Ok, so I’ve been wanting to share full body images of my progress for a while now. The perk of having a photographer for a husband is that not only has he taken pictures of me on many occasions, he was able to set-up a studio to shoot reproductions of existing images.
So, I can finally share the differences.
I had him reproduce family picture moments, as well as past photo shoots. For this post I am sticking to fully clothed images. He has done nudes of me many times in the past, and we did recreate some of them for this purpose, but I need to make them internet friendly by doing the black boxes across naughty bits. It’ll take time. For this post, using the fully clothed images, I just had to resize to match, and then label- a much quicker process (took me about an hour for all of the images you’ll see here).
I do wish I was further along, but that is probably me being hard on myself again. I do acknowledge that: I have managed this much progress during a time period where I gave birth to two children, and also fought tooth-and-nail against thyroid concerns that had been undiagnosed for 15+ years. I also acknowledge that all of my progress was me and Nathan; no one made me, no one encouraged me, and no one helped me figure out my own personal puzzle. No one else can take the credit, only me, with Nathan’s loving support. So in those regards, I’m a effing super hero. I’ll claim my She-Ra crown everyday that I keep trying.
I hope you find my progress as a helpful encouragement to anyone else attempting to do something similar.
May you have good moments of validation of your own personal progress. May you see your efforts are paying off. May you see things start to get easier. May you know that you are doing your best and that is really what matters. AND ABOVE ALL- may you know that God loves and supports you in all that you do.
So, I sit shivering right now, wrapped in my fluffy robe. I had an oopse that dropped my blood sugars too low, but at least I know why now.
Five days ago I wrote of concerns, oddball symptoms and high sugars that had been plaguing me for over a couple of months. Then I wrote the update where Nathan caught the bad testing strips, causing the artificially high numbers, and we opened a new package of test strips.
Since then, I have been sticking to the suggestions offered by the acupuncturist and testing to find out where my numbers really are. Mostly my glusoce numbers are good, a couple of times they have swung 10-15 points high, but each time I knew why (mostly way too many carbs at dinner, AIP and near vegan doesn’t eliminate all sources of carbs, and I love sweets and beets chips).
Anyway, most of the weird symptoms I was having have backed off significantly, so I’m fairly certain I owe a huge thank you to the acupuncturist for catching my error there. They weren’t huge adjustments to my regimen but made a big difference because I was overdoing a couple of key herbs and it was stressing my liver out.
Then there was today.
I did my foam rollering, 3 hours of massages, and wrote my post about foam rollering. I drank all my waters, and ate one pack of my seaweed, but didn’t bother with the celery. As I was leaving work, I decided I would do a short workout to make up for the lack of cardio in foam rollering. I ate half of my second pack of seaweed and went into the gym.
17 minutes into what was intended as a 35 min workout, my legs started feeling jello-ee and I suddenly felt heavy and tired. I kicked myself for not eating all of the second pack of seaweed and literally muscled my way through the second half of my workout. By the time my cool down was done, I wasn’t sure I could dismount from the elliptical machine. I did, but the walk to my car was interesting.
I ate the rest of my seaweed and finished my water. I knew I needed another water, but just wanted to get home before I completely ran out of steam.
Once home I drank water, had a date roll, and checked my numbers. Even after seaweed and a date roll, I was at 87. I had swung low.
It cleared up the rest of the anomalous symptoms I couldn’t figure out. I’ve been trying so hard to bring sugars down in thinking they were high, that I’ve probably been crashing them repeatedly. *Sigh*
It a good and a bad.
On the good side, I can relax a little on my blood sugar controls, they are working, maybe too well. It also means I’m not nearly as bad off as I was beginning to think. The relief I feel over doing everything right is actually working, is immense. Here I thought I was doing everything right and still coming up short, but really I am doing everything right and it’s starting to work too well (really there’s no such thing if I keep readjusting as I heal and improve). It’s working. Slowly but surely. Even the adjustments the accupincturist gave me were expressing that it was working well, which then was just pushing myself a little to hard. It’s all a really good sign.
The bad is two-fold:
1) I really have to watch my sugars and attempt to scale my herbs appropriately. Otherwise, I could end up in a severe sugar crash that could cause bigger problems. Since I’m not on glucose meds, my risks of that are minimal, but not impossible.
