Beauty's Journal, from the beginning!
I've started writing my journal, and I have an idea about how to post it. I am including much about my history, so I will post it in segments. I tend to write A LOT when I write, so this will help make it more digestible for anybody reading it. I'm always very happy to receive comments, so don't be shy!
Beautyís health and fitness history: Childhood.
I grew up in the 80's and 90's eating mostly junk food as a kid: I ate Captain Crunch cereal, Oreos, Dad's cookies, processed bread and cheese, Ritz crackers, Kraft Dinner, bags of candy, and sweets from the bakery, among other things. Luckily, we always had some kind of meat, carbs, and boiled vegetables for dinner. My parents meant well, they just didnít know the importance of food. I played soccer, danced, and was very active in all school sports-so that probably saved me from being overweight. Still, this was not a good start for my digestive health!
...continued from where I left off...
In my late teens I became vegetarian and started doing a lot of my own cooking. I had many smoothies with soy protein powder, and started buying organic everything. I soon became vegan and very starved. I developed an overeating disorder, gorging on dry organic corn puffs, raw broccoli, and vegan cookies whenever in sight. I managed that, however, pretty soon after reading a very helpful book from the library, which stated to only eat when hunger pangs erupt from the stomach. Fat was bad, soy was good. I had a strict exercise regime consisting of weekly hour long runs, 3X a week at the gym lifting weights, and 4-5 mornings a week doing yoga.
I incorporated some cheese once in a while in the next couple of years and backed off on as much exercise, except for jogging. In Ireland for 8 months, I drank copious amounts of Guiness and became my heaviest at 150 pounds.
The next few years I continued to stay away from fat but not meticulously. Eggs and cheese were around, and sometimes I even bought organic cream for my coffee, guiltily taking sips of it straight from the carton when no one was looking. I was heavier than I wanted to be, but not too upset about it. I went jogging around 2-3 times a week and worked out at the gym often. I considered myself healthy with a little bit of extra.
I guess I was vegetarian for a total of 6 years into my twenties. I slowly dropped some weight afterwards, finally maintaining at 135ish, and feeling *pretty* fit, good enough.
To be continued...
Love and Marriage
When I met my husband I fell so in love that I could barely eat. This man was way out of my league! (But he was really into me:-)). I dropped 12 pounds and was my thinnest, and probably quite toned, as I with all my extra energy from being in love, I exercised.
We moved to Finland just after I became pregnant. I ate and ate and ate when I was pregnant. I ate lots of brownies. I gained 40 pounds, which I know isn’t as much as some people. The pregnancy was stressful as it included the move across seas and continents, then our new house needed repairs, and we had to move out when I was 8 months along.
Soon after my son was born, like within the week, I had what I thought were terrible gas pains. They were excruciating, but they went away on their own, so I never mentioned them to my doctor.
Over the next year I had more and more terrible gas, bloating, mental fog, and exhaustion. I finally pinned it down to gluten and got tested for celiac disease. The results were inconclusive, but consistent with the beginnings of celiac disease, so I went gluten free. Problems persisted until I realized I had a leaky gut and went 100% grain and sugar free in December of 2009, first under the protocol of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, then according to the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, which I consider to be consistent with PB. I discovered PB at the beginning of Jan.
To be continued...
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]This Year[/COLOR]
In December 2009, I began weighing around 132 pounds, and lost 4-5 pounds within the first week (water). I was happy about that little bit of weight loss, but happier still about there being no more bloated, gassy feeling. Copious amounts of nuts and honey were consumed around my son’s birthday and Christmas, and I DID react to them, but apart from that, things were fine. I did cycling sprints and weights at the gym, and kundalini yoga through December.
Then came January, and things changed! We moved to southern UK for a stint for me to do an internship for 5 months. Upon our arrival we all fell very ill with a bad cough and fever for a couple weeks. Throughout my illness, however, I felt compelled to try products from this new and interesting country, and I also preoccupied myself with baking with nut flours. Raw honey was available here, and I had to try it. So was unhomoginized milk. I made litres upon litres of yoghurt and fruit smoothies. And I ate and ate and ate anytime I was not breastfeeding my son.
