Saturday, May 6, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {5}

Today is the fifth Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


  1. My weight is down another 2 lbs.!  I am so excited that my weight loss continues, though I have had a bit of a hiccup recently with yo-yoing.  It started when I was put on an antibiotic for a sinus infection that has left me with water retention and constipation issues.  It is getting better slowly - more slowly than I'd like.  I also have been struggling with eating right since the antibiotic (it left me incredibly nauseated unless I had something on my stomach at all times, so that definitely didn't help me any).  Again, I'm making improvements slowly, but it is definitely a frustration.  Hopefully I will get a firm handle on it soon, and will have another weight loss to report next month, too. :)
              
  2. The weather is better mostly, so I've been able to get out more.  You will notice that I definitely have more tone going on.  This is because I've been able to walk more.  It is so nice to be able to get outside!  I find that a good walk revitalizes me.  I've missed it a lot.  I've also kept busy with housework, and spring/summer cleaning has begun, so these are all good things to keep me active!
     
  3. I have to stay on top of my diet and exercise.  As I mentioned earlier, my diet has been off track, and I've paid the price.  It's no fun at all.  Losing weight is not a steady process for me.  It always yo-yos at least a little bit, especially when I get more active as muscle tone builds.  It can be easy to get discouraged, but I am determined to do what is right for my health, and it is paying off, even when there are hiccups.  I have to keep reminding myself that good health and proper body weight is worth taking the time to make the good-for-me meal vs. the easy, frozen, full of junk meal.  I also have to fight eating when I'm having a rough day.  I am an emotional eater, and that's not a good thing.  I am trying to form the habit of having a cup of herbal tea when I'm having a rough time vs. eating a piece of chocolate (ok - a whole bar of chocolate), and it is slowly forming and definitely helping.  Hopefully I won't lose sight of my goal.  Time will tell!
         
  4. I've made some changes with my supplements, and am still dealing with some more minor health/physical issues.  I decided to try going off all of my supplements except for my probiotic.  It was not a decision I made lightly by any means, but one I decided on based on improvements in my diet.  I am doing well so far, but may end up having to add back in the flaxseed oil at some point, and possibly the tumeric or B vitamins.  We'll see.  For now, I haven't noticed any major changes in my health to indicate that I need any of them back.  We'll see what my doctor says when I see him for my physical in July or August.

    As you may have noticed, I got new glasses.  My vision has actually improved.  My eye doctor could not find the cause of my vision blurriness that occurs sporadically, but did encourage me to keep looking into it.  I mentioned my hearing issue to her (my right ear still does not hear correctly), and she did say that my vision issue could be related, and thought an ENT would be a good next step.  The only question now is if I should wait until July or August when I see my regular doctor or if I try to get in sooner.  I'll keep you posted, but I will probably see about getting in earlier.

    We've still not been back to the chiropractor yet, but we hope to do that soon.  The walking and stretching that my chiropractor recommended months ago does help, though.  That's a blessing for sure!

    Also, I want to thank all of you who have kept me and my family in your prayers.  It means so much, and I don't know where we'd be without them.   Keep them coming! :)

  5. My boys are officially done with their homeschool year (my daughter has another month and a half nearly), and I'm hoping to get updates done to the blogs soon!  I am hoping to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Free that will go live in the future starting very soon.  I am also mulling about some ideas for here in addition to Monthly Milestones.  We'll see how much I get accomplished.  I've got a lot planned for around the house, too, so I may have too much ambition and not enough ability.  At any rate, we'll see what happens! :) 

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Do Most Doctors REALLY Practice Preventative Medicine and Search For The Cause Of What Ails Us?

Image courtesy of Getideaka at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is a post I've been thinking about for awhile, and have stopped and started a few times.  I know it's going to be controversial.  I know some people are going to disagree or maybe even be outraged.  Before you judge, though, please just hear me out.  The point of this post is not to bash our medical community (I have friends that are doctors and nurses and they are wonderful people), but to inform and to make you think and give you questions to go to your doctor with.  Keeping that in mind, I hope you read this with an open mind.  Thank you!

Do most doctors really practice preventative medicine and search for the cause of what ails us?  
This is a hard question to answer.  I truly believe that most think they do.  I think they mean to.  I think they do the best they can for their patients.  I think that most want to help and take their Hippocratic Oath seriously.  

