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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Monday, July 07, 2014

An accountability confession:

UGLY: I haven't been Sparking much, since March. I've been struggling with my scale, and feeling frustrated and ashamed. I long for the old days, when a bad week meant my scale hadn't budged, or I had only lost 1 pound. These past few months, If I got on the scale at the end of the week, and I hadn't gained, I was actually doing a happy dance. The frustrating part... It wasn't because I had "fallen off" that mythical wagon. In fact, I was doing everything I could to hang on tight. Doing EVERYTHING that used to work, eating Whole30 or Paleo clean and working out like it was my job; but it just wasn't working anymore. By the end of May, I felt like jumping off that stupid wagon, and letting it run over me.

BAD: Over that same period of time, I started struggling with other issues too... indigestion after most meals, insomnia, or waking up at 3 a.m. and not being able to fall back to sleep, fatigue, mental fog, forgetfulness, muscle stiffness, and visible muscle swelling around my knees, ankles, forearms and wrists. Needing Spanks to fit into my sweats was frustrating, but needing help to get off the floor after a workout was frightening; so in June, I finally went to the doctor.

GOOD: I've been assigned to my primary care provider for over five years, but had never even met her, because before these issues, the only doctor I've needed to see was my OB/GYN. So, when I asked for help, I wasn't sure what to expect. Well, as it turned out, my PCP is fabulous! She spent a lot of time with me. She made me feel heard, not judged, and she was extremely empathetic. Maybe because she's in her early 50's and struggles with weight too. Anyway... She ordered a zillion blood tests, and was able to rule out a lot of scary things, like lupus, arthritis, and Cushing's etc. In addition many of the normal health markers doctors usually check were great, including my blood pressure, and resting heart rate, but my lipid panel was freaking FABULOUS! --- Take that paleo critics! It IS sugar and grains NOT fats or red meat that cause high LDL and triglycerides.

The bad results... My thyroid panel was abnormal. My FSH, Estradiol, & LH levels all indicated menopause, which instantly made me feel OLD! And, despite the fact that I'd been taking a daily calcium supplement, which contains 1000 iu's of Vitamin D. I was vitamin D deficient! According to my doctor, vitamin D is extremely important and a deficiency can cause A LOT of different issues, including thyroid disfunction, muscle pain, insulin resistance, fatigue, depression, and infertility, just to list a few. And apparently, it's more difficult than you might think to make vitamin D, naturally. Who knew?

PRESENT: My doctor currently has me taking 10,000 iu's of vitamin D a day, and I'm feeling A LOT better. Unfortunately, it hasn't alleviated all of my muscle issues. So the next step is an appointment with a Rheumatologist. In the meantime, at my doctor's suggestion, I've implemented major changes to my "healthy" eating. I've had to eliminate some of my favorite veggies including sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower (which have been staples, since going Paleo) because they contain goitrogens and thiocyanates that can disrupt normal thyroid function. Due to the insulin resistance, caused by my lower estrogen levels and vitamin D issues, I've been told to restrict my sugar intake, which includes high sugar fruits. I know that most of us believe that a healthy lifestyle SHOULD include sweet treats, because we don't want to EVER feel deprived. (Maybe that's because research has shown that sugar is as addictive as heroin.) But, the truth is dealing with this health scare has dramatically changed my perspective. Right now I feel like I DESERVE to be healthy, to feel good, and to be pain free. So, my current mantra -- nothing tastes as good, as healthy feels. Lately, I've also been watching YouTube videos to help me not want to eat sugar. My favorite slightly technical one ... FAT CHANCE: Fructose 2.0 www.youtube.com/watch?v=
A less technical one, if you're not into the science is THE SECRETS OF SUGAR www.youtube.com/watch?v=

So whether like it or not, my body has changed, and I have to accept that from this point forward, to reach my goals, I will need to work much harder than before to see any results; but that's ok. Everything changes, and this is just a new phase in my life and in my journey, a new opportunity to practice Self-love. Including Self-love Step #6: Forgive yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.

It's been a struggle, and has taken a lot longer than I thought, but now, with these new changes to my program, I'm finally moving forward again. Three pounds down, but unfortunately, I now have 25 to go.

JULY CHALLENGE: Stop the madness and take care of myself. No excuses. No exceptions.

30 DAY NUTRITION GOAL: Complete another Whole30. Eating Whole30 clean will give me more energy, help boost my immune system, and the structure of the program, will help eliminate the residual sugar cravings. Today is day 7.

