For most of my life I have been like most of you, believing that I could lose weight easily and magically by taking lotions and potions. Two years ago when I had a parathyroid tumour removed and decided I wanted to dedicate myself to becoming healthy and hopefully as a side effect lose weight. I did a huge amount of research and studying to find out what diet would be best for fibromyalgia as I knew from past experience with my many clients who had fibromyalgia that weight loss can be terribly slow, so I wanted to be prepared mentally for the tough times and know how to overcome them.
Gut healing is a recent but really exciting area of exploration when it comes to weight loss. There was a show on telly recently where they compared two identical twins, one who was slim and always had been, one who was obese and had been for all of her adult life. They tested each twins’ poo to see what their gut bacteria looked like and they were very different. They then took poo from the thin one and transferred it into the fat one and very quickly, the fat one started losing weight with minimal change to her diet!
Our digestive system needs a good balance of thousands, perhaps millions of different types of bacteria to break down food. It can be knocked out of whack for various reasons; illness, a bad diet, anti-biotics, severe stress or even shock from a car accident.
Everything we do involves a choice, an action and a consequence, whether we realise it or not. To be successful on your diet, it’s important that you do things YOU have chosen to do, not what others like your consultant tell you to do. So when people tell me they have a function like a wedding coming up and want to know what to do, I simply highlight for them their 3 options together with the likely outcome or consequence and let them decide for themselves.
Option 1. Come off plan completely. Consequence: Be realistic that you WILL put on weight and will spend at least a week losing what you have gained. You will undo any ketosis, put excess glucose into your bloodstream so will have to give your body time to rid yourself of this visceral fat before you start losing the sub-cutaneous fat again. You may get sugar cravings whilst going through this as well as headaches and feeling ill.
Option 2. Half and Half. Decide in advance of the function what you will allow yourself and stick to it. ie. Instead of drinking your favourite 6 cocktails, you will allow yourself 2 glasses of dry champagne or 2 vodka and slimline tonics with plenty of water in between. You will select all the healthy options and either have potatoes with your meal or the dessert but not both. Consequence: You won’t feel deprived and you will minimise the damage. You are likely to put on weight but hopefully not a lot.
Option 3. Stick to plan. Be determined and don’t allow yourself to be swayed by people at the function or their opinions. People who are slim and healthy often say no and that’s how they manage to stay slim. Practice saying no. Often we succumb because we are so worried about being different, offending the people who have hosted the wedding and paid for your meal or attracting unwanted attention. Think the meal through and be prepared for how to handle this. A great technique is to discreetly whisper that “I have a dodgy stomach”. It stops the conversation in it’s tracks and allows you to do what you planned to do. Consequence: You will lose weight and develop great new skills for keeping your weight off! Win win!
The purpose for me starting this blog is simply because I want to help others.
I have learnt so much useful stuff over the past 25 years but my health no longer allows me to see the 50 face to face clients a week that I used to so this is a different way I can still keep my passion thriving whilst helping others.
What I am going to say on this page may seem very controversial to some and I will say at the outset, I am not trained medically in any way shape or form. I have no dietary qualifications……just a load of interest, experience and common sense!
If you have Type 2 diabetes and have been told it’s incurable or irreversible, it’s hogwash! There’s a bit of a ding dong going on in cyberspace between the “establishment” and a few very credible professionals like Professor Tim Noakes (my hero) and Asseem Malhotra about what causes Type 2 diabetes and how to cure it and I’m positive you’ll be hearing a lot more in the years to come as the stubborn government barriers start coming down.
I have a very dear friend who like me, has fibromyalgia. She is clearly also an addictive person having gone through phases of drinking Coke by the litre, smoking heavily, and she also has an addiction to sugar.
Many years ago I was admitted to a clinic (for severe depression which I now know was the fibromyalgia) which also treated drug and alcohol addicts. During my 3 week stay, I spent a lot of time talking to the counsellors and addicts and gained a better understanding about addiction. I learnt that most alcoholics can remember their very first drink because they have a gene that is triggered in that instance. Other people develop a dependence through years of over indulgence.
I’m sure that you have come across alcoholics and drug addicts that just by looking at them, you know that they are very seriously ill and have absolutely no control over their addiction.
Addiction to sugar can be just as bad. My friend that I mentioned to you overcame her addiction to Coke many years ago but unsurprisingly became very overweight and developed Type 2 diabetes. The terror of it all prompted her to have a gastric bypass which led to her losing loads of weight and finally achieving the body that she had desperately struggled for. But sadly, a gastric bypass does not cure an addiction so she found ways to still get her “sugar fix”.
