Okay, you changed your diet to healthier foods, and even started exercising. But, despite your efforts, the number on your scale hardly budges. Or, perhaps, you’re just too sore and miserable to start changes to your diet and exercise routine. You may have already given up ever losing weight. You think, this is just the way life is going to be like from here on.
Well, I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. Chronic inflammation may be the reason you can’t lose weight. In fact, it may be the reason you put the weight on to begin with. I’m not just speaking from a science perspective here. My personal experience with inflammation caused by my lupus and food allergies, has taught me more about inflammation than science ever could. Getting rid of my chronic inflammation was the key to unlocking my weight loss goals.
I’d like to share my story with you. If parts of my story resonate with you, you may be suffering from chronic inflammation.
I was always what most people considered lucky, as far as my weight was concerned. I could eat whatever and as much as I wanted without gaining a pound. In the past, I’ve been skinny, physically fit, and thin, never fat. I’ve always had problems with stomach issues, headaches, hives, allergies, and female issues. I had my first surgery (excluding a tonsillectomy) when I was fifteen. I’ve had many more over the last thirty years. Any time something would go wrong, the doctors would either go in and take it out, or treat me with antibiotics, NSAIDs, or whatever drug would do the trick. Still, I remained skinny.
Then, I started training to compete in fitness contests. I ate what I thought were healthy foods, whole grains, lots of protein, and supplements to trim fat and build muscle. I quickly started to put on serious muscle; but, I felt terrible. I chalked it up to overtraining. One day, in the middle of running, my leg spasmed. I fell, hard. When I moved to get up, I could barely stand on my left leg. The pain ripped through me. Eventually, I made my way to my doctor’s office, where an MRI revealed damage to every ligament in my left knee. It also revealed arthritis had already made a home there. Since none of the ligaments had torn completely, surgery was unnecessary. I was sent home with NSAIDs and crutches.
I spent the next six months recovering. Although I was in physical therapy, I wasn’t working out as hard as I was before my accident. I had gained about ten pounds, even though I was eating “healthy”. After my recovery, I began working out at the level I was used to. But, things were different. I was putting on weight despite the added exercise and “healthy” diet. Plus, I felt like crap. I was suffering from stomach pains, reflux, irregular periods, short breath and horrible skin rashes. This prompted a visit to my internist. Just looking at me, she diagnosed me with at least one autoimmune disease. We would have to start the process of discovering which one or combination of disease I had. She scheduled me for a battery of tests and referred me to four other specialists.
The next few months were spent getting poked, prodded, and probed (yikes!) by several specialists. The results revealed chronic systemic inflammation. I was diagnosed with lupus, gluten sensitivity, plaque psoriasis, a stomach ulcer and hernia, fibroid tumors, lung infection, kidney infection, pockets of inflammation in my colon, and arthritis. If that’s not inflammation, I don’t know what is. I was sent home with prescriptions for antibiotics, NSAIDs, and Albuterol. I didn’t have any of them filled. I decided to take matters into my own hands.
When I got home, after receiving my diagnosis, I started researching different healing diets and herbal remedies. I also jumped on the scale to see how much damage had been done. I had gained twenty one pounds over the last year. I knew my weight had increase because I couldn’t get into any of my old jeans or pants; but, I had no idea I had gained that much. And, most of my fat was around my belly, which was usually flat. I immediately went on a gluten free diet.
After a month on a gluten free diet, I had only lost five pounds. In doing more research, I stumbled across the paleo diet. The entire premise made sense to me. I decided to try Diane Sanfilippo’s The 21-Day Sugar Detox Once my 21 day program had completed, I had lost another five pounds. But, the realization that I was onto something, came from how great I felt. The weight I lost, came right off my belly. My belly was flat again!
At this time, Sarah Ballantyne’s book, The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body was released. I ordered it immediately from Amazon. Luckily, I have a Prime membership. Her book was delivered two days later. Never before has the science of autoimmune disease and chronic inflammation been presented in such an effective way. All of the puzzle pieces came together for me to form a perfect picture of my health history. I finally understood what had happened to me. I started The Paleo Approach diet right away.
I’ve been eating paleo for eight months now. I’ve lost twenty five pounds. Oh, and I feel great! I’ve been able to reduce and control my chronic inflammation. I’m leaner than I’ve been in years. I have NO belly fat!
With , The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body I’ve also been able to get a handle on my food allergies. Sometimes, it’s the foods we eat that help cause the inflammation in our bodies. For me, it was a combination of aggravating an already formed autoimmune disease and eating the foods that caused inflammation in my body. Add in a few badly tolerated medications, and you have chronic systemic inflamation.
Now, I could bore you with the science on inflammation and weight gain; but, I personally think most people don’t give a crap about all that. If you do, I’ve provided some great resources at the end of this post.
I’m assuming, if you’re reading this, you really want help in losing weight. Hopefully, my story will inspire you to make the changes necessary to do so.
Signs You’re Inflamed from www.marksdailyapple.com
Flare-up of autoimmune conditions- sore joints, dry, patchy, and/or red skin, etc.
Water retention- generalized
Stress load- if you feel stressed every day, you’re probably inflamed
Persistent but unexplained nasal congestion
My advice, if you think you have chronic inflammation, is to research the best course of action to reduce the inflammation. I’ve provided you with some resources, paleo recipes, and my story. Should you decide to adopt either The Paleo Approach or paleo diet, you should know that you can’t expect good results if you give it a half-assed approach. Getting rid of inflammation is not an easy task. You can’t expect to do it unless you go all in. For me, getting rid of gluten, was not enough. If you look at many of the gluten free processed foods ingredient lists, you will see a lot of ingredients. Processed food is processed food. Plus, if you’re filling yourself full of gluten free cookies and cakes, you’re still eating sugar. This is why I started with a very strict paleo diet for the first few months. I rid my body of inflammation first. Then, I slowly reintroduced some primal and gluten free foods.
I now eat a mostly paleo, sometime primal, and occasionally gluten free diet. I haven’t gained or lost a pound in months, which tells me, I’m at exactly the weight I’m supposed to be. I feel great; and, other than the sporadic flare-up, I have maintained control of my chronic inflammation.
Can getting rid of inflammation help you lose weight? It worked for me!
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