Category Archives: Metabolism

Why I Eat Meat

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Yes.  I’ve read the China Study.

…and then I read the book “WHOLE”

I read “The Body Ecology Diet”…  and I’ve studied the Gerson Therapy and watched the Gerson Miracle, and Beautiful Truth.

I’ve watched Knives Of Forks

 

Well, let me just say that I understand why an organic, vegetarian diet would be done in the short-term – to rid the body of things like cancer, which is caused from inflammation, and focused on healing the body through detoxing.

Why do I say “short-term”?

Because being vegetarian long-term actually increases issues with auto immune disease.  {I’ll get to that in a minute.}

Why the Paleo Diet instead?

Isn’t that just a meat based diet?  Isn’t that TOO much meat?

Actually, no.  It’s neither.

To me, the Paleo Diet is a whole foods diet approach that focuses on high-quality nutrition, while resolving inflammation through proper digestion as well as balancing hormones through proper sleep, stress management and exercise.

It’s not a “diet” to achieve a short-term goal and then stop.  It’s a lifestyle of eating what makes you feel best, and is sustainable over the long-term.

The Paleo diet is not necessarily a “high protein” diet, it’s very much a plant-based diet.  Protein can range from 10%-25% of your daily calories, depending on your individual needs.  Many people only eat fish, shellfish, eggs or white meat, such as chicken or turkey, and skip the red meat.

We eat red meat once a week or more, and our source is grass-fed/grass finished beef – that we all enjoy.

Personally, I feel poorly when I can’t have red meat at least once a week.  I eat chicken or salmon almost everyday.  Because I eat large amounts of fats, I’m able to handle and process more carbs (veggies) as well.  Right now, on auto-immune protocol, I would say my diet is 70% veggies, 5% fruit and 10% meat and 10% fat.  I feel really good – my skin looks really good… and I’m working my way up to organ meats, as I know those are really important as well.

I think for me, I’ve read/heard enough other information from people who have attempted vegetarian longer term, and it caused some major issues with auto immune disease – because their body was missing some key things, it needs to prevent disease.  Dr. Amy Myers is one who shared her story of becoming a vegetarian at age 14, and why she eats Paleo now.

I needed all of the help I could get… it has already been years of my body not absorbing what it needed to thrive!  I’m lean, I feel strong, and I know my body is healing.

What more could I hope for?

If Paleo is a FAD, I’d love to know what one might consider all of the sugar filled, flour laden, industrial seed oil filled foods are that most consume while eating the Standard American Diet??  Seems like a REAL FOOD approach is just what our country needs!

 

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,

do all to the glory of God.”

1 Cor. 10:31

 

What Do They Want?

Preparing for my vitamin IV on Wednesday.  They call it the "pick me up"... I'd say so!  I felt fabulous for the past 4 days.

Preparing for my vitamin IV on Wednesday. They call it the “pick me up”… I’d say so! I felt fabulous for the past 4 days.

I’ve felt written off and passed around from specialist to specialist with “no answers” worthy to chart – while clearly the answers seem very obvious to me to the whole time…

I almost have felt sorry for doctors, who rely so heavily on these blood tests for answers… and the patients who so desperately want to know what is going on so they can be well.  I wonder if they would change how they did things, if they truly knew how much nutrition played into things…

Those videos I mentioned the last week… that doctor said when he went back to his original group practice – eager to help his patients get off of their medicines, and transform their lives, so their bodies could naturally heal – as God intended….

Most didn’t want to hear it.

They didn’t want to change.

They couldn’t afford any test that was out-of-pocket, and not covered by insurance… and often insisted they would rather have their prescription medicine, which WAS paid for by their insurance.

How sad that the things and people who can actually make us well, are NOT paid for by our insurance?  What is wrong with our country???

Do you know who pays for many of the studies that are done at hospitals… in the name of “advancing medicine”???

It’s the drug companies.

Do you think they’re looking out for your well-being above all?  Or are they concerned with the bottom line, and selling products?

I noted that even the Chicago University Celiac Center was privately funded…   and I thought – wow, that’s strange – when 97% of people aren’t diagnosed, you would think there would be money to FUND such an important illness.

But alas, you can’t own the rights to “proper nutrition”… and you can’t sell whole food vitamins in a patented format that would be a money-maker to the drug companies and medical doctors alike.

Food companies have gotten on board to fund some of the “search for a cure”… but  still don’t quite understand that – when the cure is – avoiding the foods that make us sick?

I have also read some of the “negatives” about holistic medicine.   That they want to sell you “their” supplements… Well for one, that has NOT been my experience.  They have been VERY open with what I need – but never pushing me to buy things only “from them.”

Secondly, this low dose Armour I’m on for my thyroid…  which most endocrinologists poo-poo.  The sheet on the prescription states it has “no” negative side effects.  Interesting…  I wonder what the list is on Synthyroid??  Why again won’t doctors give it a chance if a patient is wanting it?  Oh yes… that’s right – it’s not the money-maker, and perhaps you wouldn’t need it forever like you do Synthyroid?

Now, I realize – not all doctors are like this, and there are just as many out there that have no clue that they are making choices that have really bad consequences for their patients.  I still shake my head when I think of my GI doctors telling me he would prescribe me some anti diarrhea medicine, following my endoscopy.  Knowing that would have only masked things until I probably ended up with colon cancer, or continued poisoning my system with more auto immune disease issues searching for anything else, since “a professional” told me that wasn’t the problem.  While he was a professional, he was professionally wrong in my case.

