Intro for May 26, 2014

Lainey Posted by Lainey at May 26, 2014 13:05:50 May 26, 2014 13:05:50

Hi Hayley 

So I have quite the complicated case. I am 32 years old I weigh about 170lbs, 5’3 and want to get back to 140-145. At my highest about a year ago I was 215 pounds. I’ve lost quite a lot of weight but can’t seem to get rid of the rest, and was wondering if you could help me? 

My back story is in 2014 my life was turned upside down in an instant after a day surgery for endometriosis went horribly wrong. My surgeon perforated my bowel and ignored my pleas that something was wrong. I ended up in the ER but was given the wrong treatment and almost died. I had sepsis and was on life support for 3 days and in the ICU for a week, then after my lungs collapsed and filled with fluid, as well as having multiple other issues I had to stay in the hospital for 3 months to recover. After the emergency surgery I went through, I woke up to find I had an ostomy bag (which thankfully has been reversed) but still causes me problems and pain. 

Saying all of that I have to also add that I’ve have been diagnosed with multiple chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. It still is extremely painful to breathe after the chest tubes adding to my issues with asthma. Also I was just recently diagnosed with a heart issue and high blood pressure, all side effects from the multiple surgeries I had. 

I was on multiple pain medications but have since been able to reduce the number, which in turn helped me lose weight. But now I am stuck. I just can’t seem to lose much else. 

I was wondering do you have any workout or food recommendations that I could try to get rid of this stubborn belly fat that just won’t go away. 

I do light exercises walking/ water aerobics and since the surgery I am unable to really eat much. I eat frequent small meals. I rarely eat meat and it’s usually chicken or fish. I was wondering if going vegan may speed up the weight loss process. I’m already lactose intolerant so I don’t eat any dairy.

Do you have any good vegan cookbooks you could recommend? And any exercises I could try to help me? I heard circuit training was good, do you have tips on that? I can do light weights. 

I’ve tried to look up all this information but there’s so much to go through and contradictory information, sometimes you just need a little help or a push in the right direction. 

I struggle with my self-esteem a lot. It’s hard to look at myself in the mirror especially with all the scars. I really don’t feel like myself because of all the extra weight I gained as a result of the surgeries, medication and stress. I was hoping I could look past the scars and have them not bother me as much if I could just get back to a normal weight. 

Hope to hear back from you with any help that you can give. I would greatly appreciate it.



You’ve had a rough go, and you’ve gone through a lot. You almost died, but you didn’t. You no longer have an ostomy bag. You have reduced your pain medication and you have managed to lose 45 lbs. So let me start by reminding you what progress you have made and go from there. 

My first piece of advice is get yourself into a naturopath and start building a team of health care practitioners that will help you achieve your best life. There are lots of ways to control chronic pain and inflammation through diet, meditation and alternative medicine. Many of our daily habits cause the tissues of our bodies to become inflamed and since your body is already dealing with higher amounts of inflammation due to so many surgeries, you need to reduce the amount of inflammation that you inflict on yourself. By no means am I saying that you can cure your pain but it wouldn’t hurt to explore new ways to manage your pain which you may not have tried.  

I have worked with a few clients that have suffered with fibromyalgia and they all seem to experience it differently. Some of my clients swear by magnetic therapy and sleep on magnetic mattresses. Others work on managing their stress levels through meditation and therapy as well as removing added stresses, such as a stressful job, from their lives. Others focus solely on diet and exercise. Start experimenting and researching different ways in which you can limit your symptoms in hopes of finding what works for you.

I am a big believer in your actions meeting your expectations and your expectations being realistic to your lifestyle. So let’s take a second to recap your lifestyle. You have a chronic inflammatory disease, it hurts to breathe, you have a difficult time eating, you are on pain medication and you have high blood pressure. And you want to lose another 30 pounds by yesterday from what it sounds like. Those expectations are unrealistic and because of that you are making yourself feel like a failure. I am not saying that you will never lose those last 30 pounds but it may take you longer. 

Start to learn your boundaries and your limits and be consistent in taking yourself there. As you get stronger, both emotionally and physically, your boundaries will expand and then you can push yourself further. Keep reaching to your new boundaries and moving forward, one step at a time and stop focusing on what you don’t have and start focusing on what you do have. You can do water aerobics and you can walk. Perfect. Maybe you start walking farther or faster or on hillier roots. Maybe you hire a water aerobics personal trainer so you can learn to push yourself in your classes. Maybe you seek out active rehab to help build your body’s strength and then continue into a guided strength training program. Whatever you do, keep moving forward.

As for going vegan? If that is something that you want to do for you then go for it. But will it speed up your weight loss? Probably not. Eliminating certain inflammatory foods from your diet is a great idea but you don’t have to become vegan to do that. In fact, the omegas you find in fish are a great natural source of anti-inflammatories.  

Small daily changes can add up. One change a week is 52 changes a year. Sometimes we forget that change doesn’t have to be monumental. Changes can accumulate though. And the cumulative effect of a series of small changes can add up to a major transformation.  

Attached - Bryce Dallas Howard leaving the gym with a friend the other day in LA. 

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