Two weeks ago I visited an osteopathic doctor a friend had recommended. Osteopaths are a different breed of doctor. I have never left a doctor’s office feeling more validated or empowered in my entire life. She was amazing.
She entered the room and introduced herself using her first name. Not Dr. Soandso, but her actual first name. She asked me how I had found her, what my biggest concern was, and how I hoped she could help. After almost an hour with me, she told me that I knew more than 90% of the doctors out there about keeping myself healthy. And she said that my cholesterol was excellent. She affirmed many of my diet choices: the whole grains, the oils I use, my avoidance of high-fructose corn syrup (or as we call it in our home, poison.) She affirmed me in my efforts to lose weight, she explained why I she thought I was dealing with the crazy symptoms I was having, and she gave me tools to deal with the cause of them, not just the symptoms themselves, but the root of the symptoms.
I was almost convinced that I was dealing with adrenal fatigue, but this doctor explained how stress disrupts estrogen and how lack of estrogen could cause all the problems I was experiencing. She also talked to me about insulin resistance (a topic with which I have been somewhat familiar, but one for which I was at a loss to address in my real life.) She told me I had been basically doing the right things, but she wanted me to tweak them a bit. Specifically, she wanted me to figure out what the meals we regularly eat in our home do to my blood sugar. She said that it was the cheapest way to figure out what was going on, and aside from doing a blood test to measure insulin in my blood, it was the only way to get a good idea of how my body metabolizes food.
She wanted me to go to a 1500 calorie diet. (I confess that this seemed a little extreme, and I have not been able to do that perfectly, but I am able to stick to 1800 calories or less.) She explained that she wanted me to eat 400 calories for breakfast, 100 for snack, 400 for lunch, 100 for snack, 400 for dinner (and dinner to be completed by 6 PM) and 100 right before bed. She wanted me to try eating a balance of carbs and protein at each meal. She wanted me to keep a food diary and record how I felt at the end of each day. She also reassured me that there would be a huge learning curve and that I would not be perfect. (Something I really needed to hear considering my perfectionistic tendencies.) She wanted me to pick one meal a day, check my blood sugar right before it, and then check my blood sugar one hour after it. She also wanted me to experiment with doing 10-12 minutes of exercise after a meal to see how that affects my blood sugar. She said I was going to become a lab experiment where N=1. Me. The home-schooing mom in me rejoiced.
I have been doing this for almost two weeks. I have lost 7 pounds. I have not been perfect, but I am finding this a lot easier to do than I thought. I have had to “stake my territory” when it comes to what I eat. Right now the kids are not eating everything I am eating, nor can I eat everything they are eating. Amazingly, it is so much easier for me to say NO to the foods that I really don’t want or need. I have found that bread make me feel tired and run-down, but low-carb tortillas are okay. Nut are a great snack, but it takes far fewer to comprise 100 calories than I would have guessed. I am also finding that the knowledge that all I eat gets written down makes me more diligent to make good choices. An added bonus is that I am continuing to learn how to turn to other things for comfort and the cure for “the munchies”. I have even taken up knitting again.
The most exciting thing for me thus far, aside from knowing that I have the tools to take control of my weight-loss again, is that I measured again this morning. It has been three months exactly since I last measured myself. I managed to lose another 2 5/8 inches. Not bad for not trying! I am so excited to see what will happen now that I am actually trying again.
I’ll report back and let you know how it goes over the next few weeks.