Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FessUp: Weighty Matters Part II

If you missed yesterday. Here is the long version. Now, a short recap and the rest of the story...

When we last saw our heroine, she was down and out. Too heavy and too tired. She was noticing that she had little concentration and was becoming forgetful and confused sometimes. Frustrated by the doctor's and nutritionist's lack of concern, but knowing deep down that something was wrong with her body, she took matters into her own hands... I am thinking that this was around 2006. The nutritionist implied that I was probably putting to much butter on my toast and too much sour cream on my potatoes. I knew I was eating healthier than most Americans, but there is always room for improvement, so I would start being even more careful with my diet. Perhaps I just needed more exercise. After all, I was getting older. So...I joined a gym. I found that I actually liked it. So for the next 9 months I got my behind out of bed and to the gym at 6am so that I could be home in time to get kids ready for school and not have to leave the preschooler with anyone during the day. When the youngest started kindergarten, I did the dance of joy because now I could go work out when normal people were awake and the sun was up! That year I lost 10 pounds. I worked out hard. Nearly everyday for at least an hour. Weight lifting. Cycling. Yoga. Walking. Running. 10 stinking pounds. But I had to admit that I felt better and my body fat percentage went from a medically obese 32%, down into the normal range around 28. And I ditched the tens for a snug size 8. Frustratingly, this is where I stayed for the next two years.

Somehow I kept myself motivated to keep working out even though I was not seeing any changes in my body and I knew my other symptoms were getting worse. During this time I certified to teach yoga and started teaching at my gym and loving it. I learned truly to accept my body where it was that day and to stop mentally beating myself up for not being where I wanted to be. Accepting myself just as I was made a huge difference in my mental state. My body was not different, but I was. And I could accept me, and be grateful for what I could do and could let go of expectations and judgements of myself. I learned to just be happy with what is here and now even while moving toward a goal of something different. So I carried on.

Everything hit rock bottom the summer of 2009. Up to this point I had been living my normal life. Tired and cranky often, but happy and up often too. But that summer was different. I couldn't move. I slept all the time. I napped 2 or 3 times a day. Sleep didn't feel restful or normal. It felt like a comma. I went back to my OBGyn. They ran a thyroid panel. This must be it! Finally, some answers! But it turned out I was in the low end of normal. The doctor prescribed a common thyroid medication anyway, since I was having symptoms. Does this seem sketchy to you? Yeah me too, but I was desperate. With a somewhat iffy hypothyroidism diagnosis in my pocket, I went to see an endocrinologist to get a better idea of treatment for this. I gave him the whole sob story. Five years worth. To his credit, he listened. He looked at the numbers and he looked at me and he said, "You don't have hypothyroidism, you have insulin resistance. If you were fat, a 1st year med student could have diagnosed this." What the crap!? Now, trust me this is not a diagnosis that any of us wants, but I finally had an answer AND he said I wasn't it was a win win in my book!
The next 6 weeks was life changing.

I thought I could get through this story and to where I am now with just two posts, but I guess not. I will continue tomorrow, and I have some exciting things that I want us to do together if you guys are up for it! Thanks again for letting me get this off my chest and for your supportive comments...The comfort of strangers and all...


  1. Aghh! A cliff hanger! I'm glad it's not thyroidism, though your symptoms seemed a lot like my sister's... The ups and downs sound like my life with diabetes, but I hope it's not that (though I'm proof that insulin resistance can be overcome). Anticipating part III.

  2. Ah, but my IR would be different than yours because I've had type 1 diabetes since I was 17. After the birth of daughter #3, my regular insulin injections stopped working for me... and after three years of feeling lousy, a new insulin (to which I'm not resistant) came on the market (I take 5 injections per day -- I'm very hole-y). I'm thinking your solution will have to be better than a new drug, though it might take more effort? Hang in there!