I look forward to sharing with you our latest decisions we need to make.  We got two phone calls last week – one indicating my blood work from the learning hospital showed my ANA is up again.  Now it’s 1:320.  I was referred to a rheumatolgist… that I can’t decide if I’d like to see.  What are they REALLY going to be able to do?  Do I really need a diagnosis in my chart?

Another call was from an immunologist specialist my son visited 2 weeks ago… His grand plan of vaccines, medicines and testing made my head hurt… that was before I got his paperwork, where the doctor stated some elements of my son’s health history MAJORLY incorrect.  Chicago University did the same thing – I simply don’t think listening nor knowledge on nutrition and health is the strong suit.  I’m thankful we live in America and have choices… This boy needs help with his immune system, and has made great strides already, since last May.  He does not need more medicine and doctors appointments.

I’ve continued to feel well this week after my vitamin IV, and additional supplements.  I had a bit of systemic pain today – in the morning and evening yesterday, with some fatigue…but I was also on my feet most of the day.  I fought back and did an hour-long DVD with Bob Harper tonight.  Bob always makes me laugh.  I needed that.  I’ve done one of those a week now… which is a huge progress for me since September.  Praise God.

Please.  Educate yourself as much as you can about nutrition and the symptoms you have if you are sick with auto immune disease, cancer, asthma or thyroid or other hormone issues… we truly ARE what we eat – and genetically it’s effecting our country in a BIG way.

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

That GUT Feeling…

Things that make you go hmmmm?

Things that make you go hmmmm?

If you remember my appt with Dr. E in October, and follow-up blood work in November… (that yielded no results, other than an elevated ANA of 1:160 which they felt was just “nothing” despite my symptoms) – then you remember how crushed I was when she recommended that I go to another doctor.  An Immunologist.

The soonest appointment?  Two months away.

I decided I was grateful she did that, as it pushed me to seek alternative help – I was failing quickly.  I knew I couldn’t make it through the holidays.  At the rate I was going, I would likely end up in bed on a daily basis, if we didn’t get some help soon.  Thankfully, a thoughtful friend who obeyed when God prompted her to contact me… I found a naturopath, Dr. K who has been most helpful in untying this knot.

Well, even though I have made some great progress in only ONE month… I still had that appointment set with the immunologist this week.

Do I cancel it?  But the nauturopath suggested I get tested for Lyme… to rule out any chronic type of infection.

Reluctantly – we went with an agenda in mind.  Ask questions, get Lyme test.

I didn’t have the normal paperwork ready for this doctor, as I knew she had my files.  I really didn’t want to go.  My gut told me to just cancel.  I should have listened.

So I arrive on time to the same “pod” as Dr. E… interested to see just what Dr. G might have to say about my health history, chronic infections and elevated ANA – despite being on a GF diet and having my chronic gut issues on the mend.

Imagine my surprise when a young male entered the room.  He introduced him self, but I heard nothing he said… as I was thinking…”you aren’t Dr. G.”

The greek looking resident with thick accent proceeded to say that he was basically fielding for Dr. G… to figure out just “why I was here.”

The puzzled look on my face must have been apparent – as he repeated, “I know what the paper says… but I want to know why YOU think you’re here.”

{At this point, I’m thinking maybe a barrage of cameras is going to pop out to let me know this whole past year was nothing but an awful joke – and I’ve been filmed as a study for some greater purpose… }

But alas… HE was serious, and I was STILL very confused.

I started in speaking… but I don’t know what words were coming out.  Something about being referred… and my ANA… and he cuts in again.

“Usually people who have had chronic infections seek out an immunologist… you know, people who have been sick a lot, respiratory issues, breathing issues… people who have low IgA… or immune problems.”

Once again I started speaking… and I found myself calming explaining why I was there.

Wait a minute.  WHY am I defending why I’m here?

WHY was HE asking me why I was here?????  It wasn’t a referral *I* asked for.

I had a pile of sheets stapled together in my lap that I had been working on since I checked in… a health history of sorts, documenting different symptoms.  {After about an hour of him talking – I just put it in my folder.}  He never looked anything over… nor asked for those sheets.

I began to explain I *had* chronic infections … for years before I went gluten-free!  Pink eye, yeast, sinus, throat, and most recently the UTI that lasted a month.  I explained I had gotten the flu the past three years, despite being immunized… he listened, and then told me that my IgA being on the low-end had nothing to do with how sick I had been.

Really?

It was almost as if my voice took on Charlie Brown’s teacher when I spoke.  I explained that I had waited 2 months for this appointment and had driven 2 hours to meet with Dr. G regarding what to do next – because clearly the additional symptoms my body had taken on, were NOT normal.  Dr. E didn’t know what to do further, and obviously REFERRED ME here….  A blank look came across his face… and after an hour and half of this – he said he would be “right back.”

