Health, Hormones, Anxiety, and Middle-Age Weight

health hormones.jpg

This month my husband Fletch wrote a series on his blog about taking hold of his health as he hit middle age. The response he's received has been hearty, to say the least.

Last October, I too, decided to make public my own battle with my health. When I posted on Facebook all that I have been up against and how it was being resolved, I was not prepared for the response I received, either. My phone began to buzz  - all day long - "off the hook" with text after text. Women messaged me privately, and I had a few call and ask to get together to discuss what they had been experiencing. 

It's not an understatement to say that so very many of us in our middle age are really, really struggling. 

If you feel as if you're one of them and you missed my original Facebook post, here it is. Maybe you'll read your own story in mine:

Been pondering this post for a few days but am deciding to go ahead in case it’s helpful to someone. I will be writing about it elsewhere, but for now, here’s the short version:

After 8 straight years of trial after trial and poor stress management on my part, I hit this past summer with a deluge of panic attacks and anxiety. I cried. All the time. About everything. I was angry, unable to forgive, and mad at God. The kicker was when I found myself on the floor of the church kitchen one night, unable to breathe, heart racing uncontrollably, scared to death I wasn’t going to ever be healthy again.

I met with a psychologist who correctly recognized that what I was dealing with was due largely to nutritional and physical depletion, as well as imbalanced hormones (age, 9 pregnancies, stress . . .) I also made an appointment with our family practitioner, who ordered blood work and prescribed Xanax. He and I agreed that the Xanax wasn’t a cure, but there if I needed it.

I then headed full steam into a nutritional overhaul and after getting connected with the work of a Harvard Med School doctor who specializes in hormone research, I added supplements to help the hormones figure themselves out.

4 days into it all, I felt like a new woman. Now 6 weeks in, I have lost 13 pounds (12 to go) and I feel like I have my life back. No panic attacks, no freaking out, no crying. I never filled the Xanax prescription.

Sound like you? Maybe it’s not your brain, your ability to cope, or your spiritual life (don’t get me started). Maybe it’s just a simple need to take a very close look at how you’re fueling your body and managing everything on your plate. Part of that meant taking things off my plate, too. So there’s that. And ballet. My ballet class is a key.

That’s all. My story. And if it helps you, I’m glad I posted it.

Is this your story, too? I'm not a nutritionist or a medical professional, but I can tell you what has made all the difference for this over-committed, middle-aged, working, homeschooling, mother of 8 plus 2 daughters-in-law. That post comes next.

Part Two: Hormones, Middle Age, and the Mess

Part Three: Hormones, Anxiety, and Middle Age: How I Got My Life Back

 While this photo encapsulates one of my favorite memories, it was taken on July 4th, 2016, at the height of my panic attacks and worst health. It's painful to look at because I know how badly I was struggling at the time.

While this photo encapsulates one of my favorite memories, it was taken on July 4th, 2016, at the height of my panic attacks and worst health. It's painful to look at because I know how badly I was struggling at the time.