Tag Archives: Hormones

The journey begins…

This week, I decided to  go off sugar, corn and flour.  I have done this before and it’s difficult because sugar and corn are in just about everything (i.e. bread, bacon etc.) and flour is in most processed foods.   In the past, I was on my own and was super strict. I didn’t eat dairy or any grains.  In fact, all I ate was veggies and protein. It was very limiting and probably why I only lasted 3 months.  I have to say for that short time, I did feel better than I ever had in the past.

This time around, I am eating whole grains and dairy.  I’m not using to eating like that, it’s a lot of food. But I believe it helps with the physical cravings.  After day 3, I was craving pizza and I caught my thoughts about it and was okay. I was emotional too but I opted to go for a walk and that really helped.  Other than that, so far it’s been okay.

I felt intimated about doing this again because I had failed in the past.  I haven’t been able to stay on a lot of diets for a significant amount of time except Weight Watchers.  However, even while on WW, I was frustrated because I would lose and gain back the same weight for years, hence why I stopped all together.

Now, I’m looking at this as an abstinence decision instead of any diet. I am choosing to eat healthy natural foods. I’m recording a video diary that at some point I’ll edit and post on YouTube so others can see my progress.  It will take time both physically and mentally to break the sugar addiction that some scientists say is like a drug.  That being said, I know practicing abstinence is key. Check out this 60 minutes story on sugar:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n29ZIJ-jQA

For me, sugar, corn and flour have altered my metabolic profile.  This means my body has changed so much, it needs serious change to ‘reset’ and function normally.  If not, the chances of weight gain and medical problems increases significantly.

Sugar, in particular when eaten in mass quantities (which is easy to do in the American diet), causes the body to crave it more. It’s like caffeine, after a while, your body processes the caffeine much quicker and it needs more coffee to get the same effect. Sugar is the same. After consuming so much of it, your body has become ‘immune’ to it’s impacts so you have to eat more to get the same feelings of pleasure (couple that with intense cravings).  However, with sugar, consuming more and more not only increases weight, it starts to change the body’s endocrine system (think belly fat) ultimately leading to diabetes, heart disease and potentially cancer.

The fact is, I gorged on sugar for over 20 years.  It’s the reason why I am where I am today.  In those 20 years, the volume of those junk foods increased over time because it took more of it to experience the same feelings of ‘fulfillment and satisfaction’. Unfortunately, the cravings intensified to the point where logic and reason were no longer dominant. It seemed like the cravings would always trump my reasoning when making better food choices.

When I’m off sugar, I feel like a different person. I’m able to think clearly, make better (and more confident decisions) about food and of course lose weight.  It’s going to take time to get there, however, it’s what has to be done if I’m going to change my body to live a longer life. Over the last few years, I have grown personally and a lot of the affirmations and meditation I’ve been doing consistently have really help during the tough times.  That includes the healthy habits I had identified and incorporated into my routines for a while now which I believe has prepared me for this journey…

sugar abstinence, weight loss, hormones 

 

Next Trick: Hormone Balancing

I’ve been reading this book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. It’s very interesting.  Depending on your history, if you experienced an injury or something happened to you growing up, you may have impacted your brain function and overall health.   He goes through the various conditions like ‘impulsive eaters and compulsive eaters’ and how certain areas of the brain (i.e. prefontal cortex) may not be function to capacity (i.e. providing enough dopamine which leads to boredom, distraction and impulsive eating).  He outlines helpful information for supplementing your diet to assist with providing your brain the necessary elements to improve these conditions. There is a test you can take online to see if this is something you should look into.  [amenclinics.com]

I particularly liked the section on hormones and the story he describes about his wife who was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I know a lot of friends who gained weight growing up and witnessed changes to their bodies including increase in their BFF (beautiful female flow) and levels of hair growth.  Although I don’t think all conditions are related to polycystic ovarian syndrome, a lot of women do and it can negatively impact weight and hormones.

I believe my hormones have been seriously altered.  Obviously the number one reason is the unhealthy choices I made unconsciously for the most part, in my 20’s.  Introducing alcohol and mass amounts of processed foods definitely impacted my hormone balance thus creating a serious challenge.  Add the yo-yo dieting on top of it, and now it’s easy to see why I’ve landed here today.

I take full responsibility for this fact and am on the road to healing now.  The core however, is my beliefs, thoughts and resulting emotions.  I know this is the key to healing and where it all starts.  However, it’s helpful to know as much as possible about female hormones and how, when out of balance, they can impact health. It’s difficult to pinpoint what specifically caused the imbalance.  Was it genetic, from foods, alcohol, prescribed medication, lifestyle?  I think it’s probably a combination of all.

I’ve always believed if you want to have optimal health, learning what optimal health looks like is the first step. How should hormones work in a healthy female?  What should we be eating to assist the body with ensuring we receive the right nutrients to balance our hormones?  These are all questions I intend to answer and ultimately practice.  I do know (like I’m sure everyone else who’s ever wanted to work on improving their health knows) eating loads of veggies (especially alkaline green leafy veggies) is one of those things we should all be doing, but I also believe doing things we enjoy, eliminating stress (which is just us ruminating on the past or future) and getting the garbage out of our thoughts will go a long way.

When I think about how much healing has to happen (which is causing stress because I’m thinking about the future), I feel overwhelmed.  I decided, to just take it day by day.  What can I do today to improve my health? What healthy choices can I made today to assist with balancing hormones?  It’s going to be like this for a while.  Yes, there are times (like last night) where I said to myself, I’ve been doing a lot of work, when will it pay off? I had to quickly banish those thoughts!

The good news is, I’m not giving up, ever. I’ve decided, what I’m doing today is improving my mood and my relationships. I feel happier and stronger mentally. It feels good to slowly remove negative thinking which can cripple our efforts.  It’s slow, but it’s happening and that’s all that matters.  If I can also work in tandem on improving brain functioning, performing exercises I enjoy, and taking overall care of myself, it’s an added bonus!