A few times he came in and out… apparently talking with someone from Rheumotology.  Why I wasn’t in THAT department, I have no idea…

FINALLY, Dr. G appeared.  A petite woman, around my age… with a delicate face and long red hair.  She was kind… and spoke as though she thought I was here to inquire about celiac disease.  She began explaining to me that being off gluten was very important… as she continued talking I realized she had no clue about me or my history.  When I explained about how my past year went, including my lack of celiac antibodies, and how the GI did my biopsy incorrectly… she began to talk about “non-celiac gluten sensitivity”… again, assuming I didn’t know what that was.

But those people… they don’t have GENES for celiac.  “The auto immune genes for celiac are the difference,” I stated.  My mother and I are positive for those genes – and I have every symptom in the book.

This is where I wonder why common sense doesn’t trump out these tests.

This is where I wonder why well-educated people, can’t simply look beyond their charts and realize… there are people who don’t fit within their boundaries – whose problems aren’t in their head.

If you’ve ever studied MEANS before… then you understand how everyone being designed differently MIGHT not apply to tests in the same way as majority.  It isn’t because they don’t have an issue.  It’s because the TEST isn’t able to show it the same way for all people.

Example: if my lower IgA is REALLY low for me, but it’s not for my husband… than he might not have a problem with colds, infections and the like… while I battle things non-stop because clearly, my body is struggling.  It’s ABNORMAL for me.  It’s not where my body is happy.  My body might not be able to perform at that level… compared to someone else.  A logical thinker would be able to figure something like this out…. correct?

I don’t say this because I want to be diagnosed with something I don’t have … I say this because it’s clear that all of the other evidence points to an answer, and yet it’s ignored without the two things someone has set as the necessary needs for diagnosis.  It’s the same thing with celiac, as it is for Sjorgrens, and I wonder what else.

The bottom line is this – I have auto immune disease genes.  I have every symptom of celiac, and of Sjogrens… and I understand that hypothyroid (and chronic fatigue, and fibro) go with those things also.  I know what these mean also because I *FEEL* it… and I’ve SEEN the effects.

Not because I read it on the internet, or in some book… or created it in my head.

I’m not “just tired” from having 8 kids….

I don’t need more rest… because I could sleep all the time on the days I couldn’t get out of bed.

The pain definitely has triggers.  Cold. Wind. Sunlight.

No.  I do not want an antidepressant.

No. I don’t need anti-inflammatories in the form of antidepressants either….

SO when Dr. G suggested she might refer me to an infectious disease specialist…. I declined.

Truly – I’ve had ENOUGH.

Enough not listening to my symptoms… and enough testing to last me a lifetime.

The best suggestion she had was to maybe see someone from their integral medicine department that dealt in holistic medicine, warning me that it was “really expensive.”  I just said… “well, it’s cheap if they can truly help you feel well again.” She agreed.  I told her I would keep them in mind.

But what I wanted to say was this:

“I clearly have celiac, hypothyroidism and Sjogrens – and you missed it.  I have a leaky gut and multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies and THAT is what created all of these other auto immune symptoms – thanks to celiac being undiagnosed for years and you ignoring my genetic make-up.  You tell me nothing is wrong… when I’ve told you SOMETHING was wrong because this is NOT normal for me.  I am not “just tired” – this is NOT something a power nap will fix.  Look beyond your numbers on your chart and realize something is going on.”

 

After 4 hours in that appointment, I sat in the blood lab to do some standard checks on my CBC, and a recheck of my ANA…(no test for Lyme BTW), but they were finally testing numbers on my liver, and heart thanks to some advice from the rheumatology department – two important organs that could very well show damage related to the symptoms I’m having.  I was thankful for this… it was something.   I looked around at all of the very SICK people there.  Most overweight.  Many looked tired, defeated, and worn down.

I prayed for our country, and for the people who don’t have a voice, or access to books and information to learn about what to do to be well again.  To the people who eat poorly – to get by… to the people who never make time to take care of their bodies through exercise…  PLEASE.  Stand up for yourself.  Take CARE of that body God gave you.

If your doctor is analyzing numbers like an accountant, but unable to hear/see you as a unique person – designed by God… then GET A NEW DOCTOR.  YOU are worth it.  Your future is worth it.  You are worth being heard… and you have the right to say NO to medicine that might actually make you worse with side effects.  Research all you can before you take anything.

In the mean time – my natural thyroid meds have helped a TON, and my vitamins are doing their thing…  I’m missing sugar a lot – but I’m doing ok, knowing I can work out again and my metabolism is on the rise again.

*** I do want to say there are a lot of great doctors out there… and for most purposes, their testing and numbers are important in diagnosing some major illness.  However, as a whole – they have got to get a handle on understanding the importance of nutrition – how utilizing vitamins and natural options for treatment –  and LISTENING to their patients. 

Do not discount the effect of every bite, every sip, and every breath you take…  healthy for HIM.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Psalm 107:1

Let’s Chat About Thyroid Issues…

I've been working on my work calendar, planning for the new year.  I don't know the last time I was able to plan ahead!  That new Synergy flavor is awesome too!  "Passionberry Bliss" YUM.

I’ve been working on my work calendar, planning for the new year. I don’t know the last time I was able to plan ahead! That new Synergy flavor is awesome too! “Passionberry Bliss” YUM.

I have friends with thyroid imbalances… but never had mine tested before this year.

Why would there be a need to?  I’ve never felt sluggish… or “off” after a pregnancy… I really never felt off until I stopped nursing our last child.  Oh wait, my body never really had a break from nursing or pregnancy, 12 years prior to that.  Pregnancy WAS my normal.

