Shrinking Pastor Lessons

Here are 10 things I have learned through the journey of getting my health on track. Let me know if one of them speaks to you. I will give you 5 today and 5 tomorrow. Enjoy.

1. Educate yourself-When I was diagnosed with PCOS I read books, articles, looked online, and got a hold of just about every pamphlet I could to educate myself on the diagnosis. If I did not understand what the problems, symptoms, prognosis, and the treatment options were in detail I could not make a good decision on how to fight it. I had to know what I was fighting so I could fight it the smartest way I knew how. It also helped me in the faith fight as well. I wanted to use my faith to fight it but at first did not know exactly what it was that I was battling.

2. Don’t beat yourself up-I would beat myself up so much because I watched tumors disappear from my daughters head but I was struggling with hormone issues and could not seem to get past them? How much sense does that make? It made me feel weak. I frequently beat myself up about gaining weight and about being moody too. I felt like a terrible person but felt hopeless in being able to stop the symptoms. I felt like my faith was not working for me like it did for my daughter. That was not the truth but that was a lie I bought for a while. The symptoms were like being in a perpetual PMS state and didn’t like the way I was acting but didn’t know what to do about it. It was easy for me to divert to the “why is my faith not working” pity party for a season before I got it in gear. Poor Troy, he was such a trooper (most of the time anyhow).

3. Understand your body-Figure out how your body works. I did not understand many things like: How hormones even worked, foods that affect hormones in good and bad ways, treatment options that would affect the functions of my body or even why all of these things were off to start with. When I started to grasp how my body was made (from nutritionists, doctors, naturopaths and other specialists in their fields), it really opened my eyes to things I could do better. By the way, did you know that insulin is a hormone? Did you know that women have testosterone?

4. Let people go on the journey with you-Don’t go through things alone. People are going to know when something is off. You can either make them guess or you can have an ally that will walk with you on the paths of life. I could of had people wondering “what is up with her?” or I could just tell them. As hard as it is at times to let people see our weaknesses, it is even harder when they make assumptions about those weaknesses because you did not tell them the real deal. Don’t make people who love you guess, just tell them. Also, you don’t have to go into great detail with the world. I told people about the situation but have not gone into some of the more personal symptoms/details because it is just that, personal. I have a few close friends I have gone into detail with but not everyone. It is ok to keep some things to yourself while giving the crowd only vaguer details.

5. Treat the problem not the symptoms-I was having my chin hot waxed because of the hirsutism, moles removed from my neck, using topical treatments to control facial redness and trying to diet because of the weight aspects. I thought those were all just isolated, random things but they were signs of hormone levels being off. All of those (and the other symptoms) were pointing to something deeper and I was just treating surface issues, not the cause of the symptoms. It would be like taking and Advil for a stomach ache when you really needed appendectomy surgery. Go deeper.

More tomorrow!

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~ by pennymaxwell on October 21, 2008.

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