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Thank GOD I believed in myself!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

I've been gone from SP for a while, and that was by design. Let me be honest here, it wasn't working for me. Well, not that it wasn't working for me, but that my body wasn't working for me. Let me explain.

I've been diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which has screwed with my hormones and body in general. I was told that it would take me twice as long to lose half as much weight as the average person. Truthfully, I was "okay" with that, as long as I saw results in the right direction.

However, that wasn't the only thing wrong with my body. It was like my body was against me. I would get heart palpitations, and even fainted once or twice from them. So, being concerned, I went to a few doctors and even a top cardiologist. The official report was "I'm just a person who gets these things". Um... okay. Then I had a goiter and doctors wanted to remove my thyroid. After a few diagnostic tests, they said I had nodules on my thyroid that had to be monitored. The day they went to biopsy them, POOF, the nodules disappeared.

Since then I've had all kinds of classic symptoms of thyroid disorders, but doctors have said that I'm fine. I wanted to SCREAM that I'm not. I have been diagnosed with depression, and was put on medication. I have been losing my hair in large clumps. I have been falling asleep at 7:30 every night... and not because I want to. I constantly was freezing - to the point where I slept with blankets on in the summer. My fingernails tear and break apart too easily (they come apart in sheets). The list goes on and on and on.

I saw a chiropractor. He said I had food allergies. Once I rid myself of my allergy foods he promised I would feel fantastic and would lose my weight. Well, $4,000.00 and twelve vials of blood work later, I found that there were 33 foods on my list. The summer before my wedding... actually, the weeks before my wedding... were spent eliminating 33 foods and trying to maintain sanity. After all of my foods were eliminated, I was supposed to do a "juicing" day every Sunday to clear my body of toxins. Right, so I bought a juicer. On a side note, Jack LeLaine really makes a fantastic one. Did this all work as promised? Nope, add five more pounds to my weight in that month. Five more pounds and I eliminated (among other things) sugar, eggs, dairy, wheat, yeast, carrageenan (which is in all nut and soy milks), etc etc etc. Nothing he promised, nothing, came true. No, I didn't feel better (although, I still don't eat yeast or eggs since they honestly do make me feel icky). No, my body wasn't working more efficiently. No, I definitely did not lose weight. YES I felt alone and frustrated.

And I've screamed and cried over and over. SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME! Yet the only people that have listened have been my family members. They could tell that I wasn't "normal". I had the body of a woman significantly older than myself. Menopausal women could relate to much of my symptoms, as could my friend with a thyroid problem.

So, I tried WW, which was a great support system. HOWEVER, I was told I don't eat enough (try hearing that in front of all these wonderful supportive women who were struggling because they were hungry all the time). I sucked it up and forced myself to finish my points every day, stayed quiet in group, and became frustrated. The most I ever lost was a half pound a week. Usually I would lose a quarter pound, or stay the same weight. I stopped.

Next came a wonderful friend of mine who was super supportive and positive. She suggested SP. I joined and loved the positivity and great tips. I followed the tips to a t, and again had to struggle to eat more. I asked my friend for ways to include more healthy calories in each meal so I didn't feel like I was forcing myself to eat all the time (I swore I would scream if I had to force myself to eat more walnuts). I drank at least 8-10 cups of water a day. I ran at least three times a week. I went to the gym. I was all about the positive vibes. AND... I gained weight. 15 pounds in a year.

Mentally I felt like I was breaking myself down. I'm a typical rule follower. When I do something I do it all the way - I don't break the rules. Yet, none of the rules seemed to apply to me. None of them seemed to work. For my own mental health I decided I couldn't do it anymore. This was my lowest point. I wanted to love myself again, not pick everything apart.

So, I stopped sparking. I stopped weighing. I stopped measuring. I stopped going to the gym where I felt inadequate. I started journaling and meditating. I started praying for some guidance.

I began every day looking in the mirror after a shower, forcing myself to really look and not cry. I would not leave the mirror until I found one GOOD thing to say about myself. It started with things that weren't physical and were quite generic - I'm a kind person, I love my family, etc. Eventually I forced myself to say one good physical thing about myself. Again, this started with things like my eyes are pretty. This was torturous for me, but darn it, I had to do it!! Eventually, and after much fantastic support and meditation where I could shut off my negative thoughts for 20 minutes a day, I began to feel much more positive.

I had a bit of a breakthrough at my meditation class. Long story short, I've had a lot of trauma to my body. My meditation teacher/friend listened to me for a good half hour to forty-five minutes. Just sat there and listened. I told her all about my body/mental traumas. I told her all about weight struggles and how I felt like screaming. At the end, for the first time ever I heard "I think I know how to help you". Oh my goodness!

So, her sister is an acupuncturist/nutritionist/chinese medicine expert. I was quite hesitant about going non-traditional at first, but I figured traditional doctors haven't helped me so far so what could it hurt. According to my meditation teacher, her sister has worked with many women with PCOS and has had great results.

