About me

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ADAPT TRAINING and I have DONE IT!.... "Changing the food on my plate" has changed my life....

On a strong PUSH from Dr. K, I met with a physical therapist at  ADAPT TRAINING  today. 

I told her up front that I had been to physical therapy for a few months and had little improvement and that I was very skeptical at this point that anyone could help me. 

I told her my whole story...my very fast move into running, quick build up in mileage and the series of injuries that followed. I Liked that she dug deeper going back to my youth and problems in my back that I've had for a long time that have gone un-addressed. 
she was VERY thorough spending over an hour evaluating my ability to do basic movements and took pictures of my relaxed stance from all sides. 

AT the end she walked me through a series of 15-20 diff exercises that all seem so basic you would laugh. we're talking like lying on the floor knees bent and just lifting one foot off the floor an inch high and lowering. .....but she explained to me how my body is twisted, which I KNEW, but no one else has ever really acknowledged .
Their approach is to address the whole body. 

I have to do these movements every day (about an hour a  day) and then go back next week for a  new series to do the following week. 
She said I can't do any other exercises because I will just be re-enforcing the unbalanced muscles which makes sense. 
I'm sure I"m really butchering what she told me but as mad as i was about no exercising (some walking is okay) I realize she is on to something and if I don't fix the ROOT CAUSE I will keep getting injured. SO, I am committing myself 100% to this process. 

ADAPT has very good results and I've heard nothing but amazing things about them. 
Their approach is very different from traditional PT and though that may work for some, it did't work for me. Clearly addressing the singular area where I have pain was not the solution. She thinks my issues are coming more from my spine and pelvic/hip area. I have to agree.


ON another NOTE....I am feeling very proud of myself. 



I'ts been 3.5 mos since I've gone gluten, sugar, and processed food free, and 3 wks since I went even cleaner than that and cut out: Wheat, Dairy, Soy, Eggs, Sugar, Grains, Corn, Leumes .....
I feel amazing and I realize I have done something I DID NOT THINK I COULD DO!

So here's my confession:

I was so deeply addicted to food.
It was what I looked forward to everyday. When I was down or depressed or discouraged or stressed...I headed for that starbucks hot chocolate with extra whip and chocolate drizzle or that large french fries from mcdonalds...OR that delicious cookie or DOUGHNUT...mmmmmmm all was well in the world IF I could just medicate with FOOD.

Unfortunately I don't think I am alone in this. I would venture to say that many of you reading this are much the same way and those of you who aren't  addicted to sugar and carbs are probably still experiencing negative effects from our food that you aren't even aware of. 

I was never too concerned about my diet because I wasn't fat. And if I wasn't Fat, then it must not be hurting me, right? I knew I was addicted to food and was making poor choices, but the ADDICTION was too strong to just give it up willingly for no good reason.

AND THEN THE REASON came. 
Hashimotos. 

At first I was SO discouraged when I found out I needed to cut out all these foods if I wanted to feel better.....I didn't think I could do it. I was ANGRY....but I quickly realized that NOT doing it  meant I would continue to feel crappy and be inflamed and NOT heal....and that wasn't a good choice either. 
I DECIDED that if I didn't take the bull by the horns with this, I was going to STARVE to death! I had to eat and I had to be  prepared b/c there are SO few things I can eat now. 

I will tell you what HAS BEEN and CONTINUES TO BE the most shocking about the outcome from my clean eating:  

**** My mental health. My mental state of being is 100% better**** no questions. no gimmicks 

I said to my husband (who is MR. SKEPTICAL about everything) the other day 
"Do I SEEM like a different person to you? because I FEEL like one!" 

He actually responded with "yes" and I smiled. I have noticed him making small changes with his food and I have started to cut a lot of processed food and wheat and sugar out of my kids diet too. I have a knowledge now that makes me responsible and I cannot in good conscience let them eat half the stuff they were eating.

It is NOT easy. It takes dedication and a re-prioritizing your life, but it's do-able. I am doing it. I still can't BELIEVE I'm doing it most days but My mind feels so much better that I am motivated EVERY single day to get up and keep going. I actually want to fill my belly with greens and veggies and organic grass fed beef and free range chicken!!! 

Everyday is one step closer to healing and a happier healthier mind and body

I thank GOD for this disease and trial. I believe HE knew all along that it would take something this drastic to get me on my knees and humble me enough to make the changes I needed to  to live a long and healthy life. I also know he KNEW I would not accept and settle for just taking medication but that I would seek out what I could DO to make my life better. I have HAD to rely on Him more which has increased my spiritual balance in my life. 
I have had to look at how short life is and consider that we never know how much time we have on this earth which has caused me to slow down, cut back on work and spend more time with my kids and husband. 

