Why am I still fat?
I have been putting off writing this post for ages as I feel that there is still more that I need to know before I can properly explain this to others. But the info that I do currently have could be enough to assist someone else to get the help they need . Why am I still fat? This is the question I have asked myself for years and what sent me on a quest for answers. I have for a very long time felt that something was “off”. How could I be exercising 5 times a week, plus following a fairly strict LCHF diet and not be able to lose the rest of my weight (about 15 kilograms). Even when I cut out dairy, alcohol, caffeine and nuts – nothing significant happens. When I restrict my calories – nothing significant happens. I have tried fasting which also didn’t help. Basically I have tried EVERYTHING. How is it possible that I have all the knowledge to coach others towards their weight loss goals but I can’t fix myself?
For me weight loss has become next to impossible. Despite previous success with losing weight on LCHF, over the past 2 years I have lost and re-gained the same 3 to 4 kilograms many times over. Looking back now I believe it was most likely water weight which fluctuated depending on my carb levels at the time. The word “frustrated” doesn’t even begin to describe how I am feeling. I deny myself so much yet still can’t attain my goals. Like I have said so many times before, information is power so I kept researching to try and find out what might be causing this severe weight loss resistance. Giving up has never been an option as it leads nowhere, and I am the kind of girl who likes to be going somewhere, even if the journey is long and arduous.
To keep a very long story short, I have recently been diagnosed as hypothyroid. This means that my thyroid is under active. I also have adrenal fatigue issues , borderline insulin resistance (it used to be worse) as well as oestrogen dominance and low testosterone. What this means is that my metabolism is not performing as it should and my hormones are out of whack and this is the reason why I struggle to lose weight despite my best efforts.
My breakthrough came when I went to see a friend who has a SCIO machine. This biofeedback machine picked up an issue with my thyroid. At the time I said to her, “but I have had my thyroid tested a few times and my results have always been normal”. She suggested that I go and see a hormone specialist and she was able to refer me to the functional medicine doctor that eventually gave me the diagnosis.
A functional medicine doctor treats the person holistically. They know that the body is like an intricate spider web. If you pull on one of the strands, it affects the tension and functioning of all the others. They will spend time with you, listen to what symptoms you are experiencing, take your full medical history, and request the right diagnostic tests. Most importantly when interpreting your results they will look whether your results fall in the optimal range and not just the very broad “normal” range. To be honest I feel a little let down by conventional medicine, that is why I feel so strongly about sharing my story.
The game changer for me was getting a comprehensive thyroid panel done. This included TSH, free T4, free T3, thyroid anti-bodies as well as reverse T3. So while my results fell in the “normal range” they were far from optimal and my reverse T3 levels were high. High reverseT3 indicates a thyroid problem at the cellular level and this impacts your metabolism by slowing it down. Another thing to look for is the ratio between freeT3 and reverseT3. This can also indicate a problem if your reverseT3 is high in relation to freeT3.
This is a complex issue so I have included some links below which can provide more information on this topic.
So what now? I feel that getting the correct diagnosis is a huge step in the right direction. My issues aren’t going to be easy to resolve since there are a number of them – all interrelated though. Plan A is to take natural supplements and bio-identical hormones targeted at supporting my thyroid, adrenals, sex hormone functioning and insulin resistance. If that doesn’t do the trick my doctor has reassured me that she has a plan B, C, D, E and F – basically she won’t give up on me. For the first time I feel like I have someone in my corner. It comes as a huge relief as my journey has been a lonely one – not to mention how bruised my head feels from hitting all those brick walls!
Remember, a body that is optimally healthy is not overweight. If you cannot lose weight, despite working really hard at it, it may be time for you to dig a little deeper and get the right kind of help. I am glad I did.
I have just finished reading Dr Amy Myers’s new book called The Thyroid Connection. It was excellent and I can highly recommend it if you know or suspect that you have a thyroid issue. It will definitely empower you to ask the right questions of your doctor. If they don’t like your line of questioning – find a new doctor.
Although I haven’t used this website it may be helpful for you to find a functional medicine doctor in your area.
Posted on October 30, 2016, in Primal 101 and tagged difficulty losing weight, hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, oestrogen dominance, reverseT3, thyroid issue, weight loss resistance. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.