Thursday, April 21, 2005

Weight Loss...

Well, I've decided to change this to a weight loss journal. I'll probably transfer some of my other entries into my other Blog. In truth, I don't write in this blog very often and it's probably bad form to wait so long between new postings. So, I've decided to turn this into a space to be able to vent and keep a log (of some sort) on my current weight loss goal and progress.

A couple of days ago I was reading some articles online and came across a link to a website that really hit home with me. This lady's story was very much like my own. Issues with secondary infertility, depression, anxiety, PCOS, and weight loss success (and failure).

About 8 years ago when my children were 5 and 2, my husband and I wanted to start trying to have a third child. About the same time I started gaining weight and my monthly cycles stopped completely. Overjoyed (assuming I was pregnant because the only other times I had been "late" or "skipped" I had ended up having a child) I rushed out and bought a home pregnancy test. When it turned up negative, I assumed I had gotten a bad test and ran out to a local labratory to have a blood test done. When I called later that evening and got the news that I was not pregnant I assumed stress was causing the "delay."

Fast forward 5 years... The weight gain continued and I went from being a size 8/9 to a 14. My monthly cycles became infrequent (3 - 4 times a year). I tried the Weight Watchers point system, counting calories, counting fat, exercising which included an hour of yoga 6 days a week. I toned up, became flexible, but the weight didn't budge.

I went into the gynecologist and was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome). I use the term "diagnosed" lightly, because he just said it as if he were telling me I had a spot on my shirt or something. In fact, he said it so quickly with no more information that I mistakenly assumed this was no big deal. He put me on birth control (to regulate my cycles), but that was just a band-aid for the real problem.

It wasn't until I started looking things up online later that I reflected upon the conversation and decided to look up the "treatments" for PCOS. Still assuming that this was no big deal. What I found was that not only are there cysts on my ovaries (again something he mentioned as if it were not big deal), I don't ovulate regularly and that is the light side of the health consequences. Mood swings, migraines, depression, weight gain, skin tags, abnormal hair growth, hypertension, and increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. Of course, he also told me that I didn't have hormone problems.

Hmmm... now, let's just think for a moment, hormones regulate your monthly cycles, hormones control ovulation, hormones effect weight gain, moods, etc. etc. etc. I wasn't having cycles, I wasn't ovulating, I had gained a ton of weight... no hormone problem hmmm? Well, what ARE birth control pills (HORMONES... HELLO!!).

It wasn't until I discovered the "low carb" diet online and started cutting out all the carbs, that I began to see the weight steadily drop. I dropped twenty-five pounds quickly and slipped back down to a size 10. But, then the weight just stopped coming off... I was sick all the time and couldn't figure out why. My gynecologist(that same dipstick I saw above) told me not to get my hopes up that I probably was starting to have the same problems that he did a hysterectomy on my mother for (fibroid tumors).

I was sent to a lab for another blood test to "rule out" a possible pregnancy. That evening I called the lab and was told I was pregnant. I had to have the lady repeat the results 3 times before it sunk in. I was over the moon, overjoyed, ecstatic and hysterical. Five years of absolute hell and I finally had what I had wanted... a third child. My OB told me that it was probably the weight loss that jiggled my hormones enough to cause me to ovulate and finally get pregnant.

January 1, 2004 - I gave birth to my daughter, Maggie. That September I started having chest pains and became paranoid that there was something very wrong with me. I worried about dying young and leaving my children, to the point of waking up in the middle of the night worrying, fretting, sobbing. Halloween weekend, I experienced the first of several panic attacks. It was horrible, painful, literally physically painful. Even now it's difficult to write about and describe.

The worst part about panic attacks are that eventually you become very afraid of having one and you start to cut yourself off from ANYTHING that might trigger an emotion that might cause an attack. I stopped listening to music, couldn't watch anything on television other than HGTV, Food Network, or stand up comedy. Many days I was too afraid to leave my bedroom. I would take the children to school, come home and go straight to my room and sit there until it was time to pick the kids up from school.

In December I changed doctors. My new doctor recognized the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and quickly connected it to the hormone issues and the PCOS, not only that, but she confirmed my suspicions - I lost weight on a low-carb diet and that's the only type of diet I could lose weight on. People with PCOS don't process sugar right... carbs get stored as fat. That's over-simplifying it, but it's basically accurate. My new doctor put me on anti-anxiety meds which I started in February 2005.

Which brings us up to today. I now understand what has happened to me and for the most part, why. Mentally and emotionally - I feel 150% better than I have in years. I'm much more relaxed and calm, I'm enjoying music, television, books, and movies. Most of all, I'm ready to get very serious about losing this weight - because I know how to do it...

My goal is to lose 20 lbs. by June 29th 2005. That's 10 weeks away. We have a great family vacation planned over at the beach for Fourth of July weekend and I think that's a reasonable goal.

My ultimate goal is to lose 50 pounds by my husband's birthday, September 21, 2005. That's 5 months... ten pounds a month, a little over 2 lbs per week. Reasonable.I can do this.


HealthyArticles said...

I skim a lot of blogs, and so far yours is in the Top 3 of my list of favorites. I'm going to dive in and try my hand at it, so wish me luck.

It'll be in a totally different area than yours (mine is about weight loss information) I know, it sounds strange, but it's like anything, once you learn more about it, it's pretty cool. It's mostly about weight loss information related articles and subjects.

Riz said...

Pretty intense site. I've left you an invite to visit my weight control site.