Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Introducing Wyatt’s Wellness World!

June 22nd, 2012

After almost a year of planning and with an amazing team effort, the Wyatt Leamon Foundation is proud to share with you a true labor of love. Introducing www.wyattswellnessworld.com, a health portal allowing parents to not only learn the lessons taken from the loss of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon’s story, but helping them take the steps necessary to choose safe, natural alternatives.

Wyatt's Wellness World

Wyatt’s Wellness World, BETA site launches on June 22nd, 2012 in honor of the passing of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon 4 years ago due to an adverse reaction to Amoxicillin

Wyatt’s Wellness World serves mainstream parents who are concerned about the safety of modern-day medicine and offers a three step process for an alternative path. The first step is to learn more about natural, safe ways to help the body fight sickness and disease without the use of pharmaceuticals which can have harmful side effects. The second step is to apply that knowledge when choosing all-natural health products and supplements, assisting your family in boosting health and the immune system naturally. The third and final step is to seek a second opinion (and eventually a first) from an alternative, holistic provider who practices the art of natural healing for the body (unlike your doctor and pediatric doctors).

Wyatts Welness World will accomplish this goal via its “Wellness Wire”, a collection of articles educating the public about natural and alternative causes. Couple that with a robust product catalog of all natural vitamins and supplements for sale on the site (in which all net proceeds go back to the non-profit foundation) and a business directory offering Wyatt Leamon Foundation partnered holistic health services from all over the country, and you have a one-stop shop for the first line of defense against sickness and disease for your kids and family without having to worry about the harmful side-effects of modern medicines, “drug first, ask questions later” philosophy.

The website is now open to the public in beta format which means we’re still working out the kinks, loading content and products, and signing up new natural health providers every day. But during this time, we hope to see you checking out the site, offering feedback and advice, and supporting the mission of the WLF by sharing the link with everyone you can.

On the 4th anniversary of Wyatt’s death, as the pain and memory of his tragic loss fills our hearts, I’m so thankful for the help and support from our friends, family and business partners. Being able to help others while cherishing the memory of our little “Pie Man” is about as best a situation a parent could ask for in the face of such a terrible, preventable tragedy.

Once again thank you so much for your support and please tell everyone you know about Wyatts Welness World!

P90X – My Review

August 13th, 2011

You may have heard of it.  You’ve probably even tried it.  Some of you completed it.  Regardless of where you stand in the “I’m going to try P90X” cycle, you can’t seem to go a day without seeing an ad, a Facebook status, and yes, an infomercial about the #1 selling exercise video system of all time.  P90X, where star Tony Horton quips, goofs, shakes, stretches, presses and pulls through 90 days of a body rippin’ workout.

I’ve just completed the full 90 days (well more like 110 or so) and thought I would review my experience.  But first, a step back…

Health History

My personal health history has been somewhat of a roller coaster.  A skeleton in high-school at a measly 140 lbs, I started to put on weight in college then ballooned in my 20’s to nearly 210lbs.  Over the course of a decade, I fought the 30 to 40 pound battle a handful of times.  Every time I would get down and get rid of my “fat” clothes, I’d find myself shopping again within a couple years.

It was when we lost Wyatt that I vowed I would gain control of this issue.  I just cannot describe what it feels like to hear a group of Doctors tell you that your weight may be an issue if it came down to saving your son’s life (carrying extra fat on your body affects all of your organs, and in this case both Trisha and I wanted to be “worked up” as potential live liver donors to Wyatt).  I remember standing up at Wyatt’s funeral promising that Wyatt’s story would be heard and that he would not die in vain.  But to be credible and to really back up what I wanted to say, I had to conquer those demons and one of the first things I had to do was to take my health back into my own hands.

2011 and P90X

P90X DVDsFor the better part of three years, I have maintained a fairly healthy lifestyle.  The only real hiccup was at the end of 2010 during the holidays I gained about 20 pounds worth of weight.  So in early 2011, I had heard about this “P90X” thing and set my sights on doing it during the summer when my son was out of school.  But in the meantime, I altered my diet and decided I would start “training” for it by hitting the gym and doing various forms of exercise (spin class, Zumba, weights, and core training).  By the time I got my hands on the DVD’s, I was down about 30 pounds and in fairly good shape (I will cover the diet and nutrition side of things in a future post).

