I’m about to get vulnerable. It probably won’t be the last time that I am this year. I am expecting a year of change and big pushes forward in all areas of my life and experience has taught me two things. 1 – whenever I set my mind to big pushes forward I will get push backs. Every action does thoroughly have an equal and opposite reaction. 2 – every time changes come my way and things push forward, I find that I end up being in vulnerable positions. I tend to think, based on my faith, that is God’s way of exposing our rawness to mold us and changes us where he wants to us to grow.
As I said, I’m about to get vulnerable and I hope in my doing so that I may help others in the process. A couple of years ago I briefly shared my health struggles when I shared my fitness journal but I did not get in to too many details. Sadly, the struggles I was dealing with in 2014 I was still struggling with in the end of 2015. The truth is that my health problems had been around for a while and they manifested in so many ways. The most visible was my physical appearance. And as frustrating as it was (and is), it was not the most infuriating part of my health challenges.
About 2 years before my husband and I were set to get married I started gaining weight. While I’ll admit I wasn’t perfect in my eating, I was by no means eating in excess and very much tried to eat healthy. When I was 20 I diligently worked to lose 160 pounds and have worked my butt off to make sure that I kept it off – give or take 10 pounds. But the scale started to climb, slowly at first but then fast. By the time my husband and I got engaged, I had ballooned from a size 4 to a size 16.
Food was not my friend either. I discovered I couldn’t eat pretty much anything without getting sick. I had points where I chose to not eat because I didn’t want to throw up (AND I STILL GAINED WEIGHT). Then I would just eat small amounts, knowing that in as little as a half hour or so it would be coming up. Or worse. I’d spend the night regurgitating food or belching. I pride myself on being a lady. This uncontrollable release of a burp was mortifying. The only thing worse would have been farting in front of someone!
The stomach pain and nausea that came from all of this was enough to have me in tears on many an occasion. Most days I just lived with it. Up until about the middle of November I can’t remember a single day where I was not nauseous. Its funny what you can live with once it becomes your new norm.
I started to get tired, really tired. I began sleeping longer. At first just an hour here, an hour there. It rapidly turned in to uncontrollable naps, crashing around 2pm. Hour long naps turned into a couple of hours to 5 hour long naps. I didn’t want to sleep but it was an involuntary reaction on my part. I was use to sleeping a max of 6 hours and had always been a fount of energy. I typically had insomniac nights – not constant bouts of drop dead tired sleepiness. At one point I was sleeping about 16 hours a day. Needless to say I was not getting anything done.
And that wasn’t it. I know I’m going to sound egotistical here but one thing I have always prided myself on was my quick mind. I have always had amazing recall, bordering on an eidetic memory. I could always recall almost everything I have read, heard or seen and loved learning. Around the same time I started to gain weight and get tired, my brain started to fog. At first I couldn’t remember small things. But it got worse. It got way worse. At one point, I couldn’t remember what I said from one minute to another. My business began to suffer. Lists helped but I couldn’t focus on tasks at hand. I was really struggling. This was probably the worse part of it all – even over the lack of energy, the weight gain and the inability to eat anything without getting sick – this was without a doubt the worst for me. Losing my brain. And at this point I was a bride-to-be struggling to get into her wedding gown.
I started to get desperate and depressed. My doctor ran test after test after test and I quote, “You have the best blood work I have ever seen.” I was put on trazadone to get sleep, and since it was also an antidepressant, I guess it was also supposed to help with that. The thought was I was not getting solid deep sleep at night. I started to get “a good night’s” sleep but I really wasn’t feeling any better. And I was still gaining. She suggested weight watchers.
Try Weight Watchers
I failed weight watchers…not because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do but because I was gaining weight. I kept to my points but I still gained weight. I worked out and I gained weight. My next step was to seek medical help for weight loss. I went on phentermine and an antidepressant aid. And it worked for a little while, at least enough for me to get into my wedding dress. But it was a conversation with the doctor that was the biggest ah-ha moment in my life. I shared with him the struggles I was experiencing and he suggested I might have a thyroid problem.
A visit to an endocrinologist confirmed this. Once my thyroid (H3 issues that are extremely hard to find apparently) got in check, the brain fog started to clear up, my energy started to get better. I wasn’t myself but it was a new normal that I could adjust to and live with. My weight stabilized. I didn’t lose but I had stopped gaining…for a while. About a half a year after getting married, the weight started to slowly creep back on. I was getting tired again. It was like I was reverting but my thyroid levels were normalized and stable.
It began a journey with my allergist and my endocrinologist. I had stumped them all on my weight gain. I tried Belviq. It worked for a month then the weight creep began again. Next, was Contrave. Again, I was good for a month, then the creep began again. I was officially at my heaviest weight since I had lost all my weight over a decade ago. I was frustrated and still suffering from all my other unhealthy symptoms that had become my norm.
Everybody loses on Contrave
That’s what my general doctor and endocrinologist said. Everyone, except me. I asked to be test for insulin resistance. I’d done research and that could possibly explain why I had trouble with weight and every other symptom I was dealing with. I was. A new medication – metformin. Other than it making me sick when I took it, a common side effect, I really didn’t notice any difference.
I was not too long after this that I saw my friend’s Facebook post about her new health program. In desperation, I asked what she was doing. She shared. She shared her private health and wellness page. I was skeptically impressed. It made sense. It was detoxing and properly sourced proper nutrition served in a simple method. My husband and I discussed taking a chance on it.
See we are trying to have a baby. My obgyn made it clear I should really lose weight. My husband and I both agreed I needed to deal with my health challenges if we were having a baby. And let’s face it. I was desperate. I was pretty much ready to try anything. I took the leap of faith. And I am so glad that I did.
The promise that this health program made was to provide my body with good nutrition – to provide it with food. Nothing else. I wasn’t looking for cures. I was hoping that in my body getting the proper nutrition and from proper sourced sources, that my body would get back to working for me and not against me. I knew this wasn’t a cure. I knew it wouldn’t get rid of my illnesses. And it didn’t promise to do that. I hoped it would help me get a hold of the gnarly symptoms I’d been experiencing and perhaps, just perhaps, get my life back to the old me.
Since the middle of November, and as I shared in my last 2015 Monday Munchies, I have followed a simple plan of a shake in the morning, a shake a lunch, two snacks a day and a 400-600 calorie low glycemic dinner. Four days a month I do a cellular detox through intermittent fasting. Within three days of starting, I began getting energy again. Within two weeks I had lost weight and inches. At the end of the first month, I wasn’t getting sick. Its been a month and half now. I’m down two pants sizes.
I was starting to get my old self back. I feel like I have a new lease on life. I’m going to share my journey with you…and my recipes. I’ve never been a heavy protein girl so this is definitely new for me. So my Monday Munchies are going to focus on low glycemic meals and options. Every now and then I will share the ups and downs of my progress. Hopefully what has improved and what still needs work. I hope that my story, if nothing else, gives you hope.
Until the next post!
Disclaimer: I have become so amazingly impressed and convinced of the benefits that this health program offers, I am a representative for it and am financially compensated for those that choose to participate. That said, my opinions are my own and my purpose in this and future posts is just to share my journey.