Trucker Ben Becerra goes from Morbidly Obese to Master of His Domain

Trucker Ben Becerra goes from Morbidly Obese to Master of His Domain

We love hearing about empowered Heads Up customers who are transforming their health. It brings us great joy because, after all, when all is said and done, health is the best wealth. 

When Benjamin “Ben” Becerra, a commercial truck driver and dad — aka Keto Trucker Ben — went in for his physical at the Department of Transportation, his doctor declared him “morbidly obese” based on his weight and BMI. Instead of letting that discourage him, Ben used that as motivation to research viable diets that would fit his mostly sedentary lifestyle driving an 18-wheeler. 

Within 17 months, Ben transformed his body and health using lifestyle modifications (keto/fasting/exercise), keeping it up by tracking his health data with Heads Up and Keto-Mojo. He began posting onto Instagram his new keto life on the road, revealing gains over time. He’s proof that mindset and keto tracking is key to optimizing your health. It doesn’t matter if you’re a commercial truck driver with a sedentary job possessing only one skillet and one small refrigerator. Ben is proving, to himself and everyone else, that when it comes to transforming his health, he’s unstoppable!

Extending Healthspan with a Healthy Keto Lifestyle

In October 2018, Ben Becerra jumped into the keto lifestyle and hasn’t looked back. Beginning at 262 lbs and a BMI of 38.4, now at age 38, Ben has dropped his weight to 212 lbs and lowered his BMI to 30.4 This young dad isn’t letting being on the road for work stop him from eating healthy, exercising or fasting, determined more than ever to be a healthy model to his 28 month old daughter, to extend his healthspan to see her grow up.

“I use Heads Up as my go-to app for all the information I collect from my Keto-mojo meter. I’m a data person so I enjoy monitoring my data to make the best choices and stay motivated.”

How Ben Becerra Uses Heads Up for Tracking Keto 

Ben Becerra checks his fasting glucose and ketones using Keto-Mojo, his ketone meter and glucometer, then syncs that info directly to the Heads Up dashboard (see below for mobile app) where he can see his numbers displayed, GKI (glucose to ketones index) automatically calculated, and other desired health data (ex. weight, BMI). He also uses Heads Up’s built-in fasting timer to start or stop his fasts. This is a great way to get a feel of how lifestyle choices such as what you eat and drink (and when you don’t) impacts your metabolic health. 

Using the mobile app with Keto-Mojo, Ben can customize his personal dashboard to track the metrics that he cares about to achieve his health goals. (Active on Instagram, you can follow Ben at @keto.trucker.ben and keep inspired by how he stays keto on the road!)

To get even more power out of Heads Up, Ben can use our Analyzer feature on the web app to graph and correlate up to SIX health metrics. As a self-described “data person,” Ben, who is now in the midst of a 30-day Carnivore Keto Cut Challenge with the always inspiring Danny Vega, can then monitor how this new lifestyle mod is impacting other health markers, such as fasting glucose and weight. Or even how this new diet may be affecting inflammation markers such as CRP, since it’s easy to correlate with medical records to spot trends over time. 

Note: The graph above is an example of our Analyzer in action when one of our team members stacked 30-days of a nose-to-tail carnivore diet with a prolonged fast near the end of January. She wanted to see how these two health self-experiments impacted her fasting glucose, ketones, and weight, her last six months captured in this graph. It’s interesting to see how glucose takes a nose dive and ketones rocket upwards, while weight begins to drop after sandwiching a week-long fast between carnivore-eating.

It’s hard not to be inspired by Ben’s BEFORE and AFTER photos

Interview with Ben Becerra on Transforming His Health

We had a chance to chat with Ben about what he’s been doing to transform his health. Enjoy the interview below! And don’t forget to head on over to his Instagram feed to get inspired in real-time what he’s doing to stay in the game for the long haul.

In your own words, how would you describe your health transformation? What were you facing that led you to take control of your health?