My maternal grandmother had thyroid cancer… my maternal grandfather had Graves disease… but I never realized this.  Apparently BOTH major markers of me having mine checked on a regular basis.

I remember when I was pregnant with our 7th, I had every hypo-thyroid symptom in the book…  but I just “knew” it was pregnancy… after all, I didn’t have problems with my thyroid.

Or so I thought.

After everything that happened last year, and my motivation took a nose dive…  I assumed it was all related to everything I was trying to tackle – not my thyroid working against me.

Then I continued getting worse… and more tired, and less motivated.  I thought it was the Sjogrens symptoms, and fibromyalsia… chronic fatigue.  Check, check and check – those were all dead on.  My vitamin level (lows) all prove to be tied to these symptoms… but again, how many doctors are truly skilled on nutritional needs of the body?

I went to an endocrinologist – one I really loved… and she looked for my (non-fasting) TSH my PCP ran a month prior – and said I was fine.  She ran tests for auto immune thyroid disease (which checks for IgA for those diseases), and not surprisingly… I didn’t show positive for that.  Remember, I barely make IgA – so none of those tests can be trusted…  I’m unsure WHY they run those, knowing that.

My symptoms have been ignored as normal:

Low body temp

Low BP

Low energy/motivation

Troubles swallowing/breathing sometimes (thyroid sonogram showed nothing, attributed this to Sjogrens)

Cold Hands/Feet

Hair falling out/Dry Hair

Constipation/Hard Stools

Low Sex Drive

Migraines

Dry Skin

Brain Fog

Gaining weight despite eating at a deficit

Swelling

Crabby?  Who me?

and on and on and on… I guess these are all classic signs.  But my thyroid checked out ok – with my TSH just below a 3, and no auto immune disease blood results – I was sent on my way.

Thankfully.

Thankfully?

Yes.  THANKFULLY.

Several months ago, I had a fellow like-minded health-aware mom tell me that IF my thyroid was a problem, make sure I went to a functional medicine Dr.,  preferably a woman… because the last thing I would want to go on – having celiac, was SYNTHROID.

Hmm…  I remember that conversation in the back of my mind now… but I never really “got it” until most recently.

Almost everyone I know, who has thyroid imbalance… is ON Synthroid.

Is it bad?  Well, apparently it shuts down your thyroid so you have to be on it…. for life.

Sounds like a pretty good deal.

For drug companies.

So much that some doctors won’t take patients that refuse it.  They bad mouth other, more natural options, as “old-fashioned” – even if patients feel better on it.  Some are even ignored, who don’t feel better on it…  What a hopeless feeling that must be.

READ MORE ABOUT issues with Synthroid and unheard thyroid issues here.  There are gobs of natural healing websites that discuss healthier options that don’t include Synthroid as the treatment.

When my latest thyroid numbers came back, alongside my cortisol test that tested my saliva 4x throughout the day… a notation was made. “May need thyroid therapy.” 

My reverse T3 was through the roof…  and apparently my body knew it was stressed, because the numbers that were showing up for my T3 and T4 were low, and they weren’t accurate on their own – as those other elements were adding into why I felt so horrible.  On this path – my adrenals would be burning out.  Exactly what I suspected was happening – and asked the endocrinologist about last October.  Apparently your ratio of Free T3 to RT3 should be above 20.  Mine was 9.3.

Originally, my TSH and Free T3 and Free T4 weren’t checked with my RT3.  They really still look at that one number… and not HOW your body is getting that number.  Since your thyroid fluctuates… it’s not some “snap shot” answer.  If symptoms are there, something needs to be looked into.  Many people still don’t feel well on T4 only treatment – and feel like they don’t have any other options at health.

Can I tell you how thankful I am for my naturopath Dr?  Very.

I’m not sure where things will go from here… but after studying some, I did start a “NOW” brand “Thyroid Energy”… and am taking that once a day around noon – to avoid my drop out in the afternoon/evening… as I await my appoint with my naturopath in a few weeks.  I can tell a difference, but I’m not sure if it’s enough – for now, it’s a positive I need.

Knowing we’re continuing on the right path – to health, is a HUGE blessing to me.  It’s that HOPE for this year, that has made all of the difference.

I think part of it, for me, is realizing I am a partner with my doctor – and they encourage you to learn to be well.  It’s not a doctor offended that you’re trying to learn about what is going on inside your body, out of a power-trip they that know more about a speciality than you do, due to scientific case studies which don’t include the right here and now of YOU – it truly is a partnership, where you feel heard – and helped.

YOU are the expert of your body.  You live in your body, and you know how you feel.  Something that is normal for you, might not be an abnormal level to someone else.

I spent 12 months explaining how I was continuing to go downhill…  with blood results that wouldn’t match up with the truth of what was going on.  It reached a point – I didn’t even feel like talking about it anymore.  I guessed this was just how I was going to be… forever.

I was beginning to see why many women just end up on antidepressants and anxiety medications.

Praise God for how much improvement I have made in just a month!  I truly can’t even believe it myself.  Each day in the right direction is a huge encouragement.  For anyone out there suffering from similar symptoms – such as fibromyalsia, low IgA or chronic fatigue, or any other “auto immune disease” issue…  if you have hypo-thryoid symptoms but your TSH looks “within range”… then save yourself some major time and pain.  Find a licensed doctor in functional medicine and find the reality you CAN be well again.

