Last Monday I had blood work done and on Tuesday I got the news that my A1C blood sugar was back in the diabetic range at 7.3 and that my secondary thyroid hormone was out of balance with the primary thyroid hormone. The doc wanted to start me on Metformin and increase the thyroid medication I’ve been on for about a year and a half that has already been increased once. My weight is also back up to nearly 280 lbs.
Not interested. Why?
Well, first off, I’m pretty sure that the reason for the blood sugar increase, the worsening thyroid imbalance, and the weight gain is because I haven’t really taken care of myself, or felt the desire to take care of myself, for a long time, especially since March of this year, probably earlier, but, I can pinpoint a significant event in March that still brings tears to my eyes.
In my past writings on this blog, I would have gone into excruciating detail about what happened in March and what’s happened since then. However, I don’t want to operate that way anymore, for several reasons:
- First, I hurt people I care about with my public airing of our relationship issues and interactions. I don’t want to hurt the ones I love.
- Second, I have learned that the reliving of my traumatic experiences, even in writing, is a symptom of the PTSD and the more I stay focused on what is traumatizing and upsetting, the more I feed the anxiety and depression.
- Third, I have limited amounts of time and energy. I can use it all up by retelling all that went before (an impossible and impractical task) or I can get forward focused and solution oriented.
This change is not an easy one, since it’s been my modus operandi most of my adult life. However, just as changing my eating and lifestyle habits are necessary for my wellbeing, it is an absolute must.
So, here I am, depressed, overwhelmed, and not really giving a crap about whether I get healthy and live a quality life for as long as possible…at least not because of any positive feelings or hope I have for myself. Instead, the best reason is that my six-year-old, who experiences High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and has a lot of behavioral issues related to that, needs me healthier and stronger so I can better meet her needs. Secondary motivations are being a positive and interactive grandmother for my two grand babies, who are now almost 20 & 8 months old, and being an example of hope for the future for their momma, my oldest daughter, who is 22, overwhelmed, and struggling with her own self-esteem/self-care issues.
My research indicates that nutrition is the biggest co-factor for just about everything I’m experiencing. More to the point, the way I eat is slowly killing my mind and my body. This means it’s also affecting my relationships and my ability to parent, be a good friend, and member of society. Basically, I feel like my physical & mental health, as well as most of my relationships, are on a negative, cascading, downward spiral.
Now, I’m faced with a decision: Do I commit to necessary changes, no matter what, OR do I allow the apathy, discouragement, depression, anxiety, fear, and tangible obstacles keep me on this slow roll to self-destruction?
Obviously, committing to making changes to improve my health and relationships is the preferred. However, the big question is how do I push through the physiological, biological, neurological, and psychological realities of depression, PTSD, and 46 years of physical, auditory, visual, kinetic, and mental self-destructive habits that feed off of each other?
I have taken a set of first steps. I’ve opened up to a few closed/secret groups on Facebook that have people I trust and people who are on similar journeys of health and significant life change, about what is going on with me and what I’m trying to do. Now, I’m also doing so here. I’ve reached out directly to a couple of people who are farther along in their journeys and asked them for their mentorship and support. I’ve also started working on researching why certain eating plans might help with certain conditions and have a general plan of action in place.
I’m starting with Whole30 as the foundation. I found Whole30 free downloads that cover the basics of the plan and a variety of specifics, including shopping lists for omnivores, vegetarians, egg & nightshade free, low-histamine, and low-FODMAP diets. I’m combining the last three because the multiple health issues I have and their symptoms could indicate Histamine Intolerance, IBS/GI issues exacerbated by FODMAP foods, and (unscientifically reported) symptoms of reactions to nightshade foods (more about nightshades, here). It’s entirely possible that none of these conditions are scientifically provable conditions. However, I need to do something besides let the doctors put me on lots of medications I have trouble remembering to take and that have a host of side effects of their own. So, this is what I’m going to do.
Essentially, I’m going sugar-free, grain free, dairy free, citrus/acidic free, and simple starch free . . . all foods that make up the majority of what my six-year-old and I now eat. I told her about this last week and she cried. I’m trying not to. Eat to live, not live to eat, right? If this way of eating will reduce the brain fog, fatigue, chronic pain, insomnia, depression and host of other issues I’m struggling with, surely it will be worth it?
Next post, I’ll provide a list of foods which remain open to me and see what recipes I can find that will make them palatable.