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Friday, January 14, 2011

Getting back in shape after the holidays

Most people are saying that they need to go on a diet because they indulged too much during the holidays. I need to diet, but it's not because I ate too much during the holidays. I didn't eat very much then, really. But I ate a lot before the holidays. I had lost about 18 pounds and was doing well with weight loss, until I started to become extremely fatigued. I don't mean tired, I mean crashing fatigue - the kind of fatigue that causes you to collapse into bed at 2 in the afternoon.

I was so low energy. I had the urge to eat something, even if I didn't feel hungry. My thinking was that some food would give me an energy boost. Unfortunately, it never did. It took me awhile to realize that wasn't working at all. My energy was extremely low, and I began to be hit with lots of muscle and joint pain. Really bad, so that it even hurt me if you were to put your hand on my shoulder gently. My elbows, knees, and shoulders hurt, even my toes ached. At this point, it was getting ridiculous. I went to our family physician, and all they could find that was "off" was that my Vitamin D was very low. Based on my symptoms and the low itamin D, they referred me to a rheumatologist (arthritis specialist). I went to see Dr. Geetha Jonalla. Her practice is located on Janmar Road here in Snellville.

At first, it was very scary not knowing what was going on, and even Dr. Jonalla expressed some concern that I could have Lupus. So I was prescribed a steroid medication called Prednisone for a week. It helped me feel better, but only for about half the week. So, it was time to try something else.

The specialist prescribed 50,000 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D per week. To give you an idea of a normal amount, most daily multivitamins have about 1,000 IU.

It took a little while, but I did feel better by taking the Vitamin D. After a month, I was able to stop taking the mega-supplement and now I take 1,600 units of Vitamin D a day. I tend to get nauseous when I take mutivitamins. I'm told that I'm probably having that problem because of the binding agents that are put into multivitamins. So I take Vitamin E and a B-Complex separately.The exact cause of my Vitamin D deficiency still isn't known, but Dr. Jonalla said that some people just have problems maintaining adequate D levels.

But back to the eating and weight issue. The cycle of low energy then eating something and not regaining energy, combined with not walking 1 hour a day like I was before the Vitamin D deficiency hit me has piled my weight back on.The good news is that my Vitamin D level is right smack in the middle of normal (even though I am taking more than a typical dose) so now I can begin to get back in shape.

How did I lose it before? I followed the instructions in the book You: On a Diet by Dr. Mehmet Oz. The advice is very common-sense, features virtually no sugar and increasing vegetables. What I like most about the book and the advice in it, is that it's non-blaming.

So that's what I'm working on now, getting back on track. Are you doing anything to lose holiday weight? Do you have any tips you can share?

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