above would be content with sliding back to their previous lifestyle, weight, condition etc. But certainly those people wouldn't proclaim, 'That exercise routine was a scam because I gained all these muscles and they disappeared after I stopped using them.'
Hormones aren't exactly the same as muscles, but I use this example to explain expectations. Similar to increases in cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, improvements in hormones have dramatic effects on your body, mind, overall health and even happiness. But if you stop doing a program designed to optimize your muscles or your hormones, these benefits are going to decrease overtime. And just like a runner who goes from being able to pound out a mile in under 6 minutes to someone who plods along at a 10-12 minute pace after a year of inactivity, a person who experiences the benefits of hormone optimization will miss them after returning to previous levels.
This is a long answer to the person's question. But it really boils down to consideration of your priorities. Most people's interest in Body Shapes Medical begins to peak when they notice the physical signs of aging. A longer list of these symptoms can be found here (for women / for men), but we often talk about skin that wrinkles or becomes loose, muscles that disappear, and increases in weight and body fat.
But these 'priorities' for people are really just the first visible signs of deeper and more troubling issues. Sometimes we are aware of these due to previous health concerns or family history associated with diseases like cancer, diabetes, or heart attack. At this point in the conversation, I usually ask the other person...
What Are Your Priorities?
A recent article in the New York Times discussed the frightening trend occurring among contestants on a popular TV Show featuring adults who challenge themselves to lose enormous amounts of weight (click here for article). All but one of the contestants have regained most or all of the weight and continue to suffer health consequences in the years following the show. This might sound discouraging at first, but an important takeaway mentioned by the article (which cites a larger academic study) shows that hormones play a very important role in the yo-yo effect.
To sum up my point, diet and exercise are important in your journey to accomplishment of ideal weight and health goals but hormones play an even more critical part than you might know. Leptin is mentioned several times in the article but it is also just one of the many hormones involved in hunger/weight processes within the human body. When hormones are out of balance it can cause an onslaught of physiological and psychological problems. The article cites a few potential issues that some of the most driven and successful health conscious adults faced later in life including overwhelming cravings and black-out hunger binges. What's scariest of all is that these intensify during and after weight loss.
Is it a priority for you to avoid these problems in your journey? Let me put it another way. After you have provided the basic necessities for your family and yourself, your future depends entirely on how well you maintain your body. There are no trade-in deals, or upgrades to new models down the line when it comes to your body. Is it a priority for you to keep your body functioning properly, and at its optimal best in order to be there for your family later in life?
Question 3: Yeah But, When Am I Cured?
This third and final question is almost as strange as the second in my mind. But it is also perfectly understandable given the way health insurance companies are training most adults to think. A term that I was not familiar with until I ended up in the hospital once with a 106 degree temperature, is 'A pill for every ill.'
After going through hours of testing (including an awful experience with my first and hopefully last spinal tap), sweating buckets during the middle of a typically crowded and awful night in the ER, and learning there was no identifiable reason for my sudden brush with death -- I was told to simply go home and wait it out until my fever broke. I was shocked, scared, exhausted and angry. After wasting hours of my time, and spending even longer checking out of the hospital than it took to check in, I mustered enough energy to ask what I could do to get better? One of the doctor's in training, a young guy who looked like an Ironman athlete himself, looked me in the eye and said "Despite what you hear on TV, you can't just buy your way out of being sick. There's not a pill for every ill so the best way to avoid something like this is to prevent it."
Since that life-changing experience, I've spent tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours dedicated to my health. The costs go toward higher quality food choices, gym memberships, sports teams, vacations, good books, vitamins and supplements. I gladly make these commitments to health, wellness, stress relief and education all while remembering how awful I felt when sick and worried about making it through the night.
Luckily, I was healthy enough to fight off whatever virus wreaked havoc on my body back then, during my 20s. There was no cure for whatever I had at the time and unfortunately, there are no cures for many short or long-term health problems plaguing adults as we age. But there are certainly steps that can be taken to rebuild the body's natural defenses, fight off disease causing inflammation and enjoy the optimal health we experienced in our 20s and 30s. Such steps lead people in many directions, some more effective than others depending on your goals.
Losing weight is a great goal with countless benefits. But after working with Body Shapes Medical for the last few years I can tell you it shouldn't be the only one. Similarly, tightening your skin, reducing wrinkles, gaining muscle, and increasing energy are all wonderful achievements. The 25 Again program is definitely helping thousands of people regain all of this and more. But once these are checked off your list, it's important to remember the real question that you should be asking me...
Question 4: How do hormones help me live a longer, healthier and happier life?
There's a general answer to this in which I talk about studies showing how hormones reduce inflammation in the body, strengthen the immune system, boost cognitive ability, combat cardiovascular disease and even cancer, and improve quality of life. But the best answers are more personal and based on your individual risk factors, health history and needs. I'll ask the person across from me about some of these if time permits but the conversation is better-suited for private, between our members and the hormone health experts at Body Shapes Medical.
Make sure to ask questions like this during your next appointment. Short-term concerns are important but the long-term benefits of hormone optimization are literally life-changing and sometimes life-saving! Remember, there are no dumb questions. We are here to help!