I have to point out that I did feel hungry, or at least some need to nourish myself, as my son was on my breast possibly up to 15-18 hours a day when he was sick!
But I noticed once I my cough went away, and I started trying to wear my regular clothes, that they didn’t fit anymore! And I tried to go for a run, but my rear end was flopping up and down like I’d never experienced. Now, I had always in the past trusted my body to be able to handle bouts of what might have been overeating. Perhaps it was the nuts-I WAS reacting to them throughout my experiments in January (bloated belly, gas, foggy head)—causing inflammation? I bought a scale, and sure enough, I had gained 10 pounds, and importantly this was NOT muscle.
January and February consisted of eating all sorts of yummy food we couldn’t easily get in Finland: duck, venison, lamb, parma ham, fatty ground beef, grass-fed everything, etc, etc. I ate a lot of protein. But my body was being weird. I was not loosing any weight, and it felt like it was holding on to everything I ingested. I began to feel toxic inside. My limbs were heavy. This was not the fit self I had imagined I’d be by this time this year. What was going on?!?! In addition, I had the worst trouble not overeating and craving nuts and dried fruit like never before. I indulged many times and only felt worse. Officially these foods would be considered ‘primal’, but I was way overdoing them, and also becoming very irritable and depressed.
To be continued...
Bringing us up to the current date!
Around the turn of Feb-March I was late, so I took a pregnancy test and was surprised that I was pregnant! To confirm, I took several tests, and only two of them showed a faint positive line. I was shocked, excited, and frankly pretty worried, as our family’s future home-country had yet to be determined (another move is on the horizon).
Two days later I got my period. Further tests showed no pregnancy. I confirmed with the doctor that this was a chemical pregnancy, and that I was probably only about 6 weeks along. Honestly, I was more relieved than anything. This was not the time for another baby, and my body was definitely not ready. I was/am totally OK about it. And it explained that toxic feeling I had been having, plus the inability to loose the pounds that I gained in January.
March marched on my, and I was more determined than ever to get back on track! I had about a week long experiment with raw milk, and that just made me constipated. I also tried having one fruit smoothie a week, but they made me feel out of control and craving something I couldn’t put my finger on. So no more fruit for now.
But other than that, I’ve been eating very clean. I do have watered down coffee and butter, so those are my only things I indulge in that aren’t 100% ‘primal’. Taking magnesium and potassium, and now a ‘lo salt’ salt substitute which has lots of potassium has helped with things like water-retention and irritability.
My current situation
I walk up and down fairly steep hills around 3 times a week for an hour. I do yoga about 2 times a week. I try to fit in a set or two of 50 burpees a week. And I’ve just started re-incorporating sprints into my walks, as well as swinging a big tire around in the yard and squats.
I’ve experimented with trying to increase my calories (I’m breastfeeding) but I was really just stuffing myself and feeling too full to do anything. So, I eat to satisfy and that usually means about 2000-2200 calories. My ratios have been around 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs.
I live in the countryside where I wake up to the birds singing, with no alarm. I set my own hours for my ‘job’ and I can work wherever I like. My husband and I are always kind to each other, and music is always often played in the background. I am immensely lucky and grateful for this.
Actual stress comes from not knowing where we will be living in the next year. Our permanent residence is in Finland, but I dislike living there, so job applications have been distributed to other countries. We’re waiting.. hovering in a holding pattern like planes waiting to land above an airport.
The other source of stress comes from being a mother to a 2 year-old boy. I’m a worrier, and being a 2 year-old, my son has break downs, and every parent knows that IS stressful. I’m reading up on the Waldorf tradition of parenting and learning as I go how best to manage those stressful moments.
So, I’ve been good
5’6.5, 140 pounds, scale says 25% body fat, 35% muscle.