However, despite their best intentions, I think I have to be honest and say that most doctors do not practice preventative medicine or search for the cause of what ails us.

How can I say that?  Well, let's think about this for a minute.  If you go to your doctor for a well check, what do they do?  They ask you how you're feeling, order some standard blood work, listen to complaints or lack there of and do a physical.  This is great!  They seem to be covering all the basics, right?  Yep.  It seems like they are doing all the right things.  I would say, according to their training, this is preventative medicine and seeking out the cause of what ails you (if you had any complaints).

But is it really?

I mean, they are doing the bare minimum here because that's all they are required to do at this point.  They will look over test results, they will look for abnormalities, they will adjust tests according to what your complaints are, and this seems good enough, but is it?  I mean, they are doing all the standard things, but is doing what is standard all they can do?

My answer to this question?  No.

Now here's the kicker:
Should they do more than standard?
My opinion?  Yes.
Insurance opinion?  No.
Doctor's opinion?  Varies from doctor to doctor.
Your opinion?  Only you know the answer that.

Let's discuss a few true-to-my-life scenarios here to look a bit deeper into this debate.

Real Life Scenario #1:
When I was around 14 years old, I was plagued with sickness for about 4 months or so.  I would run fevers, have severe stomach aches/pain and a whole host of other symptoms.  Every time I went to the doctor's office, they were sure that I had appendicitis, so they'd do blood work.  Because my white blood cell count was only elevated and not high like they normally see in appendicitis, they ruled it out.  I did several specialized and horrible tests.  I had tons of blood work.  I saw at least 6 different doctors.  Every last one initially thought appendicitis until they did their tests.  I was ruled essentially a medical mystery because the diagnosis they expected based on symptoms didn't match up with the test results.

At the end of the 4 months, they were talking about doing a spinal tap to rule out leukemia, a colonoscopy to see if there was something there, and they were even talking about doing some tests to rule out a type of lead poisoning.  My mother begged, and I do mean begged, the doctor to do an exploratory surgery to check my appendix, ovaries, uterus, etc. before putting me through all those medical procedures.  The doctor agreed that he had done enough in the insurance's mind to warrant such a procedure (let that statement sink in), and agreed to do it.  He also agreed to remove my appendix regardless of what else he found.

During the surgery, the doctor saw nothing out of the ordinary.  My appendix was a little longer than normal, but looked fine.  He removed it anyway, resolving to do a biopsy on it just to be 100% certain it was fine, and then checked out everything else.  My ovaries were a little enlarged, but nothing that couldn't be explained by normal female cycle things.  Finding nothing amiss, he stitched me up fully resigned to having removed my appendix in vain and having to tell me that we'd have to do all those not-so-fun tests after I'd healed up enough to do them.  He did not enjoy telling us this, and we understood, but deep in my heart and deep in my mom's heart, we knew that the appendix had truly been the problem and were convinced that the biopsy on the appendix would prove that.

Later that day, after the biopsy came back, the doctor came back shaking his head in surprise.  He said, "I can't believe it.  Your appendix was full of infection.  You indeed did have acute appendicitis.  It looked so normal, I would never have guessed it was infected.  I'm glad we removed it when we did."

After that surgery, all my symptoms went away, and I was healthy again.

The moral of this story:  All the doctors thought it was my appendix that was making me sick.  Because the procedures and the blood work that insurance - INSURANCE,  not the doctors - insisted the doctors rely on above symptoms and presentation were inconclusive, I could not get the surgery I needed.  The INSURANCE (a very good one, I might add), insisted on more and more and more tests until we had done enough testing to justify an exploratory surgery and warrant the removal of the appendix without the tests being definitive.  Though the doctors believed I was sick, knew I wasn't lying, knew that everything was pointing to my appendix being the issue, the INSURANCE dictated what they could and couldn't do.  THAT is a scary thing right there.

Only a doctor should be able to make decisions about your health and wellness, and that their hands are tied is terrifying.  

This alone proves my point that most doctors don't practice preventative medicine or search for the cause of what ails us, NOT because they don't WANT to but because they CAN'T.  They have to jump through hoops, too, and that's just ridiculous.

Real Life Scenario #2:
My recent experience with chiropractic care has been a real eye-opener to me.  I had weakness in my limbs, inability to move, and other symptoms that mimicked MS.  Now, I'm going to be careful here and say that I still don't have a diagnosis, but chiropractic care has helped a majority of my symptoms.

