About a year ago, I was not feeing well! I was resisting menopause, not by choice but it seemed my body would just not cooperate in letting it happen. I won’t go into detail but this involved lots of blood and ovarian cysts. Sorry! 😦 Other issues I have struggled with began to exacerbate and I felt just awful.
I have been an athlete for most of my life. I am 53 years old, I began running as a 16 year old chubby girl trying to lose weight and from there became an endorphin addicted jock. I was a lifeguard in high school and got my 100 mile patch. I ran local races for many years, eventually winning some in my age group in my 30’s, most women’s fastest years by the way. I played with triathlons but DO NOT enjoy swimming in the ocean. Sharks. Now, I have a great bike though and I do enjoy biking. I’m currently training for a marathon that will happen in 3 weeks! I hope to never run more than 4 miles again! Famous last words… I’ve been a certified aerobics instructor, I LOVE spinning and in general, I love to move and sweat. I have 5 children and weighed right around 185 lbs at each birth. I’m barely 5’3″ so that’s a lot of weight. My point in telling you all of this is that I have been in really great shape for most of my life BUT I always felt fat! I would comment after losing baby weight 5 times that I recognize the weight loss and I’m obviously smaller but I was just a “smaller fat person”.
I always had a gut, a big belly. I had a “voluptuous” figure, puffy, chubby, thick; all those not so flattering words we use. I also ALWAYS had a headache. I struggled with blood sugar issues. As a young nurse working night shift, it would bottom out in the middle of the night, after coffee and sweets to stay alert, and be elevated after fasting in the morning. I also struggled with depression. It was definitely cyclical and I was eventually diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder; PMS on crack! I was prescribed several antidepressants that left me feeling like a buzz box about to explode. I had other symptoms that went unrecognized as it was just “the way I was”. I knew nothing different. I had been to physicians throughout my life in regards to the headaches because they were sometimes severe but at the least an ever present annoyance. I was put on every allergy medicine out there to no avail. I had constant post nasal drip and with every brain scan, I had 3, was put on 30 day antibiotics because my sinuses had thick mucous coating throughout. We were treating the symptoms.
Last September 2016 I went to see a specialist. A holistic physician whose focus was not on treating the symptoms but
“optimizing physiology: focusing on nutrition, hormonal health, fitness, detoxification and mind and nervous system enhancement.” Dr Jorge Pelaez
First, he told me I was gluten intolerant. Without even testing me he could tell me that by reading my history, as above! He challenged me to eliminate wheat from my diet. Within 3 weeks my headaches were gone! We did a battery of lab tests. I was in adrenal fatigue, can you say stress?! Yes, had lots of that in my life. I needed more Vitamin D, had very low thyroid and my hormones were out of wack! My fasting blood sugar was high and my HbA1c was high, I was borderline diabetic! He prescribed the supplements and medications I needed. I also went on a 3 week detox and after that he recommended a diet of mostly meat, fish, nuts and seeds and vegetables. Dairy was scarce except for Kefir and some cheeses AND he finally recommended that I eliminate all gluten from my diet, to include corn and rice. I was allowed some black rice and quinoa. I felt 1000% better. I had no headaches, more energy, I was happy! I also lost 8 pounds and didn’t feel bloated or fat. My belly was diminishing!
Sidenote: I stopped bleaching my hair, no more chemicals!
One thing that didn’t get better was my blood sugar. I continued to have higher than optimal fasting blood sugars and HgA1c was still high at 5.9. My doctor recommended a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet puts you in ketosis which allows for fat burning instead of glucose. It also stabilizes blood sugar and reduces food cravings. It wasn’t a difficult transition for me as I had cut most obvious carbs out of my diet, bread, rice, crackers and corn. But on the Keto diet you also eliminate most fruits and many vegetables even. The diet consists of mostly meat, BACON, nuts, seeds, eggs, cheese and lots of fat! I still struggle with getting enough fat in. Because many of the foods we consider high fat are also high protein, you really need to smother things in butter, olive oil, sour cream etc… to get the fat calories. “Bulletproof coffee” is a good jumpstart, but NOT on an empty stomach! This is the recipe I use.
I have been trying the Keto diet for several months now. I say trying because I really do struggle with getting all the fat in. I have lost another 8 pounds for a total of 16 when weight loss was never a goal! I went from a size 4 (good) to a size 0 (FANTASTIC). I feel so good in my body. For the first time in my life I don’t “feel FAT”.