My first visit I was nervous but excited. She explained that I have what Chinese medicine calls "dampness" in my body. My spleen system cannot handle raw foods. Everything should be cooked a little. The only foods to eliminate from my diet would be dairy (and of course the yeast and eggs that I already know bother me). I came home with a fish oil pill for my blood sugar (which PCOS elevates to a "pre-diabetic" level of 100) and an herb pill called "drain dampness" (sounds gross to me... and my husband and I have been joking about it ever since). I was instructed not to intentionally try to lose weight. Sounded crazy to me.

Three weeks later, I have lost 12 pounds. I SWEAR I haven't tried. My asthma is gone (apparently I stored some trauma around my diaphragm). I feel better than I can remember. I feel lighter mentally as well as physically. For once in my life this is not about me losing weight, yet I am. I don't care if I do, yet I have! My body just feels better, and I revel in the feeling of being healthy.

I know this was long, and I'm sure I've lost a lot of people who might have read it. Honestly, though, if one person finds this helpful then I've accomplished something. Sometimes trusting your own instincts is extremely important. I knew my body wasn't "normal". I knew I had to do something different for myself. Don't give up on yourself. Believe in yourself and you will find someone who believes in you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

__IZZA__ 5/1/2011 10:49AM

    Oh god, must have been horrible to have doctors not believing you. It's so good that you found something that worked for you.
I also have PCOS but have not discovered much problem health-wise except that some seem to lose weight faster than I do. My doctor told me though that it's easy for people with PCOS to gain weight but also hard to gain weight so could have its positive sides as well. emoticon

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LAURELSPARK 5/1/2011 10:12AM

    I'm glad to hear that your health is improving.............but sorry that you had to jump through all of those hoops with poor results. I hope your progress continues.

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TOTALLYT31 5/1/2011 9:16AM

    You've accomplished much!! emoticon

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Finding a way to keep sane in winter

Friday, February 25, 2011

I have the winter blahs in the worst way this year. I was not looking forward to going into March, realizing that it's still possible to have snow up the wazzoo, plus the news on TV can be overwhelming. I'm just looking forward to hiking and biking in the worst way. A little sunshine, fresh air, and waterfalls would do me very well.

SO, I was looking for a way to get myself through the next month, and lo and behold I found a meditation seminar being held by someone I adore. She's just this powerfully grounded woman who I always feel positive around. Every Wednesday in March from 7-8:30 will be devoted to grounding myself. It will be a time for me! Mental health truly contributes to my physical well-being. I cannot wait!

What's even better is that my friend is joining me! She feels the blahs as much (or more) than I do right now, and it's always better to have a friend with you - especially a good one!

So, my goal for today is to be positive. In fact, I just turned off the news because they were reporting how much MORE everything is going to cost the average American. No, I don't want to pretend it's not going on, but a day off would do me well. Today is a day to find the positives!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIMENADE2011 2/25/2011 10:57AM

    emoticon The meditation sessions sound great!

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LAURELSPARK 2/25/2011 8:09AM

    You might have the Winter blahs but your mind is still working. I think you made a great decision when you decided to do the meditation seminar.

Have a great weekend!

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LADYRH 2/25/2011 7:15AM

    Great Attitude, enjoy your positive day!

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Slow but sure

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I've always been a slow weight loser (yet a fast gainer... thanks a lot biology!) ;) Today I am looking at my small weight loss for the week as a positive. Yahoo!!! I need to stick to weekly weigh-ins for my mentality versus daily ones. Earlier in the week I was very angry with myself for "gaining" weight. Fluctuations are common - I need to keep myself in check or I will destroy myself.

I think I'll pick up a treat of fresh pineapple at the grocery store. It's just what I want on this snowy day. A bit of sunshine!

Goal for today - get back into an exercise routine after a month of having the flu and strep. I'll take it relatively easy, but I'm happy that I'm feeling up to it!

Happy Tuesday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABYBY2012 2/22/2011 9:44AM


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ONICAM 2/22/2011 8:42AM

    I wish that I could say the same. I have gained 2.2 pounds within the week and this is even though I am weaning myself off of soda and yeah I have gotten worse for part of the time in some areas, but not all the time.

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LAURELSPARK 2/22/2011 8:10AM

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better. Take things slowly until you feel 100%!

