My story--part 2
About my weight problems, hypothyroidism, and my first experiment with raw diets
Date: 5/3/2006 10:48:08 PM ( 7 y ) ... viewed 2343 times
Ok, so here is the rest of my story.
In addition to my skin problem, from about 13 years old I started to slowly gain weight. Up unti puberty I had been skinny, like most kids (in my country at least). No weight problem at all. I gained probably 1 kg each year (~2 lbs.), so at 19, when I came to study in the US, I weighed 60 kg (132 lbs), at a height of 5' 5''. I was not overweight, but I was definitely about 5-6 kg above my ideal weight of 54-55 kg and had self-esteem issues seeing how good-looking my skinny friends were. I did not considered myself ugly, I had always been praised for my good looks, but I was aware that I was fatter than I should have been. (Note to people worried about eating disorders: I have never had any of those, my perceptions of how I looked have always been accurate.)
The summer when I turned 18 (which is the equivalent in Europe of turning 21 in the US), about one month before turning 18 (July), I finally decided to try one of the healthy eating plans I had been reading about, so that I would look great at the big event, the birthday party. I ate only fruits for 3 weeks. I lost about 5 kg, going from 60 to 55, and felt great. Unfortunately after the summer ended and with it the supply of fresh fruits, I went back to eating unhealthy food. I had a weakness for white bread and chocolate, even though I was aware they are unhealthy. Up until 12-13 years old I used to eat a lot of meat, then after starting to learn about natural healing etc. I switched to a vegetarian diet, but kept the white bread and the chocolate.
So after that 55 kg summer, I went back to my weight of 59-60 kg. Then at 20 years old I came to the US, and because of the unhealthy college food my weight started slowly creeping up. I now became familiar with the "pounds" system. I weighed 130 lbs when I came to the US in September 2004, and when I weighed myself after a few months I was at 137. I ate a lot of chocolate chip muffins and chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough ince cream, items that are unheard of in my country. My jeans got tighter and tighter and although I went to the gym quite regularly, in the second semester I had to buy new pants and jeans. At the end of my freshman year I weighed around 146 lbs--the "freshman 15" in all its glory.
After my freshman year in college, I went to Costa Rica for two months, as a volunteer/intern at an institute in a tropical forest region. I felt great there. I was still watching my weight, and I was determined to eat only the wonderful fruit they had available. And I walked a lot. However, somehow my weight did not go down, mostly because the family I lived with cooked very good food and I ended up eating pastries, pasta, and white rice, that definitely did not help me slim down, even though I did eat a lot of fruits.
After those two months, I went home, in July. I weighed around 148 lbs (67 kg). I was not very aware of this, as I had not had access to a scale until I arrived home. Somehow I was not very worried about it, I thought I would just lose most of it during the rest of the summer, at home. My parents however got quite worried about my weight. Of course, they didn't tell me anything right away, but after a week or so my mom asked me gently how I had gained so much weight. Keep in mind that they had not seen me since Christmas break, when I went home for a month, and when I still weighed 135-137 lbs.
I told them not to worry, that I would lose the weight by eating mostly the abundant summer fruits, and exercising. But I didn't. I kept eating unhealthy food that I had missed in the US. I lost 2 lbs or so in 6 weeks. We then went to a one week vacation in Tunisia, to my dismay, because I was terrified of getting into a bathing suit. At the hotel we had three meals a day, buffet style (eat-all-you-want). There were some foods I really liked, and my mom kept telling me eat more of the healthy stuff. And then, one day while we were coming back from the beach she broke down, starting crying and told me that I was very fat and I had not managted to lose any weight in the 6 weeks that I had been at home. She told me how when she saw me in the airport when I came back from Costa Rica she amd dad were shocked at how fat I had gotten, but did not tell me anything hoping that I would lose the weight, but that I kept eating fattening foods, bread, sweets, pasta. She was sobbing while telling me all this, and kept asking me if I realized how fat I had gotten. Needless to say, whatever emotional balance I had at the time crumbled. I felt attacked by my own parents, and what was worse, I realized they were right--I really had gained a lot of weight in the past year, and had not managed to get over my weakness for bread and sweets. However, I had not expected such a violent and "raw" reaction from my mom. She is a very beautiful woman and has always been thin and good-looking, even now at almost 50 years old. She is also a very sensitive person, just like me, and this is what caused that violent outburst that day. Nevertheless, I was devastated. I wanted more than anything to be thin, or at least to be like I was before coming to the US.
Now, when I was 16 and noticing how I had been slowly gaining weight, based on my accumulated health knowledge and my interest in hormones, I suspected I had a thyroid imbalance (i.e. hypothyroidism), especially since my grandmother had it and I seemed to have the same body type as her. So I asked our family doctor (the same nice lady who had been treating my tonsillitis bouts) if I could have a blood test for that. She said it was definitely not a thyroid problem, because that would also mean I would be "slow" intellectually--and as I had always been the best in my class, it meant a thyroid problem was out of the question.
I believed her and forgot about my thyroid. Unfortunately, she was wrong. Hypothyroidism does not always cause mental slowdown.
Back to that summer, after our Tunisia vacation. My parents had gotten so worried about my weight gain that they insisted I go to a doctor and have a blood test. Which I did, and one of the tests was the TSH, which came out at 3. The doctor said I had no medical problems, that the TSH was normal and that I should "eat 5 meals a day and come back in a year if the weight was still on".
I immediately started researching hypothyroidism, relying mostly on Dr. Mercola's website. I found out that despite the medical accepted standards (which say a TSH under 5 is normal), a TSH above 2 meant hypothyroidism. And mine was 3. My thyroid had probablt gotten out of balance during the puberty hormonal changes, and was probably getting worse every year.
The rest of my summer vacation I ate more fruits and less bread and sweets and lost about 4 kg, getting to a more "normal" 64 kg (143 lbs). I came back to the US for my sophomore year, determined to cut out the muffins, the cookies and the ice cream that had caused so much weight gain the previous year. And I succeeded, and found a will power I had not thought myself capable of. At breakfast I simply walked past the muffins, something I was not able to do freshman year--I always had at least one, sometimes 2 or 3. I ignored the tempting garlic bread, the pasta, and the ice cream. Part of my strong motivation was that I was interviewing for summer internships in investment banks, up until March, and I wanted to make as good an impression as possible--and that included not being fat.
I succeeded and got an internship at a top investment bank in New York City, my first choice. I was very happy about it. Then spring break came and during that week I ate a lot of bread and butter (one of my weaknesses), because suddenly the pressure of being thin for the interviews was gone. I was determined to lose even more weight until the start of the internship, but for now I just wanted to relax. And I gained 3 kg, so I was again at 67 kg. And then midterms and papers started, and I did not make any progress towards my losing weight goal, which was to be 57 kg (125 lbs) or under by May 22nd, when my internship starts.
So this past weekend, I embarked on a 3-week fast with the goal of losing at least 25 lbs. I have already lost 2 and this morning weighed 67 kg. My goal is 57 kg or under. I ate dinner Monday and today because I was tired, stressed because of exams, and had a headache. But starting tomorrow, having learned my lesson, will only drink water and lemonade (made only with water and a bit of cayenne pepper like in the master cleanse). I am determined to heal myself of hormonal imbalances and psoriasis, and to reach and maintain my weight goal.
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