10 lbs Lighter – 1 Year Later
I thought this day would never come. I finally lost the 10 pounds I have been working towards over the past year.
For most of my adult life I hovered somewhere between 133-137 pounds. In my twenties I once dwindled down to 126 lbs for a fitness show, a number I had always dreamed of, but it’s not where I felt or looked my best.
I had come to accept my body as it was – 135 lbs was my sweet spot.
But I haven’t seen the number 135 in almost 2 years at this point. Slowly over time the pounds started to pack on…
At first I didn’t notice it at all. I crept up to 137 but brushed it off – I thought I just had eaten too many carbs or didn’t exercise enough that week. Then next thing I knew I was on the scale and it read 142!
I thought the batteries in the scale must have been dying, or it needed to be re-calibrated. After all I wasn’t one to watch the scale, my body always stayed in that same range of 133-137.
Yet my weight continued to climb. And the strangest part was that all my clothes still fit the same. I told myself that as long as my clothes still fit there was nothing to worry about. This was just a part of getting older, more curvy and “filling out” in my thirties.
I was shocked when the scale read 150 and then 152 lbs.
I was doing everything right…
I was eating a mostly gluten, dairy, sugar and soy free diet
I had cut back on my weekend alcohol intake
I was in bed early almost every night of the week
I lifted weights 3-4 times a week and ran 3-4 times a week
I did yoga on a weekly basis
I was even meditating once or twice a day at this point
I left my stressful corporate job and didn’t commute to work anymore
I was consciously swapping out toxic products in my home
I was stumped about what was happening with my body. Maybe I was just destined to be this way. After all most of the women in my family were heavy set, so genetics must be at play.
As the weight slowly climbed, I started to beat myself up about it more and more. I felt disgusted when I looked in the mirror. My once trim and toned physique was now fluffy and soft. I didn’t want to wear fitted clothing and I just didn’t feel comfortable in anything.
I pushed myself to work out harder. I found the biggest hill by my house and did rounds of sprints up it once a week. I lifted heavier weights and ran longer distances. Even though I felt tired in the morning or achy, I forced myself to work through it.
Aside from the weight, other things started to change too. I developed acne out of the blue, started having irregular periods and breast tenderness, was moody and felt like a foreigner in my own body.
I searched and researched, and finally figured out I was estrogen dominant.
I went to various doctors and health practitioners but no one could figure out what was wrong with me. I even had one doctor (mind you a “women’s specialist” in one of the most pristine hospital organizations here in San Diego) tell me that I likely just put on 10 pounds of muscle.
She obviously has little concept about the female body because it’s challenging enough for a bodybuilder type to put on 10 lbs. and I certainly wasn’t training to that caliber, nor did I look like it.
I stumbled upon the answer on my own. I ran my own tests, the same ones I use on my clients, to investigate the root cause or contributing factors to this unusual weight gain. It turned out I was estrogen dominant and I also had a combination of parasites, bacteria and yeast in my gut (which had previously been completely clean!).
I was so pleased to finally have an answer! I had faith the weight would come off now. I thought if I did all the right things to restore balance to my body I would be back feeling like myself again in a matter of weeks!
I never would have anticipated that it would take a whole year to lose ten pounds, but like I always say…
You have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.
In this week’s video and blog I share more about why it took me so long to finally shed 10 pounds and what I’ve learned along the way.
The Estrogen Dominance was a sign of something else – toxic mold and Hashimoto’s.
Apart from the toxic mold needing to go, I knew I couldn’t keep living the same way I was living while expecting different results from my body. I had to create space for my body to heal.
The toxic mold had created a very stressful burden on my body, toyed with my hormones and negatively impacted my immune system. But I also had to take responsibility for how I had added fuel to the fire; by forcing and pushing my body to work harder, not being as compliant as I could be with eating foods that were best for me and beating myself up mentally all the time – all of which just add more stress!
Sure you can force and push for results, but it doesn’t really work that way. And when you do force or push, you have to consider what you are doing to your body along the way that will impact your health moving forward.
Your body can only heal in a relaxed state.
I had to honestly address the ways in which I had been treating my body and make some significant changes to allow for more relaxation and healing to happen…
I drastically cut back on my exercise intensity and engaged in more restorative movement
I committed to cutting out all foods 100% that were fueling the inflammation fire
I worked on forgiving myself and creating more positive conversation in my head
I made more room for down time and was more mindful about getting good sleep
Most importantly I stopped forcing the results to come.
I dropped a few pounds at first, but hit a plateau for a long period of time. Even though the weight was taking its sweet time to come off, all along the way my body showed me other ways it was healing. I went back to being acne and anxiety free, having perfectly timed menstrual cycles without PMS, had more mental clarity and I was able to handle stress without shedding tears or losing my sh*t.
I even went into remission with my Hashimoto’s after 6 short months of taking medication and changing my lifestyle to reverse the condition. I thought surely the weight would fall off then, but it didn’t.
I kept my faith that the weight loss would come when my body was ready.
Over the summer my hormones started to fully return to back to balance. My estrogen went back down to normal, my testosterone went back up to normal, cortisol was stable and my inflammatory markers for mold illness finally dropped.
On November 30th, it will be the 1-year anniversary of the toxic mold being removed from my home, and a little over a year from learning about my Hashimoto’s.
Since late September I have been steadily losing weight, finally, and lost a total of 10 lbs. at this point.
This experience has brought me a lot of perspective about the body and how important creating space to heal is. It has also really driven home my motto about having to get healthy in order to lose weight, and not losing weight to get healthy.
Here are some other major things I’ve learned along the way…
- Thyroid function can be reduced by as much as 30% when caloric deficits are too high over the course of just a few days
- Women’s hormones are ultra sensitive to food deprivation and toxins
- Toxins have a much bigger impact on our health that we can even begin to imagine and they are very silent disruptors
- The conversation I have with my body on a daily basis is more empowering than any compliment I’ll ever receive
- To be a better listener for what my body needs and what it’s trying to tell me
- I don’t have to be tough all the time and “push through it.” It’s ok to take a day, or even multiple days at a time off to heal
Most importantly, this experience has shown me that our body truly does have all of the answers. When we give it the right food, rest, exercise, reduce stress, support it with the proper supplements and space when needed, the body knows how to return back to balance.
I’m in the business of empowering the whole body naturally.
I share this milestone in my own health journey not to boast about the weight that I have lost but to shed some light on similar frustrations you might have and on how the body really works.
If you’ve been feeling stuck or frustrated in your health or body in some way and can’t seem to find the missing pieces, then let me help you! I’ve been in your shoes, and trust me there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here to investigate what’s going on in your health and how you can take back control.