Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Archive for the category “Setbacks”

Time For Some Mental Spring Cleaning

Last week was absolutely horrible. I started falling into an emotional funk at the beginning of the week. It just crescendoed into an all day meltdown on Thursday. How bad of a meltdown?

Yep…that bad. Read more…

Thyroid, Calories Or Vitamins: Which Is Causing My Ice Cold Hands, Feet?

HEALTH

Have cold hands and/or feet? Sometimes doctors overlook these symptoms as frivolous. But ignoring them could lead to bigger problems. Image courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net and Kromkrathog.

The game plan for the week was to start a 7-day fast on Sunday. It started off great but about 12 hours into the fast I started feeling cold all over. The next thing I knew my hands and feet were freezing. Now cold hands and feet are nothing new to me. But this wasn’t normal (not that cold hands and feet are normal). I’m talking ice-cold extremities. No amount of mittens or socks could warm me up.

So I started doing a little digging. Turns out there are a few options as to why this happens

A Sluggish Thyroid?
The butterfly shaped thyroid is a gland that sits above the collarbone in the front of our necks. It pumps out hormones that regulates our metabolic rate. If the thyroid starts slowing down your body temperature can drop, causing hypothyroidism (an over active thyroid is hyperthyroidism and another set of problems).

Too Little Calories?
On non-fasting days I’ve been eating between 1600-1800 calories a day…or at least that’s what My Fitness Pal claims. Of course I’ve railed against this app about inaccurate data before. However, going into a fast I’ve never felt hungry.

Low Red Blood Cell Count?
Too few red blood cells means anemia. I experienced anemia when I was obese and had month-long periods (Yikes!). But with the weight loss my red blood cell count has been normal…or at least that’s my assumption. However, when I had my surgery in June, the only problem I encountered was the very slow recovery of my red blood cells. In fact, I was kept in the hospital because of it. I remember my husband and mother commenting on how pale I looked. While lack iron can be the major cause of anemia, there are a few other micronutrients — vitamins B-12 and D — that can also trigger it.

Other micronutrient deficiencies  that can trigger cold extremities? Niacin (Vitamin B3) and magnesium.

I ended up calling off the fast for now. We ended up going out for dinner and I made sure I ate my full calories for the day. That helped to warm the hands and feet, but they were still a little cold.

I’ve got a month to go before visiting a doctor regarding my menopause symptoms. But the cold concerns me. A lot of thyroid symptoms are identical to menopause. In fact, most doctors mistake thyroid problems for menopause. And frankly, you can have both problems at the same time.

 

Time To See An Endocrinologist

bloodtest

Making an appointment with the needle! Actually an endocrinologist to find out which hormones are going wacky since my surgery. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and watiporn.

I’m waving the white flag. I keep reading so many conflicting things about my metabolism, weight gain/loss, and my menopause symptoms that it’s time to call in the big guns.

About 3 months ago my radiation oncologist suggested I meet with an endocrinologist to help with my raging hormones. Well I’m taking this advice to heart as I’ve come to the conclusion that most LCHF/Keto research is pretty much skimpy when it comes to menopausal women.   We’re just not as sexy as athletes.

Anyway, an endocrinologist focuses on hormone health and can recommend natural remedies – dietary, exercise, supplements, and acupuncture – to rebalance your hormone levels.

Whack-A-Mole Symptoms
I make one change to my diet to end the hot flashes, only to have insomnia rear it’s ugly head. Adjust for insomnia, here come the night sweats. It just goes on.

I’m trying to tackle this without knowing what it is I need to tackle. Do I have a thyroid problem? I’ve gained weight since surgery so are my fat cells producing too much of the bad estrogen? Is my cortisol level too high or too low? What about progesterone or testosterone? My resistance to insulin must be even more weakened now, right?

I just don’t know. It’s time to find out.

 

Recent Gains Have Me Doubting Myself

lane-bryant

Nearly 2 years and 100+ pounds ago I “broke” up with Lane Bryant. Clearly they miss me. The feeling is not mutual.

I’m fast approaching my two-year anniversary from saying goodbye to Lane Bryant.  I vowed never to shop there again. To do so meant failure. However, my recent weight gain has me doubting myself and resolve.

It was time to replace an old pair of jeans. And for a fleeting moment, I thought about picking them up at my old stomping ground.

Thankfully something woke up inside of me and yelled “Hell no!”

Despite those damn menopause pounds I’ve added back on, I’m not going back to Lane Bryant. Ever.

I don’t know if that was the kick in the pants I needed, but it worked. I’m making a bunch of changes right now (post coming later on those changes). But I’m excited and finally feel energized. Something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Oh, and I picked up my new jeans at Old Navy.

Combating Bloat By Working The Abs, Avoiding Veggies

veggies

Some of my favorite veggies are awesome on the health scale, but are not helping my abdominal bloat.

One of the side effects of surgical menopause is my body has absolutely no time to adjust to the drop in estrogen. This means dealing painful stomach bloating. How bad is the bloat? Some times my belly swells so large I look pregnant. Yikes!

It gets especially painful around my belly button – that’s where the camera was inserted for my surgery. It’s the one incision area that is the slowest to heal as it takes the brunt of the bloating.

There are a few things I can do with my diet and exercise to minimize the bloating while my body finds its footing.

