I always say my health issues started in 2015 because of a crappy diet, but the truth of the matter is, it started long before that. It also had a lot more to do with stress and lifestyle than with diet.
I have struggled with body image my whole life. I have always felt like I was fat, even when I know I wasn’t. Even though for most of my life I have eaten well, there were periods of time when I ate junk and things that were easiest.
When I started my career in 1992 that was the beginning of my health decline. It was slow at first. I was still going to the gym back then and exercising. But you can’t out exercise a crappy diet and stress. Over the years I had some serious health issues. The stress at work and my A-type personality didn’t allow me to slow down.
When I met my husband, 26 years ago now, is when things started to get bad. I had a stroke, no one knew why. I recovered but the weird illnesses just kind of continued. The weight gain started and by 2015 I was the heaviest I had ever been…326 pounds.
This photo was taken at my son’s wedding. I was careful to dress in ways to look good, but I was so heavy and so uncomfortable.
My doctor said you need to go on insulin and some other medication. I said absolutely not. He said, “Then lose weight.” He put me on HCG, a not-so-great way to lose weight and ended up at 160 pounds. I was happy there, but again it was a struggle to stay there after I started to reintroduce food. I also was exhausted most of the time. Even though I looked good in my jeans and felt comfortable, I was still sick. I couldn’t get enough sleep. The stress of my job was overwhelming, not that I could see that back then. When I discussed it with the doctors, they all said just exercise more and you will be fine. I managed to maintain for about 1 year, but only because I used HCG off and on during that time.
AND prior to HCG I had tried every pill, shake and program; which would be a theme throught this story. YO-YO DIETING WAS A REAL THING IN MY LIFE.
This photo was taken prior to my renewal of vows. I was about 150, confortable in my skin, but felt like maintaining this weight was a struggle.
In late 2015, I found a lump on the back of my left leg. The doctor said it was a lipoma and not to worry about.
In 2018, it began to hurt and lipoma or not, I needed it to be removed. I went to a surgeon who removed it and said it was wrapped around my sciatic nerve. But he assured me it was just a fatty tumor but sent it to the lab anyway.
During this time, I was still experiencing major fatigue. My job was taking over my life. I was working 50, 60, 65 hours per week as a probation officer, specializing in supervising and assessing sexual offenders. All I did was work.
When the lab results came back, I was diagnosed with a Fibro-Myxoid Spindle Cell Sarcoma. Because it had been treated as a fatty tumor and no big deal, it had been allowed to grow. The margins could not be assessed and radiation treatment along with biologics was my only option. The same day the lab results came back, I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency. Both were life threatening illnesses that needed immediate treatment.
My weight struggle started all over again, as I put back on weight due to illness and medication, specifically high doses of steroids. And of course the medications I had to take gave me other super fun side effects, which of course needed more medication to control.
During cancer and adrenal insufficiency treatment, roughly 2018 to early 2020, I tried to do nutritional keto, spent hundreds on meal plans, and tried a plethora of other things….AGAIN. I was eating 8 to 10 cups of vegetables a day. I would lose and gain the same two pounds.
The worst part is my illnesses began to pile up again due to treatment. Radiation left me with autoimmune eczema, allegeries, radiation skin issues that would not heal, prediabetes, asthma, hypoglycemia, worsening osteoarthritis, chronic Vitamin D deficiency, cystic acne, chronic joint pain, IBS-A, GERD, vertigo, migraines, chronic depression, chronic fatigue, awful sugar cravings, and food obsession. AND the hair on my body was gone and would not grow. An eye exam left me worried about my eyesight when a spot was found they believed was macular degeneration.
By June 2020, I was over one year out from my last radiation treatment, but my leg was still oozing and bleeding. The skin site would not heal, and the doctors said it might never heal. I was on 21 medication and 10 creams for my various health issues.
I was depressed about my body, my weight, and my health. I was no longer able tp walk around the block, let alone hike the mountains in search of the game my husband and I were hunting. I had gone back to work, but clothes became an issue because my leg still wasn’t healed. I was exhausted all the time, had no energy for my work or my grandchildren let alone my life. I was completely terrified. My father was saying constantly he was going to outlive me, and I just couldn’t accept that might really be true.