What led me to making my transformation was when I went to get my D.O.T. [Department of Transportation] physical exam and the doctor told me that I was “morbidly obese.” At that point, I realized I had let myself go and decided to do some research on what types of “diets” I could use while being sedentary for a majority of the day driving a commercial vehicle. I came across the ketogenic lifestyle, first hearing about it through my uncle, then from the incredibly inspiring keto community on Instagram, and began to tailor the diet to my new career.

Once I realized that I could maintain this lifestyle while trucking I went in full steam. Now I am at a level of learning to use data points that I gather to manipulate my dietary needs to take me into the best shape of my life. Having the ability to track so I can tailor my journey and intake of nutrition to fit into my trucker lifestyle (e.g., learning how the effects of food and drink, such as a Red Bull, affects my blood sugar). It’s been almost 17 mos since I started my Keto Journey.

My goal is to ultimately be my best both mentally and physically for the remainder of this life I have to share with my daughter. 

How are you using Heads Up? 

I use Heads Up as my go-to app for all the information I collect from my Keto-mojo meter and fasting tracker. I’m a data person so I enjoy monitoring my data to make the best choices and stay motivated. 

What health metrics do you monitor for keto tracking? 

Fasting glucose, ketones, GKI, weight, BMI and fasts

Have you connected Heads Up to any devices, apps, wearables, and/or medical records/blood tests?

 

So far, just with the Keto-Mojo meter. It’s great that it can integrate with so many devices out there allowing me to get healthier on my own. So far, I’ve gotten healthier, it’s hard to believe that all this has been through eating real food. 

Advice for others about taking control of your health?

Set a goal and work towards it daily. The 18 months of weight loss was not an overnight success.

But I believe in having “a patience mindset:” #smallgoalsdaily. Also I’ve learned that intermittent fasting is a natural friendship with keto with lots of science and data to back it up.

Your go-to meal to maintain your keto lifestyle?

Bone-in ribeye steak and brussels sprouts (made in my trailer while on the road).

Inside my Trucker Trailer, I eat, cook, and maintain a keto lifestyle using only:

 

  • 1 skillet
  • 1 coffee maker
  • 1 4×4 cubic refrigerator

Any favorite ___ (ex. podcasts, books, recipes, other) you want to share?

Fasting Mother Nature’s Game Changer, a book by Scott Murray (AKA @TheGoodLifeTheory on Instagram). Via the incredibly supportive and enormous keto community on Instagram, Ben met Scott who inspired and supported Ben’s keto journey. Ben highly recommends Scott’s book!

Take Control of Your Health

With Heads Up, you can track as little or as much as you want. Did you know you can also import your blood tests to correlate how a particular diet or prolonged fast is impacting your A1C or other markers, such as CRP and HDL? You can also keep track of other vital markers such as sleep data and HRV via wearables such as Oura or EliteHRV. You can even see how cryotherapy sessions are impacting your health! 

You can read more inspirational stories of transformation like Ben’s, such as 60+ year old Ginny who reversed her prediabetes. A retired long haul driver herself, Ginny didn’t let being on the road stop her from tracking keto and transforming her health. 

Whittling Down Waist Size Using the Glucose Ketone Index with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health

Whittling Down Waist Size Using the Glucose Ketone Index with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health

The real power in using Heads Up Health with Keto-Mojo is being able to track and correlate biomarkers you care about, such as the GKI (Glucose Ketone Index) with other major health metrics, like body measurements.

The leader in consumer software for personal health data analytics, Heads Up Health allows you to see your progress over weeks, month, years — all in one place. When used together with Keto-Mojo, the leader in affordable, accurate blood glucose and ketone testing meters, they’re a powerful force for helping you get into ketosis, maintain keto-adaptation, and see the big picture of your metabolic health and body composition.

For example, our Social Media Manager, and avid Heads Up Health user, Lily Chien-Davis, correlated her GKI with her waist circumference measurements, whittling down her waist size while staying keto-adapted.

In the graph above, Lily shares how she used Keto-Mojo to track her glucose and ketones over the past 12 months, uploading those results to Heads Up Health where we automatically calculate the glucose-ketone index (GKI), a powerful biomarker for tracking your metabolic health. 

