Get Off The Scale!

“You are beautiful. Your beauty, just like your capacity for life, happiness, and success, is immeasurable. Day after day, countless people across the globe get on a scale in search of validation of beauty and social acceptance.

Get off the scale! I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are. I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it. I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humor, and contagious smile. Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life.

It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!”

 -Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

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Loving My Body: A Journey to Better Health

It all began in March 2009 when I all but collapsed on the floor in pain at my home. I have never felt such excruciating pain like that before in my life. I went to urgent care and was told that I had symptoms of Diverticulitis and the Doctor prescribed me with meds. I took the meds for 1 week as prescribed though they left a horrible and metallic taste in my mouth. A week later realized that didn’t help and back to the doctor I went. I went to urgent care and had to explain the events that had taken place along with the pain to another doctor; he too says I had symptoms of Diverticulitis. The doctor prescribed that same awful medicine which I must take for a week, in addition the doctor advises that I take Culturelle and eat yogurt to develop a healthy digestive system. A week goes by however I am still not feeling well so back to urgent care I go and they schedule a CAT scan for me. I go to the CAT scan the following weekend. The next week they inform me that they don’t see anything abnormal with my stomach. I’m still feeling stomach pains and heartburn but this time I book an appointment with my primary care Physician. After reviewing the tests performed on me and describing my symptoms, the doctor says I sound like I have Acid Reflux also known as GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) so she prescribes me some meds. I had to stop drinking coffee and reduce my intake of additional foods and eliminate others. Let’s face it, having heart burn and trying to go to sleep at night is one of the most uncomfortable thing to have or just heartburn at anytime is uncomfortable. The meds seemed to help for a little while and there were no stomach pains and no heartburn, however I began having severe migraines. I would many times feel dizzy, my palms would get sweaty, I would see nothing but blackness and feel as if I would just pass out.  I figured since I’d stopped drinking coffee maybe this could be the problem because I would drink about 8 cups per day.

 By May 2009, I informed my doctor of the headaches and she decides that it would be best to schedule an MRI. I agree to the MRI and within weeks I am at the hospital at 6 am for my MRI. The results come back and everything to them looks normal yet I’m still having the migraines. Several months go by until November 2009 and the migraines are still there in conjunction with the terrible stomach pains. To urgent care I went because it was closer to my house than the primary care physician. The doctor runs test and prescribes me meds, says it’s my acid reflux and also prescribes a headache medicine.  By January 2010, I am a size 18/20 and can barely breathe or walk for a long period of time without my back hurting. By March 2010, the stomach pains, heartburn and the migraines are more severe. I book an appointment with my primary care physician, she says it’s my GERD and I should lose weight. She prescribes me meds and puts me on a steroid for my migraines and prescribes me another migraine medicine which I must begin after a week of the steroids.  A week later after finishing up the steroid medicine the migraines subside and I feel better or so I think. The migraines may have went away at the time but the stomach pains are now waking me up in the middle of the night.   I’m sweating as If I am in labor from the pain and all I can do is moan from the horrible pains in my stomachs. I don’t go to the doctor because they don’t seem to be helping me at all.

By May 2010 I’m still having migraines but this time my primary care physician gives me a Toradol shot and that helps for about 6 months or so and prescribes me medicine for IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).  July 2010, I’m still having terrible stomach pains though I don’t mention to my primary care physician I decide to go to urgent care. It is there at urgent care within that month that I finally come across a doctor that is willing to get to the bottom of what is going on with me. The doctor refers me to a GI specialist. I have a consultation with the GI specialist 2 weeks later and we schedule an upper endoscopy and an ultra sound.  So in August 2010 I have my ultrasound in the afternoon. What was I thinking because I couldn’t eat anything after midnight and the first appointment is at 3 pm that day? After the ultrasound I then had my upper endoscopy which was scheduled around 5 pm. I was so nervous at the thought of being put to sleep. I have never experienced any type of procedure with having being put to sleep. I only told a few people about this procedure and being put to sleep because let’s face it I was scared as HELL!!! I remember the nurses talking to me and trying to calm me down because I was so nervous and hyperventilating from the oxygen going up my nose, the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room waking up and my babe was right there waiting for me. A few days later I am told of the ultra sound results and informed me that there was sludge found in my gall bladder. I’m like what the hell is that, I’m informed that its tiny rocks that can lead to gall stones. That explains my symptoms of excruciating pain and waking up in the middle of the night. If those tiny rocks cause that much pain, I can only imagine what a big gall stone could feel like in passing. The doctor suggests that I have my gall bladder removed so I schedule a consultation. I go to the consultation and the doctor explains the procedure to me but I also do my research as well. I told the doctor I would think about having the surgery in January though they are ready for me schedule within 30 days, I advised I’d rather wait until January after all what’s the hurry I’ve been dealing with my pain for this long.  From April 2010 to October 2010, I did lose the weight and was down by 41 pounds. No more heartburn to keep me up at night but those pains stayed, however If I felt anything I would drink fresh lemon juice and olive oil and take my IBD medicine.