Finally, I made the decision to retire because working left me no time with my family at all. I would work 40 to 60 hours a week and spend all my free time sleeping so I could go back to work on Monday. When I retired I was terrified because so much had happened to me in my life, and I had always been able to handle it, deal with it and move on. But I was afraid this time would be different and would just continue to get fat and my life would be one medication after another.
After I retired, I began to research where do you go after keto. What I found amazed me, but to say I wasn’t super spectacle would be untrue. I was scared to try. But I felt like I was dying…literally. I truly believed that if I didn’t do something my days were numbered. I had never been so sick, and I desperately wanted to be well again. At the time I thought if I could just lose weight everything would be fine.
First person I found was Dr. Paul Saladino. He said in a video he would answer emails and help, so that is exactly what I did. I emailed him my story, along with all my blood work and diagnosis. He emailed me back a long email and then called me. I started an animal-based diet on August 6, 2020, along with some of his supplements.
When I say I started, I mean I went all in. I threw out all things not on the diet. I separated all my food in the pantry and refrigerator from my husbands. Because I was already keto I only had about 10 days of issues with the transition.
I remember the first day I woke up with no joint pain and the energy of a child. That was about two weeks in, and it continued to get better EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is not June 2022 and I am still healing and starting to lose weight thanks to heal out session with Bryan Mashburn (click this link to find out more about him LINK).
Bloating, fatigue, pain, inflammation….all gone within 30 days. I quickly realized this was about healing. With healing would come weight loss.
When my second sarcoma was found, I doubled down and went strict carnivore, which was in April 2021.
Today I am 20 pounds lighter, and I have lost 40 total body inches. But here is the great part!
My health is better than it has ever been. I have three pages of non-scale victories. I am off all medications and creams. My adrenal insufficiency is healed. MY SECOND SARCOMA TUMOR IS GONE, with no medical intervention.
My hair is growing everywhere, and yes, I was excited to start shaving again. I have zero joint pain. I am off my antidepressants. My mood and energy soar daily. I have more confidence in myself than I have ever had in my entire life. No more heartburn, no bloating, no stiffness, autoimmune eczema GONE, hypoglycemia GONE, acne GONE. The best part, the most important part is my radiation burn from my first sarcoma treatment have completely healed. To this day my blood markers are ZERO,
The Carnivore way, SAVED my life. I am a better, healthier, calmer person, wife, grandmother, mother, sister, and friend because I trusted the process.
If you ever doubt what you can heal with carnivore let me tell you all I have healed:
- Sarcoma Cancer
- Autoimmune eczema
- Autoimmune allergies
- Macular Degeneration
- Radiation skin issues
- Healing Adrenal Insufficiency
- Chronic Vitamin D deficiency
- Chronic Joint pain
- IBS-A (alternating diarrhea and constipation
- Chronic Depression
- Chronic Fatigue (not related to AI)
- Sugar, carb addiction
- Food obsession
And as a last note, I want to share this. On February 15, 2000, my 17-year-old son committed suicide. Since that day I have been on all kinds of medication for chronic depression, trying to deal with my mood. When the holidays come and the new year begins, I always think about him, what we could have done differently, and I struggle to deal. My husband noticed I seem less irrational about the emotion traumas me my life. I still cry every now and then when I think about it all; my son, everything. But now I am off medication and seem to be able to deal with my emotions. I am dealing with them; they are not dealing with me.
When I first experience better emotional health I was not sure it was carnivore. Then I met a man who has become my best friend, Bryan Mashburn. He has only been a carnivore a short time relative to me. But he has experienced the same Zen I feel. He has the ability to live a stress-free life as well now that he is carnivore. (click this link to find out more about him LINK)
It isn’t that there won’t be stress in your life, there will be. But as a carnivore my brain seems to work differently. I deal with whatever it is, and I don’t look back. It’s over and done. Things don’t ruin my day like they used to.
As I have said, the Carnivore way saved my life. It has given be back my emotional, spiritual and physical health.
The above picture is after my cancer treatment and now in 2022. I still have some weight to lose, but I am healthier, and boy does it show. I hardly recognize myself.