2) I need to make sure I stay on top of my seaweed better. The seaweed helps my thyroid and thus my metabolism. It is what keeps me burning the fat for energy and not needing food as much. My mistake was not consuming all of my seaweed before taxing my system physically. I have to keep my seaweed intake high enough to enable my body to burn the fat no matter when I fit my exercise in.
So, yes my health is actually doing okay and what I’m doing is working. I just need to balance quantities a bit better and go a little easier on myself. Having started my seaweed and celery routine in July, I can’t say I’m opposed to a little leaway.
It’s a sigh of relief and a little happy dance being able to report this evidence. Now to just follow through all the way and eventually clear the other side of the health hump.
May you have good evidence of your progress. May you see what you are doing is working. May you know you are doing everything right and everything in your power and understand that God will help with the rest. May you see your results snowball and become easier and easier. May you have the health you seek. May you know above all that God loves and supports you in all that you do.
Ok, so sometimes my addictions, turn into a Multi-player Mortal Kombat round. I’m just as proud of myself, if the worst one of the ‘enemies’ is the one knocked out, as I would be winning a duel.
Sometimes it really is about picking your battle, and knowing that if only one was knocked out, then at least I didn’t die, and I’ll make it another round.
I am doing a lot better than I used to, but my addictions win more often than I would like. It’s a battle I’ve been practicing at for over 7 years and I still loose occasionally, but the little voice of inspiration said that I make it look too easy, and I need everyone to know it’s not.
The text conversation at the beginning of this post, was from the middle of a 5 hour shift yesterday. I was working front desk and it was a little slower for a change. Usually not a bad thing, so I never complain when it’s slow. The one exception caused my message to Nathan, I didn’t say a word to other staff because of embarrassment.
I was feeling weak, and probably could have used help, but it might as well have been the conversation I had to have over a shotgun which I couldn’t get out of my mind. I simply couldn’t have that conversation, over goodies, and with people that don’t really care about me to begin with. They care that I show up, do my job, and when shit hits the fan that I can handle it. They simply don’t want to have a conversation about, “hey, can you hide the goodies from me, my brain is torturing me already, …please?”
So I didn’t say anything.
An hour in, I had already looked at the box of Ding-Dongs over a dozen times. The brand new unopened box of Godiva chocolates had almost had as many views, but because it was unopened I wasn’t certain it was for staff, and kept telling myself someone would come pick it up any minute.
At one point I got so flustered that I got up abruptly, and quickly walked to the mail room, forgetting there’s a camera in there. As soon as the black globe caught my periphery, I froze in blush. Quick thinking, I gestured like I was looking for something and left. Only problem was, I noticed the box of brittle, I’d forgotten about, on the mailroom counter as I turned to leave.
I stood in the empty hall trying to figure out what I was doing, why, and what I needed to do. On my way back to the desk seat, I grabbed my seaweed pack and consumed it crunchily instead.
I drank a full bottle of water.
I amused myself on my phone for a little bit.
Then I noticed one too many glances in the directions of goodies again. At that point, I was lone staff, because the other person was delivering day-sheets throughout the building.
I got up and paced the floor. I refilled my water bottle and glanced at the brittle again on my way past. I grabbed my celery and sat to eat it, not quite even having gotten to hour two yet. I thought ‘better not eat it all, just in case’.
It was a little limp for not having eaten my sticks for 3 days. I’m burnt out on celery and it’s lost any appeal it ever did have, even the peanut-butter is losing any appeal to my taste buds. I ate about 6 celery sticks, each dipped once in peanut-butter. That was more than enough. I closed lids and left it sitting right in front of me.
Approximately 30 minutes later, my text to Nathan (above) went out as I was losing my resolve. Almost 3 hours into my shift, the Ding-Dongs were looking far too tempting. How was I going to make it another two?
I decided if I couldn’t managed a TKO, then at least the worst option should go down in flames. Instead of: gluten, and red-40, and chocolate, and sugar, and chemicals (all things found in Ding-Dongs that are bad for my system); I chose to go for the least impact, especially since the Godiva box was unopened and questionable. So Brittle won, and Ding-Dongs and chocolate were knocked-out!
