Hormones, Anxiety, and Middle-Age : How I Got My Life Back
Here we are - the post you've been waiting for! If this is the first you've read, you can read the introductory stories here:
Post Two: Hormones, Middle Age, and the Mess
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Inevitably, whenever this topic comes up and resonates with another woman in conversation, she implores, "Please, tell me which supplements you took to cure yourself!" I so understand the desperation to find the fastest solve possible, but let me tell you what I always tell them: There is no quick fix.
How to Figure Out What's Wrong
The first thing I knew needed to happen was a diagnosis of what was actually going on. My psychologist friend highly recommended Dr. Sara Gottfried's book, The Hormone Cure, to me. Dr. Gottfried is that Harvard Medical School educated physician I mentioned in an earlier post, and she has led a team of hormone researchers for the past two decades.
I studied the book, took her online quizzes, then headed to my doctor to talk to him about the problems I was having and ask for a blood panel to test my hormone levels.
Surprise! My results were exactly what Dr. Gottfried said they would be: Outdated "normal" levels in each category, and so I decided to trust the Harvard doctor and researcher's revised listing of what is normal and what is dangerously too low or too high. We'll let the medical community play catch up on their own schedule; I'm going with the latest help available.
The First Step in Changing My Life
After I had my results, I could properly go about changing what needed to be changed in my own life. Here's the thing you need to know about that change: It isn't simply one thing. It isn't simply changing your diet or exercising more or taking things off of your list of responsibilities. It's a combination of all of the above plus some "fixes" that might even surprise you.
For me, it was the following, but keep in mind that it will be different for you. You really must create a plan that is unique to your own fluctuating hormone levels and what is too low or too high in your own body.
I had to:
- Kick my sugar addiction. Except for maybe the nightly game run of Candy Crush, this was my only addiction and the one I return to most often.
- Stop all cardio. I could keep my twice-weekly ballet class (I'm an old ballerina in a class of old ballerinas), but beginning a running regimen was out of the question.
- Get regular massages. Super tough. (Just kidding.)
- Have more sex. Seriously. Orgasms release the good stuff into our bodies, and mine needed more of that good stuff. I don't have the same drive my husband does (massive understatement) so this one is still difficult for me. How's that for transparency?
- Add natural supplements specific to my issues. I could tell you what they are, but that won't help you.
- Make sleep a non-negotiable priority. I am terrible at this, but for the first few months, I set my alarm to tell me when to turn the light off and get 8 hours of sleep.
- Assess what our priorities are. Do you know what happens when two naturally driven people with massive life capacities get married? They buy dental practices, become church leaders, have 8 kids, homeschool, create a cottage business, write books, run a popular podcast, treat each hobby as if it's an Olympic sport, and invite the world into their home every week. At least, that's how we've been living for 25 years. We were way, way overdue for an assessment of what needed to stay in our lives and what we could kick to the curb.
. . . and Then Everything Improved
Part of the nutrition overhaul for me was deciding to use a well-designed shake for breakfast and lunch. I needed easy. I needed to not think about everything I was putting in my mouth. My husband was firmly committed to a ketogenic diet that helped reverse his Type II Diabetes, and so I was already on the steep learning curve of that whole thing as I prepped dinners for all of us. So long, pizza and homemade rolls and my beloved sugar.
But back to the shakes. I knew of a product called Isagenix and had even lost quite a bit of weight with it after our 8th child was born and I was 180 pounds on my little 5'3" frame. Again, I didn't want to think, so I ordered the 30-day Weight Loss Plan from Isagenix and began on a Monday morning.
I kid you not, by day four (4!) I told my husband, "I feel like a new woman." Two weeks in and I felt like I had my life back. I'm hearing the same thing from other women who've decided to take the same path.
I don't think Isagenix cured me. I don't think it's the only way. But it was the best way for me, and now a year later, I'm still committed to it.
Are You Ready to Make the Change?
I hope you've felt that I've given you some good points from which to jump off and get healthy! You could take everything I've mentioned above and get started without another word from me, but if you want to do this together, let me know!
Is it time to make a life change you won't ever regret? Do you want my help?
I'm not selling a thing. I just think we can do this together. Click the button below - I'll walk you through step by step and it will be fun!