I’ve been good, but I don’t feel good. Actually, wait! I feel great in some ways. I have a clear head, and I’m not bloated, and I usually have more energy than I’ve had since I can remember. And I’m not addicted to carbs anymore, and I don’t even crave them. I’ve finally come to a point where I can’t even bring myself to eat fruit or nuts because all I can think about is how they make me feel horrible. So, I feel good about those things.
But I feel bad about a few things. I still have this extra heaviness that I gained in January. In fact with all this effort, I am only managing at this weight, barely. I very easily gain more weight—that is fat. And it’s more than just the 10 pounds that’s bugging me. Most of it is awkwardly situated around my waist. I had to remove half the clothes out of my drawers because they don’t fit anymore. My legs are heavy walking up the hills, like tree trunks. Even when I was my heaviest, at 150 pound, I didn’t experience this kind of discomfort. And I have waves of intense fatigue, with a dependency on watered down coffee to get me through my parenting hours.
Some of the test results have come in (today!), and we are waiting for others.
Here they are:
Thyroid peroxidase antibody level POSITIVE
So far the diagnosis indicates consistency with autoimmune thyroid disease, from those last two readings. Not surprising, since I have celiac disease.
We’re waiting for the Thyroglobulin and anti THS antibody test results to come in. I don’t know what those are.
I’m hoping that once we get my thyroid under control I will feel 100%. I know I’m doing all the right things. Please, anyone, if you know more about how to interpret my thryroid results, let me know. My doctor admitted she hardly knows anything about them.
My favorite thyroid site is http://thyroid.about.com/ The forum there is very good. The members really helped me when I was struggling with my thyroid issues.
Here's a link that talks about antibody test
I would think it would be very hard to lose weight when pregnant anyway. I wonder if the thyroid problem is due to the vegan diet. I read somewhere that they often have enlarged thyroid glands.
Beauty, your history sounds just like me! Mind you were better at keeping at regular fitness than I was But I was vegan, soy-loving etc. Ended up with autoimmune problems, excess weight... I'll be reading your journal to see how you progress! Thyroid can be tricky but hopefully the suggestions others made in the thyroid thread help you out.
Why don't you like Finland, if you don't mind me asking? I have highly romanticized the Nordic countries
I have not checked, do you also have a journal going? Which autoimmune problems do you have? I'm learning more and more about them, but it takes time.
I like a lot of things about Finland, and I dislike a lot of things about Finland. There are pros and cons to everywhere, and during my first year there I was on the fence. But in the second year things became clear as I got to know myself and Finland a whole lot better. When it comes down to it, I've learned that for me to love or like the place in which I live, it has to move my soul somehow. I'm not a religious person, but I feel a deep connection to nature and to a lesser but growing extent to culture. I grew up in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where it is green year round and where old growth forests are still accessible. I would seek out special spots in nature to gain perspective to feel better whenever I was feeling down, and to feel even better whenever I was feeling happy. I'd always experience gratitude for this life if nothing else.
The lack of green in Finland for 7 months of the year gets me down. I feel at peace at our lakeside cottages in the summer, and enjoy the silence of blueberry picking, but I don't feel the same degree of connection to the land. I like most Fins I've met, but I've found some things that are considered normal or socially acceptable there that unfortunately only bring out the worst aspects of myself. Long silences are common (even more so since I don't speak the language) and uncomfortable for me, since I'm not all that outgoing myself but have always been around people who are and bring me out. There's also a large degree of the population, being Lutheran, which intentionally treats nobody as *special*. This was hard for me when I was pregnant. Compliments are rare, especially in the case of my husband's family, and many people don't smile when their photos are taken. These are quirks which I am happy to be around for short spurts but, on a day in day out basis, really get to me.
Of course I could write a lot more, but let it suffice that I have nothing against Finland in itself, it's just not a good place for me to live.
[COLOR="rgb(255, 0, 255)"]Two Imperfections[/COLOR]
Ever since I was a little kid, for some reason I made sure never to be 'perfect'. I always thought that being perfect as I saw it would be boring, but I don't think that's the only reason. There was and is this part of me that holds back from doing what I think I should do, a part of me that likes to live in the haze, slightly above ground, where I can see things slightly less clearly than I would otherwise. Does this make me an artist? If so, I get that from my mother... Then again, maybe it's my thyroid?