Do you know why I went to a chiropractor?  Because the only thing that looked off on my MRIs was the alignment/condition of my spine.  My other doctors were dismissing the issues with my spine as "normal aging", and really didn't think a chiropractor would help, but told me I was welcome to try it.  I thought that their reasoning was odd, and decided that I would indeed give chiropractic a try.  I never imagined the difference it would make.  I trusted my gut and pushed for healing by finding a good chiropractor that practiced holistic medicine, and it made a huge difference!

How many time do we ignore our instincts to check further into things simply because a doctor has told us (s)he can't see how such a small thing could make such a big difference?
How many times are we told not to worry about something being just a little off because it could be "perfectly normal"?  Here's what I think about that: If something is off and it isn't sitting right with you, especially if you feel poorly and there is even the slightest chance that that small thing could be the cause, look into it further!  You never know - you could find the cure is closer than you think!

Real Life Scenario #3:
I've talked about this before here, but people have cured or managed illnesses with diet and life style changes.  I've been able to help keep my Fibromyalgia at bay by following my rules with food, exercise, environment, etc.  I know other people who have done so, too, and even cured themselves.  THAT is telling.

IF people have been able to cure themselves of Fibromyalgia, Autism, Epilepsy, etc., HOW can a doctor or group of doctor's say that it is impossible to do so in every case?
HOW can they say you can only treat the symptoms?  HOW can they say they can't know what triggered it?  HOW can they say you will never get better?  How can they say those things when there is so much evidence to the contrary?

They call it practicing medicine because things are constantly changing and evolving in the medical world.  There are new studies, new findings and new advancements nearly daily.  Unfortunately, there is big money in medicine.  There is big money in testing.  There is big money in anything medical...Except for healing.  If you are well, then there is no need for doctors or medicine.

Is it the doctors that are keeping us from healing?
In some cases, yes, in others, no.  I think most truly strive for full health of their patients.  I think they try to work themselves out of a job.  Unfortunately, most are trained to do the bare minimum and only search further into something if the basic tests are truly abnormal.  If they are on the fence or you have the symptoms and the tests don't support the hunch the doctor has EVEN IF NOTHING ELSE FITS THE SYMPTOMS or don't fit them as well as the hunch, they don't pursue it further UNLESS YOU INSIST, and even then only if you have a good doctor.  Why is this?  Because they are afraid of being sued or the insurance says they can't unless they do thus and so first.

Now, let's think of this:
What would happen if insurance wasn't involved?

What if doctors were allowed to do the tests they truly deemed necessary knowing that the insurance would back it because they'd trust the doctor to do tests for the right reasons?

What if there were more doctors out there who looked into the way food effects the body?

What if they realized that GMOs and additives affect everyone negatively, at least a little bit, and that processed foods and artificially ingredients are what are making us sick and fat?

What if they instructed us to keep food diaries and monitor our symptoms and see if we could find parallels?

What if they were allowed to practice truly preventative medicine?

What if they were allowed to follow their gut instead of wait on insurance red tape?

What if, when doctors suspected say a thyroid issue, they were allowed to do all of the blood work associated with the thyroid, not just the "gold standard" of TSH?  If this had been the case with me, my Hashimoto's would've been discovered when I was a child, if not a baby, not when I was 15, and certainly it would've been treated well before I turned 30.  Imagine the difference in my life had that been the case - more focus, less weight issues, and who knows what all else.

What if doctors would screen children for the genetics that show a child is more prone to Autism if they have certain vaccination BEFORE they gave them the vaccinations?  
What if they could go to the parents and say, "Your child has this and that gene that makes them more prone to vaccine injury if they have this vaccine.  Do you want them to have it?"  How many less cases of autism would there be?  

What if doctors would check children for food sensitivities as well as food allergies?
What if they had a parent keep a record of everything that happened when a child was given wheat?  What if they told them to not only look for rash or anaphylaxis, but also for changes in behavior or tummy aches or pain?  How many less issues would we have with Celiac's disease?

What if doctors trained patients to see the advantages of eating as unprocessed as possible?
What if pressure was put on the food industry to use non-GMO ingredients and to go more natural and get rid of chemicals and additives that are proven to cause health issues?  What if the pressure was put on the manufacturers to change instead of leaving the doctors to fix the damage that could have easily been prevented if people had just known the truth about how the alterations in our food supply can affect and has affected us?