You’ll be glad you did.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 12:28-29

I’m So Glad…

I decided to splurge on a Christmas gift to myself...  I always wanted a little iPod for exercising... mainly running.  This is my encouragement to be well again.

I decided to splurge on a Christmas gift to myself… I always wanted a little iPod for exercising… mainly running. This is my encouragement to be well again.

“I’m so glad that ‘nothing’ is wrong… ” my husband says often.

When I’m styling my hair and end up with another handful.

When I drag my sore body out of bed and force it to move.

When the least amount of wind hurts my ears excruciatingly.

When I can sleep anywhere, no matter how much I’ve slept.

When I’m constantly so thirsty, no matter how much I drink.

When I have no tolerance for sun, wind or cold.

When my foot cramps up, again.

When I don’t feel like working out… or doing anything… because I just don’t care, or have any energy to have any motivation.

It’s clearly nothing.

So with an elevated ANA of 1:160… and all other tests showing nothing is wrong…  My Dr.’s nurse called to say we’ll do no further testing until mid-January.

Could I cry?

Certainly.

But instead I boldly asked her nurse to see if I could have a lip biopsy for Sjogrens…

I’m that solid in feeling that is what I have, and it often goes with celiac.

My dry mouth, dry skin, dry eyes… my sore throats, chronic sinusitis, fatigue, “exercise induced asthma”, breathing and low BP issues, the sore joints, and headaches… all point to Sjorgrens.

It’s obvious I’m getting worse, instead of improving…  so I wonder why it is they wait for you to get SO sick that you can’t get out of bed (?)  Is that when it’s important enough to do anything about it?

Because I’m almost there.

There are more difficult days…  or more portions of my days are difficult…

Once my hair starts coming out in chunks – is THEN it important?  Versus just having 1/3 of my hair left?

I don’t get it.

Am I saying the wrong things?  Am I not loud enough?

Still – I read this miracle stories, where people had negative blood work but a Dr. just clearly sees the patient has Sjorgrens.

When Dr E. suggested sarcoidosis… I thought maybe…

But when the tests were negative – I easily dismissed it.

The Sjorgrens – I cannot.  It’s too obvious.

Similarly to celiac.

The frustration is, I WON’T start getting better, until they start treating me… and there is no way to speed this process without someone stepping in to help me.  Not to mention your immune system struggling is bound to stir up other auto immune issues.

ENOUGH!

The nurse said she would get back with me.  We’ll see.

I pray for this daily.

I love medicine, and I’m so glad blood work is flawless for some people – but CLEARLY it isn’t for me…  and I know there are others like me out there.

The “nothing” that is wrong… is clearly – something.

Healthy For Him... I'm trying so hard.

Healthy For Him… I’m trying so hard.

“They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.”

Psalm 112:7-8

What Your BURN Worth?

My POLAR watch helps me keep track of my HR throughout my workouts! This piece, paired with a band that goes around your chest – tracks your HR while you’re in motion!

Ever try to Google what a workout is worth in calories burned?  Early on, I did this often… I wanted to know just how many calories I was getting rid off for the time put in!

I type in …”30 Day Shred, how many calories burned.”

I realized quickly that the numbers were inconsistent because the variables change.  I wanted to believe it was 300-350 for level 3… but could that be possible?

Well actually…

Based on your height and weight, and your activity level – there are estimates, but they can’t really tell you for sure…  and I really wanted to know “for sure, for sure”…

So, for a year I’ve considered some type of HR monitor, that was able to calculate calories burned… but also percentage FAT calories burned…  but with most things, it’s hard to know which one, and why, etc.  I just simply didn’t have a whole lot of time to research it.  (Seems I’ve had OTHER things stealing my time… Ahem)

In an effort to spice up my workouts a few months ago, I also purchased “TURBO FIRE”… it’s a program by Beachbody (which this body is NOT beach worthy, those days are LONG gone… but that’s beside the point!)

 A new challenge sounded fun… and I wanted to try it.  I figured it could be fun and I could mess up the moves in the privacy of my own home.  I had friends that had tried it, and really liked it – but they encouraged me to get a HR monitor also – so I could compete with myself on calorie burns, etc.  on the workouts.

I was in the for the challenge and ordered my set!

Honestly, I thought – “Come on, I’ve been doing Bob for a few years… surely I can handle this little blonde, jumping, mouth piece.  How hard can it really be?”

Well, unfortunately for me, that prideful attitude didn’t realize my body was going to be stepping down another few notches… and the workout became VERY difficult for me.  IT wasn’t because the workout is more  difficult… but because my health was worsening, and I really was noticing.

I was no longer able to constantly move for 30-40 minutes without breaks.  I was struggling to breath, and keep up.  I dreaded working out, even more…  so I took a little break from TURBOFIRE for a bit, and recollected my thoughts.

I originally planned to deviate from the program SOME, and do what I wanted to – in-between my other cross fit type workouts.  I felt badly I was unable to complete (without slowing down, taking breaks or stopping) MOST of the workouts because they’re so cardio based, which was suddenly my weakness.  I actually felt better when I just did 20-30 minutes of Bob, but I missed my cardio too … I didn’t want to give up on keeping my body moving.