In my estimation, there are two things that I'm doing health-wise that are not perfect: 1) Coffee 2) Dairy. With the recent news that I probably have Hashimoto's (autoimmune thyroid disease) I've read that depending on the condition of your adrenals, these two things should be eliminated. I have a couple books to read about this, as well as more tests, so I'm not so sure in my case, if this applies.
The thing is: I love coffee. Actually, this might sound weird, but coffee causes me to fall in love. 5 minutes after a good cup, I literally feel in love with everybody and everything. Is this a good thing??? My son gets showered in hugs and kisses, I feel more mobile, awake, inspired, and my libido goes way up. What does this mean? Does coffee make me feel like I should be feeling normally all the time? I went through my whole pregnancy without coffee and a few months afterwards. But as soon as I had my first cup, I was on top of the world! I have 1-3 Americanos per day, containing only a shot of esspresso each, which is about equivalent to a cup of tea each in caffeine. As long as I don't have more than that, I don't feel jittery, or anxious.
The question is: why do I need coffee to feel this way? And deep down, I know it's the thyroid and possibly more. Yesterday and the day before I did not have coffee in the morning. I held off as long as I could, which ended up being 1:30 pm both days. You know how I felt? I was SAD! I felt like crying. My chin was involuntarily quivering! My heart ached. There was also a deep fatigue there, but I was able to keep moving, dealing well with my busy two year old. Has coffee been covering up long-pent up emotions that need to be dealt with? I don't know! Has it been causing harm to my thyroid and adrenals or has it been providing me with a simple stimulant that I need while my thyroid and possibly my adrenals are not doing their jobs? I will be seeking out the answers to these questions in the coming months. In the meantime, until I have the right information, I am going to lovingly continue to drink my coffee.
Now, dairy is the other issue. I have not experienced much of a difference when I go one or two weeks without it, but I'm not sure. Maybe it causes me to be constipated. But maybe that's the lack of free T3's in my system. Maybe milk causes a kind of subtle excitement sensation at the top of my chest (mucus?), but I think I've found that raw milk, butter, and double cream do not have this effect. Besides, that excitement feels kind of good.
Ever since reading someone's post (and subsequent ones) about eating butter on its own, I've had butter eating as a habit. This is how I am keeping my fat intake so high. I like to slice it thin and let it melt on my tongue. Some days I eat more than others, but I've been weary about it. I keeps me from indulging in worse things, satisfies but doesn't make me feel too full, and tastes good, but I'm confused about whether this brings my daily caloric intake too high. I'm slowly understanding Hashimoto's (and low free T3's) to indicate a slower metabolism than most people, which also points to an explanation for my weight gain and inability to loose it. To decrease my total calories, I've decided to reduce my protein A LITTLE BIT. I do believe I was eating too much at almost 200 grams a day there for awhile (another reason for the weight-gain?). So, I indulge in butter. But I've read elsewhere that if I have adrenal insufficiency, I should not decrease my calories, and possibly increase. I'll have to wait and see how my adrenals are doing.
Yesterday I did something unusual and bought some local, organic, double cream. This stuff is 50% fat, and I slurped back 150mL of it in one go. I felt fine. It filled me up after over an hour of walking, pushing the stroller up big hills, and I had a few hours before getting home where a yummy, bloody, steak was waiting for me. This could become another food source, if I continue to not react to it, and if I don't read something to convince me otherwise.
To add to yesterday's discovery, a children's programme on TV this morning showed a recipe for how to make your own ice cream out of double cream. I could easily omit the sugar, and just add a bit of shredded creamed coconut and vanilla for flavour and make my own!!! You just whip it up with a whisk and put it in the freezer for two hours! I'm excited.
So, with coffee I feel love, and with dairy I feel satisfied. In my confusion about whether these are actually good for me, I hover in the haze to which I have become so accustomed.
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