About a year ago, I could sense she was miserable and clearly not well and she admitted to me that she was having sugar hypo’s, a nasty condition where blood sugars are so erratic that they can leave you feeling dizzy, shaky, hot, sweaty and faint. When I chatted to her and asked what was going on, she sobbed and admitted that she was still eating loads of sugar despite knowing how deadly it was for her body. She felt out of control. When I asked what her need was for the sugar, her response broke my heart. “Because it’s the only thing that makes me feel happy”. What a powerful statement that was.
Sugar has the power to control our lives. If the thought of cutting sugar out of your life terrifies you, its a massive signal that it’s exactly what you need to do. Sugar is not a “food group” like protein or fats that our bodies need. We can get what we need from fruit, vegetables and even protein. The physical cravings can go pretty quickly – from 1 to 6 weeks – but the mental cravings can take years.
If you are struggling and feel you need some support, do email me at the link under Contact.
I am posting this pretty unusual post because I have committed to raising awareness of this hardly known, destructive but easily cured condition. I’m also sharing it because it can be the reason your weight is going up rapidly for no logical reason!
For those who don’t know my story, I have had fibromyalgia for 30 years and the two symptoms which affect me most are extreme fatigue and pain. Around the time my Dad died in 2013, I was so exhausted I could barely get out of bed and went off to the GP yet again for help. Strangely, this GP did what no other had done. He tested my calcium levels and they came back as above normal. He called me back and did a “pth” or parathyroid blood test which also came back as out of the normal range. He had found my problem with a simple blood test. Continue reading “Could a Hyper-Parathyroid problem be making you gain weight?”
I know many people who will not even contemplate losing weight because they are so scared of having saggy skin at the end of the process, so let me share with you the truth of what I have learnt over the years.
Firstly, I have had clients who have lost 6 stone (84 lbs) and had no saggy skin and clients who have only had a stone to lose (14 lbs) but have lots of saggy skin. It all depends on your skin type not your weight.
It’s not the weight loss that causes saggy skin. It’s the weight gain. The skin is simply stretched to a point that it cannot regain it’s elasticity. So if you are overweight and have the non stretchy type of skin, the damage is already done. Accept the fact, then decide which is more important; having saggy skin or being healthy and slim.
Some people lose sight of the fact that they have aged. I’ve had clients who have been overweight since their 30’s, lose weight in their 50’s and sub-consciously expect their body and face to look the same as it did back then. They are shocked by the new older looking self to the extent that some immediately put all the weight back on. People in that state need lots of support to work through it and unhelpful comments from others saying “oh my God you look ill” will not help!
Most surgeons won’t do skin removal ops until you have been a steady weight for 2 years. This is not to be mean or to test you. It’s because skin will continue shrinking for that amount of time after you’ve lost the weight.
Some of us need to be realistic, accept we will end up with saggy skin and then deal with the options;
Learn to accept your new body. Perhaps some counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy will help you get there if you are very unhappy. Constantly remind yourself that saggy skin won’t kill you. Being overweight will.
Constantly remind yourself also that only you and whoever else you choose will see your body. This sounds like common sense but actually, a lot of people who have excess skin “think” that everyone else can see what they look like under their clothes. With clever undies and good style choices, 99.999% of people will have no clue that you have a body you are not happy with.
For some, surgery is the only thing that will help them accept themselves. That’s ok.
You can help your skin regain it’s elasticity as much as possible as you lose the weight by drinking plenty of water, using plenty of moisturiser and taking bovine collagen tablets.
You could also read up on Autophagy and Fasting. Jason Fung is the guru in this area. He says that when you fast, your body is forced to process old cells and regenerate new ones and can literally shrink “old” skin. If you’re excited to know more, here is a video which explains it, although this one is not by Jason Fung.
I know, I know. It goes against everything that we have been told for all our lives! But bear with me then make up your own mind!
Have you noticed that when you eat breakfast, you seem to be hungry all day? Have you noticed that if you ignore breakfast, you can go for quite a while before you need any food and often its habit or your head that makes you eat, not hunger?
Glucagon has one purpose in life. To get into those thick yellow globules of fat under your skin and to break them down to extract the tiny bit of glucose stored inside there! Surely that’s what every overweight person wants?
So here are a few tips on how to get glucagon going;