One thing I've always tried to be on here is pretty transparent, but lately I feel like I haven't been completely upfront about some of the struggles I've been experiencing. A lot of my experience with Paleo revolved around the weight I lost. It's something I was and am still very proud of. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, not all that glitters is gold. I started experiencing a few unexplained symptoms when it comes to my health and I'm currently on a massively long journey of trial and error to try and figure out what's going on.
Over the past 8-10 months, I noticed a severe decline in my energy. Even though I was eating as I always had been, increasing my fats when I felt lethargic and continuing to workout consistently, I was constantly exhausted. I stopped being able to sleep consistently through the night. I started gaining weight back. I was bruising easily. My body was swollen and my joints were having a really hard time bouncing back from any workout I did. I could tell something wasn't right. My last physician and I absolutely did not see eye-to-eye, so I switched to a new one and I'm really pleased with where I am now.
My new doc listened at length to all of my frustrations and everything I was experiencing. Our initial thought was a thyroid issue, but the first round of blood work ruled that out. It did show that I had a B12 deficiency and that I was anemic. For those of you that don't know, anemia is no joke. It means I had a condition where my body wasn't developing enough healthy red blood cells. Too few of these means the cells don't get enough oxygen and your organs can't function properly. With too little oxygen, your heart has to work harder so if left untreated, it can reek havoc on your body. On top of this, I had a low Vitamin D level. This isn't too uncommon; many people suffer from low levels during the fall and winter. The problem was, I got tested in the middle of June. I'd spent tons of time in the sun but it was still crazy low.
Since my doc had a suspicion that my anemia was likely stemming from my low B12, we started addressing this issue first through a series of B12 injections. I went 1x/week for 4 weeks before following up with her again. By then, none of my symptoms had really gone away. I was still lethargic, still not sleeping, still swollen, still in pain and still gaining weight. I went back in for another blood test and while I was there, we started discussing testing me for a genetic mutation called MTHFR. Having this mutation means you can't process folic acid (vitamin B9.) This is important for growth and metabolism and a deficiency in folate can cause lethargy, issues with high blood pressure, migraines and impaired cognitive function. We decided to test for this at the same time.
My results came back and even though my anemia was cured (YAY!) my B12 and Vitamin D are still low. I tested negative for MTHFR, which is a relief on one hand but also just more of a frustration for me on the other. I'm still in limbo where we are working to solve my issues but having a hard time finding the root cause of them. It's as frustrating as you can imagine it would be.
So, while I'm going back in for another round of B12 shots, double the dose this time, I'm working on my own to try and make improvements. I wouldn't say I drank all the time (this girl loves her boozy brunches and happy hour cocktails!) but I've dwindled it down. I stopped drinking Sun-Thurs, at minimum, and have started reevaluating my choices on weekends, if I do drink. I'm eating stricter Paleo, which means giving up my beloved french fries when we eat out. Ugh, even typing that out makes me want to curl in the fetal position and cry. On top of all that, I've started tracking my workouts and rest days. I don't go to the extremes, but I'm making sure that I'm actually getting up and moving 5-6 days/week and changing up my routing. I'm also setting weekly goals for myself to make sure I'm out there trying new things and shocking my body... in a good way obviously.
Since I know you lovely people of the interwebs are great at making me hold myself accountable, I've started a new Weekly Workout series. It details my workouts for the week, goals for next week and what I'm obsessively listening to on repeat while I make myself SWEAT. You can find my first post by clicking HERE!