I needed encouragement, and my NEW Polar Watch does just that!!

Here are my totals after a 45 minute TURBO FIRE workout. I definitely burn more calories with Bob, but it’s good to get in some HIIT cardio too!

I liked seeing that although I burned over 400 calories with a 45 work out – it was only 9% fat calories…. versus when I burned 250 calories with Bob, it was almost 40% fat calories!!  That’s quite a difference, based on the type of workout – and it’s good to know.

I no longer feel so badly about not doing tons of cardio right now… not to mention it’s just plain hard for me to carry out on a daily basis, with the intensity I once had.  I do it when I can, and the other days I’m happy burning some fat at a faster rate with TEAM BOB.

I highly recommend this type of watch if you can splurge and get one.  They start around $100  (Christmas is just around the corner)  It’s been a fun motivator, and a good reality check on where my workouts are…

I love that it shows me my target rates and goals each week. It tells me where I’m needing to push more or keep my HR in a little different range. So far I’ve mastered 1 and 3 – but struggle with in the middle. Huge surprise for an extremist!

Do I feel like working out?  Actually – most of the time… I don’t.  Most of us probably don’t…. but I did really used to LOOK FORWARD to working out, if nothing else – for stress relief.  I rarely feel that way anymore.

It’s really hard… and I’d like to curl up into a ball.  But God is reminding me that something is better than nothing, and just to do what I can.  I have still been fitting in 4-5 workouts a week most weeks, so I’m grateful for that.  They are probably HALF of the intensity of last year, if that…  SO while that’s a little frustrating, I feel confident I will get my strength/endurance and energy back to some degree – and I’ll be welcoming it with open arms.

Peace out!

 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”

John 14:13

**If I may, ask for specific prayers this week…  In the coming 5 business days my slide will finally be reviewed at the University of Chicago.  Please pray with me, intentionally, that the pathologist will clearly see the celiac damage – so that part of this journey can be put to bed, as we wade through this next part for more answers.  I know I don’t need that piece of paper to tell me what I already know – but for the sake of it helping others avoid the mistakes that were made to my case…  I’d like doctors to know… THIS is one of the major reasons why it’s being under diagnosed.

Here We Go Again…

Lovely flowers from an encouraging friend to help brighten my weekend. Praise God for my sisters in Christ!

I won’t assume you were sitting on the edge of your seat, but if you were… please forgive me.

It’s been a rough week.

After a super encouraging two weeks ago, this past week…

left a lot to be desired.

While most people had lots of emotions about the election…

I’ve had my own personal-upset going on and frustration continued.

Tuesday I visited with the eye specialist, who seemed to think my uveitis might be slceritis instead.  Not that huge of a difference, other than what we’re looking for with auto immune disease.

He was VERY nice, but highly distracted, and didn’t listen to me much until almost the end of the 2 hour appointment.  After the entering of records that took forever, and a 10 page questionaire I had to complete… like he was literally INSIDE my eye-ball with as many devices he could test me with.

No, seriously.  It felt like it.

Short of REMOVING the eyeball itself, I felt we had a very in-depth investigation… with light brighter than the sun that was blinding, if was indeed – not already, blind.

Since the specialist was tied with the office of my encouraging endocrinologist, Dr. E… he was able to pull up my files from last week.  Unfortunately none of them contained any information regarding blood work of my chest x-ray from last week.  He requested to see me again, after I had results back…

His first opening?

Was Dec. 19th…

Provided I didn’t have another flare up with “whatever” is going on in my eye…  then I was to call him right away…

Dec. 19th.  Well over another month away…

I still had hope that Dr. E would be calling with more information, so I wouldn’t have to wait another month with no direction.

On the way home from my appointment, I tried to discern the differences between the two eye inflammations.  I was certain it was  uveitis I had… but Thursday I would talk to my local eye Dr, and I knew he would have some insight into what HE actually saw going on… to be able to report to the specialist.

Wednesday I finally received a call from Dr. E’s office.

It wasn’t the call I was hoping for.

It was her nurse… She called to share my reports with me… that nothing signficant stood out with vitamin deficiencies… (praise!  Verified that I am eating well, and apparently now absorbing vitamins) and that my chest X-ray didn’t appear to show signs of sarcoidosis, but we’d need to talk/test further…

RIGHT AFTER I meet with the eye Dr. again…

*Excuse me?*

While I tried to make sense of things with her nurse, my heart was ripping into two.

I’m not even sure the rest of the conversation… other than she was going to have the Dr. call me, and review with her what I had done so far…  and never gave me a time frame.

When I hung up the phone my head fell into my hands and I wailed… until my chest hurt and I couldn’t cry any more.

I couldn’t even believe this.

I had been so exhausted every morning this week – most days were becoming a challenge to even get through daylight hours, and now this?

“God, I can barely function…  I need you,” I cried.  “Please, TELL me what to do.”

He led me to email Dr. E.  I prayed over the words I sent – not with anger, but with purpose.  I needed help.  I wanted HER help – and I couldn’t wait until mid-December.

It was a long day of feeling sorry for myself.  I knew that untreated celiac leads to a host of auto immune issues, but chronic inflammation due to your body attacking itself leads to cancer….  I prayed for peace, and rest – and energy to get my work for the week completed.

