I am so freaking healthy right now I ought to have a show on OWN. Not just physically healthy either, mentally as well. I think I’ve finally let go of the grief that was holding me back. I don’t know that I did anything too special to get through it other than sit in the time of it, you know? I feel like college me: free and adventurous and invincible!
This post will be about better health. I’ve made some changes and I am just now starting to reap the benefits.
About 3.5 years ago my carpool joined a gym. We decided to keep each other accountable and made a commitment to miss no more that 3 days in a row of working out. I’ve been faithful to that however I have only seen about 6 pounds of weight loss. Even during holidays I would run up stairs, do crunches or yoga videos or something so I wouldn’t miss days. My eating is decent (always room for improvement) and I log everything I eat. I went to several doctors and my final consensus is doctors don’t know a lot. One tells me to cut my calories to 1500/day which leaves me listless, hungry and irritable. Another tells me to exercise more. When? I am already going to the gym for 1-1.5 hours a day 4-6 times a week! I do cardio, yoga and weights just like I’m supposed to. I wear a fit bit tracker and I’m getting 7000-10000 steps in per day. I spend a good deal of time fixing my fresh meals. And I have a job. When am I supposed to get more exercise in? While I’m sleeping? And honestly, if one more person tells me muscle is heavier than fat, they will get a personal demonstration of that fact.
So, since doctors are virtually no help at all in the area – they mainly just spout off the common advice and chalk any lack of results up to patient error – it was up to me to find the reasons why I wasn’t losing weight. I first started with the obvious – thyroid. I do have nearly all the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Chronic fatigue, inability to concentrate, weakness, inability to lose weight, cold extremities, cold hands and feet, low immune system, tenderness in the neck, sore throat, vertigo, ringing in ears, hair loss, thinning eyebrows and lashes, vision issues, easy to bruise, slow wound healing, tingling limbs, joint pain, lactose intolerance, new allergies, anemia, shortness of breath. There are more, but these are the ones I wrote down. I visited 3 doctors and none of them looked at the list even though I tried to hand it to them. What they would say is, “these will probably all go away once you lose weight.”
All my thyroid tests came back in the normal range. A nurse friend explained that my thyroid may be in decline and I’m still in the normal range for the time being. I decided not to use any of the natural thyroid replacement supplements you can buy over the counter as they are expensive and the active ingredients and results seem to vary widely. I opted to try a course of essential oil therapy first because it was relatively cheap and not invasive. If it didn’t work I wasn’t going to grow a 3rd eye or something. I apply myrrh essential oil neat (undiluted) directly to my neck 5 nights a week before bed. During the day I use a combination of oils (lemongrass, frankincense, clove) in a carrier oil. What I can say is my eyebrows grew back and I felt less tired.
You have to be careful when looking for medical information on the internet. Check 5-10 different sites and you’ll see that most articles use the same source material. They’re not actually giving advice based on their own research, but merely parroting someone else’s. So you have to be prepared to do a lot of digging to get to some form of the truth.
Next I decided to add maca root to my diet. Maca root is a Peruvian tuber that is most used for female fertility and male virility issues. It also helps to balance out the hormones. I figured my hormones were slightly out of whack because I was maybe starting menopause, but the addition of maca root (start small, I’m up to 1 teaspoon a day) brought everything back to normal for me. There are some claims that it helps build muscle quickly but I’ve not seen that. I am building muscle but not disproportionately to the amount of weights I’m doing. I get my maca root in the powdered form from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Lastly I’ve added magnesium to my diet and lifestyle. I use magnesium oil transdermally on my lower back and as a deodorant (today’s discovery? This is not good when the temp is 90 degrees and you’re out for a walk.) I also take about a half a teaspoon of magnesium powder in water each evening before bed. I don’t know what that it’s made a difference, but I seem better able to let things roll off my back. I feel happier.
The final thing I’m doing is avoiding the news. It’s one I’m having a hard time with because I like to be informed, but bad news has a very debilitating effect on me. I’m the kind of person who has to dive for the remote every time that Sarah McLachlan commercial with the abused animals comes on, so wars and crimes tend to stick with me for weeks at a time. I’m better off avoiding it. Which means I feel stupid in conversations about current events, but my overall happiness makes up for that about 60% of the time. The other 40% I can usually manage to throw in an opinion or change the subject.
So, I’ve incorporated 4 minor changes to my life and I feel better. Not 100% but close to. I wake up happy and thankful and I have a positive outlook for the future. I feel healthy and strong. I’ll talk more about the emotional aspect in another post.