I know that GOOD things can come from our trials and apparent "bad news". I had a very bad attitude and negative perspective at first and then I quickly realized that it felt HORRIBLE to think and feel that everyday so I had to CHOOSE to find the positives and let this disease change me for the better. 

I am so thankful that God knows me so well and I hope that my experience will help others. 
Off to prepare some DELICIOUS  GRASS FED RIB EYE STEAKS!!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!! is that weird? lol


peace out friends!
xx




Monday, January 27, 2014

2yrs in the making! My frustrations and liberations.......

I am just posting what I shared on FB today, more to come later:

 I have rec'd so many comments and private messages about this stuff that I am going to be very candid about my experiences and what i'm learning in hopes that it will help someone else. 
As I mentioned I found out friday that I have VERY LOW progesterone. I met with Dr. K this morning to go over this stuff and warned him I was irritated and fiesty. I was MAD. Mad that I went to TWO doctors 2 yrs ago with symptoms: Stress fractures, fatigue, cold night sweats, extreme mood swings and some other stuff. IF they didn't pick up on it themselves, I even suggested that I felt I may have something whacky going on with my HORMONES. Both times I was brushed off. 

Last year with increased symptoms and the hashimotos stuff starting I began to search for a diff doctor who might actually LISTEN to me and the last 6mos has been nothing short of amazing and discouraging as I have discovered so much of the chaos that has been going on in my body. 
There are symptoms that go back to when I was teenager and though we cannot go back in time to know exactly what things really pushed my body over the edge, we do have some ideas. (I'll leave that for a longer blog post later). 

The reason this major hormone imbalance has been so emotional for me to discover is b/c I realize that even though the hashimotos and thyroid are big issues that will need to be managed long term, alot of my most serious symptoms dealing with my mental health are most likely stemmed from THIS. 
The cycle every month of completely irrational thoughts and emotional PAIN made me feel like I thought i was going crazy. I had to fight against myself so hard to feel as normal as I could. Relationships have been effected, with others and with myself. 
Hormones are not something to jack around with people. They will make you feel like you are going CRAZY. YOu've experienced this, you will know what I"m talking about. It's like watching yourself from outside your body and you know what you're saying and feeling and thinking doesn't make sense but you actually FEEL that way in that moment. 

I feel an incredible sense of RELIEF to finally know whats going on and be on a path to fixing it....but I can't HELP but feel a huge concern for those around me and wonder how many others are suffering from hormone imbalance? food allergies, auto immune and thyroid conditions?. ALL which effect our bodys and our BRAINS. 

IF you don't feel like things in your body and brain are in balance or have mental or physical symptoms, go see someone.

I can't even tell you strongly enough the changes I have experienced physically, but most of all MENTALLY since I changed the food on my plate, and discovered what I'm allergic too, as well as take supplements and make lifestyle changes to help with my insulin and cortisol levels....and now to hopefully be able to manage these last bouts of symptoms that come every few weeks that are linked to my progesterone cycle. Left Dr. K's office with some sublingual progesterone. He explained to me that often people this low will notice IMMEDIATELY a response. 
Maybe it's a placebo effect but i have had foggy brain, headache and dizziness since friday. couldn't even get out of bed for the first half of yesterday. I felt like crap when I walked into his office. I took the sublingual progesterone and about 20min later after I left I noticed the fogginess, dizziness and headache was gone. This stuff just might be worth more than gold. 

Anyway, I'm not 100% and I know I will have alot more tweaking to do, but I already feel 85% like a different person than I was a few months ago. 
There is HOPE. The body is extremely complex, so treat it that way. don't take it for granted. 
hopping off my soapbox, but don't worry there will be more to come, this is just the tip of the iceberg;o)

I've had MANY people asking for Dr. K's info so for those who are interested here it is: 
http://naturalfamilyhealthclinic.com/Site/Home.html

He LISTENS and knows his stuff. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Low Progesterone too??

2 weeks ago I did an at home saliva test to test my hormones and cortisol levels. I just got the results on friday.
this is a nurse practioner I went to see at Pearl Womens center before I found and settled in with DR. K.
Anyway...she tells me my Progesterone is Low. (REALLY LOW) and my testosterone is moderately high.

So....there IS  a reason for the frigging cold sweats i've been dealing with off and on for 2yrs. Funny, but I had one the night before I got my results. it's been about 5mos since i've had one.
They are not fun. I wake up freezing b/c i'm DRENCHED through my clothes and my sheets and pillow. I have to get up in the middle of the night and change my clothes. lay a towel down in my bed. It's annoying and until now no one could tell me WHY I was having them.