What if the FDA stopped thinking that they had the right to dictate to the world that certain food derivatives are "safe" for those with allergies (like soybean oil or soy lecithin being "safe" in the case of a soy allergy), so companies couldn't lump those "safe" things under "natural flavors" or skip placing them on an allergen label?
What if the FDA stopped having the right to say that things were "safe" up to so many millionths of a percent, so companies were forced to list all ingredients used no matter how small the amount instead?  What if the FDA stopped saying anything artificial or chemical was "safe for human consumption"?

What if companies had to list the truth?
What if they had to say that yes, their food contained ____ , even if it was minute?  How many deaths could be prevented?  How many companies would change?  How much better off would we be?

When did we decide that a cooperation, a business, had the right to dictate what is right for us or good for our health?
When did we decide that we would stop thinking for ourselves?  When did we decide that life was less important than the almighty dollar?

Makes you think, doesn't it?

You see, it's not that doctors don't MEAN to practice preventative medicine or that they don't want to search for the cause of what ails us.  They mean to.  They try to.

The problem is that their hands are tied just as much as ours are.

Whether it be by choice, tradition or bureaucratic red tape, doctors are limited in the ways they can treat patients when it comes to preventative care.

So, what's the solution?

Educate yourself.

Research the benefits of finding out how food affects you, and consider keeping a food diary.

Research the benefits of exercise, and what types are most beneficial to you and your current situation.

Research everything.

Once you've done that, find a doctor you can trust, talk to and who is not closed minded.  After that, work with anyone trying to change the shift in power from business to the individual in terms of health.  Write letters.  Sign petitions.  Get your voice heard.

Together we can change the future.

Think about the world you want your kids to grow up in or even your grandkids.  Think of all the diseases, autoimmune disorders, allergies, etc. that are in the world today that weren't here just 30 years ago.  You can look back and tell yourself that those things were always here, we just didn't know, and you would be partially correct.

However, most cases of illness or chronic conditions, or maybe even all of them, are completely preventable or curable if we were to change our diets and dig deeper into our medical pasts and genetics.

How many times do we hear of "miracle diets"?  How many times do we hear amazing stories of healing?  They are all over the place.  I've shared some here.  

You say, though, "But that diet or those things didn't work for me."  Here's why: our bodies are individual.

NOTHING is universal - not treatments, not diets, not lifestyles.

You have to figure out what helps YOU.  We are unique.  Yes, some things are good for everyone and will help, like avoiding GMOs or highly processed foods and artificial ingredients, but some of us can have milk and others can't.  Some things are deadly for you and not for me.  Some people can't eat meat, others can.  Do you see what I mean?

The medical community needs to stop putting us inside a box.  No two people are the same.  I do think that tests need ranges of normal and abnormal, BUT if all the symptoms point to one thing and the tests are inconclusive, those tests should NOT be the determining factor on whether you get treatment or not 100% of the time.  If my doctor had not had the wisdom to think outside the box when I was a teenager, I'd be dead from a burst appendix.

Also, just because a doctor has success in treating a symptom does not mean (s)he should stop looking for the cause.  The patient should be saying, "Something caused my body to be out of align, to have this symptom, so help me find out what it is."

Knowing the cause leads to the cure.

We need to stop being content to treat symptoms or dealing with health issues as they arise.  We need to start looking into causes of illness more and into keeping our bodies at 100%, not being content if they are running at 90% - any missing percentage in performance should be a cause for concern, and can point to something much more sinister if left alone long enough.  The Domino Effect is very much a real thing in the scope of our well-being.

Anyway, I know this has been a long post, so I'll end with this:

Because doctors cannot normally practice preventative medicine like they would like to due to insurance red tape, it is up to us to be our own advocates.

We have to ask questions, demand answers, keep food diaries, note changes in how we feel, insist on being seen when we know something just isn't right, etc.  It is your health - your life - and you have the right to insist that your body be performing at 100% whenever possible or to figure out why it isn't.  This doesn't mean that you have to pay for things out of pocket as far as testing goes necessarily, but it does mean that you will have to do your research to see what can be done testing-wise and/or to see if there is a natural alternative that may help (i.e. diet change, lifestyle change, exercise change, chiropractic).  You will often find that there are more choices than just "treat the symptoms".  You may just find a cure if you push hard enough to find the cause and don't just settle for close enough.

