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Irrational, destructive thoughts!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Since the Sunday ďpass outĒ episode at the gym Iíve been struggling with my thoughts a bit.

I did some reading about neurocardiogenic syncope. It appears that thereís more information available now than there was in 2004 when I was first diagnosed.

One of the potential causes that I read about is low sodium.

Anyone that knows me at all knows that Iím all about low sodium! I buy ďlow sodiumĒ or ďno salt addedĒ versions of anything and everything that I can.

Heck, Iíve swapped out the salsa that we use three sparking times so that I can enjoy taco salad without hating the scale the next day.

Sodium kills my weight loss!

The maximum recommended amount of sodium is 2,300 mg a day.

I try to keep my sodium level less than 1,500 mg a day because that helps keep the scale moving in the right direction.

If I have a day where I eat 2,000 mg of sodium (or more) I can expect to see a gain of anywhere from one to three poundsÖ and it takes DAYS of drinking tons of water to get back to my previous weight.


I was talking to a co-worker about the neurocardiogenic syncope thingÖ and she said that her teenage son was just diagnosed with the same thing.

His episodes manifest a bit differently thoughÖ heís been passing out upon standing up suddenly.

Guess what the doctor told him to do?

Increase his sodium intake.

Guess what the doctor prescribed him?

Salt tablets.


I am really hoping and praying that this was an isolated incident.

Iím hoping that it was a combination of overexertion and overheating (even though I didnít feel like Iíd overexerted myself... my HRM clearly showed that I'd burned more calories than usual) and that it has nothing to do with my sodium intake.

I have a doctorís appointment with my primary care doctor on Monday so weíll see what he says.

But until then Iím trying not to panic and Iím trying to keep the irrational, destructive thoughts at bay.

Today I was thinking, ďWhatís the point?Ē

Why should I bother eating right if Iím going to have to increase my sodium intake and I wonít be able to lose weight?

Whatís the sense in working out if I canít really WORK out?

Then I thought about how I gave away all of my ďfatĒ clothes and how that might have been a mistakeÖ you know because if I canít push myself during my workouts without passing out how am I going to get any smaller?

Iím trying to tell my brain to think about this logicallyÖ

I have been eating like this for MONTHS!

I have been working out like this for MONTHS!

And Iíve had ONE episode!

Itís not time to panic just yet and start driving myself crazy. (But thatís what Iím doing!)

Now, if I can just convince my brain to accept the logical side of this instead of the irrational side.

That is a little difficult though because Iím scaredÖ

Iím scared that Iíll have another episode the next time I go to the gym to workout.

Iím scared that I will have to up my sodium intake to prevent another episode.

Iím scared that increasing my sodium intake will slow or completely stop my weight loss.

Iím scared that if I am not able to push myself during my workouts that I will get bored and wonít want to go to the gym at all.

Iím scared that I will gain this weight back and that all of my hard work will have been for nothing.

Iím scared that I will end up disappointing myself and everyone else thatís been cheering me on during this journey to get healthier.

Iím scared that my newfound happiness (that I achieved through eating right and working towards making myself healthier) will slip away.

And Iím scared that if I donít get this off my chestÖ Iíll eat those sparking Pop-Tarts that are still in my lunch bag! LOL

(Deep breath)

Now that Iíve gotten that all outÖ

I think the Pop-Tarts will survive another day.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I sent you Spark Mail after reading about Sunday's episode and before I read this blog. I remember my doctor wanted to prescribe Florinef (sodium pill) to treat my condition. I refused.......did not want any part of it. He did tell me to consume a lot of salt and to drink lots of water...... I have noticed that I can be a little more liberal with the salt as long as I drink about 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily, and a bit more if I dine out at a restaurant, it hot outside, or if I exercise. Hope that helps! Hang in there, my friend!

    1771 days ago
    Viva la POPTARTS, supastar!

    ::HUGS:: WHen do you hear what the Doc has to say?

    You can still do this and be healthy, Winnie. You rock!
    1771 days ago
    1771 days ago
    Ok, I know you like the low sodium thing. BUT... your body NEEDS salt to survive. Your heart can not beat with out salt. Your brain can not function with out salt. Salt is the driving force that your nerves use to work. I know it is hard for you. If increasing your sodium causes a little weight gain, you know it is only water weight. The most important thing is to take care of yourself. Listen to what your doctor tells you to do. It is tough. I know. Since having surgery last October, I have to take blood thinners from two blood clots I got afterwards. Dealing with something like this is hard, but, it is required. You are eating right and exercising to make your body healthy right? Well, if your doctor requires you to increase your salt intake, well, that is also to make your body healthy. I truly hope and pray that everything works out for you. Much love my friend. emoticon emoticon
    1772 days ago
    Ugh! Isn't it just the irony of ironies that the fix could be your nemesis! Boo!

    I agree with everyone else. If you do have to up your sodium, it will level out as it's just water. It may take a little bit to get it in balance but it will.

    You are doing AMAZING and that's not going to change. You won't let it!

    Glad you vented and spared the Pop-Tarts! You may need to have a ceremonial burning of the Pop-Tarts. ;)

    I know you will be fine and find a solution to this. Hang in there!! You GOT this!
    1772 days ago
    I'm so sorry that you've had a rough day. I know that what you are going through is scary; however, you've been eating clean and working out regularly for months now, and you've only had one episode. Personally, I would continue to eat clean and work out like you've been doing. Like you said, it may have been just an isolated event.

