Fast forward to a few years ago and my “eat what I wanted to” approach seemed to take a detour. Slowly I gained a few pounds here and another few pounds there and the usual tricks were not working. I did every diet imaginable from diet food delivery services to counting points to juice cleanses…you name it and I did it! I meticulously kept a food journal writing down every bit of food I put in my mouth, nearly to the point of practically starving myself. I joined a gym and dragged by butt there 6 days a week – sometimes twice a day on the weekends. I even started jogging – something that anyone who has ever known me knows has always been my most hated form of exercise. The result was a stress fracture in my foot and my weight continuing to balloon. Not that any of what I was doing was working, but sitting on my butt for 4 months only made matters worse. Mind you I live in NYC, the walking capital of the world, so unless I wanted to constantly be paying for cabs, I was pretty much confined to my apartment when not at work. Even my outings were stressful; as I am nothing if not the stereotypical New Yorker when it comes to walking…I don’t stroll!I felt horrible, looked horrible and was completely frustrated. My wonderful doctors told me nothing was wrong with me and if I heard one more time about how I am not in my 20s anymore, so this was just my “metabolism naturally slowing down with age” I swear I was going to kill someone! Fortunately I trusted in the fact that I know my body better than anyone and despite what the “experts” were telling me, I knew something was wrong!
I found an amazing doctor here in the city, which although trained in traditional western medicine, now employs a more integrative approach in his practice. As it turns out I have a condition that is extremely common, particularly in women, and is significantly under diagnosed for a variety of reasons. Not to toot my own horn, but I am not a doctor and I could have told you have had a problem with my thyroid! Unfortunately it took me nearly 2 years to find a doctor who would listen to me and conduct the appropriate tests. Having gone undiagnosed for so long, my thyroid disease had secondary impacts on other body systems, of particular concern was a thankfully reversible liver condition.
Although I do take medication to kick my “lazy thyroid” into gear, I have learned so much about how nutrition impacts our overall health and the importance of eating whole, real food. I am no longer the queen of the microwave meal; in fact much to my family and friends utter shock I now LOVE to cook and rarely even use my microwave anymore! I have also found ways to be active that I really enjoy, which does include regularly going to the gym, but it also includes riding my bike along the Hudson River, walking, and Pilates. I can even be caught on occasion dancing around my apartment to some fun tunes! Being healthy has become more than maintaining a certain weight or fitting into a certain size (not that I still don’t worry about that….I am a girl after all…it’s what we do!) - your diet is only one aspect of being healthy. It is about doing things that make the body feel good, whether it’s playing kickball with friends or dancing or restorative yoga…it’s whatever that means for you. It’s also about the people we surround ourselves with, the strength of our relationships and doing the things that bring joy and happiness into our lives. Stress has a huge impact on our overall health and wellbeing; whether it’s the normal stress of day-to-day life or something that has your stress level off the charts, it is crucial to find positive ways to counter that stress. I truly believe that you can eat all the right things, have no underlying medical condition and go to the gym every day, but if you are stressed and unhappy in your life, it will be reflected in your body and your health.
What started out as a battle of the bulge began a journey, to not only change my diet and shed those unwanted pounds, but to live a more fully nourished life. In addition to all the positive changes I have made in my own life, I am currently working towards becoming a certified health coach.
My hope is that The “Healthlicious Chick” will become an informative and entertaining resource for its readers and in some small way my contribution in helping all of us to live a more nourished life.
Live Fully | Laugh Often | Be Nourished