Here we are, at a new beginning. I’ve started many a short-lived fitness journey before, but I believe this one will be different.
Over and over throughout my life, I’ve tried to overhaul my diet and improve my health. I’ve tried calorie counting, exercise, cutting out processed foods, AIP, and so many other things. Inevitably, I’ve made it one to three weeks before falling short, feeling guilty, and giving up, promising to start over again soon.
Scarlett O’Hara-style, I figured there was always tomorrow, and that I would magically be perfect the next day.
So, here I am, 30 years old and ready to try something different. At my birthday dinner three months ago, my friends asked what I wished for this year. I wished for health. The next day, I cut out gluten, something my doctor’s been encouraging me to do for a year. Focusing on just that one change has been incredibly doable, and I’m eager to apply that focused attention to other changes over the rest of the year.
Sure, I want to eat a perfectly unprocessed, home-cooked, plant-based diet. I want to grow my own organic food. I want to be Alice Waters or Michael Pollan. Right now, though, I eat primarily fast food, so that’s not an easy jump to make. With that in mind, I’m going to work on mastering one lifestyle change before I move onto the next one.
Perfection and improvement aren’t the same thing, and I’m done conflating them. Improving your life is all about introducing new changes one at a time and giving them time to become habit before trying to change something else.
So where am I starting?
To put it simply, my health’s a mess! Here’s what I’ve been diagnosed with:
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that attacks my thyroid
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- High cholesterol
- Sleep Apnea
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Vitamin B6 deficiency
- Anxiety and depression
- Plantar fasciitis
And here are my systems:
- Extreme difficulty waking up
- Brain fog and forgetfulness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Constant, often irrational worry
- Hair loss
- Low progesterone and high testosterone
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Likely infertility
- Thick, dark chin hairs and a lot of them (lucky me!)
- Frequent headaches
- Occasional migraines
- Frequent digestive problems
- Almost constant pain in my right foot
- 150 pounds of excess weight.
There’s also a risk of developing other health problems. One autoimmune disease often leads to another, and recent genetic testing suggested I have a few other things I’m at risk for. These are the things I’m worried about.
- Moderate genetic risk of Celiac Disease
- High risk of diabetes because of my PCOS
- Genetically very high risk of ulcerative colitis or Chron’s disease.
- Family history of strokes, cancer, mental illness, and adrenal disease.
Managing all of this requires a lot of medication. Each day, on doctor’s orders, I’m supposed to take:
- 100 MCG of L-Thyroxine for my thyroid
- 5 MCG of Liothyronine Sodium for my thyroid
- 2000 MG of Metformin to regulate my blood sugar and PCOS
- FemGuard + Balance to regulate PCOS
- A methylated B vitamin complex to correct my deficiencies
- 4000 MG of high quality fish oil to reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels.
- 200 MCG of Selenium to lower thyroid antibody levels
- 90 MCG of MK-7 because I have to supplement Vitamin D
- 800 MG of Magnesium Glycinate to avoid deficiency and ameliorate a variety of symptoms.
And once each week, I also take a mega dose of Vitamin D3 – 50,000 Units – to correct my deficiency. That adds up to fifteen or sixteen pills a day! Through sheer stubbornness, I have avoided prescriptions for statins, which lower cholesterol but increase the risk of diabetes. That’s not an exchange I want to make.
And then there’s my weight. When I initially considered blogging a couple of years ago, I thought it would be all about weight loss, but I’m no longer interested in body shaming myself or any other fat person. If you are comfortable and healthy in your plus size body, don’t let other people tell you to lose weight.
I want to celebrate my body as it is and work toward treating it with more kindness. Instead of ugly before and beautiful after photos (you know the ones), I’ll be sharing nice pictures of myself every week. I’ll share links to cute, plus size clothing whenever it’s something currently available. Let’s love our bodies instead of shaming them.
Symptoms Previously Improved: My digestive issues, foot pain, and mental clarity have all improved since going gluten free three months ago, but there’s room for more improvement yet.
New Symptom Improvements: None