Two dear friends moved out of Austin last week.
They tried as hard as they could to not have to move. They loved the city. Many of their friends were here. They had routines, regular spots, and had spent the last five years building a home.
They didn’t want to go, but the city was making them sick. Austin has notoriously bad allergies throughout the year, and if you’re sensitive to certain things like mold, grass, and cedar, it can make the city unlivable.
Once they realized they were suffering from some kind of toxic allergen cocktail, they tried everything science has to offer to combat it, but nothing worked. Ultimately the only choice left was to leave.
I’m very sad to lose them but happy knowing they can feel like their whole selves again. I saw them struggle with it for years, and it was apparent when the effects were weighing them down. No one should have to live at some fraction of their mental and physical capacity.
But what I can’t get out of my head is how odd it is that it would happen to this particular couple. The husband is among the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met on overall health and wellness. He is the exact person you would assume something like this couldn’t happen to because they would catch it so early on.
But you can’t notice you’re living in a fog until the air suddenly clears. They didn’t sense anything was wrong until they took a cross-country road trip, and after a few days “woke up” and realized how sick they had been. And even after realizing something was wrong, it took over a year to figure out what it was.
How many of us are walking through life at a fraction of our capacity because we’re being handicapped by lifestyle factors that we’re completely unaware of?
We’ll often tell ourselves some version of “I feel fine,” but what if the scale we’re measuring our subjective state on is only a fraction of the true range? If you’ve never experienced being above a 6 out of 10, then being at a 6 will seem great. You could feel so much better, but since you’ve never experienced it, you don’t know to seek it out.
This is why conveying the benefits of certain uncomfortable challenges like endurance sports, heavy weight lifting, or ice baths is so hard. It seems like a terrible trade to someone who has yet to experience the benefits. They have to have faith that you’re not a crazy person who likes punishing yourself and that, yes, indeed, there is a sense of euphoria that comes from freezing your balls off for three minutes.
But the subtle ways you might be harming yourself are much harder to weed out. You probably have a bunch of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, given how low the nutrient density in our food has gotten. Do you know which ones you’re deficient in? No?
I suspect that everyone reading this has a hidden ten, twenty, or thirty percent total life improvement they can unlock if they figure out what’s secretly holding them back. Sometimes it’s obvious, like smoking, not sweating daily, or being overweight. But other times, it’s something you know nothing about.
A couple of months ago, I had a horrible flu and was bedridden, emptying my body from both ends for two days. The third morning I woke up, slapped on a NAD patch, and by the end of the day, I felt better than I had in years, maybe ever.I felt so much better than normal I nearly cried trying to tell my wife about it. But not in a drugged-up kinda “high,” more like a “this is how I’m supposed to feel day to day” kind of way. And I’ve been trying to figure out what’s getting in the way of that feeling ever since.
The challenge is how to root out these problems and live a healthier life without becoming a completely orthorexic butthole-sunning loon about it. There is a growing, and I think justified, reaction to this trend of over-optimization. I’ve written about it before, too.
But the trend of obsessing over fixing something in our health points to an unspoken awareness of the problem. Most of us are sick in some way, and some part of us knows it. So we hop on the latest fad diet, or morning routine, or supplement, or workout gear, in the hopes that this will fix whatever it is. Sometimes that’s harmless, like spending a few minutes in an ice bath each week. But other times, it’s terrifying, like signing up for a lifetime of TRT, SSRIs, or Amphetamine.
So what can we do? If we accept that, yes, we’re all probably sick in some unknown way, and if we identify it and fix it, we can unlock a level of day-to-day existence we never knew existed, then what is the prescription?
We have to periodically mess with our status quo. To shake up the snow globe. If someone says some new way of living changed their life, just try it. See what happens. It doesn’t matter if the carnivore or vegan diets are healthy or not, do it for a week and see how you feel. Do thirty minutes of cardio every day for a couple of weeks. Get in the ice bath.
And it doesn’t have to just be physical stuff. Go to church every week for a year. Start meditating. Journal. Write down what you’re grateful for each morning. Scream whatever you want to manifest at yourself in the mirror each morning until your neighbors call the cops on you.
Do things you think are stupid but other people swear by. Maybe you’re the stupid one.
And then there are the other boring things we should all do. Get your blood tested and pay for the more expensive test that goes through all your hormones, vitamins, and minerals. Do a heavy metals test. Do a stress test. Wear a continuous glucose monitor for a month. Make sure your body is functioning as well as you think it is. It probably isn’t.
Don’t get tricked by “I feel fine.”
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While the NAD helped draw attention to something being wrong, taking NAD forever obviously isn’t a good solution. Though, apparently, some people do that.
One thing that’s come up so far in my testing is that I have off-the-charts levels of Cadmium in my body, but I don’t think that’s the whole story.
My girlfriend calls this “starting a new life”. Whenever I go vegetarian for a month, or weeks without screens, or I start running every morning.
But I think you really nailed it. The cost of trying out theses “new lives” is pretty minor. But it has this huge upside potential of revealing to you that you’ve been living in a fog for years.
Thanks this was oddly beautiful