Anyway....she tells me that this is FROM Low progesterone....and so are the anxiety attacks I had all week before my period started....Oh and the dizzy spells i've had all week too..... (boo).

What pissed me off was that 2yrs ago when these started I went to the doctor and told them about this and said that I felt like I had a hormone issue.2 times, 2 diff doctors brushed me off. I couldn't afford to go to an endocrinologist and the symptoms would come and go so I let it be.

Here I am 3 stress fractures later. LOW PG is a high risk cause for stress fractures and bone loss....osteoporosis etc.UGH. I'm just frustrated.
Today is day 3 of my period and I had dizzy spells and headache so bad all day I could hardly get out of bed. All classic signs.

I really don't know anymore if THIS is my problem, or the hashimotos is? I'm just confused. I see Dr. K again tomorrow and I have ALOT of questions for him.
The NP at Pearl womens center called in a RX for a progesterone cream that i'm supposed to start halfway through my cycle  this month so we'll see how that goes.

As much as I am trying to remain positive and push forward beleiving I will come out the other side of this and be able to run again (and most days i'm doing okay in that mindset), I have days where I get SO SCARED....and today was one of those days. it consumes my thoughts.......

I start to ask what if?
What if I can't run again?
what if this goes on for years trying to sort it out?
what if just as I get things sorted out and CAN run again I end up injured again?
what if I NEVER accomplish my goals of that sub 1:30 half marathon or that 3:15 marathon?
and naturally my brain turns to this question "What if Nicole? does that mean you arn't going to TRY? does that mean you are going to just give up and quit?" and my heart always stubbornly responds with a resounding NO!
Because I CAN'T give up. I"m NOT a quitter. I'm a believer! A believer of dreams....my own and everyone elses! I am ALWAYS encouraging others to never give up and keep pushing on.
This can't be the end for me right?
I'm only 35
I'm too young for this.
There are so  many amazing medical professionals out there and I will find them and I will insist they help me and I will FIND a way to make my goals and dreams come true. I have overcome so much in my life and I choose to believe that somehow God will help me overcome this too:)



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Diagnosis: Hashimotos Autoimmune Disease and overcoming my demons



After 5mos I finally have a diagnosis.  Hashimotos. for those of you who have not heard of Hashimotos, it is an auotimmune disease where your body attacks your thyroid. B/c your thyroid plays a role in so many parts of your body its symptoms vary widely. Unfortunately its not always as easy as just taking a pill for the hypothyroidism....it often, as it is in my case, comes with leaky gut, and lots of food allergies.

The original feeling was Relief to know what was wrong with me.....but soon followed the realization that I couldn't just fix this with a synthroid pill. Man that would be alot easier:)
The next 2 doctors I saw and personal study revealed that I would need to cut out more than just wheat and sugar from my diet.
No:
WHEAT
DAIRY
SOY
EGGS
SUGAR
NUTS
GRAINS
NIGHTSHADE VEGGIES

Wow. What? come again? tears followed....then optimism....as I read over an over again how people were able to become symptom free and feel good again. I can never get rid of hashimotos but I can hopefully get rid of the symptoms and keep my antibodies from flaring up.

I learned that my body has been in such a chronic state of inflamation that it has had no time to work on healing or recovery. So those 3 marathons I was training for??? that all resulted in stress fractures...even the one that I had hardly done anything hard for......yeah...most likely my body was never doing its job to recover after hard workouts....hence my body just kept breaking down again. and again. and again.

This information HAS helped me feel better and given me hope. Maybe i'm not completely broken afterall? maybe I CAN be the runner I dream of being. But it's not going to happen without a lot of hard work on my part. I COULD just take the synthroid pill and leave it at that...deal with the repercussions of eating poorly OR I could suck it up, say good bye to the poor food that tastes so good and has been my friend and comfort my whole life and work to fight this head on.