The graph speaks for itself as Lily slashed over five inches off her waist circumference!

Lily first discovered the glucose ketones index as a biomarker when her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. They used a therapeutic ketogenic diet as an adjunct to conventional treatment, consulting with Miriam Kalamian [1] and following the advice of cancer researcher, author [2] and inventor of the GKI, Thomas N Seyfried and his advice to keep the glucose ketone index low, “tracking the ratio of blood glucose to ketones as a single value”, in an effort to blast the tumors near her husband’s aorta. [3]

As they both carefully monitored his glucose ketone index and watched his tumors rapidly shrink, she began eating keto too, surprised, as someone diagnosed with pre-diabetes, to watch her own HbA1c go down, from 5.9% to 5.2%. In 2016, she discovered Heads Up Health while listening to keto podcasts (i.e., Jimmy Moore, Ketovangelist, 2 Keto Dudes). Both she and her husband immediately signed up, excited to track their glucose, ketones, and GKI alongside their medical records and body composition data, such as weight and waist size.

Since then, Lily has never looked back.

Instead of using a scale to track her weight every day, which can be maddening because weight loss is never linear, she tracks her GKI alongside her waist circumference and weight once a month using our measurements feature. In the beginning she also tracked her macros, but now relies solely on eating an intuitive keto-paleo and sometimes carnivore diet, preferring to track her GKI regularly, using the graphing feature in Heads Up Health’s Analyzer to reflect on her progress, helping her stay motivated.

Here’s Lily’s before/after photos and you can see how great she looks. Most importantly, she FEELS awesome, both mentally and physically.
“Tracking with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health helped me to stay in ketosis and keto-adapted for over a year, giving me accountability and motivation to keep keto-ing on. Although I’m not completely where I’d like to be just yet, I’m free of all prescription meds, happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. My husband is now almost 4 years in remission and we recently sold our house to move into, travel and worldschool our kid in a RV, a dream we hatched up during long days of chemo infusions. People say keto is restrictive, that it’s a fad diet, but because I’ve used it for mental and physical health, it’s just a way of life for me now. The rest — feeling younger, more energy to actually want to exercise, mental clarity, and better body composition — is just icing on the cake!” – Lily Chien-Davis
It takes a lot of courage to share this information so please give Lily a shout-out on Instagram (@hellbentonbliss). We love you Lily!

Ready to get started? Enter your first set of baseline measurements, get yourself into nutritional ketosis and track your success!

We’ve included a little video tutorial below to help you get started.

Questions? Hit us up!

Keto on!

Dave Korsunsky | Founder  
VIDEO: Gimme that Mojo! Tracking the GKI and Your Waist Circumference
[1] Miriam Kalamian [2] Cancer as a Metabolic Disease by Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD [2] The glucose ketone index calculator: a simple tool to monitor therapeutic efficacy for metabolic management of brain cancer  
Cancer Diet: How Keto and the Glucose Ketone Index Helped Us

Cancer Diet: How Keto and the Glucose Ketone Index Helped Us

How a cancer diet of eating ketogenic plus tracking the glucose ketone index helped my husband gain back control of his body and health.

Our lives were turned upside down when my husband was diagnosed with cancer at the end of 2014. The future looked bleak and we didn’t know where to turn to for hope, for help. My husband sat me down and showed me the passwords to all things financial. We hired an attorney to help us with a will. Then we drove to the beach in Pacifica with our 10-year-old son to watch the ocean waves crash against the sand. I sat, shivering from the cold wind, wondering how many more times we would be able to do this as a family.

After the initial shock, we decided to confront this problem together, one day at a time.

Our desperation turned into action. We decided on a multi-pronged approach to fighting his cancer. 

Cancer diet – discovering keto

A good friend suggested we look into the ketogenic diet, as it might help starve the cancer cells and possibly shrink tumors. My husband was diagnosed with Stage 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; the size of his tumor was 8 cm. Could his tumor possibly shrink with the addition of the keto diet? That very night after our friend left, we both began to cram, like hyper-diligent grad students. We absorbed everything we could find online about how to eat keto. What was ketosis? How did one eat this way?

