palm trees

by MrsFatass on May 15, 2017


I’ve made a decision.

I am no longer trying to lose weight.

Nope. I’m done. Because over the last few years, the harder I try, the bigger I get, the crappier I feel, and the sadder I am.

I’ve spend the last month or so talking to several doctors about my symptoms, and have undergone about a gazillion tests. My endocrinologist, who I think is a pretty good doc, finally said to me “I see these different symptoms, but I can’t make them connect into a diagnosis that I can treat.”

Blink. Blink.

His plan is to wait and see, run all the tests again in 6 months and “hopefully” things will progress to a point of being able to treat. And while I don’t fault him for saying that, I’m not interested in just waiting for my enlarged, nodule-ridden thyroid to peter out. I’m not interested in waiting until I’m diabetic. I’m not interested in waiting for my low cortisol to turn into some chronic inflammatory nightmare. I’m not interested in waiting until I’m sicker, fatter, and more exhausted to get some kind of “treatment”.

He did mention along the way the notion of “adrenal fatigue” and suggested a few things. Rest. Changing the way I work out in order to really avoid the physical stress of what I’m doing now. Emphasis on yoga, weights, and everything low in impact and high in rejuvenation and meditation. He said to definitely keep with the low carb, grain free, no inflammatory way of eating that I’m trying to master. And he said I may want to turn to functional medicine.

I had a sleep study done as well, and that doctor was truly enlightening. Long story short, even though I’m sleeping all the time, I’m not getting nearly enough rest. I’m kicking myself out of REM all night long with clenches and twitches and rubbing my legs together and he says basically I’m getting the minimum amount of deep sleep I need to keep from going insane.

And again, I sat there blinking.

He said he left being a surgeon because he was trained only to cut, and when it finally hit him that he was doing nothing to actually heal people, he had to make a change. He and I talked a long time too, and he said he doesn’t know what came first, the bad sleep or the rest of the issues, but to correct my sleep problems will go a long way to help. Without real rest, I’m not regenerating, I’m not rebuilding, I’m not doing anything. So I left his office with a plan for less screen time, for using more lavender oil, for supplementing with ACV and vitamin C, and for a bite splint to help me with the clenching. We talked a bit about melatonin, which can be used if these other things aren’t enough, but he’s wary of people going straight for the bottle. He said in most countries around the world, melatonin isn’t available over the counter, and he sees it being overused and abused here all the time. So I’m going to hold off on that.

So. I went home and for a week I just took it all in. My symptoms include extreme fatigue, unexplained weight gain, decreased (and decreasing) endurance, slow to heal, slow to poop, slow to build muscle, slow to get into ketosis. Constipation. Thinning hair. Swollen joints. And did I mention weight gain? Which was probably the one that bothered me the most. For so many reasons. I’m a trainer for crying out loud! A triathlete! A Spartan in training! How can I keep getting fatter? And a close second is my endurance, which, even though I incorporate cardio into my workout plans 3-4 times a week, seems to be going BACKWARD.

And I decided that I need to take some time off from competing with others myself. I need to take some time to heal.

I am taking many of the suggestions of these doctors to heart:

  • I am going to fix my bad sleep. I’m limiting screen time: no more kindle app on my phone. No more Candy Crush in the bathroom. No more Facebook in bed. No more falling asleep with the TV on. I am going to bed early, using lavender oil in my diffuser, taking some ACV, and supplementing with Vitamin C.
  • I am going to continue with grain free eating, in a low carb/moderate protein/high fat breakdown.
  • I am also going to take some time to “detox”, which will also include removing dairy, nightshades, sugar, and caffeine for a period of time.
  • I’ve allowed some chemicals back into my personal hygiene products, too, and I’ve got to be disciplined again about keeping them out. I also bought some glass sun tea jars for water in the fridge, and am chucking the plastic water bottles and Tupperware.
  • I am changing my workouts. No more endurance training. No triathlons. I am going to focus on mind/body workouts and weight training. For how long? I don’t know. I’ll know when I know. I’m still leading a Spartan team and I still want a trifecta. But this year may end up being more about my teammates and their success than mine. We’ll just have to see. And I’m also considering a return to Zumba, which was the thing that uplifted my spirit AND changed my body for the better in the first place.
  • Something that we are doing as a family is kicking our spring cleaning up a notch, doing a major purge. It’s the “no bad juju” purge of 2017. Call me crazy, but I think objects carry energy, or, if not, our feeling/reaction to certain objects carry energy, and I’m freeing myself of all that which does not serve me well. Lots of filled up garbage cans and trips to the donation center are happening, and I feel lighter.
  • Find a good functional medicine doctor, and continue to supplement with Thrive. This is listed last on purpose. Thrive is just a given in my life right now. And a functional doctor, while important, is an expense I need to get ready for. So it will come, but I think I have got a pretty good start on my own.

I will never be able to avoid stress, but I am going to take more care about how I deal with stress. More walking the dogs, laughing with my friends, hugging my kids and hiking in the woods. More writing. I was recently on vacation on an island, and if you have been on an island, you know that there is a “vibe”. I’m taking great care not to lose the vibe. More music, more time spent with good people, more family, more love. For me, the palm tree symbolizes hanging on to this feeling of positivity, welcoming change, and the kind of energy I’m putting out into the universe.

Nowhere on this list do you see “weigh myself daily”, “count every calorie eaten and/or burned”, or “feel bad about my pants size.” I’m done with that. As I heal myself, the rest will come. I have to believe that.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie May 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm

I love you.

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Kelley Reischauer May 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm

I think this is awesome. Way to go! Sleep is SO SO important. I have struggled with sleep my entire life…I found out I’m magnesium deficient, so I now take magnesium at night and it’s a miracle. Sleeping through the night (got me through menopause which is the worst ever) and it keeps ya regular. Woot! And yes…all the other stuff will fall into place once you get this sleep stuff under control. 🙂

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Drazil May 15, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Seriously – every symptom you listed….I have. Actually scared me. I wish you didn’t feel this way. It’s so debilitating mentally and physically and so hard to keep trying without results. I hope you find everything you need. Smooches.

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staci May 15, 2017 at 2:56 pm

i’m really proud of you. my body has been in a state of revolt as well and although i’m not what most would call overweight, i feel upset about it. or have. but i’m starting to also do the things that are more about making me feel well. i see a counselor. i see a kinesiologist. i stopped drinking coffee. i gave up dairy. i’ve almost given up pop (i still need that caffeine surge every now and again). i’ve been weight training but i think i’m going to add in some HIIT workouts because those are what my body tends to respond to. i’ve also realized i just need to stop comparing myself to others. i can’t/won’t be them. ever. so, i have one life and why would i choose to live it in someone else’s highlight reel. it’s impossible and silly. time to enjoy those island vibes. well done, you.

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Tina May 16, 2017 at 11:48 am

My partner had a lot of your symptoms about 10 years ago. They were in their twenties, terrible digestion, irritable, exhausted, and joints were so tender and swollen you could not touch them. Thrashed all night long. After seeing a naturopath we found out, for them, that the culprit was mainly dairy. After cutting out dairy for a week everything went away. No idea what is causing your distress, but I really hope you figure it out.

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Donna May 16, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Hugs to you! I hope you find some answers. I know eating low carb/keto(ish) has really helped me with inflammation and just feeling better about myself.

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Thea May 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm

I hate that you are still struggling with the unknowns. Hate it. I just want for you to feel as good as you make other people feel. I love you. You know that.

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