Me, at my heaviest at 142 pounds, then at 120 lbs. from doing Keto and fasting.
Putting Yourself Under a Microscope
If you made your list that covers all four areas of life that feel misaligned, then I will tell you, you are way ahead of where I was in March 2017!
I felt like I was on some crazy reality show, and I was the last one in on the big reveal. I went to countless medical specialists in their fields to uncover what was happening and walked away each time feeling more helpless. I was a healthy eater, but the weight just kept packing on. I would walk, do yoga and body weight exercises, but nothing changed. I didn't have the energy to do more.
This List is crucial for you, since its an honest look at how, modern humans, are inundated with stressors constantly. Our bodies can only take on so much stress, yet doctors only know how to prescribe a pill for the symptoms, not discover the cause.
In October 2016, we moved to Florida and onto our beautiful boat. I thought that maybe finally settling in after the move; my body would recalibrate. It didn't budge. I almost gave into the belief that we must 'all let go of the attachment of a beautiful body' once you hit mid-life. Sounds so zen, yet I was calling BS! And Instagram feeds were telling me different.
Was I to let go of the attachment of a having a beautiful body?
In March 2017, I decided to search for women in their 50's that were overcoming their physical struggles and to see what they were doing that I wasn't.
Of course, there were hundreds of women that got their body back by doing fitness challenges, going hog wild with boot camps, and such, but my body couldn't maintain that rigor. Adrenal fatigue made it so that whenever I stressed my system, I would feel my symptoms getting worse! Rich would tell me to try harder, yet I knew this wasn't working for me.
Then I found something that got my attention.
I discovered my old health app on my phone that tracked my weight and food intake that I used to use daily. I scrolled to March 2015, a very special time for me, since I just met my sweetheart, Rich. I was happy and full of vitality right before we met, and felt excited about where my life was heading. I felt complete. I was also a comfortable 117 pounds.
I scrolled through the app at the foods I ate back then and saw nothing changed. However, I had gained 25 pounds in two years! A WTF moment. I couldn't believe after all the tests I had, that doctors just claimed I was fine!
Here's my list!
So, I went through the app and decided to annotate specific stressful events that occured during that year, and paired it with the dates on the app. In Part I of this series, you read that I was inundated with many stressors that occurred throughout 2015. I discovered each one had a mind/body response:
aching joints- thumb, feet, hip, toes- I know, weird areas!
weight gain- 25 pounds in 18 months- 142 was the highest until I stopped weighing myself! Too depressing!
poor sleep- not deep, nor consistent
painful periods/ breast tenderness
I was drained and felt helpless watching my body deteriorate without an answer as to why. I avoided having my picture taken and hid my arms, or hid behind Rich. It was so strange to always be thinking about my body all the time. I hated thinking about each bite of food, and if it could be hurting me, and which foods to avoid, which to eat more. It was exhausting to try to find the answers to no avail. I felt like I was failing myself, yet I had no idea why. My self-worth was tanking, as well as my self-love. I felt broken.
I had moved that same year into Rich's home, which gave my daughter and I a beautiful place to stretch out, be around wonderful friends, nature, and a place to call home. It was stressful though since I was entering the home of his beloved late wife. She was so dearly loved, and I felt like an outsider. I'll share more on this in another blog, and how I welcomed her into my heart, but nonetheless, it still caused me stress. I was also working in a new position at a new school. I felt welcomed and met so many wonderful teachers, yet I felt disconnected. It was also so hard to get to work at such early hours since my body was exhausted and deprived of energy. I felt I had so much more to offer than what the position allowed.
I knew I was not completely immersing myself into my soul's purpose. I was dipping my toes into the pool of my writing but never was able to jump in fully. I knew I was more than my teaching, yet it was always off in the distance, waiting for another time.
Moving to Florida was the first step. I started writing my screenplay when we moved onto the boat, excited about creating a film about social change. However, I was stressing over the financial strains of not having a full-time job. I was so self-sufficient for 25 years, yet now I had to rely on Rich and his support to get by. I got a part-time job, which brought in a little bit of cash, but I developed pneumonia from the Red Tide that was near the store. I am susceptible to respiratory bacterium, due to lung surgery as a teen, so I ended up having to quit that job. Rich told me that I needed to forget trying to work and concentrate on my writing. I had to let go, and allow myself to heal.
"Letting go, and letting God" take over so to speak, was a huge paradigm shift for me, which I struggled with for almost two years. More on this later.
