Hormones – It’s not all in your head!

Hormones – It’s not all in your head!

 

What is wrong with me?

Fatigue. Mental Fog. No libido. Disappearing lean muscle. Do any of these sound familiar?

I am talking about real fatigue, like the kind where you can’t keep your eyes open in the afternoons, even after laying in bed for 8 hours the previous night. Notice I didn’t say you slept the previous night, and chances are you weren’t having sex either, because you are just so fricken exhausted!

And mental fog? Listen, I know that we all walk into a room and forget why we went in, but this kind of mental fog is a tad more extreme...its the kind where you need your vitamins in a daily display case so you can remember if you… Click To TweetIt’s the  check your toothbrush kind to see if it’s wet because you can’t remember if you already brushed your teeth today.

Let’s be real, as much as you love your son’s overstuffed bear, you really don’t want to BE ONE. Where in the F__K is all the fluffiness coming from? You work out, you eat well and the muscle keeps melting away. You have a whole closet full of clothing that you can’t wear and you really don’t want to purchase the bigger sizes.

WTF?

My story

While my story may begin differently than yours, my frustration may be the same. I had my children at the ages of 39 and 40 (gasp). Following the birth of my second child, I had surgery on both of my hands…shortly after I healed, I began working out and kept injuring myself; which derailed me every time I started getting momentum. It also left me feeling defeated.

Within 18 months, I had three abdominal surgeries, including a hysterectomy and the recovery was awful. Actually, I am not sure I ever fully recovered from that final surgery. I was depressed, fluffy, exhausted and unhappy. Once again, I was determined to work out and signed up for a 5K. I began training with a friend and dropped some weight…until I experienced two stress fractures from carrying my child down a mountain in the rain…

Right?

Soon after, I began experiencing planar fascitits and after 18 months of therapy that included a boot, injections and physical therapy, they wanted to perform surgery.  Additionally, I had been experiencing extreme joint inflammation and I just fricken hurt. I HURT ALL THE TIME. My doctor took a blood panel, which showed a high ANC so she sent me to a neurologist, who diagnosed me with fibromalygia. I knew within my whole being that there was something else going on.

Hormones

Keep in mind, during these years, I was still a wife, a mom, and freelancer however I was exhausted. I could fall asleep anytime I sat down and my hips and joints just hurt. So I did some research and found a new doctor who took one look at me and tested my hormone levels. Turns out my testosterone was a whopping 17(that’s very very low, my friend). No wonder I was fluffy, exhausted and in pain.

After some research, I began taking bioidentiacal hormes and within two weeks, I was no longer needing an afternoon nap.  It took some time, but I began to feel like a real person again. Granted, there are some days that I feel better than others, but isn’t that with all of us?  I didn’t expect miracles, I just wanted to feel good again.

It’s not all in your head

As a trainer and empowerer, I am appalled at how many women struggle with this and are never given proper information. So many of us are given medications, instructed to eat less or told to work out more. All any of that does is bandage the problem. Honestly, when I was first introduced to bioidentiacal hormones, I was skeptical. However research shows that we lose our ability to create hormones with each decade…and as we are living longer, that often leads us to living miserably also.

Unfortunately, not every practitioner is open to testing for hormones, which in turn can be frustrating. Furthermore, even when they do test, insurance companies rarely cover the cost of bio identical hormones. I know women who have gone to physician after physician and have been diagnosed with a multitude of ailments, without ever having their hormone levels tested, let alone talked about.

Additionally, not all physicians test the same hormones, nor are the optimal levels consistent. No wonder we are all confused, right? And we can become peri menopausal in our 30’s, which may cause a change in hormones while we look completely fine. Rest assured my friend, it isn’t all in your head. If you know that something isn’t right, keep asking questions and demanding further testing. You deserve to look and feel your best at every age and you can’t pour from an empty cup.

 

Don’t be an asshole…try compassion

Don’t be an asshole…try compassion

Are you an Asshole?

Wow, that’s a brutal opener, isn’t it? The question stands though, are you an asshole?

