December 4, 2002

My husband’s adoptive parents refer to him constantly by the nickname Skinny. He’s one of those people who are naturally slim, just as I was. But no more. I’ve joined the world of those who whine at the mirror, or avoid it. I’m right there along with others who keep “several sizes ago” of clothes sitting in my closet and pray someday I’ll fit them again. I like the clothes I had and don’t like the idea or having to start again in the Plus Size stores. And I just threw out my bathroom scale. No, I didn’t break it. I got down to brass tacks. That @($%! thing was getting me depressed:and it’s not even the most accurate measure of your body:how your clothes fit is! In a world of clothing companies lowering sizes to make us feel better about ourselves haven’t we learned that 2 is just as good as 20? Now, I’m still one of those people who are desperately trying to lose ten pounds or more : and when it doesn’t happen I reach for chocolate, but I’m looking at the causes and a solid way to really live again without reaching for the latest diet.

This article took a long time to put together:and a lot of courage. So many people look at anyone even mildly overweight and ask themselves or their friends: “How can they let themselves GET that way?” They reason that you should just DO something and get a hold of yourself. But it’s not that simple. I’ve found out that food is my drug of choice and I’m addicted. I get numb when I eat my favourite goodies. I don’t have to feel unaccomplished, question my personal worth or wonder if I’m going to be attacked by a man again if I look good. I just eat and all my worries go into Numb Heaven. Let me share what I’ve uncovered and how things have changed.

I’ve been exhausted for more than a year and I’m just starting to come out of the cycle that’s hit me umpteen times before. Every time this happens I gain a good 30 to 60 pounds. I’m at the 40-pound range again. That’s why I chucked the scale. Its reflection is making me stress out:”oh no, 30…oh lord!! 40!” That’s no good.

Thankfully I’m not alone. Oprah’s lost and gained more weight than I ever care to ask the total of.

Our own Voice editor, Tammy, has walked the same route with me through the land of “broken” thyroid – what a frustrating condition to deal with. My own condition isn’t diagnosable with traditional medicine, at least hers was. To understand this peculiar problem I read an excellent book: Thyroid Power: Ten Steps To Total Health, by Richard L. Shames, M.D. and his wife Karilee Halo Shames, R.N., Ph.D. This medical doctor in California is a member of the American Holistic Medical Association, which is something we haven’t got in Canada. More than one newspaper article has been published about MDs in Canada who tried to use an “alternative therapy” and were ousted from practice by the Canadian Medical Association and its need to keep alternatives out of their medicine.

Dr. Shames and his wife have dealt with patients for years who aren’t diagnosable and face the same symptoms I do: and the list of symptoms from thyroid problems is seemingly endless. The problem is that not a lot of people test abnormally. Dr. Shames cites many physicians and studies that have confirmed this belief. Basically, you really do have to be broken to be abnormal in standard blood and urine testing. So what do you do?

Well I think you can see it coming:diet, exercise and a few possible additions to your pills.

Diet should be higher in protein and lower in poor quality carbs. My rule: If it doesn’t sound exotic, don’t buy it!

I recently bumped into an article in a favourite magazine. They were lauding the wonderful weight loss of a woman grinning at me from the cover. So I picked it up. I brought it home and finally read about – ahem:guggul. I know, it has a hilarious sounding name but this herb is ancient and fires up your system. I found it at my favourite health food store under the name Guggu-lipid. I bought a bottle. Okay, that’s as far as I got, but I want to make sure you see where I’m going. I’m going to the skinny farm at my house. And I’m NOT going to give up chocolate! As a matter of fact the diet in the magazine suggests a cup of toasty, hot chocolate BUT they suggest spicing it up. You see the diet they suggest to add with the guggu-lipid is spicy foods. They say spicing up your diet burns your system at a higher rate, makes you warmer and therefore operates the thyroid more efficiently. Works for me!

Now here’s what I’m suggesting:JOIN ME! Had it with trying to dump five pounds or fifty?? One hundred or more? Why not get together with me in email and we’ll dump it together?! I’m not that nuts for exercise, and I’d like to look slim and pretty at the husband’s Christmas party at the end of the month, but I don’t like being hungry, or being bitchy, or feeling frightened about attacks. So maybe you feel the same way, or know someone who does and might like to read this article or get some of the magazine recipes. I’m game.

Please – I ask only that you don’t try to sell me your products, or tell me you’ll coach me on exercise: I’ve been there. I want to find people who want to help each other, not a messiah trying to lead us to skinny-dom, thanks.

Pass the cinnamon and nutmeg please, Tammy! I have a thyroid to fix.

Laura Seymour first published herself, at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition of Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).