• My Health Story

January 08, 2020

I guess I will never forget the fitness trainer who fired me from his list of clients years ago, saying his services weren’t helping me. As we looked in the mirror together at my overweight body, he said, “That’s not you, Merrie.”

I’d say that was one of the lowest points in my “wellness journey” - to have my trainer fire me. Who ever heard of that?! I’m still mad and bitter and hurt. He told me that if I didn’t lose the weight, my body would start breaking down. I actually believed him, but I didn’t do the work with my nutrition at the time. I learned exercise alone was not going to fix me.

Over the past couple of decades I have been raising kids, totally focusing on what they need, and not especially what I needed. Big mistake. I kept thinking, “I’ll think about myself when they go to college and I’m not so busy.” Their needs came before my needs, as with so many mothers in the world.

Well, now our youngest is almost on his way to college, and I’m not as busy, but just as the trainer predicted, I have developed some health issues. I broke my right shoulder in three places a couple years ago from just losing my balance and avoiding falling on our dog. The doctor did surgery on it and attached a plate with eight screws. Huge recovery time of 1 1/2 years of physical therapy, and I have never been the same since. Tests showed my silly fall was so detrimental because it turns out I have osteopenia, the pre-cursor to full blown osteoporosis. Bones affected by osteoporosis have lower density or strength, leaving them fragile and more likely to fracture.

Major surgery really does a number to your whole body, so I have felt out of whack for a while. My right knee is super weak and acts up from time to time. Not to mention my right foot that gives me pain off and on. I am getting an MRI for possible bone spurs in my foot.

Obesity may or may not be a cause of osteoporosis. There has been a study leading to that thought. But excess weight puts added pressure on your feet and can cause your cartilage to break down faster, leading to a bone spur.

Well all of that is speculation, but it does appear that weight probably has had a factor in my current issues. My daughter, who doesn’t mince words announced over the holidays that the biggest thing she had learned from me is that she needs to take care of herself. And it wasn’t a compliment!

Well, rewinding to a few years ago, I have a long-time friend who had researched a lot on how what we eat affects our long-term health in a big way. She had been learning a lot about plant-based eating and how it reduces inflammation, eliminates disease in some cases and increases life span, not to mention making you feel 100% better from weight loss and eating the right foods.

I began to research and listen to YouTube videos of doctors like John McDougall, M.D., Alan Goldhamer, M.D. and Doug Lisle, M.D., all associated with TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rose, Calif. It became apparent that more and more studies are becoming published in regards to the elimination of gastrointestinal issues and all kinds of disease due to plant-based eating and fasting.

A few years ago, when I was having gastrointestinal issues, I had a huge panel of blood tests performed and found out I was sensitive, not allergic to gluten and dairy. It was a huge aha! moment for me, and I cut those things out of my diet for six months, losing pounds and eliminating my gastrointestinal issues and the bloated feeling I had become accustomed to. The wholistic doctor I was seeing said I could gradually add those foods back into my diet, but on a really restricted level, so as not to cause more issues.

Now, since my shoulder surgery, I have gained some weight again, as I told myself I just had to get through my physical therapy before I dealt with my weight gain. It was really a lot for me, and honestly, I couldn’t think about all of it at once.

Well, I’m done with physical therapy on my shoulder and it’s time to get my health back! It was just a fluke that I saw a friend of mine posting on social media about her weight loss using FASTer Way to Fat Loss (FWFL). Her posts have been inspiring me. She posts when she’s walking or right after a work out. I love listening to her honest stories and progress.

This friend, Deb, who is now a coach for FWFL, has lost a lot of weight, looks and feels great and has maintained for a year and a half. The program concentrates on whole foods, a lot of plant-based but also with protein added, fasting 16 hours and eating in a window of 8 hours, and exercise throughout the week.

When I commented on her story, “You are so inspiring! Can you rub off a little on me?!” she said, “I would love to have you join my team!” Ha! Ha! Uh, that’s not quite what I meant, but the more I looked into the program, the more it seemed like “just what the doctor ordered.”

I have come full circle. I have been through a period of life when I didn’t concentrate on myself which caused problems I am dealing with now. I have learned what my body is sensitive to and what kinds of foods are going to heal my inflammation (bloating) and other health issues.

Now, I am so thrilled to have stumbled onto this “structure” that provides me with everything I need - nutrition, fasting and exercise! Thankfully, there is a Facebook group that I check in with daily and a weekly check-in meeting with Deb.

I believe there are no coincidences in life. God puts us on a path, and if we listen well enough, we will get the help we need!

Thank you to all of you for listening to my saga! I just thought I needed to share my story a bit with you as I continue my wellness journey with FASTer Way to Fat Loss program. I will share how it’s going - the good and the bad. You all will keep me accountable just by being there. I will be talking more in upcoming posts about the benefits of fasting, whole foods and just getting moving in some way.

2020 really does have a good ring to it. I believe it’s going to be a great year for a lot of good things to happen. So glad you are going to be with me along the way.

My friend and coach is amazing! To hear more contact: Deb Schneider, @debjschneider

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