OK, my loves. As you know, for the past almost-year I’ve been waffling between losing some weight and then regaining as I periodically stay on plan vs. go back to my old frenemy sugar. I had a great February where I lost over 9 pounds as I avoided sugar and flour, stuck to a 14 hour fasting window at night, and cut out caffeine to improve my sleep. Then, after doing my Fasting Mimicking Diet the first week of March, I felt all kinds of urges again and started eating sugar and flour (again). And my weight has crept back up like clockwork.
As you also know, I am singularly focused on doing everything I can to decrease my risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, and have been hoping to get in to see the guru himself: Dr. Richard Isaacson, the nation’s leading expert in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Isaacson started his Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Cornell in Manhattan in 2013, and has published countless peer reviewed scientific papers on the subject of preventing dementia — here he discusses findings from one. I’ve read many of his papers and listened to him speak about the subject on Peter Attia’s and Max Lugavere’s podcasts. I’ve dreamt of becoming a patient of his.
Well, as I alluded to last week, I’ve had an extremely exciting development! I managed somehow, through begging, borrowing, and stealing, to get an appointment with Dr. Isaacson! I’ll be taking a train to NYC and back on June 8 for my first visit with his clinic, and am terrified and thrilled all at once. I am taking my brain preservation journey to a whole new level by asking for his help, and I plan to bring you all along for the ride with me.
I won’t bore you with all of the details, but Dr. Isaacson asked me to get a whole slew of tests done in the next few months leading up to my visit. They include a NeuroQuant MRI of my brain (which measures the actual volume of my hippocampus – the memory center in the brian – and other areas), neuropsychological testing to measure how my brain performs on various tasks, and some very detailed blood tests. Finally, we discussed my weight. Dr. Isaacson asked me to get an accurate body composition scan done and suggested the InBody 770 , saying that he wants my percent body fat ideally to be no higher than 27% and preferably 26% or lower. I found a clinic in Fairfax, Virginia that offers this scan and already went for my baseline InBody 770:
I was pleasantly surprised at my 28.9% body fat rating (thinking it would be in the low 30s), and especially that my visceral (abdominal) fat was lower than average! I am still eating sugar and flour right now, buffering my emotions with food as I am programmed to do (and man, how many emotions this journey is bringing up for me right now — I am terrified to get my brain MRI results!)… and my weight is creeping up, not down, because of this. I know that I have to take my weight goal of 135 much more seriously now: Dr. Isaacson said it’s really important to be below a certain body fat percentage for optimal brain health, and I believe him. So expect to see my weight creeping back down again in the coming months as I double down on my weight loss efforts and resurrect #Project135 from the dead!
Knowing what to do to change your lifestyle in order to achieve your goals is one thing — and I will be fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of the knowledge of the foremost expert on Alzheimer’s prevention in the very near future. But actually implementing the changes that you want to make from moment to moment is a whole other beast, and I am also fortunate enough to have just finished a 6 month intensive coach training course which taught me how to better coach myself (as well as coach you!) to be effective in making the changes we want to make, in achieving the goals we want to achieve. I know I can implement Dr. Isaacson’s scientific expertise along with my own lifestyle change expertise to maximize my potential and preserve my mind as best I can. And that gives me so much hope. ❤️ 🧠