Back in February or so, I noticed I had gained a bit of weight.
I generally don’t gain or lose weight (which always draws a few “I hate you”s from other women. Thanks patriarchy for training us to hate on each other for things we can’t control.)
So when my clothes were fitting too tightly and I started feeling uncomfortably huge, I actually feared I was pregnant. Which would have been tough as I have an IUD, but there’s always that 0.01% chance, right?
I was also feeling very ill, in that invisible, chronic fatigue kind of way. Tired, sluggish, brain fog, can’t sleep, can’t think, no motivation, moody, generally crappy.
Another symptom I had was any amount of physical exertion would exhaust me. If I tried even a little bit of aerobic exercise, I would have been wiped out for the next day and a half.
I was not pregnant, thank baby Jesus, and I eventually reached out to a nutritionist and started on this long journey of eliminating foods and discovering my body’s immunological response to certain things which I’ve shared plenty about already.
I never shared about the weight gain / pregnancy scare though. Mostly because I actually hadn’t connected it to the food intolerances thing until now.
I don’t really ever weigh myself, but lately I’ve noticed my clothes are fitting looser, and when I saw a friend the other day for the first time in a few weeks he exclaimed, “OMG you’re skinny now because you can’t eat anything!”
So last week when I was visiting a doctor I had her weigh me. I am currently 15 pounds lighter than I was 6-7 months ago. That was definitely not my goal. My goal was to feel better, which I totally do. My energy and mood is through the roof! Such a drastic change.
I’m sharing this because I see a few of my friends sharing about their struggles with weight loss. I’m seeing them counting calories, doing juice cleanses, or putting themselves through excruciating exercise programs, and not seeing any change in their bodies.
I’m sharing this because I have never counted calories and never will, and I haven’t changed my fairly nonexistent aerobic exercise routine (I walk and ride a bike to and from work and that’s literally it.)
While I’ve had to cut a lot of my favorite foods from my diet, I still eat plenty of food, always feeling satiated. I strive for 15g protein at every meal, always include lots of healthy fats, and eat every 2-3 hours to maintain blood sugar balance. I eat a lot of peanut butter 🙂 nuts, seeds, beans, veggies, and fruits. Lately meat hasn’t been very appetizing to me so I’m listening to what my body wants and adjusting as I go.
I just have a feeling that the reason you might be struggling to lose weight despite doing all the “right” things is that the guidance we generally get from the health industry might not be complete or true in some cases.
One thing I have learned in this journey is the standard health industry does not understand our immune system. (Holistic practitioners are getting closer.)
Our immune system and inflammation is like the last great mystery modern science is just beginning to look into.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Cortisol is a super important stress hormone that we absolutely need to survive, but too much of it makes us pretty sick.
When you have inflammation (an immune response), cortisol is released to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.
When you do aerobic exercise, you also increase your cortisol levels.
If we’re eating foods that are causing inflammation, the aerobic exercise we’re putting ourselves through might not be helping. It may in fact be hurting us, because we’re raising our cortisol levels through both the inflammation and the exercise.
If we’re fasting or starving ourselves, we’re raising our cortisol levels, as another crucial job of this hormone is to extract glucose from our cells to maintain blood sugar levels.
Cortisol slows our digestion and causes a lot of health problems if we raise our cortisol levels too often and for extended periods of time.
So instead of pushing and struggling and striving to do more, maybe the answer to weight loss, vitality, and health is to relax into it.
If you’re willing to make some changes to your diet and give up foods that may be making you sick (in my case it was seemingly benign stuff like kale, garlic, eggplant…) you may be able to stop “dieting” and killing yourself with exercise and see the pounds start melting off.
If you’re willing to spend $900 for an ALCAT test and get clarity into what’s going on in your body, you might find it’s totally, completely worth it.
I’m just putting this out there for anyone who’s frustrated from doing the same thing over and over and not seeing any results. Maybe it’s time to try a different approach.