I had my closest friends praying, for a miracle… and I felt like one came that night.

Dr. E wrote me back.

From vacation!!?!??!

Yes.  She. Did.

She explained she was having her nurse call and would be calling me Monday to discuss things.  She was kind and caring… and everything I loved about her…  and I was *so* grateful.

In the mean time I’ve gone back to searching the chance of it not being sarcoidosis, further tests, other symptoms I’ve had, etc – trying to remember it is probably several auto immune diseases over lapping – and that is why this is not some “24 piece puzzle”… but rather a 5,000 piece design of the ocean with a missing piece that will never be found.

So there you have it.  My weekly update on lack of answers … and a continued worsening feeling.

The eye Dr. asked me when I started noticing I felt sick… and I honestly don’t remember a specific time/date.  I know a year ago April was the stomach issues kicking back in, and then in January when the gluten issues ramped up – so I was losing weight, and sick most of the time. In April I had no energy to do the children’s clothing sale I so desperately needed to do – as children’s clothing seems to over-take our home each season…  and by May I was physically and emotionally exhausted and didn’t even feel like going on vacation – but I know I’ve continued pushing through since then…

Let me rephrase that.

God has filled me up – and kept me going … on His strength…  I suppose that’s how He designed me to survive this challenge.

As a rule, I haven’t been overly sad about things, nor depressed – but I have felt very defensive when people want to know what I’m not better, and I don’t have an answer.  Not because I want to know for them, but for our family.  I know that celiac is probably the tip of the iceberg, and undetected celiac leads to many other auto immune diseases – so we could be searching for multiple issues…  and I’m honestly FINE with that.  I just want to know.  You know?

As I study other auto immune diseases, and symptoms – it helps me to narrow our search.  Many different things you have can cue a specialist in, on what you could have.  The eye Dr. took specific interest that I had chronic pink eye, sinusitis, dry mouth, yeast infections in college and lymph node issues for years…   Feet falling asleep, hands/feet that fall asleep often, muscle spasms, varicose veins, DVT (deep vein thrombosis), and low BP are other cues… that can help them know what to test.

As the eye Dr said – celiac is probably the cause of all of this.  While we know gluten can worsen many auto immune diseases, celiac is known for being one of MANY auto immune diseases that you have issues with.

Fabulous!!

But I truly am thankful to have people who do want to help!!

I’m also thankful for the people God has put into my life to encourage me – you all know who you are.  Someone recently wrote me about the fatigue of auto immune disease…   and it almost made me cry.  Just to know someone else “got that.”

It’s truly something you can’t explain – it’s awful.  Insanely awful – and SO frustrating.  No amount of sleep fixes it, no naps, no resting… nothing.  It can hit out of no where… most often when you’re REALLY needing energy.

I’ll tell you what.  This teaches me a lot of empathy…   for those suffering from diseases which they also have no control over, that we can’t see….  they’re not trying to complain when their bodies hurt, they don’t mean to be anti-social when they can’t eat your food.  They’re not faking it on some days… They’re truly ill.  Be an encourager and pray for them, it will do wonders for their spirit.

“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.”

Matthew 9:37-38

Why I Chose To Run…

My friend and I just following our 5K “fun run”… Clearly we’re crazy to run in these cold temps!

It’s true.  I haven’t felt the best the past few months…

My energy has been increasingly failing, and my body just hasn’t had the strength it once did.

I have continued to work out about 4-5 days a week, just at a slower pace, and impact.

When my friends and I started talking about the local university’s homecoming 5K race, we realized it fell on a day that wouldn’t work for us with some other commitments.  Another race was suggested, and we went for that instead.

That was several months ago.

As I had blood tests for my thyroid and a sonogram on my neck…  I thought surely I’d have an answer to feel better by now… but no.

Nothing.

I hadn’t had the energy to run much… so for the past 2 months, I didn’t.

As the time got closer for the race was approaching… I, sadly, didn’t want to run.

My faithful friend kept encouraging me to get signed up…  and I didn’t want to let her down.

I signed up… still hoping for the sky to fall before the race.

But it didn’t.

The week of the race, I got a 5K in on the treadmill – just to make sure I could still do it… and I could…so I was thankful.

It was ugly, but I could do it.

Then I foolishly did 100 thrusters a few days later, which prevented me from walking right for the rest of the week, let alone fitting in another run.

Two days before the race, my friend thought she might be getting sick… and I secretly hoped this was my way out of the run.  (I insisted she call it a fun run, as I knew I wouldn’t be racing anywhere!)

On the day of the event, the temperature was about 30 degrees, so you can imagine MY excitement to be out in it running.

But you know what?  With God’s mercy…

I did it.

I didn’t break any records, and it was my second time running outside – my first time was last year’s 5K… 🙂 So obviously, I’m not a REAL runner.  I did it because I had commitment to my friend that I would…. and I knew my body was able to make it…  and furthermore ACTING sick isn’t helpful to me being well.

I’m a mind over matter person – and while I know that doesn’t always work with auto immune disease (yes, it’s frustrating!) to continue to move and be positive is essential.

I’ve seen cancer patients run races between their chemo treatments, I’ve seen people with disabilities doing what THEY can to run and move their body…  I really didn’t HAVE an excuse, and I knew that.