January 2011 comes but I never call the doctor because after Googling some of the foods that I can and cannot eat, I’d avoided those foods and my stomach felt much better at the time.  Within much of 2011, my old eating habits began to return. I began gaining the weight I’d lost back and along with that pain, upset stomach and heartburn came back too. I would walk and could barely breathe, I couldn’t even run, I couldn’t do too much because my back would hurt and I knew it was because I was overweight.  I’d occasionally see my Primary care Physician due to the migraines and get my Toradol shot. One of the side effects of Toradol is hair loss and I’ve had a few bouts of that in patches occasionally. I finally decide in October 2011 to rethink getting my gallbladder removed and schedule another consultation for getting my gall bladder removed. The doctor I met with must’ve had some type of problem against overweight women because he said I don’t think that removing your gall bladder is going to help you. I think you need to have a gastric bypass surgery because you are overweight and need to lose weight. I knew I was overweight but I came for a gallbladder consultation not a weight loss consultation. I’m also thinking that I was not big enough to even have any gastric bypass surgery on top of the many reports I have heard of people dying from this surgery. I left there and felt humiliated. If that’s how he felt, I sure wasn’t going to let him do any surgery on me let alone touch me.  I looked into my choices however and considered having the Lap band surgery. By October 2011 I began eating everything in sight on purpose because I just knew I was going to have the lap band surgery. Yeah I was all for it or so I thought and then I read about the people that die or have complications or have to have it adjusted after the surgery, the eating and nausea amongst  other things.  Who wants to go through all of that, I thought to myself. The back pain began for me significantly on the eve of Christmas Eve 2011. From the back spasms and the pain with my back, I thought I was just going to PASS OUT. There was going to be no Christmas and gift wrapping from me.

In January 2012 I began pain management for my back as well as began seeing a Chiropractor. During the pain management sessions I was put to sleep on several occasions. I received an epidural injection in my spine and several facet shots.  During the pain management sessions and x-rays I learned that I had arthritis in my spine. There is no cure but I there are ways to control the pain. I know that my back has or never will be the same due to a terrible car accident I was involved in at the age of 19.  In mid March 2012 after completing all of my pain management sessions I decided AGAINST the lap band surgery.  I decided that the best way for me to get healthy is for me to do it on my own. By Mid April 2012 after a month had gone by, I’d lost 15 pounds. I went from 250 pounds to 235 pounds and wearing a size 1X.

Now that we are in August 2012, I don’t worry myself with the scale, I feel that as long as I am feeling and looking healthy nothing else matters. I haven’t weighed myself since April; however I can now say that I am able to wear some size mediums in dresses and tops. I feel so much better within myself.  I still haven’t had my gall bladder removed and at this point I hope I will never need to revisit that issue. Although I’ve had so many tests ran on me, poking of needles, and so much blood taken; no doctor has truly diagnosed what exactly was wrong with me. I decided that I no longer wanted to be the doctors’ science project, their guinea pig or listen to the continual guessing of what’s wrong with me. After speaking with so many people that have had their gall bladder removed many have advised that the stomach problems still remain. With that information said, I truly don’t see the point of having my gall bladder removed and I am happy that I‘d done my research before going along with the surgery.

 I motivate myself and that’s what I like the most, I know my limits in my eating habits and know where to draw the line. I know that in order for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle  I must  avoid the foods that I know I should not have so I won’t need to face anything else medically due to my eating habits. I am trying my best to avoid the epidemic of diabetes that is continually plaguing my family. I have no more stomach pains, no more dizzy spells, no more lower back pain and definitely no more heartburn.  I occasionally have migraines but not as frequent as I were before to the point of having to rush to the doctor for a Toradol shot. The back pains in the middle and upper back come occasionally however that is due to the arthritis in my spine. I eat smaller portions,  reduced my carb in take, reduced my meat in take, drink lots of water opposed to juices and sodas,  eat a lot more fruits and veggies, I walk, run, do crunches, strength training and the treadmill. I have so much more energy than I could imagine and I just feel good about myself because I did it on my own, on my own terms not superficially and when I was ready. You can be healthy at any size but only if your body and lifestyle allows it. With me changing my eating habits and exercising regularly that is how the pounds and inches have shed off. I like to tell myself that I eat to live not to get full. Some say I want your secret but it’s no secret and you too can maintain a healthy lifestyle but you have to want it and you have to work for it.  Currently I am practicing holistic health to rid my body of impurities and parasites. We all have them with the things we touch, the water we drink and the foods we eat but that’s a topic for another post later on.  I love my body inside and out as I continuously work to achieve the best health possible for my body.

I AM Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

 

I AM Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

By Anna Margaux

The problem that you think I have is not for you to solve.

Let me educate you on who I am so that I can help YOU EVOLVE.

Your perception of me does not define who I AM.

What… you think I need extensive cosmetic surgery, a nutritionist or a weight loss program?

The size of my clothes is not for you to choose.

What’s important is that I love me whether I gain or whether I lose.

I stand tall because I know I can be healthy at any size.

I encourage women to stand with me worldwide.

When I look in the mirror the image that I see…..

Is an intelligent, confident, radiant queen of beauty.

Is it my confidence that you that makes you despise;

The fact that I am a woman that grows more powerful with time?

Or is it the way that I sway my hips or how my clothes look is all you see?

Well, your opinion does not matter. I am somebody and I love ME.

Don’t you dare turn up your nose and criticize my appearance.

Unfortunately you have fallen victim to society’s plague of ignorance.

Your mirror reflects only what’s on the surface of me, not who I am inside.

I will continue to with walk confidence and hold my head up high.

Know that I’m already beautiful just the way I am.

I won’t change my appearance for any woman or man.

I embrace and celebrate my body, filling it every day with love because I know that I am worthy.

My body is a work of art. I am fearfully and wonderfully made because GOD made me.