lifestyle changes

3 Natural Ways to Stink Less

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Heeeeeyyy guys! Guess what time of year it is? That's right. It's late spring/early summer. Sprummer. #patentedword

As a health coach, this means a few important things for me:

1) it's easier to get lots of locally grown fruits and veggies

2) I find exercising to be easier to plan for and execute

3) I'm more conscious of my body odor

Yup.

I pay attention to this year-round, actually, because I've learned it's actually a good indicator of my internal health.

The first time I discovered this was back in 2005 and I was living in New Jersey, where I was born and raised. I smelled really, really bad. I can't even describe it.

Ok, I'll try.

I pretty much smelled like two skunks had taken up residence under both arms and lived there, spraying each time I raised my arms. This lasted about a month or more. I don't remember what made it go away.

When that familiar smell returned a few times in the past few years, I paid attention closely. I was a health coach now and felt like a detective on a really important case. What was I eating? How much water was I drinking? Was it coffee? Too much sugar? Not enough greens?

I tried everything to get rid of it.

Everything except using regular deodorants. Despite being raised on things like Teen Spirit (the song and the body care product) and...wow. I just had to spend about three minutes thinking of other companies or brands. It's been that long since I used those things...I began using natural deodorants in 2000 and haven't gone back.

I know. I know. You want to tell me, practically shout at the screen maybe, how those things don't work. It's true. I've worked in natural food stores for 15 years and I've used every product on the market. Some actually make the problem worse.

I have a few pals who have ventured into Make Yer Ownville and produced some great products. I've found a few things I use from natural food stores.

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But I'm going to let you in a little secret: I forget to wear deodorant more often than I remember it.

Yeah. It's weird. But sorta cool, too. I have become so familiar with my body, I know exactly what's happening with it. Most times when I stink, it's because I'm doing something that isn't serving me. There was one exception when I came home from surgery in 2012 and could barely handle how badly I smelled, but I am pretty sure it was because of some really extreme and extenuating circumstances. I do not use over-the-counter pain relievers except on rare occasions and this was the first time in my life I was on an actual prescribed pain killer. I have never used or been prescribed any medications to use on a daily basis except for when I was trying to clear up my acne twice in my life and I gave up after a few weeks. That shit doesn't work, or didn't for me, anyway. Just because I don't use them, I am not making a judgment statement about scrips because I know different folks have different needs but consider if there's anything you might do to reduce your current regimen if you are on Rx.

I will tell you that I was on some pretty intense anesthesia, obviously, and then took anywhere from 1-3 prescription painkillers a day for another two weeks. And as those chemicals exited my body, it was not awesome. Well, I take that back. It was actually pretty awesome to experience how powerful the drugs were and how my body processed exactly what went in it. 

I was really glad when all that stuff moved through my body.

Now, when my body creates something close to that stink, I know a few things are happening. Have some fun and experiment with these variables and see what results you get. Give them each a week or ten days and see what you see. It means not using the deodorant you've been using, which might be one of the coolest things you do for your body in a while. Spend a few minutes researching the ingredients, and you may reconsider whether or not you want to keep applying that to your skin, the body's largest organ, every day. Remember that your cells absorb everything you take in, and that includes what you apply to your skin.

Here are three natural ways to stink less.

1) Eat more greens.

Body odor, in my experience, is connected to my body's ph levels. You remember that stuff from chemistry and biology, right? Yeah. Alkaline and acid. What color is it on that little strip of paper? Ok, your body works the same way and what you eat will affects your body's ph levels.

I will make this so easy for you:

More simple carbs, protein and sugar = more acidic

More veggies and GREENS = more alkaline

BOOM!

If you stink, consider your body needs more chlorophyll from dark, leafy greens. Chlorophyll is nature's deodorant because it helps cleanse your cells and blood.

2) Drink more water.

Dehydration is a big bummer on so many levels and in so many ways. One major way reason you want to stay hydrated is to help flush your body of all kinds of crap. Water helps cleanse everything, from your skin to your colon and all your other organs. When stuff doesn't get flushed out, it backs up. And that can generate some powerful stink. #justsayin

3) Reduce your stress.