You see, it’s NOT about winning… or breaking records… running isn’t that for me, and neither is working out.  It’s about moving the body God gave me… and doing what I can, while I can. 

Someday I might not be able to move my legs – and I will be grateful that I ran in that…..  FUN RUN.

When I sprinted my last bit of energy across the line (after walking quite a bit of the race!) – I cross the line strong at 30.12, slower than the year before.  But I was alive, and able – and I was happy I kept my word to my friend.

Did I mention we got our workout in for the day?  Yeah.  That felt pretty good too.  I will say, I put TOO many layers on, and the verse below came to mind several times as I ran… I wish I could take off this coat!!

One thing my old corn bags are good for – was for after the race. My knees were pretty swollen for a few days… clearly I wasn’t in the best shape for running… but no major injuries were had, I just still can’t run!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfector of faith.

For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame,

and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners,

so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3

GERD and Whey?

Seems harmless – right? My Dr. warned that it upsets SOME people’s stomach. Maybe that’s because the generic version, with the same “active ingredient” also had LACTOSE in it. Watch those labels! Generic (store brand) motrin for children, often has high fructose corn syrup – that Advil doesn’t have!! Dig deep!

Doesn’t that sound tasty?

I don’t think I ever had heard of the word GERD in recent years. It’s basically like a heart burn feeling in your throat.

Old people have this, right? Good thing I’m not old.

I honestly don’t know if I have it or not, but it’s one of the attempts my Dr. made – at explaining the severity of my “sore throat” that seems to fluxuate, but doesn’t have sore glands.

The other is a thyroid sonogram… which will hopefully be this week.

Hopefully one will yield some answers or at least eliminate a few suspects.

I did have my thyroid checked through a basic TSH blood test… and it seems thyroids are another great challenge in the medical world.

First the endocrinologist wouldn’t take me as a referral from my doctor, until I had my thyroid levels checked. Easy enough…

I thought.

Now they have to decide if there are bad enough for me to be seen. Apparently LOTS of people have “fatigue” – so they have to weed some out (?)

I found that interesting. But originally my symptoms and risk factors hadn’t been laid out – we didn’t consider they wouldn’t take a referral from a doctor.

It also seems levels of TSH “normal ranges” vary. It used to be .5- 5.0 then I read that many doctors now say .3 – 3.0…. our office (that I went to) uses .4 – 4.0 I also read that many times people who are hypo can be having problems – at anything over a 2… depending on their other “total T numbers and FREE T numbers…”

HERE were my numbers:

TSH – 2.334

Total T3 – 79 ** this is the one that appears low, and might be the ticket (with my symptoms)

Free T4 – 1.26

So once again. WHO really knows what is going on?

I just know I’m super fatigued… most of the time. My highs in energy are followed by some really “I’m in cement” feelings.

My hair is still falling out (while the Dr did pull on my hair and said my scalp looked fine… my kids got a HUGE chuckle out of this and confirmed my hair comes out EVERYWHERE all the time. ) I dry wash and style my hair about every 2-3 days, and I get fists full of hair – it’s crazy. I can’t run my hand through it without having loads of hair in my hands.

My body temperature usually runs low.

My blood pressure too – although lately, I’m feeling dizzy a lot of the time – to the point of feeling like I’m going to pass out. All of this, and whacked out cycles the past year – made me just chalk most of this up to menopause, like my OB said.

Hot flashes/night sweats.  (see above)

Insomnia/Fatigue

Cycles that are shorter or longer than normal.  (How about 3 out of 4 weeks?)

Then there is the swelling/difficulty swallowing in my throat issue…

Gerd is sounding better and better, yes?

I’ve also read multiple articles revolving around your pituitary going out, or your adrenal gland burning out due once again to….

UNTREATED Celiac disease.

Why I never read this before, I have no idea… but it seems a specialist in celiac would have an idea of what tests need to be evaluated since my body has been deficient for so long.

As I fall asleep at the computer, yet again – I’m going to just assume it’s not my thyroid.

Denial is a beautiful thing.

“He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:29-31

Working Out, Air-Force Style

Oh Bob, Bob, Bob…  funny boy.

I really enjoy that he can make me laugh in a workout… because that’s really what you need when you’re feeling like you can’t go on, and hurt in every way.

Comic relief is essential in life.  At least in MY life.  It’s good medicine.

This week I learned something NEW – which is probably old hat to those in the military…

Bob called it the “Air-Force Style” of training.  It combined circuits of moves, and burpies in-between each circuit.  It looked like this:

Warm up for 5 minutes

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE Right arm presses

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE – Left arm presses

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE – Goblet squats

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE – Jumping lunges

4 burpies

ONE MINUTE – Plank hold

ONE MINUTE REST

Start with burpies again… and REPEAT 2 MORE TIMES!

Cool Down

Obviously, you can throw in whatever moves you want – but the burpies in-between, sure were a “treat” to look forward to.  (Don’t forget to give a happy jump and clap at the top!)  The entire workout was about 30 minutes, but without instruction – and based on your warm up or cool down you could get it done in 20-25 minutes.

** Also, on the weighted presses – even though you were working ONE arm at a time, you held BOTH weights for balance.

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
    and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.”

Proverbs 3:13-17

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