If you need any assistance on learning to become your own health advocate, I am more than willing to help.  Just send me an email, and we'll work towards bettering your health together.



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {4}

Today is the fourth Monthly Milestones of 2017 (posted a week early because I will be on vacation next weekend and unable to post then).  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


  1. My weight is down another 3 lbs.!  I am so excited that my weight loss continues.  I've not been down to 210.5 lbs. or less in about 6 years, and I'm down about 20 lbs. since Thanksgiving.  Being aware of portion sizes, drinking enough water, avoiding sugar and caffeine, avoiding junk, and being active have paid off!  My biggest goal is to be down under 200 lbs. for my birthday in June, so here's hoping I can do that and beyond! :D
              
  2. The weather is thinking about getting warmer, but it's also been rainy and windy.  I like to identify spring in Michigan as having an identity crisis.  It can be almost summertime warm or wintertime cold, and all within 24 hours.  It can go from rain to snow to sleet to any other choice of precipitation within hours, too.  We are dealing with rain and rain/snow mixes right now, but the weather is warming up a bit more.  The wind still has it's days of being insane, but that, too, is dying down a bit.  As I can, however, I get outside and walk.  My other source of activity is spring cleaning.  It keeps me busy, and that's not a bad thing! :)
     
  3. I have to stay on top of my diet and exercise.  It is so easy to get off track when I am losing weight, and it is mainly because I feel like I can cheat a little and it's ok.  It's not.  It really messes with my gut, my health, my sleep - everything.  I do find that I do better if I allow myself a treat per day that is not completely horrible than when I deny myself all together.  It keeps me from overdoing later.  I'm glad to have figured that out.  I think it has spared me from going off the deep end too much.  It's hard to find the right balance - it's taken years for me - but it is so great once you find it!  It makes life enjoyable, and eating, too.  It doesn't feel like you're sacrificing too much, and that's the only way you stick with anything, I'm finding.  If it feels like a chore, you're less likely to continue doing it.
         
  4. I'd dealing with some cramping in my legs and some vision/hearing issues off and on along with some viral/seasonal allergy things, but otherwise, I'm doing well.  I'm not sure what the source of the cramping is, but it may be in part due to the higher level of activity.  I'm sure that part of it is dietary, but I haven't quite figured out the source yet.  I'm sure I'm lacking a vitamin or mineral somewhere.  It's probably potassium, so I'll have to work at trying to get more of that in my diet.

    The vision and hearing issues are what they have been for the last several months.  I have an eye doctor's appointment next month, so I will talk with my eye doctor about that when I see her.  I will see my regular doctor later this summer, and will talk with him about the hearing again, and he may refer me to an ENT.  We'll see.

    Viruses and seasonal allergies have been just horrendous since fall.  I guess it's the right combo of weather conditions to make all those things thrive.  I am grateful I've been able to avoid the doctor for myself, and that any viruses have been short-lived.  It's amazing how eating better and being active help with those things!

    We've not been back to the chiropractor yet, but we hope to do that soon.  The walking and stretching that my chiropractor recommended months ago does help, though.  That's a blessing for sure!

    Also, I want to thank all of you who have kept me and my family in your prayers.  It means so much.  Without your prayers, I don't know where I'd be, and I know those prayers have lead me to answers I wouldn't have found any other way.  Thank you so much!  Keep them coming! :)

  5. It's Spring Break for the next week, and I hope to be able to work on the blogs a bit.  I am hoping to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Free that will go live in the future (probably one per month starting in  April and going at least a few months out).  I am not sure what I will be able to post here, but I will at least do Monthly Milestones.  We'll see how much I get accomplished.  I've got a lot planned for around the house, too, so I may have too much ambition and not enough ability.  At any rate, we'll see what happens! :) 

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {3}

Today is the third Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


  1. My weight is down another 6.5 lbs.!  I am beyond excited about this!  I have not been down to 213.5 lbs. in nearly 6 (Yes - SIX) years!  It seems my hard work of trying to stay active and eat right is paying off.  And, just a side note, I really started losing steadily after I gave up coffee, and I drank it black.  That is definitely something noteworthy.  If you are struggling to lose weight and drink coffee, maybe consider giving it up.  I drank 1 to 2 cups of regular coffee a day and then decaf (if that), so I didn't really drink much.  I even struggled with weight loss when I drank only decaf.  I would have never dreamed that it made a difference in my weight, but it seems it did!  Anyway, something to keep in mind for sure!
              
