7 Tips For Taking Your Best Quantified #Selfie

There’s no shame in a selfie – we admit it. Sometimes you’re feeling good and want to capture the moment. But a Quantified Selfie? The opportunity to assess just might give you the boost you need to take control of your health.

Credit: Flickr Commons, Martin Pilát

Credit: Flickr Commons, Martin Pilát

When thinking about the efforts made to eat healthier, move more, and live longer, why not empower yourself by taking self-initiated snapshots of your stats and put the health data in your pocket – remember, if you have the data, you can influence the outcomes. Understandably, the deluge of numbers can be overwhelming. What do you track? How often? When and how do you make sense of it all? To kick off 2014 and prepare you to be your best self along your health journey, enjoy these 7 tips we’ve pooled together to help you take your best Quantified Selfie:

  1. Fix the lighting. You wouldn’t take a photo in dim light, would you? Sometimes the best efforts in healthy eating and fitness have the unfortunate luck of being deemed as one-size-fits all. The WellnessFX team knows that that’s not the case. While veggies, lean proteins, fruits, and healthy fats are good for your body, if you don’t test to see what minerals and vitamins your body specifically requires, you may be missing a crucial biomarker change needed. Conduct a lab test to shed light on your unique set of biomarkers and to find deficiencies or areas where you can improve.

  2. Check what’s in the background. Just like distractions in the background can be, well, distracting, be sure to pick the package that best addresses your health needs. Everyone is different. Since you can choose the background, be sure to look at related biomarkers. Finding more than one abnormal lab value in a category is a better indicator of health issues than having a single outlier.

  3. Look your best. Not ready to have your photo taken until you look your best? For the quantified selfie, that means readying yourself for your scheduled blood draw. After you find a lab location near you, here are a few key actions you can expect: Most tests require you to fast for 12 hours, so we recommend scheduling your blood test for the morning. Blood draws typically only take about 10 minutes and lab results are automatically uploaded to your WellnessFX account in 3-10 days.

  4. Check yourself out. Just like any good selfie expert knows, it’s a good idea to give yourself a once over to check for crazy hair or make-up. Take the time to read up about each of the biomarkers and what they mean. The WellnessFX app explains each biomarker, or you can check trustworthy websites like the National Institute of Health or the Mayo Clinic.

  5. Give yourself a few to choose from. We all like choices, right? The same applies to your health data. Test and test again, benchmarking your biomarkers every 3-4 months. Proactively charting your progress shows you which way your data is trending. Where do your lab values vary? Numbers in the “moderate” or “borderline” range are generally less of a concern than values in the “high risk” range. If a number is wildly out of range, take special note. Do you notice any trends? Time of day, nutrition, and even the weather can affect biomarkers.

  6. Beware of the inappropriate. Don’t self-diagnose. While some of the best-intentioned selfies were, unfortunately, ill-timed, it is all too common for the same best-intentions to go awry when it comes to your lab values. Always seek a medical professional to guide you and make sense of the data. Always. Schedule an appointment with your PCP and create a plan that is actionable, with your lab results in tow. If your doctor is unable to consult on your health issues until you are showing symptoms of disease, check with WellnessFX’s knowledgeable practitioners for help you can receive at your convenience, from the comfort of your home.

  7. Keep calm. Snapped a bad photo? Calm down, you can take another one in .14 seconds. The important part is to not panic. When getting your lab results, manage your anxieties. If you caught an abnormal lab value early, recognize it as a blessing, not a curse. Stay on top of stress – it has the ability to stop you in your tracks from creating worst-case scenarios.

Proud of your healthy habits or have some great results to share? Let us know by tweeting / Instagramming (it’s a verb, right?) us using #QuantifiedSelfie and @WellnessFX to show us your latest.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.