I remember the first day I started P90X and while I was encouraged that I was at least able to complete the workout, it was definitely much harder than anything I had been doing up until then.  I was only able to complete two chin-ups without using a chair for assistance.  The next day was even harder as I experienced P90X’s, “Plyometrics” workout which basically has you running, jumping, lunging and squatting for an hour.  By the end of the week, I was sore as hell but definitely eager for more (except for Yoga X, as inflexible as I am, Yoga is still a very serious challenge for me).

Week after week went by and before I knew it, I was increasing all my reps, my resistance (using heavier bands) and even keeping up with the guys on the DVD during the Plyo and other cardio workouts.  I was losing inches, gaining muscle tone and even though I was already at a very good weight for my size, I even dropped a few more pounds.

The Results

All-in-all, I was able to drop another 10 pounds, lose approximately 3 inches off my waist (first time since high school/college that I’ve worn a size 32 waist and even that is feeling a bit loose), increase my flexibility (although I still have a hard time with Yoga) and most important, made huge strength and cardio gains.  For instance, in my final pull-up based workout, I did 20 unassisted chin-ups (up from 2) and 30 push ups (up from 15).  In addition, before starting I used to train on an elliptical machine on the “Cardio” program.  Before P90X, I would set it to “Level 1” with a steady jog throughout.  A recent “extra” session at the gym  on the same machine had me going at one minute sprint intervals versus a jog while at a “Level 4”.  Between P90X and my continued Zumba workouts on Thursdays, I certainly saw a ton of great results.

P90X: Corey, Before and After

A Minor Disappointment

OK, was I expecting to come out looking like Tony Horton or better yet, Mark Wahlberg in his Marky Mark days?  Nah, my body has never responded with overwhelming visible muscle growth the way some guys do.  But I did plateau pretty heavily from a weight standpoint (I hit 170 about a month in and never went below 169) so I have to question the “muscle confusion” marketing aspect of the system which is supposed to help you “blast” through plateaus.  It’s especially curious since the workouts from week-to-week are not all THAT different, even between the three phases.

Final Thoughts

Overall, what a great experience this was!  I am so proud of myself for completing the full (over) 90 days worth of P90X and with the gains I’ve made, I find myself greedy for more which means that the only new clothes I’ll be buying are going to be equal to or maybe even a smaller size!  I think probably even more exciting than some of the superficial stuff is simply the gains to my confidence, my health, the spark in my marriage (bow-chicka-bow-wow!!) to what it meant to my kids who often watched or even participated, and to the inspiration I hope to bring others in encouraging to “Bring It” with P90X or any other health and exercise transition.

Tony Horton: P90X Founder

Tony Horton: P90X Founder

Oh, and I’d be remiss to not mention this.  I freakin’ love Tony Horton.  That guy cracks me up.  He reminds me of the nerdy kid who wasn’t all that funny when he was younger but beefed up later in life and because of the extra confidence thinks he’s funny now (but he’s still kinda not).  So there’s some entertainment value in P90X as well (lots of very quotable moments).  But the cool thing about Tony is, the guy has a heart of gold.  He wants people to be healthy and succeed at making a better life for themselves and you can see the passion he has for that in his series and in his motivational techniques.  P90X has sold so well because of Tony Horton (along with some great marketing behind it).

In the end, I am proud of this journey for not only everything I listed here, but ultimately, because I’m fulfilling the vow I made to myself and to my family after we lost Wyatt.  And I’m proud that in the process, I became a fan and disciple of Tony Horton and P90X!

–Corey

Resources:

Beachbody / P90X Website – http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/p90x.do?t=p90x3b1

 

Wyatt’s World: How Wyatt’s Story is Related to our Food System

July 15th, 2011

For anyone who’s been following the WLF for a while, it’s obvious that we take issue with many of our major systems in this country, mainly those revolving around the health of our society and especially our children.  So I’d like to address some of them in a series of articles called “Wyatt’s World” which will periodically imagine a world in which Wyatt would still be here today.