Me and brittle. Mmmmm.
When I went to retrieve a piece, I got a big chunk with two smaller ones stuck to it. I decided I’d eat the two small bits and save the big one for later.
As my last two hours ticked by it was: celery stick with pb, pause, brittle, pause, celery stick, pause, brittle, pause, celery stick, pause, brittle and so on. Every few minutes a nibble of something. I also worked on a non-vital computer task to distract myself.
It worked. I ended up eating only brittle beyond my regular celery and seaweed I take everyday.
In the ring we have Valentine Ding-Dongs, Godiva Assortiment, Apple Pie Peanut Brittle, and Treasa with her green shit. And let the fight begin! …. Oh Treasa is taking some hard hits there, but she stays standing every time. Oh, she’s fighting back, 1-2, oh, the right hook…. Now APPB has sided with her, oh my folks, who’s going to win this battle royale! … And the winning team is Treasa with greens and Apple Pie Brittle! …Crowd goes wild!…. Aaaaa!
Sorry for the corney ring-side joke, I grew up on things like that.
Anyway, my point is, I didn’t say anything to anyone except Nathan, and he even only got a couple of texts. But for me it was 5 hours of torture, mostly mental – granted, and a very strategic battle to overcome the worst damages of losing altogether. It’s hard to know what’s going on inside another person’s head, and it’s even harder when they have 20 years of experience hiding it. I’m not perfect at anything, but I highly doubt the other two people that worked via the front office yesterday, had any clue I was even having a mental battle, let alone that the two culprits to trigger it were within reach all day.
They were oblivious to my mental torture, because I’ve spent 20 years either fighting it silently, or withdrawing from the world. When I withdraw, I’ve either lost the battle and given in fully, or I sleep it off and hope I wake to less triggering things. I’m glad to report that these days, my withdrawal periods are few, fairly well distanced from one another, and short lived.
So if you’re struggling with an addiction, even if it is “just food”, know it’s hard. It sucks, and takes everything you’ve got to function as normal as possible, but it’s worth it. On one hand my addiction won’t kill me with one oopse (overdose), but it’s so many places in life that it’s super easy to get and often people readily supply the worst versions for me. I don’t even have to pay anything for mine to be triggered. And those people that say it’s just food… They have no clue the chemical storm that an addiction stirrs in your brain, regardless of what the trigger is. I would also add that known reactions to chemicals used in some foods, are indicative of some of the same known reactions to some recreational drugs. Sugar has been compared to hard drugs like cocaine in numerous studies on brain function. So, it may be just food, but it’s still very much an addiction.
It’s time that everyone get some slack for how hard we’re all working to overcome challenges, especially when many of us are very much addicted to “just food”. An addiction is hard no matter what “it” is. If you’re fighting at all then you deserve a damned medal.
Be kind to yourself and give yourself some love for it.
Also, find people you can confide in. I have my Nathan, but he gets tired of hearing of some the same things repeatedly, we all do. You need enough people to confide in that they don’t get sick of it, but don’t utilize having more options as a reason for complaining more. Keep in mind everything you talk about and focus on brings more of it, so if you focus on the battle too much you’ll just get more battle. So, regardless of my embarrassment, I still do my best to talk about my battles as little as possible, in an attempt to reduce their frequency. It is working, just very slowly.
Those of us fighting the good fight, we rock. Anyone that wants to put you down or belittle your efforts can take a hike or KMA. We are fighting addictions of a wide variety that didn’t exist 100 years ago. We have a bigger challenge than most in older generations would even consider. Appreciate your own efforts and thank your body every single day, that you have a chance to try again. Give your own self some love for all the things you survived, and apologize to every organ sincerely explaining your doing your level best with all the challenges that come your way.
Know it could be worse, there always something that’s worse. But also know that you are winning a tough battle and that makes you amazing.
May you triggers always be conveniently out of reach, literally or metaphorically. May you know you have loving support if you need it, and the ability to discern if it’s better to distract yourself and attempt to attract fewer battles. May you have confidence in your ability to overcome and succeed in all endeavors. May you love yourself for all that you have managed to accomplish. May you know you’re on the right track. May you know you are loved and supported by God in all that you do, and everything you need.