Before and after: a hormone story

When I turned 40, my life flipped upside down. I had always been active and busy and could lose weight easily. I’d simply control my intake or increase my activity before a trip or the summer and, zoom, I’d be back in a bikini in no time.
After I turned 40, everything changed. I became lethargic, needing multiple cat naps each day. I blamed this on the fact that I wasn’t sleeping well and having frequent night sweats and hot flashes. When I brought it up to my regular OB/Gyn, she assured me that I wouldn’t possibly be heading toward menopause at my age, increased my estrogen only birth control pills, that I didn’t need for birth control, but as a hormone replacement. This was November of 2012 and by the following April, I was worse than ever! Gray, exhausted, exhibiting the thyroid chin of late life and absolutely desperate, I contacted a customer of mine that specializes in hormone replacement therapy.
I’m going to share with you a photo that chills me to look at, but that needs to be shared. Despite the smile on my face, I was miserable. Everything seemed to be falling apart at the same time and I certainly wasn’t happy with that!

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My first appointment was April 4th and I had 5 hot flashes during an hour and a half appointment that probably lasted 2 hours. At least it seemed to. I forgot to put on my mascara and was generally foggy and hurried. My life is stressed and fast but I’d always dealt well, making lists and checking calendars.
Enter my new best friend and who I call my “fat” doctor! She isn’t fat! As a matter of fact, she’s fit and thin, and it’s all because of her program. I’ve seen her before and after photos and I could see the results the first time I began her program. Of course, I had no idea just how bad off I was. We started with basic questionnaires and the above horrifying photo, and ended it with a very candid conversation. I left with a salva test kit, a prescription for thyroid medication and a small dose of appetite suppressants, as well as an okay to stop the oral contraceptives that were making me sick and causing me to have more migraines. I began tracking all my calories except my exercise. This was a completely opposite approach from what I had tried before as I depended heavily on my life as a yoga teacher and exercise fanatic!
Progesterone cream leveled off my hormone fluctuations and the thyroid increased my energy levels. After the second month I noticed a massive difference in the way I felt and the way I looked.

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Don’t allow anyone to tell you what is normal to feel at any stage in life. If you feel sad, lonely, depressed, or overweight or under nourished, seek help. If your physician tells you that it’s a natural progress of aging, seek a second opinion. Talk to your friends, your pharmacist and your physician until you can come to a plan that brings you back to life. I feel better than I have in years, and I couldn’t have done it without the information and guidance of a like minded physician and her staff
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste
April

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Ugh! Awake again!

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I think the worst sound I can wake up to in the middle of the night is my cat knocking over my water glass.
Sick kids, got it. Insomnia, it happens. But to have to clean up pure water spilled on my nightstand and carpet because curious kitty couldn’t keep her paws to ‘herself?
Ugh!!!!! With seven sweet kitties here for a few more days until they go to their new forever homes, this has become a real irritation.
So keep your water in a closed bottle beside your bed.
Drinking 8 ounces of water as soon as you awake in the morning, improves your ability to detox and decreases your appetite all day. Just put a top on it! I love my kitties but really?? Don’t wake me up spilling my water when you have your own!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

Changing a life

So after a wonderful week at the beach, I have to question myself about my lifestyle. I don’t generally live like a vacation everyday but a few would argue that point!
I over indulged quite a bit, but fighting waves and walking through sand is exercise, right? Plus, we washed 25 loads of laundry in a week!
Well, the scale will tell tomorrow!

So, what will I do?
I’ll go back to tracking my calories and I’m determined to add more and different workouts into my day. I love kayaking and walking through the woods and haven’t done nearly enough of that this summer. Also, swimming and diving will be high on my list.

I’m also working on beating some demons. I need to be a better example to my children.
I smoked throughout college, but quit when I became pregnant with my first child, 19 years ago.
I picked up the habit again about 4 years ago, ironically, driving to and from yoga training 2 hours away. I don’t know why I started again, but what do addicts do other than abuse their bodies and I say no more!
Am I scared of gaining weight and withdrawal? Hell yes! But there comes a time when you have to live what you preach and preach what you live!

Wish me luck! I’ve been brutally honest here and it will surprise and shock some people. Some not so much. So hey, I like to write and if it touches you in some way, wonderful! If not, don’t follow me!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

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Before and after

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I’m going to take a break from the 7 symptoms you should never ignore, not because they aren’t vitally important to our health, but because I want to discuss another topic.
I promise you’ll get your next four symptoms tomorrow!

At the age of 40, I could drop 10 pounds in a matter of a month or so by following the newest diet book. (and believe me I own them all!) After 40 however, I found out that it didn’t matter what I did, I couldn’t lose weight. It certainly isn’t the number that counts because this can happen to us at any age.
I’m a very active person and have a fair knowledge of nutrition. It’s always been an interest to me and I had been a vegan and a vegetarian for a number of years. This lifestyle didn’t mesh well with my family life, but I have always been conscious of what I eat and what I feed my family.
From 40 to 44, I found out what all the fad diets and deprivation had done to my metabolism. I absolutely had to lose the weight I had gained, a whopping 30 pounds! The first thing I did as a compounding pharmacist was wonder, what the heck was going on inside my body. Luckily, I had access to a good nurse practitioner, that is my own age, that listened to my worries.
My own Ob/Gyn, another female, explained to me that it was just a process of aging (she’s about 30). This was an answer I just couldn’t comprehend.

After blood work, saliva tests, food journaling, and 4 months, I’m finally beginning to feel like myself again.
Currently I’m down almost 20 pounds, my blood pressure and cholesterol levels are greatly improved, as well as my confidence and energy.
I’m using a progesterone and DHEA cream as well as thyroid medication to improve my metabolism and youthfulness. It’s also been a huge boost to my energy levels and libido.
I journal all the calories I take in each day and monitor fluctuations in hot flashes, migraines, and menses.
I feel like a new woman or better yet, the woman I was at 30, with the knowledge I have at 45!
Don’t let your doctor tell you that your weight gain is fine. I was on the verge of developing diabetes, which runs in my family, and all that has changed.
Don’t give up on YOU! Your body tells you what is right for your own well being.

Sure, you can go out and buy bigger pants and continue to feel like a gray, aging woman, or you can take control of your health and see what is actually going on inside you! I’m so grateful for the choice I made, and I hope you discover what it is you need to make you feel alive and well!

Think! Live! Love!
Namaste!