She's Taking Back Her Body and Health With Real Food...
Posted Nov 21 2008 10:24am
Today I bring you a guest post from Tracy. I asked her to do a post for us because she is being successful with weight loss and gaining her health back. It's all done with real food - something that rules my universe. She has taken back her body with real food and other lifestyle changes. Read on....
"What a pleasure to be invited to share my journey to health here at Whole Food And More! It truly has been a journey, and as I continue to grow more healthy, I realize how far I have come, yet how far I still have to go!"
"I have been overweight my entire life. We were a plate-cleaning family, and because I was a latchkey kid, I didn't spend much time being active. With an additional genetic propensity to carry excess weight, and subsequently the devastating early loss of my mother to cancer (I was 9), I packed on the pounds, despite all the ridicule from peers and nagging by my dad.
Pregnancy was really hard on me, as I gained 90 lbs with my first child, and over 60 with the second. Unfortunately, I didn't ever really lose the weight from either one. By my late 30's, I was a junk-food junkie, and a Dr. Pepper-aholic. My two liter per day habit not only kept me slowly gaining, it also was destroying my health. I had chronic bronchitis, and had to have antibiotics multiple times every year. There were only a few brief weeks throughout the year that I didn't cough. I was a heavy user of over the counter and prescription drugs.
Just before my 40th birthday, my husband and I went to Cancun for a few days. While there, I badly sprained my knee while walking on the beach. A visit to the local doctor earned me an x-ray and a cortisone shot. A few days later when we went home, I noticed that I had no energy at all. I felt feverish and lethargic. I slept all the time. By the end of the first week home, I went to my doctor to find out what was wrong with me. His first frightening diagnosis was Hodgkin's Disease/ lymphoma. More tests were run, and while they were doing some scan or another, the fever broke and I knew whatever it was had finally gone away. (It was actually an allergic reaction to the shot, I discovered years later after a subsequent injection caused the identical reaction.)
I healed rapidly--so much that the doctor (who never really did figure out what was wrong!) told me it was a miracle. It is amazing what being faced with a life threatening disease will make you think about! With my healing complete, I had a new lease on life, and began to consider what my life was becoming, and whether the path I was on would take me where I wanted to be. About the same time, a Lenten church service provoked me to give up my beloved Dr. Pepper. I went cold turkey and have not had more than a sip or two in over 8 years.
In the fall of that year, 2000, I joined Curves to try to get a bit more mobile and flexible. I didn't really think I would lose weight, but I did think I should be able to bend and get up and down easier than I could for someone my age. I refused to weigh or measure when I first started. I was so large that many of the machines rubbed on my hips or other body parts when I was using them. About four months after I joined, I had dropped a few dress sizes-- from 32 to 26, and was starting to feel pretty good. At that time I weighed and measured for the first time. I was 340 lbs.
I continued to slowly lose pounds and inches for another few months, then started taking a popular athletic nutrition supplement. I lost down into the 200's with that, then joined Weight Watchers and made it down to 263 before I started gaining it back. Within three years, I was back at 350 lbs. and experiencing one joint issue after another. I visited the chiropractor weekly for almost two years! I tried all sorts of things, then went to a naturapathic doctor someone recommended, and she started me on the path of health.
I lost a few pounds, but eventually stopped doing many of the supplements and cleanses she recommended and put it back on. In the summer of 2007, I was doing a program that introduced me to Dr. Mark Hyman's book, Ultra-Metabolism. My husband and I decided we needed to really apply some of the healthy principles that were presented, and I began to lose again. Within a few months, I had lost down to 314.5 and stayed there for about 6 months.
It was while doing this program that we discovered my husband was allergic (or at least intolerant) to wheat and that I am intolerant to soy. He was raised on a wheat farm, and suffered horribly with seasonal allergies from the time he was tiny until this year.
The main benefit from this program was that we learned how to eat to feed the nutritional needs of our bodies instead of our psyche or our taste buds! So, in the summer of 2008, almost a year later, when I read Kevin Trudeau's book, "The Weight Loss Cure"... I was adequately prepared to take the final leap into whole, unprocessed, organic, grass fed and free range foods.
Like giving up soft drinks, this is another decision I won't ever look back from. The health benefits have been immense, as has the weight loss! (currently 256 lbs.) My chronic joint pain is completely gone. I haven't had a cold or flu in over a year now. Seasonal allergies are a distant memory, and even my horrible intolerance for scents and fragrances has diminished. My energy is back to what it was when I was 20, and my stamina is amazing!
Discovering the foods that help me be healthy, and making the decision to invest in my health instead of paying for the loss of it, have been wonderful and liberating events! At the current rate I am losing, by my 50th birthday, I should be at my goal weight of 160 lbs. (I am 5'9" tall) and have vibrant health and vitality. I am excited about life instead of afraid of it.
There is no shortcut to health. It is a long and tedious --very DAILY-- process, more so if there is a long history of personal abuse. But the rewards along the way are glorious to behold! The overcoming of lifelong sicknesses, relief from chronic joint pain, deep, restful and renewing sleep, and learning to pay attention to the messages the body sends are all benefits of seeking a healthy lifestyle.
Life is stressful enough without having to worry about losing our health, and with a proper diet and other healthful activities, we can live life until we die, instead of watching it go by.
Tracy is from Tulsa, OK, and has a blog about her weight loss journey here, and a variety of healthy and traditional recipes here. Her main blog is Thoughts from Miller Manor, where she writes about her middle aged, empty nest, multi-faceted, daily life."
Thank you Tracy for sharing your journey. Your story is beautiful and touched me deeply!