At the time, there wasn’t an abundance of information about the ketogenic diet. But we were happy to discover e-books by Miriam Kalamian, Ellen Davis and Patricia Daly, with keto recipes and information for people with cancer. A short while later, my sister told me about Jimmy Moore’s Keto Clarity book, a tremendous resource, which opened our eyes even more.  

In Miriam Kalamian’s book, she asserted that “the diet alone is not a cure…instead it’s intended to slow down the progression of disease while offering you a better quality of life.”

Armed with this knowledge, we decided to use keto in conjunction with chemo and radiation treatments. 

And we wanted to do this right.

One of the first things we did was consult with Miriam Kalamian (who by the way, now has a more current and incredibly informative book–Keto for Cancer–deemed by Dr. Thomas N. Seyfried as “a masterpiece.” ). She helped us navigate the overwhelm we felt during this time, trying to learn how to eat and cook keto specifically for cancer.

Next, we ordered the Precision Xtra device to measure blood glucose and ketones. To measure the amount of protein, carbs, and fat entering my husband’s body, we purchased a kitchen scale. MyFitnessPal helped us track these macronutrients and ensure his carbs were limited to 12 net grams. Borrowing from the Paleo/Primal template, we sought to buy the highest quality whole foods, avoiding processed and fast food, grains, and sugar. (Now we’re in love with the Keto-Mojo, because the blood ketone strips are so much more affordable, allowing us to check our ketones every day. Sometimes, even more than once!)

Since I also had some weight to lose around my midsection, I decided to join my husband in eating keto.

Miriam’s book introduced us to Dr. Thomas Seyfried’s glucose ketone index (GKI) as a way to monitor progress with the keto diet. The glucose ketone index measures the ratio between blood glucose and ketones. At the time my husband kept his GKI, per Dr. Seyfried, between 1 and 2. Now we’ve learned what Dr. Seyfried calls “therapeutic ketosis” — where it’s optimal to have a GKI of under 1 — and this is achieved through at least three days of fasting up to five days or more, ideally water-only, a way to “blast the crap out of incipient tumors.” 

At the time, my husband couldn’t find a better way to track his GKI other than recording it in a paper notebook and Evernote. But tracking the data was worth it. In his words: Eating keto and tracking my progress helped me gain back a sense of control of my body and health.” 

Looking back, a tool like Heads Up Health would have made this much easier and informative–especially with the ability to graph and correlate GKI and other health metrics.

Cancer diet - tracking the Glucose-Ketone Index (GKI)

Cancer diet – tracking the Glucose Ketone Index (GKI)

 

Physically and mentally, we both began to look and feel better. After a year of eating strict keto, along with conventional treatments, his tumor shrunk from 8 cm to 1 cm! The oncologist and nurses were awed by how fast he improved and that he didn’t experience the normal side effects of nausea and hair loss. Encouraged by PET scans showing the tumor shrinking, we felt motivated to keep on keto-eating.

Also a nice surprise: as the one cooking, I also ate this way, delighted to discover that my pre-diabetic blood glucose levels went down so much that I’m no longer in the pre-diabetic range per my last A1C test results (although what’s “normal” in the conventional range is not where I’d like to be just yet, still aiming for a more optimal range). Another nice bonus: no longer was I using multiple inhalers daily for my asthma…and I lost some weight, especially around my waist!

Now two full years in remission, my husband remains focused on keto-eating as a way to maintain good health. His goals are different, but the need to monitor and see trends remain. As a self-professed data nerd, he enjoys finding new ways to use data about his health and life to make small improvements.

Tracking and monitoring our health markers is now a regular part of our lives. We use Heads Up Health to track our glucose ketone index, fasting glucose, ketones, weight, and more. Recently, we added fasting to our health regimen. To stay motivated, we use the Heads Up Health Fasting Timer. Fasting, we’ve learned, is also a cool therapeutic tool that has a host of benefits, including anti-aging, cancer-prevention, and help with insulin resistance. But that’s a whole other blog post.

