Wednesday, January 15, 2014

As Honest As I'll Ever Be Pt. 1

I think no matter how many dreams you make come true, there is, nor will there ever be; Perfection. Its unattainable, yet we strive for it anyway. Nobody's life is perfect despite how it looks on the outside. We're all struggling with something, fighting battles and living with fears nobody knows about. We stress big and small things, lash out, overreact, and let anger get the best of us sometimes. Somehow being human got confused with feigning perfection, as people conceal their flaws and presumptuously flaunt their perfect lives. However, it's how we surpass our obstacles and continue smiling, laughing and embracing happiness that we live a full life. I'm not saying we should run out into the streets and spill our guts to every person that walks by, but we shouldn't feign perfection either. It's self-serving.

I spent a great part of 2013 trying to find a balance between fitness goals, motherhood, learning different things, growing spiritually, reading as much as I could, experimenting with life essentially. I learned to love myself in the past 4 years more than anything else. Though I love myself, I realized the deep appreciation I didn't have before when I was the most critical to myself yet at my most beautiful. I'm currently farthest from my fitness goals and in retrospect it's my own fault. I didn't love myself enough before to appreciate what I had. I was on a diet my entire life, as a child, as a teen, as an adult.

The thyroid controls not only metabolism but hormones as well.We learn that years of yo-yo dieting can be damaging to your body and metabolism, but who gives a shit when you have a dress you want to fit into, when you have negative self talk consistently pushing you, standards society subliminally planted in our minds of the ideology of beauty that bombards us daily, and the judgement of family and friends who are first and foremost quick to give you advice you didn't ask for. That damage can't happen to me right?  Just because I don't use a blade to cut myself, doesn't mean I'm not cutting myself daily with my thoughts, with critical self-talk. As I grew a deep appreciation for my body after creating two beautiful babies, two things that didn't stop despite a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem were:

  • Yo-yo dieting habits- what is eating normal anymore? I'm not even sure.  
  • The "Never Good Enough" syndrome of daily negative self-talk that fuels further trials and failures of diets and exercise to improve oneself
What caused me to realize this? 

  • Hair Loss and hormonal imbalances. 
I said I would reveal all this after I came up with a solution, and when I felt ready. The truth is we're never ready, and I'm not entirely sure I will find a solution. After I stopped breastfeeding my 2nd daughter exclusively for 6 mos in 2012 (while not taking prenatal vitamins and still trying to lose the baby weight), I experienced an explosion of hormonal problems. My face was taken over with cystic acne which took 3 mos to clear up, and 1 month of birth control. After that my hair started falling steadily since Dec 2012. In the last year I've lost more than half of my hair. You would never know thanks to my curly locks and styling products. I've been to Drs, got every panel of bloodwork done that they could think of, seen the dermatologist and there's no solution. Everything has come back normal. 

Before and After Washing Hair May 2013
If you've never lost your hair you don't know the desperation and devastation that comes with it. It's absolutely the most depressing thing to ever happen to a woman and I don't wish it on anyone. The only thing that my doctor explained is that "hair is an internal thing, if you're stressed, if your hormones are out of wack, or if you're dieting and exercising too much, you will continue to lose your hair." She suggested prenatal vitamins and rogaine, that the answer is not in a shampoo. Maybe it's postpartum related even she said. Well fuck me, because my baby is two years old and I think I'm beyond being "postpartum". I do experience a lot of stress at times and I'm always trying to lose a better part of 20 lbs my whole life as my Junior High School time capsule revealed a few months ago. As handfuls of hair fell out I would compulsively count strands last year, researching how much was normal and how much was abnormal. I would change shampoos, each of them varying in the amount of hair that fell, then looking in the mirror of my just washed and dripping hair and have a full blown panic attack at the sight of how much of my scalp was peeping through my wet hair. God bless my sweet husband who would put me in a tight bear hug and tell me I'm beautiful and he loves me even without my hair and that everything would be okay. He knew what I was going through, it's all I obsessed about. I miss feeling free to color my hair. I haven't colored my hair since April 2012, I miss straightening my hair, I never do it anymore because it's far too thin to look decent, it always pastes to my head.  A short hair cut will only make me look older something I learned to feel that isn't what a 28 year old should ever encourage. 

So what will I do? 

Well I stopped having panic attacks that's for one. How? I came up with a solution that I made peace with. If I can't find a solution to regrow my hair, or at least stop the falling, I will shave my head and wear wigs. Pretty simple yet radical, because that's what I am; radical. That's the only way to be in control of this situation, I fully understand why cancer patients do it. I pray, I read, I grow. I grow a deeper appreciation for the here and now and enjoy "what is". I will continue trying to be positive, and fabulous through it. I am still trying new things on a holistic approach and I truly BELIEVE with ever fiber of my being that I will surpass this obstacle like every other one I have in the past. I will keep trying, aspiring, and searching for something that works for me. With each day's struggle to remain focused, positive, and joyful for every dream that came true for us, I tell myself: You are that same beautiful girl you used to be, -20 lbs or not. I am no longer self-inflicting emotionally. 

As usual, I keep it real and will let you know what happens next...Just remember: There's no such thing as Perfect. “Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” -Unknown