So I am a very experienced dieter! I have tried the cabbage soup diet, starvation diet, Proti-diet (low carb), keto diet, Dr. Poon diet. Oh and the famous Weighwatchers which I think I have tried at least 3 or 4 times and always an epic fail! There was also “SureSlim” and I think the focus there was to make your wallet slim. I am sure there are others I have tried but I can’t remember them all.
Since I was little, and being the tallest girl in my class, usually in the back row in the class picture, I mean, I towered over a lot of boys, I was as my Dad use to say “pleasantly plump”. Once I got married to Mike, about 1 year later at 26 years old, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroditis. I liked to joke and blame it on getting married being the cause. Truth be told, my mom has it and so did my mom’s mom. So more or less it is hereditary. It is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam’s apple.
Great! My own body is destroying itself. Seems like a pattern because I sabatoge myself on diets.. Well, if you know anything about your thyroid, it controls your metabolism and being hypothyroid will cause weight gain, constipation and extreme sensitivity to the cold. Oh yeah, let’s not forget about extreme tiredness or lethargy and hair loss. I am Italian so as fast as I would lose hair more was there the next day. So that wasn’t too much of an issue for me. Mike said he couldn’t understand why I would yell at our dog Wilbur for shedding when I was shedding as much as the dog. Ok, so maybe it was an issue!
I must digress and tell you the story on how I was diagnosed. I was working at the bank as a teller/central cashier and basically lived 5 minutes away from home. I would leave at 5 pm and get home at 5:05 pm and go to bed. I am not kidding! I was sooooo tired that I had to leave notes for Mike and apology that I couldn’t make dinner and needed to sleep. I wouldn’t eat dinner, slept til approximately 7 a.m. and headed back to work next day. Even with all that sleep, I was continually tired. I thought my scale was broken as I had gained 20 lbs and wasn’t eating. I felt like it happened overnight but in actuality it may have been a week or so. See?! I can gain weight just by breathing…I felt doomed. My husband and I would hang out at my brother-in-law’s farmhouse on most weekends. John, in the winter months, would love his fires and wood burning stoves. I would sit in front of the fires, with heavy blankets and still be cold. Others were sweating profusely and trying to open windows to cool the place down and I am bundled up shivering. I found myself repeatedly complaining to a coworker on how tired I was and said to her that she must be sick of me complaining because I was annoyed at hearing myself. Terry, or who I liked to call Mother Theresa told me, something has to be wrong because you don’t usually complain like this. Ok, I can complain but it was true not like this. As per my earlier post, I think this is when I started to learn to listen to my body, it was speaking to me. Sometimes I still ignore it. Mind you cancer has a way of making you listen harder. My next worry is I will be thinking every twinge is a problem. So I will have to monitor my anxiety about that.. So far so good.
I went to see my Doctor at that time, who called me immediately after my blood results and said if you don’t get here within 48 hours, you will go into a coma! My lifelong relationship with daily synthroid or levothyroxine started. I have to take that daily, it basically replaces my thyroid hormones that my own body kills. I would say it is almost like a “must” take vitamin.
So it began, checking my blood work regularly to regulate my dosage. I think this is when my trust issues began with our healthcare professionals. They would say my thyroid dosage was fine however my symptoms indicated something else. I started to record my blood result thyroid readings (TSH and T4 readings) and associated symptoms at that specific reading. I did this for years but eventually got lax about it. Well, there is a range that is considered normal and my feel good range is likely different from yours and everyone is different. Also I found that I would feel symptoms months before it showed up in my bloodwork. So I can’t say it enough, please listen to your body and assert yourself to the Doctors. Doctors really need to listen to their patients even if results are within a stated range.
This also leads me back to Dr. Dick, where about 5 years ago, I saw a nutritionist who charted out my thyroid readings. She saw they were all over the map and she even commented that Dickhead, I mean Dr. Dick had never adjusted my dosages. This is before we could see our own blood results online and I realized I was getting too lax about my thyroid.
Back to the fat in me point of this story and TruHealth challenge. I was feeling so crappy at the tail end of 2017, I decided to join a transformation challenge. I signed up before I knew I had cancer and my goal was to just feel good. Little did I know cancer was the instigator. The challenge was recommended by my friend Debbie. It is based on eating regular foods with a focus mainly on eating veggies and fruit. It is not a diet and is about being committed to transforming for life. Yes, like any business, there are protein shakes that they want you to buy. The difference is they are plant based and made naturally..no additives and or crap. Also you don’t have to buy this stuff if you don’t want to or at least not for life. That said, this challenge has made me pay attention to reading labels on our food. What an awareness seeing all the hidden ingredients in our foods. No wonder people are getting sick with cancer! It is about commitment and making choices. Important to me is being able to eat whatever I want and not feeling as if I was starving or deprived. I am continuously learning what my body responds well to and what it doesn’t like. I honestly believe I was eating uncontrollably but my body was starving for essential minerals and nutrients I wasn’t getting. As timing had it, I started the challenge the same day I found out I had breast cancer. Talk about a fluke.
In all the cancer material I read, it talked about following a healthy diet and cancer loves sugars. Ira McNamara who is Debbie’s son is leading this challenge and is our team’s motivator and champion. He told the individuals that signed up for the challenge and there are many of us that we should submit a photo and describe what Truhealth means to us because there are opportunities to win some prizes. TruHealth is promoted by a company based in Texas and is a name brand of their fat loss system.
Given my recent cancer diagnosis, I reflected on his ask and thought well I know what it isn’t. I thought it couldn’t hurt to submit and I did it not so much for the prizes but I wanted to let them know what I was really feeling. I submitted the photo you would have seen in the “Surgery day” post. This is what I wrote: What TruHealth means to me…it means not having to sit in this hospital gown and is my primary mental focus, makes me strive towards feeling better physically and provides me emotional support and happiness. It is an ongoing balance between my body and environment with the added benefit of feeling good. I was surprised to be diagnosed with early stage breast cancer the exact same day I started Truhealth so for me it is a sign from the universe. Truhealth was first my goal, now I feel it is essential and integral to my life journey.
It will be pretty cool to win a prize as I rarely win prizes other than of the cancer variety. I don’t think winners are identified for a few months. I will let you know. I am NOW not so sure my breast cancer is early stage because I was told it moved into my lymph nodes. Being the “invasive” variety it will always be in the back of my mind. The good news is my GP confirmed my CT scan was clear and it is not in my chest, abdomen and pelvis or whatever that CT scan was suppose to check. Organs clear! Brain is also clear! Reason I know this is because I had an MRI, one week post surgery, due to my sinus issues and recent diminished hearing in my right ear. So no excuses for the way I am..can’t blame it on any cancer tumor…this is just me!
I am actually planning to starve cancer by staying away from sugar and processed crap as much as I can. This challenge is for 3 months but I expect to transform and balance what I eat for the rest of my life. I am positive chocolate couldn’t possibly hurt once in awhile! I am still going to have my occasional wine or gin and tonic but everything in moderation once I finish my commitment to the official 3 month challenge.
So think about what “True” Health really means to you and think about it everyday. What is your True Health challenge? Stay healthy and be strong!