Monday, September 19, 2011

A Quest to Find My Healthy Self

The last few years have been really tough on my body. Namely because I had 3 babies in 3 years. After Mika and Urijah my body seemed to react fine: I lost all but 10lbs pretty quickly and after I quit breastfeeding I lost half of that, so I was only left with 5 extra pounds that didn't go away before I found myself pregnant again. Ezekiah's pregnancy was a little different. First, I didn't have my normal weight loss at the beginning because I was able to manage my morning sickness better than I had with the older 2. Second, I had low progesterone and spotting in the beginning which made me scared to death I was going to miscarry again. Third, near the end of the pregnancy I ended up with PTSD caused by my previous miscarriages and fear of the problems that led to Mika's C-section possibly repeating (there was never an indication of this, but it's a fear that has followed me into the end of each of my pregnancies). Fourth, the little bugger decided to stay in until 42 weeks and 2 days. After he was born, I didn't lose a pound. Not even his body weight! Everyone told me to take it easy on myself. I was breastfeeding and since I've always had supply issues I couldn't risk going gung-ho on my weight and killing my supply. Then after I stopped breastfeeding (This past June), to my horror I gained 10lbs in one month and 5lbs the following month. WTH was going on here????

I called up my PCP and we started trying to figure out what was going on. Both he and my chiropractor came to the conclusion that my adrenals were completely exhausted and I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. Because light is just really being shed on adrenal fatigue, there is a lot of conflicting or wishy-washy information out there about it. Most of the websites I've found (except for this one) make it sound like a fake I've-just-been-overworked excuse. However if you look at the function of the adrenals, you see that they control hormones. What led to my diagnosis was that I've been having typical signs of hormone and thyroid issues, but all my tests were coming back normal. So something wasn't right. Our theory is that my body had too much stress over the last few years with my pregnancies and breastfeeding and the fact that I'm a single mom almost half the month. My adrenals were on overdrive for so long they finally couldn't keep up. So my body went into lock-down/survival mode by lowering my metabolism and screwing with my hormones. According to my doctor, the things that help to heal this are sleep/rest, exercise, and no caffeine/sugar.

I was miserable. I hated the way I felt, the way I looked, how tired I was. I found myself in a deep depression. I was desperate to find my previous healthy self. First of all, I cut out caffeine (waahhhhhh!). Then, my chiropractor and doctor had a few different options they presented to me. The 2 that appealed to me the most were Isagenix and an Elimination Diet. Because of the place I was in mentally I decided to start with a 30 day cleanse. Here's why: 1)I've heard of the Isagenix products before. I trust them, although I don't like their business perspectives and think they're pretty overpriced. 2)I knew I needed something that was stupid simple to do and completely laid out for me. 3)I wanted the month to prepare for my Elimination Diet, but wanted to start doing SOMETHING. The Elimination Diet is a program put together by my doctor. You eliminate a ton of foods that can cause common issues: Gluten, most meat, shellfish, soy, peanuts (no other nuts), dairy (including butter), sugars, and a few select veggies specific to me (corn, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and pepper). These are basically to see if there are reactions I am having to any of these. If I gain more energy on the diet and then adding in, for example, milk makes me feel sluggish or makes me break out, etc, then we know I have a problem with it.

Now I feel it is important to say this: I know there are many types of products, cleanses, diets, etc. out there. It seems that everyone has the "best" one that everyone else should use and nothing else compares and you're doing yourself a huge disservice if you use anything else. (note* This is a huge reason I can't give my full support to Isagenix even though I do think they have a great product. Their consultants can get downright degrading) However, after looking at quite a few of them, I decided this was right for me right now. Maybe one day I'll do a juice cleanse. Maybe one day I'll try P90X. I probably won't buy protein from a specific company because my hubby is a genius with finding cheap ways to get us amazing products that just don't have name brands stamped on them. So please, don't read all this just to tell me that I should really be doing it "your way". This is one reason I've stayed away from mentioning much about this on facebook.

Today is day 21 of my 30 day cleanse. I'm actually taking a break today because I've come down with a bad cold and today was supposed to be a cleanse day (vs a shake day). But I'm still just going to eat small, healthy portions of chicken (some soup, some breast) and veggies today to try to kick this thing. Zarik and I can both see a huge difference in my body and energy levels already. I still struggle to exercise, (that's a whole other post) but I've really been trying to do 20 minutes of SOMETHING a day, be it walking, the gym, a Wii game I love called ExerBeat, or taking the kids to the park and running around with them. To help with my nighttime snacking addiction I've been knitting or crocheting, which has been fun to learn.

WHEW. It feels good to be able to share this. I've been keeping in close to me, but longing to share what I'm doing. It's been easier than I thought, but I know I can't do this alone. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me.

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