Out-of-the-blue weight gain, brain fog and sleepless nights brought Tammy to Companion Health. At 51 years of age, her weight had always been stable—until 4-5 years ago. The pounds started creeping up even though she’d made no changes to her dietary habits. She felt like she’d work and work to lose 10 lbs., but the effort she’d put in was exhausting and the pounds would come back regardless. She wanted to know why this was happening and how she could address it. In total, she’d gained 50 pounds, and was beyond discouraged.
Employed by a German company, her worktimes had to resemble her coworkers’ hours. This meant waking at 4 or 4:30 am for 5:30 am conference calls. She always kept her phone on her bed stand, and when the sleepless nights arose, she’d find something to look at. She often ended up answering emails and the like. On the exercise front, her activity was very sporadic. Though she had a Peloton, her skewed work schedule combined with her lack of sleep left her too tired to hop on after finishing work.
Dr. Jorge recommended Tammy stop her birth control at her first appointment. After taking it since her late teens, she was very apprehensive but did as suggested. Much to her relief, she found she had no issues whatsoever from stopping them. A saliva hormone test gave clear data as to the state of her hormones. With this information in hand, Dr. Jorge helped lay out a new roadmap now that she was off birth control.
Dietary changes supported by her health coach included cutting gluten and dairy. Though this helped reduce her bloat, the numbers on her scale didn’t come down initially. Oftentimes we assume that weight is only related to food intake, but it actually can be dependent on many other factors. And so it was time to address other aspects of her lifestyle.
Tammy began sleeping with her phone across the room and kept an iPad on her nightstand. It had nothing downloaded on it aside from a meditation app that she used to help her fall asleep. She found a meditation she loved that helped calm her racing mind before bed, and she wasn’t able to pick up her phone and start scrolling since it was across the room. She also cut out the weekday glasses of wine, which helped her get better sleep. All of these steps combined helped move her overall health in the right direction.
As life often has it, once we think we have things in line, a curve ball is thrown. Such was the case for Tammy. Her work went through a full reorganization, and with that she was given a new boss. While stressful initially, she took it as an opportunity to change, focusing on boundaries and self-care. This included incorporating do not disturb on her phone during off hours and incorporating breathing exercises and meditation along with walking when work days were rough. She also notified her co-workers that she would not have any morning calls prior to 8 am in an effort to restore her workouts, establish boundaries and focus on her sleep.
In the last 8 months, Tammy has:
- Cut gluten, dairy and sugar from her diet
- Started sleeping until 6 a.m.
- Been working out on her Peloton daily before looking at her phone
- Incorporated boundaries at work
- Become much better at stress management and as a result benefited from improved focus
- Lost weight
- Increased her optimism as a result of all her hard work
So what’s next for Tammy? Staying the course with sleep, nutrition and exercise … but also moving on to nourishing a different primary food: getting back to her hobbies. She has a few knitting projects half-finished and a coffee table refurbishing project that have stalled for many months. It’s time to get to work on those!