30 DAY FITNESS GOAL: With my muscular issues, exercise is even more important than ever. My doctor said, "Move it or lose it." You don't have to tell me twice. I love fitness. I've re-started Tracy's Metamorphosis program, which includes muscle restructuring and dance/rebounder cardio. I know, Tracy doesn't like you starting over, but one battle at a time. Today is day 1 of Level 2. I'm doing the ab and arm workout from Tracy's Mat Workout DVD, just to get in some extra arm work. Oh, and I've also started the Rip 60 program, which is an 8 week program similar to TRX. Today is week 2 day 1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=
I also walk at least 45 minute twice a day with my dog. My Sunday active rest day, includes, walks, swimming, hoop practice, and Yin yoga.

To all my SP friends, thank you for being a constant source of inspiration & support, and for helping to hold me accountable. Without having to answer to you, I probably would have given up this time.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Looking for inspiration,glad I found this post!
    2111 days ago
    Glad to hear you made the decision to seek help in taking care of yourself! You are worth it! emoticon

    I've been struggling with my knee again too and realized the only way to address it is get back on the program.

    emoticon Melissa
    2430 days ago
  • JSPIN74
    Hi, I came across your page & this blog by chance & am adding you as a friend if you don't mind. I'm starting to feel the way you were feeling....hoping the fact that you haven't ignored it & are being proactive is helping you!

    My desire & plan is to stop making excuses & be more proactive in caring & looking into my health more deeply too...

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2434 days ago
    Sending big Hugs I'm glad you have an answer.
    2470 days ago
  • THIN133
    So nice to hear from you Marki! So sorry you have been having such challenges ! I can only imagine how frustrating it has to be for you ! It's good the dr.is running tests & is so engaged & helping you so you can feel better ! The thyroid can mess with alot of things ! So can deficiencies that our body needs ! It sounds like you are grabbing the bull by the horns & you are getting back on track ! You can do this ! You are strong and determined ! I know you can conquer & overcome & lose that weight & feel good again ! Take care ! emoticon emoticon
    2478 days ago
    You are wonderful! The Best!
    I am in the same "menopausal" boat
    as you at the moment.

    You and Your blog was a true inspiration
    for me to be kind to myself and never give up!


    2478 days ago
  • KLONG8
    WOW! No wonder you were struggling. So glad you had a check up with results that you can build from and boy, do you have a plan! I'm rooting for you (and trying to get myself to reboot!)
    2478 days ago
    I am so glad that you are starting to get some answers. There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing what is causing very real health issues. It sounds like you are well on your way to losing those 25 pesky pounds!
    2478 days ago
    I am so glad that you went to the Doctor and are sorting this whole thing out. I just know you will figure this out and get back on track. I can sympathize with you on the joint issues and you inspire me to keep moving. I hope you know you have always kept me going when I wanted to give up and I thank you for that. You rock Marki!! emoticon emoticon
    2478 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9543726
    I really hope you guys found the source of the problem and things can come back from there. So many of the symptoms you mention are things I've suffered from as well. Especially that form of insomnia (which has pretty much disappeared since I started taking powdered magnesium citrate back in mid-May, thank goodness!). Lack of sleep can be debilitating. The low-carb thing makes me sad for you though. :( Hopefully you can stabilize and add things back in.

    I'm actually considering trying Whole30 again - WITHOUT coconut - now that I've got a good idea of what was causing the health problems I had during Whole30. Not until after we move cross-country, though. I'm thinking September.
    2478 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1975633
    Girly! I'm so glad you went to the doc...medical issues stink and I'm sorry you have had such a tough time.

    What I do want you to know...You have been a consistent inspiration to me! I just bought the Whole30 book and am reading it now. I keep trying and I think you may have given me the one missing tool I so desperately needed! So, thank you! Thank you for being supportive, thank you for being honest and thank you for standing back up again! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to try just ONE more time! I know you can do it and have every confidence in you!
    2479 days ago
    Glad to see you again and you are not alone; it's been a very tough year. In many ways.
    2479 days ago
    Thank you for this excellent blog full of useful information. I'm experiencing a lot of the pain and stiffness issues described here, and you've provided some ideas that I've never considered before, such as the importance of vitamin D, which I'll certainly look into. And you've reminded me to exercise, which I've avoided doing for too long because of joint problems. I'm inspired by your determination, and I hope to follow your lead! Good luck with those last 25 pounds. From what you've said here, I have no doubt you can do it!
    2479 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Keep up the good work!
    2479 days ago
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