So to do that, let’s take a step back and acknowledge one, very simple fact that is not debatable.  Wyatt did not have to die.

Wyatt "Pie Man" Leamon

Wyatt "Pie Man" Leamon

Wyatt was a happy healthy little boy when he had his adverse reaction to Amoxicillin and while this specific deadly reaction tends to be more rare,  this type of needless tragedy is definitely not isolated.  There are hundreds of thousands of cases just like his all over the country (check out this article from 2003 which documents the death toll from hospital failures) which logically leads me to believe that these systems are failing us.  Its’ fairly obvious that Wyatt is one of these same statistics for 2008 due to the failures of our healthcare system including the drug industry, our Pediatrician, our insurance system and our hospital system failed us miserably.  Even we as parents are to blame for blindly following the status quo (which I vow will never happen again).

And it’s not that far of a jump from what happened to us, to what is happening to our food system as well.  I will never forget when I sat down and watched “Food, Inc.” for the first time, a must view documentary on several aspects of our food system.  One of the segments that hit home for us was the segment about the family who had lost their 2-year old son to E.Coli just from eating a hamburger.  The movie points out that the strain of E.Coli that killed the young boy was a strain of E.Coli that comes directly from our industrialized food system.

It touched on several additional aspects of our food system including:

  • Food, Inc. Movie Poster

    Food, Inc. Movie Poster

    How Monsanto is suing farmers for growing their seed when their patented Genetically Modified Seed blows into that farmer’s field without their knowledge (yes, this is happening in America).  Not to mention the whole reason for the GMO seed is so the companies can spray more and more pesticides and weed killers on your food (and guess who sells the chemicals?  Yep, Monsanto!).

  • How the industrialized food system is the number one employer of illegal immigrants in this country, even advertising jobs in Mexico only to have our government crackdown on the workers, not the companies.  So by turning a blind-eye to this, the very same public who get so up-in-arms about the illegal immigration issue are essentially funding the problem by their food choices!
  • How terrible the conditions are for the animals including standing in their own feces, never seeing daylight, being so pumped full of growth hormones that they can’t even walk, etc.
  • Additional segments include information on the food-related government bodies, laws and politics (for instance, did you know the food industry has special slander laws they can sue you for?  It’s true!  Ask Oprah Winfrey!).  There’s also stuff about organic farms, how you can make a difference by “voting” with your wallet, etc.

Food, Inc. truly changed my entire outlook on how I viewed our food system and it’s just one of many sources that opened my eyes to the issue of antibiotics in the animals we eat.  Given that an allergic reaction to an antibiotic killed my son, the issue of antibiotics in our food supply is definitely something the WLF takes offense to.  The food industry has no government regulations against using antibiotics for animals and the headlines are starting to reveal signs of a very misguided policy indeed with the rise of Superbugs that are immune to the use of antibiotics.

I can only imagine what the world would look like if we hadn’t been ignorant to the ideas presented in Food, Inc. and other natural, holistic methods of healthcare.  It would be a world where Wyatt  would’ve been eating organic, healthy foods as soon as he was done breastfeeding.  His immune system would’ve been stronger, and the cold that led to his ear infection would’ve been fought off naturally without needing a prescription, perhaps from the help of his Chiropractor.  It would be a world where “Superbugs” would be the title of some cheesy B-movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and the idea of E.Coli outbreaks would be completely unheard of.  It would also be a world where a farmer could not be sued by a corporation for patenting the gene of a plant that has inadvertantly blown onto his farm.  Where he could provide natural, chemical and drug-free food from plants and animals treated ethically, without fear of government or corporate retaliation.

That’s the world I’d like to start seeing today, how about you?

–Corey

Resources:

Food, Inc. Official Movie Websitehttp://www.foodincmovie.com/about-the-film.php (and rent or stream the movie on Netflix (www.netflix.com)

Death by Medicine, Part 1http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/11/26/death-by-medicine-part-one.aspx

The Rise of Superbugs: Time to End a Decades Long Problemhttp://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/06/the-rise-of-superbugs-time-to-end-a-decades-long-problem/240718/