We all want a quick fix when it comes to weight loss and health, myself included. But I think we can all agree there isn’t one when it comes to weight loss. Today I am sharing with you a success story of an amazing woman named Luan who refused to give up on herself. That even though she had setbacks, she got back up and kept going determined to change her life around. Luan understands that slow and steady wins the race!
“I have been working with Karen informally since 2014 regarding my weight (my largest concern because of being 5 foot 4 inches and over 275 lbs) and pain/mental health/energy issues.
I started with cutting out extra salt and watching the salt content in most foods. No change. I got the allergy tests done at the naturopath and followed the advice from that (avoid all cow dairy products as that was my only way out of range numbers). Nothing again! Then, on Karen’s advice, I cut out all carbs for six months and did not notice any change in my weight. I became disgruntled because of no results and went back to my normal eating habits.
About a year later (the fall of 2015), I got an Achilles injury and was not able to walk without pain/limping. Also for several years (since 2007), I have had severe osteoarthritis in my right hip that was painful and made moving difficult but my GP had not been taking me seriously or ordering me the x-ray or referral to specialist. About this time, I finally got diagnosed and a referral sent to the orthopedic surgeon for evaluation of hip replacement. Around this time, again on Karen’s advice, I went to a walk in GP (my trust in my GP had eroded!) and got as much hormone and other testing that he would agree to on Karen’s list of tests to ask for. I was low in ferritin (an iron marker) at 32 (ideal is over 100) so she suggested a supplement that would help. She also suggested I get an iron injection from the naturopath and was also prescribed progesterone and thyroid supplements. My fasting blood test was high at 7.1 (range is 3.3-5.5) so I also started the paleo diet. I went “whole hog”, renovating my kitchen and pantry to only hold paleo products (my kids were excited to get care packages of stuff they liked while I was doing this!). Karen suggested I cut out some of the less allergenic sensitivities (goat dairy, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, pineapple). I lost about 20 lbs in about two months – YAY! But then we went to Mexico for 5 weeks and it was harder to eat properly. I gained weight, came home and sort of followed (dabbled!) with paleo again. I held my weight from Mexico for a while, then fell off the wagon wholeheartedly (HELLO SUGAR baby!), and gained some more weight back (imagine that!) to be the heaviest I have ever been (275+ lbs). And tired (I could sleep a total of 12+ hours daily if given the chance and still feel exhausted!). And in pain still from both the Achilles injury and osteoarthritis in my hip (making exercise non-existent!). And depressed (I have, since childhood, had dysthymia – meaning low level depression that lasts for years – and a few deeper dips over the years).
Fast-forward to last September (2017) when Karen was starting her hormone challenge. I originally signed up “just for the month” of the challenge as I was “just interested in the hormonal information”, thinking this could be the missing piece of my challenge with weight loss. Well, was my mind blown! I have followed the paleo 80/20 concept since then without fail – even at the holidays! I rarely eat anything not paleo friendly.
• I lost about 15 lbs between September and December.
• My sleeping started to improve (in November I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, so I started to use a CPAP machine. That was definitely a co-factor besides weight loss and healthy eating) even though I was still tired and sleeping a lot per day if permitted. Now in February my sleep needs have settled at around 8-10 hours daily – and hopefully will continue to improve.
• My neck skin tags lessened in amount and in colouring going from dark brown to more normal skin tone (apparently a sign of hormonal imbalance).
• Another skin issue (seasonal psoriasis) has lessened as has the dratted dark chin whiskers that sprout!
• I went to see the naturopath Dr. Levins. I did her suggestions of going to a walk-in GP (again I don’t have much faith in my own!) and getting all the hormonal testing the doctor would cooperate with, and paid for the extra thyroid tests that she can order.
My fasting blood test was lower at 6.3 (down a whole point from two years before) and my ferritin was at 68 (up 35 points from two years ago). My cholesterol tests are great. I am continuing to work with her and getting my whole hormonal panel done with results coming soon.
I enjoyed the content of the hormone challenge so much that I wanted to continue in the On Track program. I really appreciate the varied content that Karen brings to all her programs, thinking of all aspects of wellness so as to complement and assist weight loss efforts.
In December I had hip replacement surgery and have been recovering since. I have exercises to do daily and am getting stronger. I am no longer in pain from osteoarthritis in my hip, but my Achilles pain persists (I have not had a good answer to how long that will take!). I look forward to getting back my mobility and being able to do more exercising to assist with weight loss.
In January I followed the carb testing program with Karen and I have lost 10 more lbs. I really appreciate the interviews and opportunity to self reflect.
With my doctor’s knowledge, since September, I have decreased one of my sleep/depression meds by 75%, with the goal to be off it completely in the future (too bad it is the least expensive of the two I take!). In the future, the consideration will be to look at the other antidepressant and see if that one can be decreased also.
I will continue to follow the paleo meal plan and keep my membership in the On Track program with all the extras and benefits of content that Karen adds to the food plan. She goes above and beyond with trying to help you become the best you can be, looking at all aspects of wellness.
I highly recommend Karen’s programs to others.
Join the On Track group coaching and meal planning program and get started for as low as $12.50 a month!