About 4 years ago my body started changing and when I say changing, I mean, no matter how clean I would eat or how much I trained, I just didn’t see the results I had maintained in the past. The less I ate and the more I trained, the more weight my body started holding onto. I thought it had to do with the fact that at 36 years old, my body was starting the process of aging and starting that dreaded slower metabolism syndrome that we all fall into as we age.
I keep a detailed food and workout log and went to a local nutritionist. She determined through muscle testing that I had digestive issues and that I was “allergic” to wheat, dairy, and peanuts. So, I eliminated wheat, dairy, peanuts, coffee, and fake sugar i.e. Splenda. I bought all the supplements to fix my digestive issues, liver tonics, all kinds of stuff. My diet was super clean as usual especially after cutting out the fake sugar I used to put on my oatmeal, in my coffee, and in my protein shakes. I changed my workout routine and started running the stairs at Avenue C and running in the sand using life guard towers as my markers in Redondo Beach at 6 a.m. 3 times a week, added yoga, and continued lifting as usual. A year went by and zero! I was told that when I stopped worrying about it that my body would take care of the rest. Yeah, that worked…not! In total frustration I stopped going to the nutritionist and continued on without the very expensive supplements.
While still seeing this nutritionist and during my training down at the beach, I ended up joining a beach boot camp which I absolutely loved! Great workouts on the beach: pulling tires in the sand, med balls, resistance bands, and last man up runs down the strand. Basically, tons of cardio but I loved it!
In May of last year I went to a really great nutritionist, his name is David Allen at David Allen Nutrition. He’s the guy who takes Janet Jackson from fat to skinny. And, I’d seen first hand how he’d taken a girl I used to see at Gold’s Redondo from regular size to super skinny. I thought the super skinny look bordered on anorexic but figured I’d give him a shot. He did blood work and saliva testing. He told me my metabolism was shot, my adrenals were fried, and I was insulin resistant. I bought a whole new slew of supplements and protein powder from him and he modified my diet slightly. I started with 7 days of no carbs then I would alternate between hi-carb and lo-carb days throughout the week. The supplements were great but expensive. The diet program was easy for me to follow since I’d pretty much been eating that way all along. My body fat percentage decreased here and there but I just didn’t see the results I was hoping for. Yes, I realize that anorexic isn’t pretty but I always wonder when I see a Nicole Richie or some other overly thin actress or celebrity…how do you get like that? Clearly, not how I want to look but still…
In November ’08, I got laid off along with 999 of my other co-workers so, paying for a nutritionist was going to cut it for me any more. I continued on with the nutrional aspects on my own as usual without the supplements. In March ’09, I decided to start taking a fat burner supplement I had sitting in my drawer at home called Stimerex in the hopes that maybe after years of not taking them that they would work like they used to when I was younger. The Stimerex gave me tons of energy and definitely curbed my appetite so I took them for about 6 weeks. Yes, these old pills still had ephedra in them…very old school. I’ll go into fat burners, ephedra, and other supplements in another blog post. Well, still nothing, body stayed the same.
In May ’09, I saw an ad that said, “Been Told Your Thyroid is Normal…But Still Feel Fatigued or Unable to Lose Weight?” The name of the place sounded familiar Holtorf Medical Group, they were local so I figured what the hell, and gave them a call. Turns out that a photgrapher friend of mine had told me about this place about a year ago, she had gone to them for hormone issues and raved about them. After speaking to the receptionist and explaining my situation, she referred me to their nurse practitioner and I scheduled an appointment. I went to my first appointment and brought my old labs from my previous nutritionist. After looking over my labs and a lengthy discussion, she determined that I needed additional blood tests to check my reverse T3 and leptin levels. In the interim, she put me on 10 mcg of T3 for 10 days to start then bumped up to 20 mcg until my next appointment 3 weeks later. The T3 definitely changed my energy level, I didn’t even know I had a low energy level since I’m such an upbeat person all the time. But, even though I felt like I had more energy, I still didn’t lose a pound.
So, I went back after 3 weeks and my labs were back. My Free T3 was 2.9 (norm 2.3 – 4.2), CRP was 3.13 (should be under 1.5 but, I worked out that day so that may have caused the inflammation around my heart), Reverse T3 was 340 (norm 90 – 350 but should be under 150), and my Leptin level was 4.0 (norm <32.1) which meant that my leptin level was way too low. When the leptin level is that low, the body stores fat. Still no weight loss and I was really bummed. She told me that once the thyroid gets fixed the weight will drop off. Since I am insulin resistant, she prescribed injections of Byetta, which has been found to assist people like me with weight loss.
To be continued…
So I went back to Holtorf on July 31st and my labs showed great improvement! I dropped 8 pounds and my Free T3 went from 2.9 to 2.2 (a little low but o.k.), Reverse T3 went from 340 to 180, my Glucose was a little high at 96 (norm 65-99), my Vitamin D level was low at 38.5 (norm 32 to 100), my cholesterol was great but, my CRP level was even higher than the last time. It went from 3.13 to 6.94 (should be under 1.5) and this time, I didn’t work out for 48 hours prior to my blood test so I was a bit worried.
The doc took me off of Byetta injections and started me on GlucoSX. She also bumped up the T3 (triiodoliothyronine 40 mcg), and had me continue Adrenal Repair, Cardio H, Fish Oil (2,400 mg), and added Cortisol and Vitamin D (5,000 iu). She also ordered another blood test to check my Homocystine level for additional information on my elevated CRP level. I should have the results of that test back next week. In the meantime, a childhood friend who is an Internist suggested I take 1 Baby Aspirin a day to help with the inflammation.
So, that’s where I’m at as of mid-August. Hopefully, I’ll have more good news soon! Until then, xoxo Fit Chica