  2. Winter is having a hard time letting go.  We've had a lot of ups and downs in our weather.  It goes from cold, snowy and blowy to warm, rainy and windy.  The wind has been the worst part of it, and it makes it very hard to be outside for too long.  At least more sun is coming out now, and temperatures are starting to be higher vs. lower, so I'm hoping to start getting some regular walking in more often very soon.  For now, I stick with housework for my main exercise, and I've started putting the clothes away an item at a time as I fold them.  It's what works. :)
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still basically habit.  Sugar and I are not friends, though I find that I do better in my daily eating choices if I allow myself a daily treat of sorts.  Generally it is 1 serving of something "bad" like a cookie or the like (and I am picky on the type, because I can't tolerate a lot of these options, so generally this is a homemade goodie or a limited ingredient/less processed ingredient one).  This keeps me from overdoing the sugar for now, but I am finding that I crave lots of sugar/processed foods less and less.  This is good!  I am also finding that the foods I shouldn't eat make me a lot sicker than they used to, so I avoid them a bit easier (soy is the worst).  It's amazing to me how when you eat better more regularly, the junk just doesn't taste good.  I am very happy about that! :)  Keeping track of what I eat and being honest about what I eat and the portion sizes helps a lot, too!
        
  4. My health is still basically stable, though I do have issues with weakness and other issues off and on.  I have not had any major weakness for a few months, but every now and again I will have some slight weakness/heaviness in my legs, especially my left leg, and I have had some real issues with my back at times that require me to do a lot of stretching to correct (and that sometimes takes days). I still have hearing issues in my right ear most of the time, and sometimes my vision will be off.  I also am dealing with insomnia now and then which is generally helped by drinking some chamomile tea, but not always.  I think the brain fog/emotion issues I mentioned last month are better, but not completely gone (I'll continue to monitor that, and report all these things to my doctor the next I see him).  Overall, I would say I'm doing well, though the weather fluctuation have caused some drainage issues (and I have a tea that helps with that, too, so that's a plus).  We're hoping to be able to get back to the chiropractor sometime this month or next, too, so hopefully that will help with the intermittent issues at least. 

    Also, thank you to all who continue to pray for us.  It's hard not having any real answers when it comes to my health issues, but knowing you are all praying and that God is there means more than you know!  Thank you!    
        
  5. I have not been able to post as much as I would like on my blogs, and I'm not sure when that will change.  I want to post at least monthly to this blog and Natural and Free, but have not been able to, though I have been able to do some more on Natural and Free (I just did a review on some amazing chocolate for one company, and hope to have a review on some wonderful natural skin care products this coming week).  Other than that, Monthly Milestones is about all I've had time for.  Things are still crazy busy, but I'm hoping that they slow down in April enough for me to get more to a regular schedule.  We shall see!

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {2}

Today is the second Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:



  1. My weight is down another 3.5 lbs.!  I couldn't be more excited to share another weight loss with you all!  I have not been down to 220 lbs. in 4 years!  Yes, FOUR years!  I am working very hard to stay active enough to keep myself healthy, but not overdo it, and at eating right (low sugar, but also low grain most of the time).  It is paying off, and hopefully I will have more weight loss to share with you next month.  Keeping track of what I eat and my physical activity helps keep me honest, too.
           
  2. Winter has not been kind.  We have had a very vicious winter this year, mainly in the wind department (though sometimes there has been quite a bit of snow and cold to deal with, too), and it has made it very difficult to do any outside activity (other than shoveling).  Though I have not been able to get outside much, I am still consciously making the effort to move via housework more than anything.  I walk my daughter to school and get out when I can, too.  I also am continuing to keep track of my physical activity on my phone (as I mentioned above), and I know that helps, too.  I suppose having to shovel snow is a mixed blessing, too. :D
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are now basically habit.  I still haven't gone completely herbal with my tea choices (I am thinking that may be a few months in coming yet), but I still do not drink regular coffee, and I only drink decaf on very rare occasions (less than once a week, normally less than once a month).  I do limit my non-herbal tea choices to once a day (read that as one tea bag in the morning), and then drink herbal later if I want something warm.  Otherwise, I basically just drink water, and I drink 9+ cups of water per day (another thing I keep track of on my phone).  These choices, along with eating and exercise choices, are mainly habit now, so I find that a good thing!
        
