Thursday, August 7, 2008

Never Give Up on YOU


An Ongoing Success Story from a Distance Client

I’ve always had this All-or-Nothing attitude from as far back as I can remember. It’s an ingrained part of my personality. Usually, I side with the “All” part, giving whatever task at hand everything I can give without giving up. Generally, however, once I’m done with something, I am DONE. And I was about to be done with someone very important: me.

Done as in tired of working very hard on fitness goals with no results. But I had no idea that once I clicked on my Send key with the email I had just written, that I was about to spark an engine, sending me on a journey that I never thought possible.

This time, I had pushed myself to exhaustion and probably adrenal fatigue—or pretty close to it—in pursuit of my goals. The problem came because I didn’t know I was doing it to myself. The articles I was reading told me if I wasn’t losing the fat, then I needed to increase the expenditure. Okay, good enough. It came to the point where I was double-booking myself: up early for weight training and cardio after work. Then after that, I was doing mom-duty, kitchen duty, wife duty, and then grading papers. There was one time (and one time only) that I worked out for eleven days in a row. I was certainly burning up the calories, but not the fat off my body.

I was doing all of this without putting anything back into my tank. Taking time off was not an option for me—another throwback from growing up. If I just lay around, then I was being lazy and not contributing … ahh, I can tell that that’s another entry for another time!

I sought my doctor’s opinion, and she said I was as healthy as a horse. I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing the fat, for I had plenty to lose.

The doctor suggested I lower my calories and exercise more. I lowered calories to 1400 – 1600 a day, and I changed all of my workouts to first thing in the morning—45 minutes of weights and another 20 – 30 of cardio. Despite doing what my doctor told me to do, the weight hung on—I even started gaining. I’d read forums where women were working through a three week plateau. How jealous was I? I had been on a plateau for 18 months! This stuck-ness and the other unknown things going on in my body, mind and most definitely my down-trodden spirit made me face myself:

I could no longer face another day doing this on my own.

My resolve strengthened through my sleepless night, and honestly, I should have sent the email then. I sent the message to the Someone-who-needed-to-kick-my-butt and set me straight. My All-or-Nothing was getting one last chance. Could I make this happen, or was I destined for the “Nothing” part of my attitude?

I wish I had sent Krista Schaus the email a year ago. She has truly changed my life.

Paperwork filled out—my Biosignature came back, and the results showed that I had been in a state of yeast overgrowth. Add in a side of parasites, and we’ve got a party going on.

Symptoms of the Yeast Within include:
Sexual dysfunction
Depression or mood swings
Fatigue
Irritability
Joint pain or swelling
PMS
Run-down feeling
Muscle aches
Digestive pain
Short attention span
Hand pain
Knee and hip pain
Headaches
Acne
Gas
Menstrual pain
Shortness of breath
Food allergies
Memory problems
Eczema
Brain fog
Yeast infections

And those are just a few… and I had most of those on this list.

I had never heard of yeast overgrowth, but I knew that it was overtaking me and I needed to fight back. The more research I did on it, the more I learned that the “modern” medical community doesn’t seem to recognize candidiasis as a legitimate issue and that a lot more people than they realize may be suffering from a yeast overgrowth.

The best part is that I committed to a totally revamped nutrition plan the first day of my period and on a Friday. Girls know what I mean about that first part, but doing a new diet on a Friday before I could have had my bad ol’ comfortable carbs was something no clear-thinking person may have done. I had gotten into a habit of eating mostly clean on the weekends, but would have my 1-2 meals of what I call my dirty carbs. Sometimes I’d have a third meal of dirt. All of this unclean eating for a very long time kept the yeast growing and my worst symptoms were fatigue and brain fog. I had tried to combat both of those things with massive amounts of caffeine—which ironically, just made things worse. I was tired of what was happening to me and I needed to start now, so I did. I was the one in control, not the yeast and certainly not the calendar.

I told Krista that I’d do whatever she told me to do. And I have. I took scheduled time off—loads of it. I worked out twice a week and started training for a longer bike ride. No cheats and no free meals for six weeks so far. The first two weeks were absolute hell. I had every craving imaginable and I worked through them. HOW I worked through them was just balled up fists stubbornness that I was blessed with, and for the first time I could use that quirky disposition to my advantage. I’ve followed the nutrition plan, the workouts and the supplement timing, and I’m rewarded with a 2% body fat loss (from 21.7% to 19.7%) and I’ve gained three pounds of lean mass, plus I’m down a clothing size. I’m pretty proud of myself for this and am happy that I finally have an answer to what was going on inside of me that no one could see. I am; however, a work in progress. There is more to be done.

An Anti-Yeast Diet: Taming the Monster
- I could eat any meats
- Veggies with every meal
- Healthy fats, but butter in small quantities was okay, too
- Cinnamon throughout the day (yeast does not grow in a cinnamon-y environment)
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Nut butters (no peanuts or peanut butter)
- No dairy
- No condiments (which meant mayo, mustard, ketchup, nothing with vinegar, etc.)
- Replace table salt with sea salt
- 30+ of fiber each day to give the yeast something to bind to and escape
- 3 liters of water per day
- 3 meals w/meat and 2 snacks w/whey protein

After three weeks of this plan, all of my symptoms disappeared or diminished greatly. I had gained a lot of energy back—I still struggle with that, but I am sleeping better and have a lot of crazy dreams in the process thanks to the helpfulness of ZMA. My recovery methods are my favorite part of this journey, especially the Epsom salt baths and the ionized foot baths. Oh, and massage—definitely that. Must schedule another one.

Email to Krista: All of my life it's been the mantra of "calories in/calories out" and a "calorie is just a calorie." This journey has so disproven that! My daily calories have steadily increased from 1600 calories to now 2300 calories. The jump was gradual, and I am so amazed every time I see that number shining back at me. It has been at least twenty years (not kidding!) since I've had a steady diet that "high" in calories that weren't on a free-meal day. The great part is that I don't wake up bloated and icky anymore. I definitely don't believe in "calories in/out" anymore. It's more like nutrients in--and used.

My body is responding very well to it and to the nutrition. I'm sticking to it, although these past few days with PMS, I've had to dig in my nails and hang on for dear life! I made some homemade almond butter and that helps with those cravings.

Tracy

What I Have Learned
• I will get there, but slow and steady will keep me there
• Less really is More. My body is loving me for backing off, giving it time to heal and has rewarded me with less of me to love.
• Pumpkin seeds rock! Slightly roasted in olive oil and salted with sea salt is my new popcorn. Okay, it’s better than popcorn.
• Cinnamon on beef is very, very good.
• When the diet is in place, that’s when supplements are truly worth the money.
• Recovery Methods RULE. Deep breathing, ionized foot baths, all of those—they have to be in place. Krista was/is working on my cortisol levels through this, as well. I don’t have to be in kick ass mode ALL of the time.
• I’m on a journey for life. This isn’t just about aesthetics or fitting into smaller clothes, but it’s about being glad that I’m waking up and looking forward to the day. I like having energy again, especially when everyone else is pooped out.
• Speaking of poop, one can tell a lot from those.
I’m not finished yet. I have more fat to lose and a 50K Pedalfest bike event www.pedalfest.org/Pedalfest/Ride-Information.html to finish (I will), and I have more healing to do. Thank God for Krista, or else I’d be at the tail end of my all-or-nothing by now. I trust her, and I know she’ll get me through to the end.

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