Thursday, February 09, 2006

6 Days Until Dodgers' Pitchers and Catchers Report for Spring Training!

weight loss: 12 1/2 lbs.
inches: 2" chest, 4 .5" waist, 2" hips

What I'm Doing Differently:

"Anonymous" asked, "But wait, aren't you going to tell us what you are doing differently?"

This is rather a complicated answer. I have known for four years that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Basically, this is caused by a condition known as insulin resistance. When I eat sugars (this includes from any simple carbohydrates such as fruits, grains, starchy vegetables), my body has a hard time getting the cells to accept the sugars. So my pancreas kicks in and makes a whole bunch of insulin so that it gets more into the cells...thus, continuous cycle of sugar cravings, sugar highs, and hypoglycemia. Still, most of the sugar doesn't get used, so the body just takes it and stores it as fat. Rapid weight gain, often uncorrelated to what I've been eating. Now, fat produces hormones, including estrogen. This throws off my cycles and fertility, and my ovaries take the extra estrogen and convert it to testosterone, which causes the weight gain to be geared around my gut, also can cause male pattern hair growth, and further hormone imbalances. I've had 3 miscarriages inbetween my son and my daughter, and then 3 years of infertility.

There are other symptoms that can go along with this...fuzzy headedness, temper, acanthosis negricans (darker coloring in the folds of the body, such as under the breasts, armpits, and thighs)...and it also sets me up for diabetes, stroke, heart disease, etc.

It took years to get a diagnosis, and that was right before 9/11. Even though my hormones were way off, I didn't have the ovarian cysts, which actually are a symptom, not a rule. With a syndrome, you don't have to have all the symptoms...some are adequate. It had been found that PCOS responds to Atkins, and with one month on Atkins, I was pregnant with Maggie. I spent the rest of the pregnancy on metformin, a diabetic drug that PCOS has responded to, and has also been found to severely limit miscarriage in PCOS. But the side-effects of the metformin were too much to deal with after the pregnancy.

The last 3 years, I've watched my weight shoot up to greater heights, I've dealt with terribly fuzzy thinking, and as my symptoms worsened, I also wondered about my thyroid. I'd tried to do it on my own, but usually resorted back to the fast food, and my love, Pepsi/diet Pepsi...which also only exacerbated my symptoms.

Finally, after reading Mary Shomon's book on thyroid disorders, one doctor that kept coming up was Dr. Mercola of www.mercola.com and the Health and Wellness Center in Schaumburg, IL (also the home of the closest IKEA!!!). I couldn't pass up the shopping opportunity, um, I mean the proximity of a doctor who seemed to subscribe to the same philosophies as the doctor that I went to in California who helped me so much....and so I went. While I am even still skeptical of a couple of things they do, it has worked, and even though we are probably not in theological agreement, it is a Christian practice, and I can't find anything particularly WRONG with any of their practices, it often just is more holistic and goes beyond the realm of recognized science, and I think that the body is much more than the machine that Science portrays.

I didn't find out much that I didn't know, although the applied kinesiology helped (it said that my hypothalmus, my endocrine glands, and my pancreas were being blocked by my having reactions to sugar, soy, wheat, and rye. I knew that I was having a problem with sugar and wheat, and my son had strong reactions to soy when he was a baby, so he probably got it from somewhere)....I knew I was killing myself with my diet.

For me, the process, the drive to Chicago, the support...everything about it that labels this as "different" has made all the difference. They did a metabolic typing, and then prescribed a diet that severely limits my intake, but has worked well....mostly meat and certain vegetables that are low in acid. They have a method called EFT (emotional freedom technique) which helps me deal with my emotions and therefore not go running to my comfort foods, and also helps me with keeping my goals before me (more information: www.emo-free.com) and overall, the EFT counselor has been the biggest asset.

Mostly I associated the phrase "life change" with diet...or worse, prison (but then I'll NEVER get to eat a donut again). When it is a diet...you are supposed to stick to it. When it is a life change, just like a marathon runner can choose to have cake on his birthday, I can choose what I do for THIS MEAL. The next meal, I can choose differently. If I choose to eat at McDonalds, for this meal, or have the bun with my brat and that cheesecake pudding during the Superbowl, I didn't blow it all...I chose to do something differently for lunch (but I could feel more clearly how those foods effect me). I also had the freedom to not take ALL the recommendations they made (like grass fed beef, raw milk, certain supplements, organic veggies, etc.), because my life situation and financial situation make that very difficult at this moment, though they are the eventual goal. I took the month of January to switch from regular water to filtered water, I also took the month to wean off of Pepsi One. This month, I'm working on how to incorporate exercise and improve my sleep patterns. The freedom allowed me more creativity in coming up with solutions. So when I'm famished after a long evening at work, I pick up either a double meat salad with lots of spinach from Subway, or I grab a leg and thigh meal with double green beans from KFC and peel off the breading.

But I have the nutritionist and the EFT counselor calling every two weeks...its part of the program until I'm completely set up...and then they are available.

Its not Atkins. You can eat junk on Atkins and still get away with things. It also is not like Atkins in that the goal is not ketosis. When I incorporate the meat and the veggies (7-8 servings a day)how they tell me, it ends up being more naturally like what The Zone is supposed to be, without having to think about it.

It's also not for everyone. They did a metabolic typing, and I am a protein type. My body responds better to it....and the PCOS proves that. I also tend to digest my food too quickly, they found, and so I'm not getting the nutrients, so the foods picked tend to work better with that. As I get better (and smaller) I should be able to handle more foods, though I probably will not be able to handle wheat and other glucose containing grains on a regular basis. Other metabolic types wouldn't do as well. That's why some people do better on carb based diets, and many others don't (I GAINED weight while devotedly following Weight Watchers...and I never felt worse). And the goal is life long health and a continued lifestyle of eating the most natural foods as possible for the rest of my life.

So, that is what I am doing, and thus far it is working. My jeans feel loose, I'm not really having any cravings, and I found that the pizza I ate last week felt awful to me. Now, that felt good.



4 comments:

Jane said...

Very interesting Lora. There's a doc here in Fort Wayne that I'd like to introduce you to sometime.
Anyway, I'm glad you've found something that's helping. I'll try to be more sensitive and not eat scones in front of you. : )

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Jane,

Eat away! it hasn't been a problem. I'd rather sit with you and enjoy your company than let a simple scone come between us. Besides, I still have to put up with my husband and all of his delectables....

Lora

Favorite Apron said...

Lora - sorry, that was me (anonymous) that asked what you were doing different. I like blogger cause my name automatically comes up.
How interesting. How cool that you saw Dr Mercola in person - I know he has a large internet following. I have read Mary Shoman's newsletters for years. Was dangerously ill with Grave's Disease about 10 yrs ago. .all normal now ( well, physically anyway : ) )

Wondering what metabolic type I am . . .

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Polly,

I didn't see Dr. Mercola in person, I don't think he sees patients. I was with his associate, Dr. Go. It went really well though.

I like Blogger, too. I think I'm probably staying here. Dr. Mercola's website has a preliminary metabolic test. It came up the same as the one that I ended up getting through the clinic that needed to get analyzed (some really strange questions) and got billed to the ol' insurance.

Lora