Cancer diet - tracking metrics with Heads Up Health

Cancer diet – tracking metrics with Heads Up Health

Now past this cancer scare, we’re excited about the life ahead for ourselves and our family. It’s caused a whole new shift in priorities.The cancer was a catalyst in us deciding to live more simply, free from the chains of traditional office jobs and hefty mortgages. My husband quit his full-time job and we’re selling our house to move into a RV with our kid, planning to travel the world, working part-time as digital nomads. More than ever, we feel empowered because we’ve realized health is the ultimate wealth!

 

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a powerful tool designed to help individuals take control of their health data. The web-based software can integrate medical records, wearables, apps and any other health metrics that are important to track. The software provides dashboards, trends, alerts and other tools to help individuals take a data-driven and self-directed approach to managing their health. Additionally, the product has been optimized for those following low-carb and ketogenic diets. Sign up for a free trial at www.headsuphealth.com.

START TRACKING!

References

 

 

Keto Lifestyle Transformation – In for the Long Haul

Keto Lifestyle Transformation – In for the Long Haul

With the start of the new year, or with any new health goal, many of you will start out strong and ambitious. But, unfortunately, often times, a few months into a new program, many may burn out, stop and regress. Instead, think of your health transformation as a lifestyle change, one you can start anytime, and keep on maintaining for the rest of your life. There’s no time better than now to start putting together your toolkit to keep your new and healthy lifestyle close to you.

Our longstanding, adored customer Ginny, is an amazing example of how you can transform your health and your life. With her keto transformation, she has lost 85 lbs since she started focusing on her health and is determined to lose 30 more!

Before (Ginny on the right):

jean-joanne-may-200303

After:

glacier-vacation-09141618

A 64 year old long haul truck driver, Ginny keeps her ketogenic lifestyle close to her even when she is on the road. She has a vast history of heart disease and diabetes in her family and she is determined to beat the odds.

She feels that we all need to take our health concerns into our own hands. Here is Ginny’s story in her own words…

Ginny’s Keto Transformation Story

I am a 64 year old woman and a long haul truck driver. Since my early thirties I have been yo-yo dieting and, like many others, have tried every diet ever mentioned. In September of 2015, a friend mentioned to me that she had lost 20 pounds.  I asked her what she was doing and she told me about the ketogenic diet.  It was at this moment that my life changed! I began researching and reading all I could about it and started the keto diet on 2/29/16.

Eight Great Ketogenic Diet Benefits

A low-carb/high-fat ketogenic diet

I want to mention a little family background before I jump into my journey.  Both of my grandfathers and my father passed away in their early forties from massive heart attacks. My mother had several strokes, triple bypass surgery and a heart attack. One of my grandmothers had RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and the other died from complications of diabetes. My one sibling lost 2 toes to diabetes in Feb 2015. She had triple bypass surgery in February 2016 and is now dealing with kidney and liver issues. Her doctors are still pumping her with insulin and I cannot convince her to change her eating habits.

When I started the keto diet, I was already eating low-carb.  By adding healthy fats to my diet, I was able to reach nutritional ketosis fairly quickly. I did not experience the ‘keto flu’ I had read about. My hunger stopped, cravings stopped, constant thoughts of what I would eat next stopped, and thinking about food 24/7 STOPPED. I could not get over how it was like a switch had been turned off!  And though my initial interest was to lose weight, I soon discovered all of the other health benefits. Making the connection that high levels of insulin causes obesity, I also realized I was addicted to carbs, had problems with leaky gut and was insulin resistant – just to name a few things going on.

Precision_xtra_blood_ketones

Track blood ketones with the Precision xtra

I also suffered for nearly 5 years with extreme foot pain. Two issues, plantar fibromatosis, marble sized knots running the length of my feet, and neuropathy, though not diabetic.  I couldn’t even stand the bed sheet touching my feet at night time. After three foot doctors, a neurologist, hundreds of dollars spent on every kind of shoe out there, pain meds and 1200mg gabapentin a day for nearly 3 years, nothing helped. Two weeks into keto, I noticed less foot pain. Four weeks….pain free! It’s been 9 months now, still pain free. Neuropathy has improved to the point that I no longer take gabapentin or tramadol for pain.