An appropriate answer could go something like this: “well, I guess it depends upon who you ask”. And while there may be some truth to that, it’s unfortunate. Human nature has proven again and again that we tend to lash out at those closest to us, at those we love the most.  The social worker in me says that we do this because we feel safe with them and can let our guard down. The wife and mother in me thinks that is a cop out. Shouldn’t we model compassion for all?

Compassion

When engaging with an asshole, the last thing we want to use is compassion. I get it. One riled up person often creates another riled up and pissed off person. Click To TweetHowever, what if you could diffuse the situation? Often times, being aware of our own behavior can assist in de-escalating the increasing anger of others…hence the expression “killing them with kindness”.

However, what happens when compassion doesn’t work?

That’s when we check our boundaries.

Boundaries

This is where it gets tricky. We want to be compassionate without becoming a figurative or literal “punching bag” and that isn’t always an easy thing to do. For many of us, we need to remove said asshole from our life before we realize how toxic the situation truly was. It is only at that time that we can look back and recognize said person for what they are…and thank God that we had the fortitude to remove said person or ourselves from the situation.

As adults, this is difficult to do, therefore, imagine the pressure our children go through. It can be difficult to empower our children to set appropriate boundaries when they witness adults being assholes to one another. This is where it becomes our responsibility to role model both compassion and setting boundaries.

Role Modeling

I have two boys who view the world drastically different. One of my boys doesn’t personalize anythings while one of my sons is very sensitive and tends to personalize the behavior of others, often resulting in relationship issues with his peers. He is compassionate and wants to resolve any conflicts passively. While I commend this approach, it also sets him up to become the product of ridicule from his classmates and we talk about establishing appropriate boundaries. Essentially we have discussed the following:

  • Show compassion, we don’t know what others are experiencing and perhaps he is acting out.
  • Ignore him. Focus on YOU and don’t allow him to have any control over your time at school.
  • Talk to the teacher about the situation.
  • Punch him…while this is not politically correct, if my son has demonstrated the above coping skills and things have yet to change for him, where else can he take this?

My point is this: it is difficult to teach our children how to deal with assholes when they watch everything we are doing. Let’s try a different approach, shall we?  How about we show compassion to others when we want to become angry and lash out. We need to give ourselves time outs to cool off and demonstrate appropriate interactions with others.

After all, when I call it a day, I want to believe in my heart that I wasn’t an asshole…nor did I punch anyone.

Thoughts?

 

Let your voice empower

Let your voice empower

 

What’s in a story?

Everyone has a story to tell, however, too many of us silence the screams before the words are recognized or released. We downplay the significance of our experiences and tend to minimize the emotions as we smother them. We fail to see that our story is what makes us who we are, that each of our chapters is creating a beautiful tale to be shared with others…that perhaps our story will empower and give hope to someone else who is experiencing something similar.

We deny ourselves our voice when we deny our story. When we let the silence separate us from others, we inadvertently create voids rather than implementing building blocks. We create distance from those who could lift us back up. Unfortunately, with each building block, the walls become higher and our ability to reach out to others fades, leaving us feeling alone.

Lift one another up

What if we lifted one another up by releasing that voice and sharing our story? If we derived hope from one another? What if by reading someone’s story we learned how they overcame adversity and conquered their fears?

Wouldn’t that give you hope also? How empowering for the storyteller to know that their experiences are helping someone else while the benefactor gleens a spark of hope.

Hope for a better future. A chance to move forward and tear down those walls, brick by brick and word by word. With each release, a bit of light comes in and with each ray of light, there is a larger bit of hope. This is what we are doing. We are sharing stories and sharing hope.

Empower

Empowerment occurs when we use our voice. We speak up for yourself and we speak for others. Empowerment isn’t just a word, it holds the ability to provide hope for others.  There is a lot of power in that word when you use it wisely.

How will you empower someone today?

Do you have an empowering story to tell?  Send me an email and let’s chat about getting your story out for others to read!