Welcome to Karen, one of my first friends in the blogosphere. I’ve been so moved by her thought-and-feeling provoking blog, and happy she is here.
I am so honored to be guest posting for Foodie while she’s away. For me, she is a role model extraordinaire and I admire her on so many different levels.
I am here to talk about my journey a little bit. What I want to discuss specifically is overall health and how it can affect one’s ability to lose weight. I am not a doctor or health care professional so this is just my opinion, based on my experience.
I have come to believe that health issues can cause obesity, not necessarily the other way around (although both can be true). A year ago I was depressed and in chronic pain (muscles and joints). I felt like my brain was in a fog most of the time. I craved sugar in all its forms. I felt out of control with food and wine. I binged. I had regained 25 of the 55 pounds I had lost back in 2005 and 2006. I was a hot mess. I felt like a lazy, out-of-control failure.
In November, I went to see a naturopathic physician (http://www.naturopathic.org/) based on the recommendation of my chiropractor. He said that the naturopathic approach to medicine is more holistic and about balancing the body as an entire system, versus putting a band-aid on symptoms in the form of medication.
For example, a naturopath might see a slightly elevated thyroid number and instead of prescribing a drug, will look at adrenal function. Elevated cholesterol might be a function of elevated thyroid function. Nasal allergies might be due to an imbalance in the gut (as my husband found out after he saw the naturopath…after 50 years of suffering, he hasn’t had to take any sort of decongestant or allergy medication in nine months and his post-nasal drip is gone).
I was curious, but also somewhat skeptical. It’s not that I thought she was a “quack” or that naturopathy was like voodoo, but I think I had given up hope that a naturally healthy body weight, without extreme diets, and without doing what I find uncomfortable and difficult, was possible. I thought I was just getting old and tired.
So on my 47th birthday I had my first appointment with my naturopath. If you’re curious, you can read about the specifics here and here and here.
And details of my visit with the hormone specialist are here.
Why I am sharing all of this? Because I am no longer a hot mess. My aches and pains are (for the most part) gone and I enjoy exercising. I no longer crave any type of food or alcohol or feel “false hunger.” I do not overeat or binge. I am happy and my thoughts are clear. And I am losing weight naturally, without having to over think it, worry about it, or feel deprived. This is how I always thought it should be.
In addition to this, another huge component of my journey has been really getting in touch with who I am, what I want, and the emotions that surround food, my weight and my body. I didn’t want to discount that aspect of what I am doing for myself.
And finally, I want to say that in addition to the naturopath and hormone specialist (who is an MD and formerly practiced as an OB/GYN), I have a primary care doctor with whom I’ve been for 13 years. I keep all three of them in the loop!
I fully understand that each of us is on our own path and that what we learn and when we learn it happens at the right time for us. I am not here to say that the way I am doing it is the only way, but rather to share my experience. If you see in yourself any similarities to what I’ve described here, please advocate for yourself with your physician and/or seek alternative care through a licensed naturopath (http://www.naturopathic.org/).
July 31, 2010 at 6:46 am
I no longer crave any type of food or alcohol or feel “false hunger.”
Karen, do you plan for wine a couple of times a week without it being a problem?
July 31, 2010 at 8:55 am
Hi Mary…I don’t “plan” for wine…I have it when I want it. I usually have half a glass before dinner, then a little more with dinner. That’s all I ever want now. If I have much more than that, or especially if I have bread and/or dessert as well, I pay for it by not being able to sleep. It used to be that wine was a huge problem for me. I could drink a whole bottle (or more) in one evening. And I’d want it all! I was starting to wonder I might be an alcoholic. My instincts tell me that it was a matter of my body being out of whack on several levels…
August 1, 2010 at 2:22 am
I am a believer that if someone has a medical issue it is because something is not right somewhere else.
If you have a headache, WHY? If you have heartburn, WHY? Don’t just medicate look to the reasons why and try to fix that because most things are just a symptom of something else.
I love what you said about: “more holistic and about balancing the body as an entire system, versus putting a band-aid on symptoms in the form of medication.” I wish doctors were not so trained to use their presciption pads.
This was an awesome post. Thanks.
August 1, 2010 at 3:00 am
(back to review “before-and-after” to see just how one gets from a “huge problem” to “that’s all I ever want now” – taking notes.)
August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm
Mary…I honestly think it was a matter of getting my body (and emotional head) in balance. There’s a great video floating around out there about how our bodies are supposed to be in balance between acid and alkaline. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpoAtwVyzZI&feature=youtube_gdata
I think once a body is in balance, it wants moderation.
August 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm
I can attest to everything you’ve written here, as I’ve walked a similar journey this last year with great health improvements that have actually made it possible for me to lose weight… I used to get so frustrated before because the weight would just not shift and I’d eventually give up. Now that my liver, adrenals and pituitary gland are working again I know that my efforts will be rewarded.
March 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm
Hi there! This article could not be written any better!
Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
He constantly kept talking about this. I most certainly will send
this post to him. Fairly certain he will have
a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!