Desperately, I went to the internet to find answers. I wanted to find someone like me, who was around the same age, who wasn't a gym rat and found a cure for their declining health. I knew if I kept my antennae open for that connection, I would find them.
My Aha Moment!
In March 2017, I found KetoinCanada. Joanna wasn't my age, but her story resonated with me. Her pictures and journey felt like mine. She had just started the Keto way of eating, (WOE) and had started losing weight. She was brave enough to post pictures of her body and tell of her fears and successes.
When you ask the universe to show you the way, things will be placed in front of you, if you're willing to look and listen.
Ironically, I stumbled upon studies about women and adrenal fatigue, stress and cortisol, hormonal imbalance, metabolic syndrome and a host of other disorders that come when your body is misaligned.
Adrenal Fatigue: A Monster in Hiding
The first link below was astonishing. I read the symptoms on Dr. Mercola's website, which explains in detail the causes and symptoms, as well as the science and treatment:
Exposure to chronic stress from overwork, chronic inflammation or long-term illness can result in HPA axis dysfunction, more commonly referred to as adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion
Exercise can be a challenge when you’re exhausted all the time. Since exercise is a physical stressor, it can also exacerbate HPA dysfunction if you’re not careful
If your stress response is dysfunctional, your primary objective is to rebuild your metabolic reserve. Gentle exercises such as walking, yoga, qigong or tai chi, preferably outdoors, are recommended during the healing phase.
Ketogenic Diet to Reboot My Metabolism
I decided to change my diet completely to the low carb high fat, Ketogenic Diet. This diet fits for my body type, so I'm not saying it's perfect for you. However, studies have shown that by eliminating sugars, carbohydrates, and letting your body become fat adapted, your body can reset its metabolism by burning its optimum fuel source, healthy fats. I will show you various ways of eating that may help you reset your body's systems for optimal health.
These were the first sites I came across, each one sharing a nugget of information, which I introduced into my life.
Adrenal Fatigue, Symptoms, Science and Treatment
What is the Keto Diet, and How is it Curing Diseases?
Expert Blogs in the Fields of Epigenetics, Diabetes, Obesity, Ketogenics, Cancer, Alzheimer, Parkinson
Losing 12 Pounds in Two Months Felt Like a Miracle!
I began the Keto WOE in April 2017, and I lost 12 pounds!!! It was more than a miracle, but the key to gaining my body back. I also knew that I could still eat the foods that I loved, but had to tweak the recipes to be Keto-friendly. Things I noticed within the first month of going Keto:
Brain fog and headaches disappeared!
Any gastrointestinal discomfort went away, and I could eat garlic, onions, and peanuts again!
Did I tell you I LOST 12 pounds?!
Joint pain disappeared
Sugar cravings disappeared
I had more energy
Clothes were getting baggy, which made for happy mornings getting dressed!
Focus and concentration improved
By July 2017, I had lost the 12 pounds and felt like I had found the magic bullet. However, there was still 13 pounds to go, so I kept plugging away on Keto feeling great until I began to stall. The scale stopped moving at 130 pounds from July to February 2018.
I felt so much better, yet I couldn't seem to make a difference with the extra weight. So again I went to the internet for answers.
Knowledge is Power in Biohacking Your Life Back
In Part 3 of this series I will show you:
How to find out what may be holding you back
How biotechnology and specific health tests can help you discover your missing link to optimize your health, track symptoms, and rebuild your confidence.
Finding the right source of foods and supplements that your body desperately needs to be at its optimum self.
I am no means a doctor, but being a research writer has given me the inside scoop on how to find scientifically backed protocols that are changing people's lives.
I was already researching the best brain-based biotechnology out there for mental illness, and therapies to aid in recovery of PTSD's,etc., for my movie, Aftermath. I had a team of medical advisors giving me insight to our latest preventative technologies that could put pharmaceuticals as a secondary source for care, instead of the only source for treatment.
Don't give up hope. You're so close to discovering what may be holding you back from getting the body and life back that you so deserve, but it will take a few difficult realities:
You will have to change. Mindset comes first. Do you really want this for yourself? Your list tells you what changes need to occur to rid yourself of that list.
You may have to do this by yourself. Do not rely on anyone else to pick you up, dust you off and get you going. Once you start feeling the changes, you will want more!
Know that you weren't born with a pharmaceutical deficit. Your body knows what to do to cure itself; you just have to get out of its way.
Until next week, know that I'm rooting for you!