  4. My health is still basically stable, though I do have issues with weakness and other issues off and on.  I have not had any major weakness since last month, but every now and again I will have some slight weakness/heaviness in my legs, especially my left leg. I still have hearing issues in my right ear most of the time, and sometimes my vision will be off.  Overall, I would say I'm doing well, though I have dealt with viral illnesses quite a bit recently.  We're hoping to be able to get back to the chiropractor in March or April, so hopefully that will help with the intermittent issues at least. 

    Every now and then I seem to have more issues with brain fog, headache, and even emotional highs and lows.  Some of this I can definitely link to diet (especially when I have certain types of chocolate or too much of it, or eat something with a lot of preservatives or soy), but other times it is harder to determine.  It is something I am keeping track of and will discuss with my doctor the next time I see him.  It could be linked to my thyroid or any number of things.  We shall see.
     
    Also, thank you to all who continue to pray for us.  It's hard not having any real answers when it comes to my health issues, but knowing you are all praying and that God is there means more than you know!  Thank you!    
        
  5. I have not been able to post as much as I would like on my blogs, and I'm not sure when I'll be able to post more often yet.  I am truly trying to post at least monthly to this blog and Natural and Free, but it has not happened.  I have been overloaded with a very busy schedule, trying to keep up with homeschooling schedules, trying to keep up with the snow shoveling (some days this is a multiple times a day thing!), illness, etc., and blogging has had to take a backseat.  I have been doing updates here and there, but no posts other than Monthly Milestones for now.  I do have some other ideas and material, just no time to share it all just yet.  I may not get the time until spring, but I will keep trying before then.  We shall see!

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {1}

Today is the first Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


  1. My weight is down 3.5 lbs. to start off the new year!  I am thrilled to be at the lowest weight I've been at in years (223.5 lbs.), and I hope it is only the beginning.  I think I've finally found the key to weight loss with me (plenty of water, more proteins, very little carbs/sugar, and at least some physical activity daily), and I am so glad.  It took me a long time, but I am finally seem to be on the right track now, so I'm praying it continues.  We shall see!
           
  2. The weather has been horrible, so it has been harder to be more active in some ways.  I can't walk as much as I'd like, but there is snow shoveling in abundance right now, so that is helping keep me active (though I can't do a ton of that without overdoing it).  I still am consciously making the effort to move.  I still keep track of my physical activity on my phone, and I know that helps, too.
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  I still haven't gone completely herbal with my tea choices, but I still do no coffee, though I drink decaf on very rare occasions.  I am even finding that I drink less tea, and even more water, so that's a plus, too.  I am still working on 9+ cups of water per day, and doing well.  I also am keeping track of my dietary choices on my phone to help keep me honest.  I hope to not have to use it forever, but until things become habit, they are a nice help.  So far, so good!
     
  4. My health is mainly stable, but I did have some issues with weakness again.  About 3 weeks ago, I started having Restless Legs again at night, which I knew meant that I was getting ready to go into a bout of weakness, and I did.  Last week, I had about a 24 hour episode of weakness that was mainly my left leg, but also all of my other limbs.  It was very discouraging, but it could have been much worse.  I still have vision and hearing issues, too, which sometimes get really bad and, other times, are next to normal.  The chiropractic stretches I do help a lot, but they aren't the same as chiropractic care.  I am hoping to be able to go back soon, but that depends on finances and weather (we've had near blizzard weather off an on since Thanksgiving).  For now, I will just do my best to do enough exercise to keep limber and mobile, but not so much that I overdo and have issues.  It's a hard balance to find, but I think I will learn it well in time. :)
     
    Also, thank you to all who continue to pray for us.  It's hard not having any answers when it comes to my health issues, but knowing you are all praying and that God is there means more than you know!  Thank you!
         
  5.  I look forward to what 2017 holds!  New years always feel like new beginnings and fresh starts.  I am optimistic about the year to come, and look forward to see what it has in store.  2016 was rough for so many reasons, and 2017 may be, too, but there are always bright spots in any storm, and I know that there are at least those to look forward to. :)  We shall see what is to come!
      
  6. I am hoping to post more on both blogs sooner than later! I've not been able to post quite as much as I'd like, but I'm still trying to post monthly (if not more often) to this blog and Natural and Free.  I have some ideas and material, just no time to update and post just yet.  Hopefully I'll get the time to do that soon.  We'll see! :)

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)