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/chi
nese 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.