  1. Bidding Adieu to My Favorite Veggies – For the time being certain vegetables no longer welcomed in my kitchen. While I don’t use a lot of garlic and onions, they are a staple when it comes to adding flavor. Unfortunately they contain fructans, soluble fibers that cause bloating. I’m also giving up all cruciferous vegetablesbroccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, all cabbage, collard greens… Oh the list seems to go on! At least spinach, avocados and tomatoes are safe.
  1. Kicking Out Carbonated Water – The carbon dioxide in carbonated water can get trapped in the digestive system, causing bloat. I started drinking carbonated water as a way to drink more water. Now I drink about 80-90 ounces of tap water a day, so kicking fizzy water to the curb shouldn’t be difficult.
  1. Building Up My Core – On days where I do yoga or walk the bloat is pretty much non-existent. Not so much when I do weight training.  Thankfully there are some other exercises that can safely incorporate into my strength training: crunches, sit ups, seated twist and energy push. The first three are perfect for strength training as they use body weight. The energy push can be used as part of my warm up routine.

These three steps are my starting point. Now there is a chance that I may have to give up my beloved dairy. I certainly don’t have any signs of lactose intolerance.  Nonetheless I started cutting back on dairy (creams and cheese) to get my total daily carbs under 20g.

I plan to see how well these 3 steps help with the bloat. Maybe by the end of the month I’ll see if dairy needs to get added to the list.

Proof Eating Out Isn’t Great For Your Waistline

jan-22-weightAs expected I gained weight back after my 7-day fast. However, I think I could have minimized the weight gain if I didn’t miserably fail at my other monthly challenge – giving up alcohol for 30 days. I broke my fast with a birthday dinner and that included wine. OK, not a biggie. I made it to my birthday. So why not celebrate, right?

Well, it didn’t stop with the birthday. The next day we met up with friends we haven’t seen in ages. And the wine flowed.

The next day I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping so we went out for dinner…and I ordered a glass of wine. Soon we’re going out to dinner nearly every night for the last two weeks, which means a glass or two with dinner. Ugh!
Read more…

7-Day Fasting Challenge: Day 1

fork-plate

So far just one little hiccup on the first day of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and aopsan.

My last meal was 5:00 pm dinner on New Year’s Eve at a local steakhouse. That means I’m not eating again until 5:00 pm Saturday, January 7. As I’ve written before, the primary goal for the fast is to help my body shed wonky cells before they go rogue on me. Its just one little tool I have to prevent my cancer from coming back.

However, if the fast knocks me into ketosis (fat burning mode), I’m not gonna complain.

First Weigh In Of 2017
The morning of January 1 I decided to hit the scale, something I haven’t done since my surgery (6 months + 2 days ago). I gave myself time off from the scale since I was juggling with a few things:

  1. Endometrial (uterine) cancer discovered during fertility treatments
  2. Surgery to remove it
  3. Recovery from a radical hysterectomy
  4. Surgically induced menopause
  5. Radiation therapy
  6. A leaky bladder thanks to the radiation

The last thing I needed to do was step on a scale. Read more…

Top 10 Reasons My Weight Loss Resolutions Always Failed

What is the #1 resolution people make on the 1st of January each year? Weight loss. Unfortunately 88% of those resolutions don’t even make it out of February.

I have made my fair share of failed resolutions at the start of each year. Always vowing that this year would be different and I’d finally lose weight. After careful thought, here’s the 10 reasons why my weight loss resolutions always failed.

Dear News Media: Saturated Fats Are Healthy, Fatty Fast Food Isn’t

nypost

Why do the press equate healthy fats with fast food? Most news reporters and editors are intellectually lazy. That’s why you should always question any health “news” you read.

This is one of those subtle things that the news media does that really annoy me.  The New York Post published a short news story about a study out of Norway showing that saturated fats are healthy.

Awesome! However, the opening paragraph of that story is wrong. “Fatty foods” are not necessarily good for you. After a bit of eye rolling on my part, I continued reading and was pleasantly surprised. The rest of the story seems spot on about healthy saturated fats.

What really caught my attention was the photo the editor chose to use.  A greasy, triple stack cheeseburger. Really? 

It completely undermines the news in the story.

Anyone reading that story who buys into calories in/calories out is going to think either: 1. The story is “fake news” or 2. I can eat a big ass cheeseburger and lose weight.

Why choose a photo that conjures up unhealthy fast food in one’s mind? The only thing potentially healthy with that burger might be the meat (and only if it is 100% pure beef). Everything else in that burger is highly processed and should be tossed.

The photo is so misleading.  The story doesn’t say eat fast food burgers all you want. Healthy fats like butter, cream and healthy oils are specifically mentioned.

Here’s a novel concept, why not depict the actual healthy fats mentioned in the story you are publishing? It’s not that hard to find in Shutterstock.

If your job is to provide news to the public, why half-ass it?

 

 

Starting Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor muscle

My radiation treatment caused my bladder to leak a little. So I’m starting physical therapy to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles and stop the leak.

Well I had my first physical therapy (PT) session the other day. While my hospital has a pretty good size PT division, there are only 2 therapists who specialize in pelvic floor muscles. Normally I don’t care if a medical pro is male or female, however, in this case I appreciate that both therapists are women. I felt way more comfortable talking about my challenges after radiation treatment and asking very specific questions that I won’t detail here.

I’ve mentioned before that my pelvic floor muscles are more important than ever after my hysterectomy. Thanks to my radiation therapy, strengthening my pelvic muscles has become more urgent. The radiation caused my bladder to leak a little when I sneeze or cough.

Not cool! Read more…

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