Today I want to share my own WOW story – I call it sick and tired of being sick and tired. The changes that have happened in my life are why we are here at Thrive Lancaster… to create wows in many more lives. Born weighing in at 10 lb.10 oz. my mom always made a point to tell me that I was born fat. Through my younger years and middle school I was taller and more developed than the other kids and even though I was only a little thicker than I should have been, I was called fat.
By high school, while I still looked about 5 years older than most of my class, I slimmed nicely – BUT the recordings were strongly engrained in my mind… I was FAT and I was always trying or hoping to get skinny.
I didn’t have many health issues growing up… mostly ear infections. I was given a handful of vitamins daily as early as I can remember. My mother was an old fashioned cook and we did not have a lot of junk foods in the house. I was taken to the chiropractor regularly and the only time I saw our medical doctor was yearly at camp physical time.
Even so by the age of 3 I began to get a frequent healthy – or not so healthy – dose of sugar and yeast – my oldest sister married a baker and the goodies were free for the picking. My real health issues began in my mid twenties with my first pregnancy – I rapidly gained an excessive amount of weight – I recall it to be about 80 pounds. I felt yucky and sick all of the time – not a pregnancy sick in the stomach – but a non-functioning sick all over kind of feeling – I quit work at 5 months pregnant.
After Lawrence’s birth I hovered around 200 pounds and didn’t really regain my ability to function. When Lawrence was about 7 months old I broke out with severe acne – this was probably the first outward sign other than the weight that something was not right with my body – I had always had beautiful smooth skin. About 3 months later I had a miscarriage very early in the pregnancy and with the miscarriage it felt like my body was cleansed – again I was vibrant and alive. My third pregnancy with my daughter Sindia was in every way opposite to my first one – I even went back to work mid-pregnancy.
Although very shortly after Sindia was born I became very spacey – non-functioning again. My sister was familiar with the effects of excessive candida in the body and gave me a couple of books to read on the subject. I learned to keep sugar and simple carbs out of my diet. I learned to read labels and identify sugars. I had all of my silver and mercury fillings replaced with composites in October 1987 – and within 2 weeks – once again it was as if I had a body flush – I was felt good again.
I found Overeaters Anonymous in 1988 and with their support and using a basic Weight Watcher diet from that era – I lost a significant amount of weight. Most of the mental chaos left and my functioning level was relatively good. I was now a single mom of 2 preschoolers and even their babysitter commented years later that she could see the difference in the way the kids daily bags were packed – the neatness and the necessary contents.
Over the next 13-14 years I struggled with ups and downs but I knew what to do if I got too down – lay off the simple carbs – it was almost like magic. Early in 2002 I became extremely ill – for about 1 year I was nearly non-functioning. I would work my 8 hours… barely – and spend the rest of my life in my bedroom sleeping.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Somewhere along the way it was suggested that I might have mono as the anti-bodies were found in my blood but I was never treated for mono. I was told that I was being treated for fibromyalgia and the treatment was Zoloft to raise the serotonin levels to help me sleep better. I had gone through a period of laying awake all night every night for many months before this came on – the doc said that studies showed that many fibromyalgia cases were preceded by severe insomnia.
After about one year – by 2003 – I began to regain some level of functioning but was still extremely weak and often felt exhausted. Soon after that I began to develop bronchitis every spring – the doc told me that if it continued she would diagnose me with chronic bronchitis – so I didn’t return – I figured out that if I took something to keep my allergies from draining into my lungs and at the same time took an expectorant to keep my lungs clear on a daily basis – I could keep the bronchitis away. After a couple of years this began in the fall too so it was almost year round I was taking these meds.
I also had some extreme food sensitivities to raised donuts and eggs – whenever I would eat either in any quantities I would appear to have a severe case of the flu with full sinuses and fever. I was also diagnosed in the late 2000’s with severe sleep apnea – in a two hour study I had 88 incidences of apnea with five of them I stopped breathing all together. In using the CPAP unit, much of my fatigue was relieved after the first night of use.
I met Doug late 2006/early 2007. About a year later I started chiropractic care with him. Doug became quite a cheerleader in my endeavor to rediscover good health. Because of my allergies and food sensitivities I tried different detox programs with cranberry juice and lemon juices – I would break out in patches of oozing itching hives every time and would stop the detox. In mid 2008 at the age of 48 is when my motto became sick and tired of being sick and tired. I would soon be 50 and I was really excited about that – but I wanted to be a healthy 50.
I had 2 children just out of college and thoughts of grandkids that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with , these thoughts were on my mind. I began to exercise and/or eat right in a way I had always been taught was healthy – lowering the simple carbs. Most of the time I wasn’t working at them both at the same time and my version of eating healthy, I now know was a little skewed.
In the summer of 2010 I was introduced to HCG – first Doug talked about it and I had no clue what it was but I brushed off the idea. Several weeks later my son came to me and told me that I had to use this stuff called HCG. Lawrence was quite firm and in fact called the next day and apologized for the way he spoke to me – to which I told him that I need to hear what he had to say. He was starting to really worry about me and his tone woke me up – finally.
I was at 270 pounds which to the best of my knowledge is my all time high. I read the manuscript by Dr. Simeons, the Italian doctor who researched HCG for weight loss in the early 1900’s, and I was quite impressed with his findings. On August 1, 2010 I began the HCG along with an extremely balanced, whole foods, very low calorie food plan. The first week on HCG I had an extreme detox reaction – my whole head broke out in oozing itching hives – but I was determined to go through with this. After that most of my allergic sensitivities were gone.
I lost 44 pounds in 52 days on the HCG and very low calorie diet with no hungry feelings. This was quite a blessing and a kick start to a new life. Lawrence’s next challenge to me was to run. On February 28, 2011 I began a couch to 5K program and ran a 5K on June 26. On April 6 I began Doug’s program in Terre Hill implementing clinical nutrition…….. and as of my last weigh-in on November 2 I have lost a total of 70 pounds and for the first time in many years was less than 200 pounds.
My new life…
o More energy
o More flexibility
o Very seldom feel the muscle weakness and exhaustion that would randomly haunt me for years
o Lower back pain is virtually gone
o I don’t need to use the CPAP any more
o I can take long walks in the country any time I want to
o I’ve been hiking Governor Dick and climbing the tower, which I hadn’t done in years – I’ve even been looking for new more difficult trails at Gov Dick and dragging my kids out to try them.
o I ran the 5K in June and walked one this past Sunday
o I was introduced to bouldering and am learning to love that and the renewed agility that I have
o I find it fascinating that I can just break into a run anytime I want and not be very winded – even running steps at Park City and racing Sindia to the top
My future goals
o Are to be consistent with my daily healthy eating
o To lose the other half of my weight so I can reach my goal weight
o To practice CrossFit and increase my agility and my physical edge
o Maybe run a marathon – just once – this is Lawrence’s next big challenge for me – that we go to Disney and run their marathon one year
It is my dream to spend a whole lot more time outdoors – for many years prior to my new lease on life I would look up and dream over park ranger jobs – I’ve looked up volunteering opportunities at Governor Dick and on the Appalachian Trail…
Also one of my passions in life is working with the teenage population – I’ve checked a little bit into working with troubled teens in a wilderness program setting and I think that would be an amazing opportunity. And for the immediate future I am looking forward to being a part of this team and helping others have the life changing success I’ve experienced.