    However, it may also be a good idea to talk with your doctor. Inform he/she that of the last few months (eating clean and working out regularly), but that you had just one event. They might suggest something for you.

    I know it's frustrating, but you've come so far. Don't give up. See what your doctor says.
    1772 days ago
    I'm glad you got it out. Sometimes it's good to just put it out there and leave it out there. I hope that by having a good sleep your brain will reboot and help you hunker down and find a way to help you through these hard thoughts. I am praying for peace for you.
    1773 days ago
    You don't gain fat weight on sodium, you just retain a bit more water, but there's a limit, and your water weight will level out and you'll see that it no longer masks your weightloss. They're finding that superlow sodium can be harmful. The body needs sodium to do its work. Be well!
    1773 days ago
    That's it let it out!!! It helps!! And you could never disapoint any of us! Don't ever worry about that!
    I just so hope that you get good news when you go to the Dr. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I can totally understand why you would be worried and scared. emoticon emoticon
    1773 days ago
    You may just find that you will gain some back temporarily and after your body gets used to the new sodium level it will shed the pounds again. Don't panic until you talk to your doctor and tell him/her your concerns. There may be something you can do about it. Good luck!
    1773 days ago
  • DRKEYEZ820
    Winnie! Look at where U are RIGHT NOW. take a GOOD LONG HARD LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR! You are healthy, and u look amazing! I dont blame you for being scared, but dont be, everyone here is struggling to lose weight because of one struggle or another, even if you were to get prescribed salt tablets, thats not gonna stop you from being healthy and loosing weight. It might take u alittle extra time and effort, but thats not gonna derail u.
    There is ALWAYS a way around a boulder in the road. Trust in yourself, like u said u have had ONE episode-
    Just gotta breathe :) THROW AWAY THE SPARKIN POPTARTS ALREADY :) just saying :)

    Regardless your in my thoughts, and i hope for the best at your appointment. I will be keeping tabs, im worried about u, and im cheering u on all at the same time.
    1773 days ago
    Oh Winnie, I'm so sorry. I hope the doc can help calm your nerves. I will continue to hope for the best.
    1773 days ago
    It's good to vent, and easy to imagine the worst, but hold your horses, here. Don't panic. First, as you say, you have only had one episode, and you've been eating this way for HOW LONG?

    Sedond, you are NOT, repeat NOT, going to gain all that weight back, even if the doc tells you to increase your sodium intake. You have not lost almost 50 pounds of SODIUM, my dear. That was FAT. Lots of FAT. We know what fat looks like. Not the same as salt, right?

    You doctor will probably run some blood tests. If your sodium level is low, you NEED to increase your salt intake. Too little sodium is dangerous. Your body needs sodium for proper functioning of your muscles, and your heart is a big muscle. Low sodium can also cause the kind of confusion that gets you hospitalized and has people thinkin' you're crazy (not in a cute, kinda endearing way, either!) Now, it's highly unlikely your sodium level could get dangerously low from a low-sodium diet, but I guess it's not impossible.

    So see your doctor, and keep us up to date on what (s)he says.
    1773 days ago
  • SHIRE33
    Well, if it ends up you have to eat more sodium, the one good thing is that any "weight" you gain is still just going to be water. It seems inevitable that as long as you keep working out and eating right that *eventually* the weight will have to come off, even if you keep the water, since fat will be going. It'll just take longer to show up. But still definitely be happening.

    I hope you find out this was an isolated thing. Good luck! Keep us posted. : )
    1773 days ago
    I totally understand what it's like when that negative self-talk creeps in, and it's good that you are using SP as a venue for getting those thoughts out and seeking support. Awesome! I also like how you reminded yourself that you have been eating right and exercising for months and this is the first episode you've had in a long time. I really hope you don't end up having to increase your sodium intake, but even if you do, I bet you will still be able to make it work and keep losing weight through calorie intake and exercise. I typically eat over what I should for trying to be on a low sodium diet, and I can still lose as long as I keep on track with my calories and exercise.
    1773 days ago
    It is good to vent, and I'm glad that you did. I realize that you have worked real hard, but your health comes first. Talk to your dr. and see what he/she can suggest to keep your weight under control. Even if you have to increase your sodium intake you may need to drink more water and continue your exercise regime. Think positive and good luck to you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. emoticon
    1773 days ago
    Just saw this and also your other blog! How scary, and I'm glad you are okay. I know you will get through this. Remember that while sodium does cause some water retention, it's still necessary for your body to function. Even if you have to increase your sodium marginally, if you keep it even, you may see a 'gain' of a couple pounds of water, but it will go away as you keep burning more calories than you are consuming. Increasing your sodium slightly won't cause you to undo all the hard work you've done.

    Is there any way you can incorporate water aerobics? You can still get a really good workout and your body stays cooler from the water.

    I am dealing with the same fears due to my back, so I totally understand how you feel. Hang in there sweetie!
    1773 days ago
    Good girl---get it all off your chest, don't hold it in. I had to go back because I somehow missed your post about your episode-so scary! I hope your dr visit goes well and that it will be something easy to prevent from happening again. Take care of yourself. Keep reminding yourself-- emoticon
    1773 days ago
  • GINA180847
    Winnie, this is a real catch 22. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. What to do? I think I would ask the dietician attached to Spark for some assisstance. Surely they can give you some answers. Keep us informed!
    1773 days ago
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