Having read many books and listened to many podcasts, I began figuring out how the ketogenic diet worked and that we each need to spend some time fine tuning it to fit our health issues. I used several keto calculators to figure my ideal macros. In the beginning I used MyFitnessPal to track my daily food intake and macros. After a few months I was able to keep track without the app. Though, when I hit a stall, I go back to tracking to see what might be causing the stall. As time went on, I discovered things like bone broth, how foods raise blood sugar, how to measure ketones, and intermittent fasting.

Track your macronutrients with myFitnessPal

Track your macronutrients with myFitnessPal

I use Heads Up Health to track blood glucose, blood ketones, blood pressure, weight & exercise. Being able to manage all this information in one place along with my medical records, doctors, insurance information, medications and all my other health information has been such a time saver! I love that I can tap on a few boxes and pull up a chart of whichever info I want.

I feel we all need to take our own health concerns into our own hands. A few years ago, my doctor wanted to put me on statins and when I took him an article and asked him to read it and comment – I got eye rolling.  Just dealing with him (now replaced) and trying to talk to him about following a keto way of living – having him roll his eyes at me AGAIN – well – that did not go over so well with me. I knew then, I had to find a keto supportive doctor – and have.

For me reading and listening to podcasts keeps me motivated. Also a lot of interesting videos on YouTube. I discovered Heads Up Health while listening to a podcast and signed up right away. I can’t express how helpful it’s been to be able to gather all my medical info and have it in one spot. I love that I can open the program and see my stats all there. I have begun using Fat Secret to track food and macros and have added a Fitbit fitness tracker. They sync with Heads Up Health – all right on my dashboard. When I had my (new Keto) doctor appointment last, he was quite impressed with all the info I had at my fingertips. Thanks, Heads Up Health!

I appreciate the chance to tell my story and hope it encourages others to consider a ketogenic way of living and to make good use of Heads Up Health!

Don’t try to do it all at once. There is sooooo much to take in and as we try to wrap our heads around all the new info….it can become overwhelming and frustrating. The longer you stick with keto, the more your body will heal from the inside first. We want to see instant results but it’s important to remember there is more going on inside than we can see. I have read dozens of books, listened to hundreds of podcasts and over and over the same message comes through: Stick with it. YOU WILL see results.

Take Control of Your Health

Thank you for sharing your story, Ginny. You are an inspiration to others who are seeking to take control of their own health. We are glad that Heads Up Health can be a part of your journey and we thank you for your support.

For more stories like Ginny’s, head over to the transformation section on our blog. If you’d like to learn more about the Heads Up Health program for health tracking, visit our homepage. And if you’re eager to jump right in and start building your health portfolio, sign up below.

Insulin Load – Beyond “Counting Carbs”

Insulin Load – Beyond “Counting Carbs”

This is a guest post on insulin load by Michael Alward

Insulin Load – An Introduction

When I first adopted a low carb eating plan, I remember countless questions on low carb support groups as to how to count the carbs / net carbs of various processed food products (on this particular day, it happened to be a protein bar by Quest Nutrition).

Insulin load – calculating carbs from a Quest Nutrition protein bar.

Insulin load – calculating carbs from a Quest Nutrition protein bar.

The answers ranged from 21g of carbs (from a Type 1 Diabetic who tested his real-time insulin response), to “only 3g net carbs” (21g carbs – 17g fibre – 1g erythritol as provided by Quest).  Very confusing, and not terribly helpful… (more…)

Stories of Transformation: Todd Smith

Stories of Transformation: Todd Smith

People all over the U.S. are digging for solutions to the countless problems in the healthcare system. Heads Up Health is part of the healthcare solution, providing technology that allows you to centralize all of your health, fitness and medical data in one place.

Recently we caught up with Todd Smith. Todd used Heads Up Health technology to discover a significant heart condition that he had been born with — and living with unknowingly all along. He told us about how he used the technology and healthcare analytics to identify this issue and take appropriate action to treat it.

