Friday, February 26, 2016

Update: Operation Love My Liver

SUCCESS!!!!  In January, I re-tested my liver and my panels are either normal or near-normal.  They haven't been this low in a few years!

If you don't know about my liver issues, please read the last update from November HERE.

Here are the latest numbers:

Date    Weight     AST (10-30)          ALT (6-29)
                           (Ideal: 22)             (Ideal: 25)
5/03     330                 43                         36
3/13     257                 33                         21
6/14     257                 57                         37
9/14     246                 42                         29

12/14   244                 39                         29
6/15     255                 48                         30
9/15     255                 51                         46

1/16     242                 35                         26

I am ecstatic that my numbers were lowered without significant weight loss.  The first thing my doctor said, however, when he walked into the room, was: so how about you lose some weight to get your numbers down further?  I almost lost my freaking mind!  I barely lost any weight and got my numbers down with good diet and supplements.  Why would I try to punish my body and mind by trying to lose weight???   His argument was I didn't know the side effects of the supplements I am taking.  My argument is that I DO know the side effects of the diet drugs he's been trying to push on me!  And they always end with me gaining all my weight back plus some in the end.  I was so angry.  I told him I had made it this far without actively trying to lose weight, so I was going to continue on that route.

Unfortunately, I may never know if there was one single thing that helped lower my numbers so quickly.  I ate less sugar (and better food in general), I stopped my Stelara shot for psoriasis in November (click HERE for an old post about Stelara), I stopped my birth control pill (which I had taken for 24 years), and I continued with the supplements Ellen suggested to me.  The end result of all of those efforts is that my numbers have been lowered to near-normal levels!  I am so happy and relieved.

(Side note: I believe I have been on Stelara for close to four years.  I am happy to report that I have minimal return of my psoriasis patches.  It is such a difficult disease because the topical treatments are usually thick lotions or gels, which are completely impossible to use on pole dance days.  I am hoping that, with diet, exercise, and keeping a handle on my stress levels, I can avoid going back on Stelara.  Although the drug fact sheet does not list higher liver panels as a side effect, most other biologics DO list it as a side effect, and some people in online forums complained their liver panels had gone up after taking Stelara.  It was a hard decision to make but I felt like I needed to stop the drug if there was a chance it would heal my liver.)

Once again, Ellen saves the day.  If you want to read the testimonial I wrote for her website, please click HERE.  If you are looking for a nutritionist who will help you actually figure out what is wrong with your digestive system, please give her a call.  She was the first person who ever told me to keep a food log and write down how I felt after I ate said food rather than log how many calories I ate.  Following her advice helped me lose 20 pounds in the last year and a half without cutting calories or feeling like I was dieting.  Yes, I am choosing foods that are better for me.  But I do that because they make me feel better, not because I'm restricting calories to make my body smaller.  In fact, I would say I eat more calories now than I was before.  I also still indulge in sweets on occasion.  I just don't do it 57 times a day.  And I never feel like I am missing out on anything -- realizing I was making the CHOICE not to eat foods that made me feel crappy gave me my power back.  It has been my first satisfying experience in the "diet" department, and I am very grateful for everything Ellen has done for me.

I am quickly approaching 40 later this year, and I can honestly say this is the happiest and healthiest I have ever been.  Here's to 2016 continuing to be an amazing year for both my health and well-being.

Friday, February 19, 2016

#THISbody Movement: Here is what MY body does for me

Lane Bryant recently started the #ThisBody movement to celebrate plus sized models being included in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.  Larger bodies are not ugly and to be hidden.  They are not disgusting.  Our curves are sexy.  Desired.  Our bodies carry us through this crazy life.  As my recent Tinder adventures proved to me, there are plenty of men who agree that voluptuous women are hot.  It got me thinking about all the amazing things my body does for me.  It also reminded me of the #MyFatWasHere posts I did a couple of years ago (see links ONE -- I feel like I have come a long way since that post -- and TWO).  

THIS body is made...

to be worshiped
to love and to be loved
to have sex
to pole dance
to do yoga
to be strong
to be uncovered
to have fun
to be a good aunty
to be passionate
to inspire
to be a role model

I could go on forever.  There are so many things this body does for me.  It's a pretty amazing body, which has carried me on some fun adventures.  As usual, pictures speak louder than words, so check out some photos of the things this body has carried me through in the last few years, then leave a comment about what you think of your own beautiful body.