I went to maui this week. ALONE. no kids. no husband. Just me and 2 work associates/friends. I had a job there and I felt like it was the right thing to do.I needed a break to think and get away and my vitamin D, B and Iron levels are all so low due to low absorbancy in my gut that I needed that SUN too! so I went, and while I was there I read this book:






If you have not read this book you need to.
Because I am thin and appeared to be fit people assumed I ate well. But I didn't.
Like many americans  (thought I am Canadian, for the record;)), I ate food to comfort me when I was stressed, tired, sad, angry, bored etc. It made me feel HAPPY....and as I read this book I realized there is a real scientific reason for that and why its SO HARD for us to break those habits.
Some of my favorites that I consumed regularily?:
McFlurries
Filet O fish
starbucks hot chocolates with extra whip
doughnuts
chocolate bars
french fries
burgerville!
okay...this is getting embarassing....I could go on an on.....I was always on the go and too lazy to cook or make time to prepare in advance....I had to go for a run ya know?;)

and now here I am.
sick.
dealing with chronic hip pain that has only gotten worse since my  last post
and not able to even LICK the spoon of a McFlurry.

My message? STOP. Stop emotional eating. take your health and your body seriously. YOU ONLY GET ONE!

My first round of food allergy blood tests came back (yes I know they are not 100% fool proof) but they were not so bad:
Dairy-out for good
wheat-out for good
Sugar-out for good

eggs-maybe ( I jumped up and down...I would give anything to be able to have eggs again..... ground beef for breakfast is just strange)
This was my breakfast this morning... beef, kale and sweet potatoes:)

bananas/pineapple-out

eveything else was not so bad....
I will probably always avoid grains but soy MIGHT be something I can add back in later...we'll see.
Friday I get my cortisol and hormone tests back...and an iodine test.
It's alot more complicated than what you'll read on web MD where they say you can fix it with a synthroid tablet. Yeah thanks buddy......but lets tell the whole story hear.


Anyway.....thats where I'm at:)
Planning. reading, learning as much as I can about living in a fast food world eating an autoimmune diet.
its HARD, but My goal is clear.
Get Healthy and get back to BOSTON!

My first marathon in 2011 got derailed at mile 22....I was on course for a 3:20 debut marathon when I got a searing pain in my fibula. Diagnosis: Stress fracture.

 I hobbled to the finish line in pain and tears and crossed in 3:35.....
the good news was I still qualified for Boston and I could train the following year with my friends and redeem myself at that epic marathon!!!....

April of 2012 came around and I was in the best shape of my life......I had trained hard for 16wks and had made a huge financial invesetment as my husband and I flew to Boston for this epic journey.
6 days before, I went out for an easy taper run and couldn't take one step. Devastation.
Stress fracture in my FEMUR.

That was harder to recover from than my first  I think.....I had worked so hard and gone all that way......it is a HUGE monkey on my back.

I took a whole year to run VERY low mileage in hopes to just get strong and avoid injury. Last summer I started marathon training with my husband with the idea to just run and finish a marathon HEALTHY. I thought I was doing everything right......low miles, slower long runs ....and yet on July 29, I ran my last run. 6mos ago.
ANOTHER fibular stress fracture.
I don't need to tell you the confusion, depression that came with this news.

I just want you all to know I have NOT given up. I am more motivated than ever to take control of my life. To treat my body the way it deserves to be treated and feed it what it NEEDS.

I have promised myself I will get back to Boston. That means at least 2 marathons in my future (as I need to re-qualify) but hopefully many more.

Quitting just isn't in my nature and so I am bound by what I know in my heart is the right thing to do.

Good bye Wheat, dairy, sugar, soy, bananas and whatever else I have to give up to accomplish  my goals. I promise not to miss you too much:)





Here is a letter Gina Lee Nolin posted on her page that gives a broader look at the symptoms Hashi's can cause. I cried the first time I read this b/c I could relate to SO much of this.

I Am Hashimoto's 
Hi.  My name is Hashimoto's.  I'm an invisible autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid gland causing you to become hypothyroid. I am now velcroed to you for life. 
Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.
I can attack you anywhere and any way I please.
I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.
Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?
I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now.
I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.
I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.
I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.
I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything.
I can make you feel very anxious or very depressed, too. I can also cause other mental health problems.
I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me.
I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you lose weight. I don't discriminate.
Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.
If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons:
That virus or viruses you had that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress.) You may have a family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay.
I hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh.  Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.
You will be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.
There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless - that high cholesterol, gall bladder issue, blood pressure issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me.
Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage?
That's probably me too.
Teeth and gum problems? TMJ? I told you the list was endless.
You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.
You'll be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of doctors you've seen, just how debilitating I am and how sick you really feel.  In all probability you will get a referral from these 'understanding'  (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist.
Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I am.
Some of them will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or "Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.
They'll  also say things like,  "if you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you'll feel better." They won't understand that I take away the 'gas' that powers your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things.
Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next. You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had that, and she's fine on her medication" when you desperately want to explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S taking, doesn't mean it will work for you.
The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.
I am Hashimoto's Disease.