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

Heads Up Health: So, you’re in great shape, you love taking long cycling trips and pushing your body. What happened that made you realize, “Hey, something’s not right”?

Todd: In early 2014, I went to a spin class; I was training for a ride down to Sarasota, FL. After the class, I had really bad headaches for weeks afterwards. [My doctors] did a CT scan and didn’t find anything.

So, I road down to Sarasota and on the last day of the bike ride — day five —  I had heart palpitations for 24 hours. I had an echocardiogram last year and again nothing was discovered, so I didn’t think it was anything serious and neither did my doctors.

When I went to get my physical [exam], my doctor noted high blood pressure and cholesterol as potential issues and recommended a medication for hypertension. But, instead of jumping on a hypertension medication, I decided to start taking matters into my own hands.

I decided to hold off on the prescription and began collecting my own data at home including blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, activity and other lifestyle metrics. I also started tracking my own lab test results in Heads Up Health. My data led me to suspect the diagnosis from my doctor was incorrect. I sought out a second opinion from a different cardiologist and that’s when the correct issue, a genetic issue I was born with but had never been properly diagnosed.

Heads Up Health: Tell us about your experience with healthcare and your life leading up to the discovery of your heart disease.

Todd: As far as my own experience with healthcare, I’ve always been physically active. When I was in my 20s I ran marathons; I ran the New York City Marathon twice, plus the Los Angeles Marathon. After having some knee trouble, I dialed back from that and got into cycling. I even rode my bicycle coast to coast. I have a long bucket list I’d like to accomplish of other bicycle rides, too.

Heads Up Health: How did you feel after your diagnosis? What did you do?

Todd: I’ve continued to track my own health very closely using Heads Up Health’s solution. I’ve finally found the right specialist, which has ultimately led me to the right healthcare treatment. I was nervous about the outcome, but I’m confident that I have control over it. My hope is to jump right back onto the bucket list and cross things off.

Heads Up Heath: How do you use the Heads Up Health technology?

Todd: I have the Withings wireless blood pressure monitoring cuff to track my blood pressure and pulse rate. I use a FitBit to track my sleep and physical activity. Both of these devices are connected to my Heads Up Health account. I manually enter my BMI, weight, body water and muscle mass into my Heads Up account about once a week.

Blood pressure tracking with Heads Up Health

Blood pressure tracking with Heads Up Health

As someone that’s super busy, I’ve used Heads Up Health’s Concierge Service to help me get all of my clinical data (labs, medication history, conditions, etc.) into my profile. I can now track all of my medical data alongside all of my daily lifestyle data and share this with my doctor as needed.

Heads Up Heath: How did this whole experience between the Heads Up Health technology and interaction with healthcare providers make you feel confident about being in control of your health?

Todd: I think the analogy is, you’re becoming the driver of your own healthcare, as opposed to a passenger. Especially when you have a tool like [Heads Up Health]. I feel very confident about my situation. I don’t feel like I’m in the dark; I feel like I have control, and that’s pretty cool.

Other issues could crop up as I get older — I’m 45 — but hopefully I’ll be able to make decisions quickly, especially seeing trends over time. The more information you have, the more you have to make decisions to take care of yourself.

Heads Up Heath: OK last question. Based on your personal experience, what’s the one piece of advice you would offer others who are on a similar journey toward health transformation?

Todd: My one piece of advice is that people should take 100% control of their own health, instead of relying on hurried, overburdened healthcare providers.  At the end of the day, I know that no one has a more vested interest in my health than I do.  Far too many people place some sort of mystical trust in doctors, and the fact of the matter is they’re human, they make mistakes and overlook things, and they’re really taught to be reactive instead of preventative.

Learn More about Heads Up Health

Interested in another Heads Up Health Story of Transformation? Check out  beta user Bill Schuller’s story about how the technology helped him organize all his electronic health records.

Heads Up Health is currently in beta. Sign up to experience the beta version today. Or, if you’re just interested in staying up-to-date with the latest healthcare, fitness and wellness trends, follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook.