Weight and Lymies

Before going into my struggle with weight, I would like to say this: a number on a scale does not a person make.
  Inner beauty is the kind of beauty that lasts a lifetime and is not diminished by wrinkles or age. It is more important to measure yourself in strength than in pounds. Loving yourself, no matter what your size, makes you a truly beautiful and confident person.
  These are facts I try to keep in mind during this fight.  However, my struggle with weight is also about my struggle with better health.  Because of this, I have decided to share my fight with you and ask for any advice you may have.

girl on beach

**The following story may cause triggers for those with eating disorders

Since getting Lyme disease in 2000, I have had significant struggles with my weight.

And before you ask, it isn’t because of eating habits. I have been on various diets since the age of 16, three years after becoming ill.

The first time I put on weight, I was on a juice diet.  My meals literally consisted of nothing but juiced vegetables and almonds when necessary (to maintain blood sugar levels). Many people report significant weight loss while juicing but not me; my body put on thirty pounds.

Even worse, I couldn’t seem to lose the weight despite my best efforts.

It was because of those extra thirty pounds that I became addicted to an eating disorder in my early 20’s.  The eating disorder was started as a desperate attempt to shed those extra pounds, but unfortunately, after losing 50 pounds in 6 months, I discovered I was addicted to the disorder and couldn’t stop.  It took several years to recover.

Two years ago I was on IV antibiotics and because my system was completely overloaded with bacteria, Candida and liver issues, my body put on nearly 100 pounds.

Read that again.

That’s correct, nearly 100 pounds. And no, I wasn’t eating a bunch of crap; I was sticking to a gluten-free diet and rarely eating more than one meal per day.

My LLMD put me on a whole new lifestyle called the Paleo diet.  This however, is not a diet to me; it is truly a lifestyle choice that I will most likely stick to for the remainder of my days.  Thanks to going grain-free, sugar-free and dairy-free, my body has shed nearly 80 pounds.

Unfortunately, I cannot shed those last few pounds despite increasing activities such as exercise and time in the infrared sauna.  The extra weight feels like a punishment in some way and I know that strangers blame ME for not being “the correct weight.” Even one of my doctors has commented that I need to change my eating habits and “lose some weight!”

My life isn’t perfect but I truly want to get back to a healthy weight.  Not just because I am vain, although I openly admit to enjoying a good image.  My liver is under some strain and losing the extra weight would be wonderful for my health.

The type of weight I’m dealing with is Visceral fat (fat around the stomach area).  According to Dr. Josh Axe (a personal hero of mine), this type of fat is very dangerous because it is stored around a number of important internal organs such as the liver and pancreas. My chances of getting diabetes are escalated because it interferes with hormone regulation.  Visceral fat can cause mood changes, sleeping issues and lack of energy.

Most Lymies, from what I’ve seen, experience the opposite of this; because of nausea and stomach issues, they are often under-weight instead of over-weight. However, for those of my readers who are chronically ill and going through similar issues, do you have any tips or insights for me on how you maintain a healthy weight?

While continuing to stick to a grain-free, dairy-free and sugar-free diet, I drink close to 100 ounces of lemon water per day.  Exercise and saunas are done as often as possible. However, I refuse to restrict food again (I did that enough with the eating disorder and do NOT want to go back to those habits).

The fight against dangerous fat is underway!


10 thoughts on “Weight and Lymies

  1. Don’t forget: gluten free products that are packaged have lots of sugar. Lemon is also a fruit, which breaks down into sugar. I eat leafy greens, which are very healthy and actually help with weight and giving your body good nutrients it needs. I also eat lots of protein. Terry Wahls has a great book, The Wahls Protocol, which she writes about how she reversed her MS symptoms through diet. It’s very extreme in terms of eating: 9 cups a day of colorful fruits, sulfur rich vegetables, and leafy greens. But if you are trying to lose weight, avoid foods that break down into sugar as much as possible. And just drink plain, boring water. I did try ginger in it, but have to develop a taste for it.

    If you want to , read my post Sugar. It talks about my struggle with sugar and Lyme.

    Best of luck to you. Lyme is not an easy road to be on…

    • Thank you so much! I rarely ear packaged gluten-free stuff; in fact, I’m off ALL grains. I bake my own tummies using coconut flour or flaxseed or even chia seeds.
      Lemon is very good for detoxing, but I understand your point.
      I eat TONS of leafy greens -probably up to 4 cups per day. I also pack in the protein through eggs, nuts and organic meat. If i bake something requiring a sugar substitute, i use stevia (which is both natural and non-caloric). But I might have to check out that book you recommended, and I will definitely read your post!
      Thank you SO much for taking the time to reply! I truly appreciate your thoughts and suggestions!

  2. Hi Shelby! Wow, you have had a really challenging journey. First, thank you for sharing. I also have gained weight in the past few years. I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I gained about 10 pounds. Then with Lyme added on and a lot less exercise, another 15 give or take 5 pounds depending on all kinds of things!! I’m transitioning to a sugar and gluten free diet as well. You have been so brave and it sounds like you are getting to a comfortable place in your relationship with your body. I hope to get to that place too someday.

    • Thank you so much for reading!
      I hear your pain – gaining weight due to thyroid issues (which I also struggle with) and a disease you never asked for are HARD things. It’s been a long journey for me do far and certainly isn’t over, but I keep “quote cards” up around my house reminding me of the truth…that beauty is measured in strength, not pounds…that I myself, as much as anyone else in the eorld, deserves self-love…that I am beautiful because of who I AM, not what I weigh…that those who cannot see beyond my weight do not deserve my attention and time.
      Reminding myself of these truths has definitely helped.
      Also, I’m doing my best to get a good amount of sleep (critical for maintaining hormonal balance) and since I can’t exercise much, I do saunas (or Epsom salt baths) as much as possible. This helps with detox as well.
      I’ve also started drinking Apple Cider Vinegar, which can help to stimulate weight loss. Have you ever tried this? If not, I have a great recipe.
      I also drink green tea throughout the day.
      We are in this together! Stay strong, fellow warrior!

      • I feel like we already know one another. I am going to steal your idea of putting up positive affirmations. Sometimes, I get sooooo frustrated with dealing with all of the wonderful symptoms of Lyme, I can get sucked into that black hole. I hope to take up walking again this summer if possible just for some exercise. I haven’t tried apple cider vinegar. I would love to have your recipe. I have heard it helps with weight. I think it affects blood sugar somehow. I’m doing tons of water and tea daily as well. No sodas, etc. No alcohol. I’m trying to go paleo with the hubs. Again, I’m hoping once school is out, I can really dig in and redesign our meals. You stay strong too, my friend. You are never alone!!

      • Here is the recipe I’ve been using:
        I’m wondering if this would help your digestion…I think I might try it!


        I add some Stevia (I get really good stuff, from Bulk Herbs) because the taste is a bit much for me. ACV is good for lowering blood sugar levels as well.
        I don’t drink alcohol or sugary drinks either – someday I’ll go back to a glass of wine on the weekends! I cook for my chronically ill sister and my parents, so I understand about the busyness (school ending should hopefully give you more free time!)

        Positive quotes are hung up all around my place – the bathroom, bedroom, living room. They have made such a difference in my life!!

  3. Pingback: Feverfew…a migraine miracle? | shelby's LIFE WITH LYME

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