For the past two years, I’ve been feeling kinda “off” in regard to my health. I have felt frustrated that despite working out religiously and eating super duper duper clean–and I really mean super duper clean–I have been unable to see results. The amount of effort I put into clean eating and exercise are not commensurate with my results. Before you say, “You look great, stop obsessing,” I kindly ask you to put your thoughts on hold for a second. Let’s get this out of the way: I know I’m not overweight. However, that’s truly not the issue, although, I do confess, the inability to see results has indeed been a source of great frustration for me. Folks joke that that they get fat even if they just look at a cookie. While that is certainly an exaggeration, it really does take very little for me to gain weight.
At the height of my fitness, when I had achieved my desired results, I used to not believe people when they would say that they were truly eating clean but not losing weight. I thought that perhaps they lacked will power or simply did not know what it meant to eat clean. But one day, what used to work for me–exercising six days a week and following a pretty strict eating plan–stopped working. More cardio, in addition to my already existing program of cardio and resistance, only seemed to be effective at packing on the pounds. After almost two years of extra cardio, I finally cut back on it. To my relief, that hasn’t caused more weight gain, but I still haven’t been able to lose or see changes in my body.
Over the past year, I’ve visited a number of doctors to see if perhaps I had a thyroid issue or some kind of issue that could explain what was going on. I almost forgot to mention two of the most important things! For the past two years, I have also been feeling fatigued and suffering from insomnia. I’m a doer as well as an optimist. Despite feeling tired and literally feeling like I’m going to crash by 2pm, I get the job done. I love what I do, I love life, but by 2pm, my energy tank is usually empty. It was a combination of all these three symptoms–inability to lose weight, fatigue, and insomnia–that led me to search for answers with medical professionals. One doctor determined I had a low functioning thyroid. Another disagreed with that diagnosis and said it was “most probably” my testosterone levels. The truth is, none of it felt right. Their diagnoses felt like they were shooting darts in the dark on the target of my health. Yea. Not a good feeling.
While I had not lost faith that I would find an answer, I was not really sure where I should turn. Late in 2012 I had the pleasure of meeting Sagi Kalev, the creator of Body Beast, through a mutual friend and somehow the topic of my symptoms and health/fitness frustrations came up. Sagi is also a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist in addition to having been a professional bodybuilder and fitness model. After just our initial conversation, I had a faith in his knowledge and medical intuition that I did not have with the previous medical professionals I had been to. Upon his recommendation, I underwent all sorts of testing, including hair, saliva, and poop analysis, as well as bloodwork. Talk about getting to the core and checking your ego at the door. Wow. But, I’m so very glad I did.
Without getting to the nitty gritty discoveries of my testing, Sagi was able to pinpoint not just the symptoms that I was having and at what times of the day I was experiencing what, he was also able to describe my erratic sleep patterns. More importantly, he came up with an action plan to deal with the root of the issues. For those of you who may be sensitive to biological details, you may want to cover your eyes. However, I tell you this because the experience of doing this testing has been enlightening and I know will be life altering for me. It turns out I’ve had some parasites and fungus (ewww, I literally want to barf at the thought of this), as well as issues that have affected my adrenals and cortisol function. To be honest, the list of issues is a bit more extensive than this, but I’ll spare you. All these issues have severely affected my sleep and energy levels, as well as contributed to my weight gain and inability to see results. Again, I’m not a complainer, so I’ve been working past the struggle in order to do what I do, which is to help others. But behind the scenes, I’ve been struggling and working hard to find out what has been going on. Finally, I have some answers. My heart just opened up as I typed that last sentence. Truly, I cannot express my gratitude enough to Sagi.
Admittedly, the testing can seem costly and the process of pooping and spitting in vials, filling out extensive surveys, and getting blood work is indeed a pain and at times left me feeling beyond exposed. But the thought that in a few weeks I will be sleeping well again, that I will have a renewed sense of energy, and that I will be able to see results that match my efforts, all that, is beyond exciting. It really would feel like a miracle.
I’ll report back in the next few weeks as I follow my plan of supplementation and adhere to Sagi’s dietary recommendations. If you’d like to find out more about what he does and/or schedule a consultation, you can visit his site: www.sagikalev.com.
As always, thanks for being on this journey with me. Remember, things are not always easy, especially when the stakes are high. I know for me, my health is everything and I am worth it.
With love, Barbie