What, me, stressed? It's sprummer! Yeah, I know. But stress is still there, even when you don't feel  stressed. It can be subconscious. When we are stressed, our body releases hormones like cortisol. Those hormones can contribute to the output of your body's musk. You know pheromones--those chemicals that attract us and make us want to move in closer to someone? Yeah. That's some powerful stuff. This works the same way. When your body is detoxing from tough times, it may generate more odor. I am pretty sure it contributed to the experience I had after surgery, too. I mean---yeah. Having a life-changing surgery will conjure up some intense feelings and stress hormones.

♦♦♦

Listen, I'm not a doctor. I'm a rockin' health coach. I share a combination of what I've learned from my training and what I experience just living my life. This is some wisdom I've gathered over the past six years and I hope it is helpful for you in some way.

What is your experience with natural deodorants?

What, if anything, have you noticed about what you eat, your stress levels and your BO?

Teen Spirit photo courtesy of Sabrina.

Natural deodorant photo courtesy me.

A Tale of Two C/Kates---Part Deux

When we last left the Tale of Two C/Kates, you had met my client, Cate. She's a winner. Truly. She ran the Boston Marathon after sitting on a couch mere months before. She's changed her habits around grocery shopping, sleeping, eating---and now----HER JOB. Yes, that's right. As a result of our work together, Cate has removed herself from a job that limited her self-confidence and contribution to the world around her. She didn't complain about it for months, being a victim of her experience. In fact, when we first met, she didn't even name it as an issue in her life. She was trying to finish up her degree so she could move forward in life.

Funny---just 4 months later, she is a successful graduate and now---has a brand-new job. She just got herself out there, interviewed and POOF! That glass ceiling in her life is no longer there. AMAZING, yes?!

Now, I'd like to share a tale of Kate. The story I want to share about Kate is quite different from Cate's. I am inspired by Cate's tenacity, courage and intention to improve her inner and outer world through making lifestyle changes. She's going to make the world a better place because she is learning how to make HER world a better place.

Kate--she's also doing that. I want to tell you why.

Kate is my new personal trainer. I have resisted the gym for too many years--making up stories that I told myself and other people about how I could "get all my working out done outside. I don't need to pay a gym to do that."

Good try, Dills. Good.

Trouble with that story? I wasn't actually doing it.

While my good nutrition accounts for about 80% of my fitness level, I definitely have/had some trouble areas that were becoming more troublesome as I am spending more time sitting or standing on my feet and less time running, biking, moving, etc. The biggest lack in my life? Strength and agility training.

I needed someone who possessed skills I don't have, to properly move my body so I build muscle tone and don't hurt myself in the process.

Enter Kate.

Now, before I tell you about Kate, it's important to know I had one major reservation about asking for help in becoming more fit. It's connected to my identity and the last place I expected to find the support I needed was at a corporate gym. Why? Silly personal bias, I suppose.

How wonderful was it to sit in my eval. with Kate a couple of weeks ago and tell her that my goals for my fitness included adding muscle to make me closer to the "right shape". She smiled and said, "I've never heard anyone say that--it makes so much sense." She didn't flinch when I said I identified as transgender and felt awkward in the bathroom with women--she just said, "I can see that" and she was 100% behind me when I stated specific areas to target with my weight training.

If you've ever felt weird, out of place or uncomfortable being your true self with a stranger in regards to your body and body image--imagine my relief. It wasn't easy to be on the other side of the table, so to speak, and be the person needing help adjusting an aspect of life that is very intimate and vulnerable.

Kate is an incredibly skilled personal trainer but more importantly, for me anyway, she is welcoming, kind, funny and inspiring to folks of all identities. She is upbeat, makes great eye contact and challenges me in my physical workout in a way that makes it feel fun and exciting. I hardly notice the "flaws" I've hated for years. I only feel competent and strong around her. Can you imagine this in your wildest dreams?! I never could have. I never imagined I would LOVE working out as much as I do with my personal trainer, Kate.

Her skills are a measure of her training.

The way she makes me feel safe and comfortable is a measure of her character.

Want to know her better and get her support and warm, fun presence for your personal training needs? You can find her at Davis Square's Boston Sports Club location. Tell her you came at Dillan's STRONG recommendation. ;)