The year leading up to me meeting Jeremy and us getting married, I started to inexplicably gain weight. It was devastating to me. I was the jock of the family and to look the way I began to look took a toll on me. Both psychologically as well as physically. Spiritually as well!
I began to try different diets. Weight Watchers (which for MOST people, I HIGHLY recommend!), Hollywood Diet, nutra system, Low carb, no carb, Vegetarian, Vegan....I was also very physically active up until this point. Either running, or going to the gym, and playing Basketball. So to see the lbs still coming on despite my efforts put me into a depression.
Things just got worse from there. After I had my first baby, I was able to get back to my pre pregnancy size quite quickly but the other two, not so much. I didn't even gain much during my pregnancy's because of such sever morning (noon and night) sickness but what I did gain, didn't come off. I nursed my last 2 babies and I was told that would help get back to my pre pregnancy size. No such luck. I had started feeling bad. Nausea, cramping, other symptoms I'll not go into (in case of mixed company reading this) but would be glad to discuss with anyone one on one. Most of my "sick" feeling started after the birth of my first daughter. Which, it took us almost 2 years to conceive her to begin with. Jeremy was told he wouldn't be able to make babies and little did I know at that time, my body was a toxic oven waiting to explode. It truly was only by the Grace of God we had any children at all. Conception was not easy and carrying them was not easy. I had many scares throughout my pregnancies. Especially the 1st two.
I was at work one day when I suddenly fell to the floor doubled over in pain. I felt like something in my stomach had exploded. My manager was concerned and scared and sent me to the E.R. After an Ultra Sound, it was discovered that I had a large cyst, about the size of a baseball, on one of my ovaries. He referred me to an O.B. I went through a series of tests and was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome). Basically, the adrenal gland does not function properly which lead to a hormonal imbalance, which leads to cysts on the ovaries, breasts, uterus, pretty much anywhere in the body but prominent on the ovaries. This condition typically leads to infertility, obesity, as well as diabetes, heart failure, lung and kidney failure if not kept in check. The tricky part was, not many studies or research had been done on PCOS so I went home and started digging. My best friend had suggested before that maybe I had PCOS. When I asked my Dr. about it, after my Ultra sound and tests, he said I was a text book case. In other words, there was no doubt as I fit the symptoms to a T.
Because there wasn't much studies done on this condition, I had no clue what the "triggers" were. I had learned through research that most likely, something stressful in my life and "triggered" it. Which makes sense as a couple years prior to getting married, I had been date raped and lost my hero....my father, all within a 6 week time span. Which naturally was depressing all in itself but it also lead to me not eating. I wasn't just not eating right, I wasn't eating so my body went into starvation mode and when I did eat, it was typically junk and the my body would store that because it had no clue when it would get fed again.
So, over the years, I've tried everything. Every diet known to man, hours a day of working out at the gym etc. THEN, I found It Works! It Works! products are all natural. I notices quite quickly that I was having more energy and felt better. Also during this time, I was part of a PCOS community where I met a friend. She is studied in nutrition and doing things the natural way. The way God intended. In the years between my diagnosis and now, there have been more studies done on PCOS. So, I've been digging into books and learning what I can about what I should and shouldn't eat. In doing this, I've learned that not just PCOS patients but EVERYONE should try and stick to this type of life style. So much of our produce....veggies and fruits alike have added hormones and antibiotics. Our milk, our eggs, ground grains can be like poison to the human body. (look up wheat belly). Our bodies were not made to take in lactose...or gluten. SO, between my new found friend, all my research, and having started reading the Makers diet (everyone needs to read this book!), I found an organic foods Co-op in my area. I've been replacing everything in our home with Organic foods. I found someone to buy free range eggs from. I've started buying goats milk from someone locally (which is naturally lactose free). Very rarely will you see me eat pasta, starches, carbs etc.....it is a process. I didn't do it all at once but now that I'm as far as I am in this journey, I can tell you I feel SOOOOOO much better!!!!
And don't be fooled by the "organic" label at the grocery store. Some organics can still have pesticides on it. Read your labels. Better yet, if there isn't a co-op near you, start one! Find local organic farmers in your area and set up accounts with them where you get discounts when you buy in bulk. Not only will you be helping you but you'll be helping your local farmers as well. Granted some farms aren't set up to be able to send out bulk but those that are, set up accounts with them and spread the word to your friends and family. I'm buying our organic veggies, fruits, coconut flour, organic coffee beans, juices, nuts, granola's etc at a price cheaper than even the non organic fruits and veggies from our grocery store. All it takes is a little research, dipping your toes in, finding out whats available, and then plugging and before you know it, it won't just be your toes you've dipped in but you'll dive in head first. This has been the BEST thing I've ever done for me, my health, and my family!
This is how God intended us to eat. He laid out plainly in the scripture what is good for us. Read the Makers Diet and change that word from diet to lifestyle. Don't let the word "diet" discourage you. I'm SO thankful for this new found freedom, health, energy, and zest for life!!! Add in some exercise and you'll feel even better. ;)