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.

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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/).

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