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EAP1115 2/22/2011 6:44AM


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What a Saturday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Okay, so I didn't post yesterday. It was my niece's 5th birthday party and then I went Christmas shopping (WAS I CRAZY?!) SO here's a recap of the things I did well on Saturday through all of that craziness:

emoticon I ate breakfast. I know, that might be a small one, but I'm proud of myself for eating breakfast on a rushed day. I'm accepting that it doesn't have to be a traditional "breakfast" food, which is super helpful for me. Thank you SP friends!

emoticon Thanks to the great planning by my sister, there was a fantastic veggie tray and a fruit tray out. I munched away on the veggies and a few pieces of fruit (the cantaloupe was super delicious) before the meal. My mom made the most scrumptious cookies, so I had two of them... but they were delicious and well worth it. I didn't take any home either!

emoticon It was a "make your own pizza" party for the kids and regular pizzas were ordered for the adults. It was the CUTEST party I've ever been to! The kids each had their own chef's hat which was too big for their heads and kept covering their eyes. I smiled and smiled. The experience definitely helped my mental health goals. As for the pizza, I knew I was allergic to every ingredient in the pizza (every one of them!) but there was no food alternative so I had a slice. Just one. Then I paid for it in pain. Oh well... I guess I didn't learn that lesson well enough.

emoticon My husband and I went shopping after the party. BJ's (I LOVE BJ's!) had out all kinds of samples. I bypassed them all. None of the foods looked good enough to ruin my goals with. Go me!

emoticon We went to the mall and I was seriously tempted by the pretzel place. Oh the smell of the buttery, salty, carbohydrate-y goodness almost won... but I can say it almost did! I, instead, walked past it and went for a small light coffee without cream. I know, the drink had empty calories, but it was fat-free and lasted longer than the pretzel would have. Plus, it didn't have yeast, which I'm allergic to. I have to break the habit of eating allergy foods willy nilly.

Okay, there were more things, such as choosing an appetizer and low-fat soup at my favorite restaurant instead of an entree at my favorite restaurant, and then eating half of each - but I feel like I'm rambling!

I just have to add that I went into Teavana which is this fantastic high-end tea store. I am a huge fan of teas (yes, I'm a dork) and will pay extra for a high-quality tea. However, I didn't want to buy anything for myself and dragged myself away from the store while my husband paid for a gift for his brother. He came out with teas for me in special canisters that he picked out for me! I'm super blessed to have a great husband! I'm sipping on my tea right now - Jasmine Strawberry Lemonade Green Tea Blend. It's heavenly!

I've definitely written too much. Sheesh!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARILOUIE 12/19/2010 7:52AM

    I love Teavana!

And yes, you are nuts for going Christmas shopping yesterday.

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MRE1956 12/19/2010 7:50AM

    Wow - sounds like you had an emoticon day! Sorry about your pizza issue, though......

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Accountability on a Friday

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm attempting to remain accountable through the holidays. So, what did I do yesterday that helped me towards my goals? Here I go.

emoticonI tried to eat as well as possible. I still didn't eat my daily allotment of calories, which is a daily struggle for me. I did, however, make smart eating choices - I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an attempt at a snack before lunch (I say attempt because work got in the way and I got one bite).

emoticonMy dinner was a healthy homemade version of salsbury steak (with turkey) that was delicious! My husband even wanted to take some for lunch today. The entire meal was under 200 calories (192 with lean beef, I didn't calculate with the turkey). In the future I'll have to find some way of increasing the calories in the meal while still keeping it healthy. This is the part that I struggle with.

emoticonOn a cold day, instead of parking near my destination I decided to walk a mile to my dentist and back. I have to admit, this might not have been the "best" idea since it was 18 degrees, but I certainly picked up the pace trying to get to the office as quickly as possible!

emoticonI bought "Clean Eating" magazine. Now I have a wealth of resources for the next few weeks. The magazine is great and has a slew of ideas! It was a great motivator for me and I'm glad I treated myself to it.

emoticonToday I will wear the silly bands as a reminder for drinking all of my water. I wore them yesterday but ended up not drinking all 8 glasses. Today I will make a more conscious effort!

Okay, so there goes. I guess all-in-all, yesterday wasn't such a bad day after all! Here's to a great day today! I'm filling my water bottle (which looks funny since I accidently melted it a bit... oops!) and I'm on my way to a FRIDAY AT WORK!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABETTERME8610 12/19/2010 7:44AM

    Thanks, as always, for your encouragement, Laurel!

Thanks, Sunrise, for the kind words! I don't post my food tracker because I'm not consistent with putting up my info. I know I should be, but I'm working on it.

I just picked up the magazine at my grocery store and it was kind of pricy at six dollars, but they also have a website: http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/ I don't know that I would do everything they suggest, but the recipes are much more friendly towards my weird-o allergies than the average food magazine (I have about 30 food sensitivities). I'll send the Salisbury steak recipe your way!

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SUNRISE14 12/17/2010 7:15AM

    emoticon emoticon love your blog will be subscribing to it. Thank you for all the info on it. Could you send me the recipe for the steak and the nutrition info. I am trying to get off of tv dinners which i have used for awhile to keep from figuring out what to eat. I do good on Breakfast lunch and snacks but supper i never know what to fix. I am going to check and see if your food tracker is public maybe it will give me some ideas ! If you got any meat easy lo-cal recipes i'd love to have the help ! emoticon This magazine where can you get it and how much does it cost?

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LAURELSPARK 12/17/2010 6:56AM

    Good luck with your goals today!

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