I realize that the Beehive is an entertainment-style blog, but I’m going out on a limb and getting perrrrrrsonal. You lucky dawgs, you.
Right now, out there in Imaginaria where I have developed deep and lasting (if not largely imagined) personal relationships with people (who may or may not know me at all) with names like @Inthefade, @travlin_girl and @MLBJesus, I’m noticing a lot of chatter about the body. How we look, what we eat, how we lose weight. Example: body wraps. I get a lot of social media blurbs from people trying to sell me body wraps, or people pledging that selling them is a great career choice.
For the record, I have not tried a body wrap and I have no opinions of them. But seeing all these calls for quick and easy ways to lose weight and discussions about the products made me reflect on a larger issue. A MUCH larger issue. Here, I’m talking about my butt.
All this chatter about shrinking one’s maximus (of the gluteus variety) made me focus on mine, and in doing so I noticed it had grown beyond “my personal point of comfort” (aka ” my fat pants” — which is to say, I outgrew the pants I wear on fat days). It was time for me to do something.
My desire for shrinkage prompted a change in my eating habits. And then, when I was ready, I started exercising. Months passed; I lost no weight. Frustrated, I further increased my exercise and really, really focused on my diet. Three weeks passed and I weighed in: NO CHANGE.
I wanted to kill someone. Pretty much anyone within my reach. Especially if they were eating pizza.
Eventually I started taking stock of what was happening to me physiologically and here’s what I noticed: most times after eating, I would experience acid reflux or heartburn. If I ate meat, I’d feel incredibly low energy for days. Every night I would be so bloated I looked like I was 7-months pregnant — which naturally became a running joke in our household. Nausea was pretty common, as were other embarrassing digestive issues I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT RIGHT NOW.
There IS a point to this whole missive. As a person in her 40s, I was constantly told by friends and family that everything I was experiencing was common, typical and to be expected. But exercising and not losing weight? Changing my diet and being really devoted to change and having absolutely nothing happen? I wasn’t ready for my metabolism to just sit down and die like that. And as much as I love my fat pants, I wasn’t ready for a my-old- fat-pants-are-now-my-new-skinny-pants switch up every year.
Eventually I went to a nutritionist. Please note that taking the step to pay good, hard-earned money to a non-doctor in exchange for help with my health issues was a huge mental barrier to cross. I am notoriously thrifty — even at the cost of my well-being – but I was also horrendously miserable. I had a family member see this same nutritionist and his help really, really improved her life — I was willing to meet with the guy.
Here’s the crux: All this time — what with the acid reflux and the heartburn?– I felt I had a problem with too much stomach acid. I was chomping TUMS like they were candy.The nausea, the stomach pain, the bloating, the complete lack of energy and zero metabolism — there had to be other, bigger things going on.
But I was wrong. It wasn’t other things. It was other thing. Just one.
Did you know that you can actually have too little stomach acid?
There it is – the whole point of this post. LOW STOMACH ACID. All those symptoms were related to the fact that at some point my body began to produce less stomach acid. The bloat, the heaviness, the lack of energy, the nausea, the heartburn, the ridges on my fingernails, the inability to lose weight — all of it because I wasn’t digesting properly.
I started taking an enzyme that stimulates stomach acid production and voila! I’m fine. All those symptoms are gone. ALL of them. I feel really, really healthy. I’ve been able to lose weight. In short: I feel like I’ve gained 10 years back in my life. I have energy, and with it, the desire to just… do stuff.
The whole reason I’m mentioning all this HERE, in an entertainment blog? First, because I can. And second, because I feel like this is a public service message. As we age, we lose 1% of our stomach acid per year– which is to say, at age 40, you’ll have 40% less stomach acid than when you were born.
If conversations in Imaginaria have taught me anything, it’s that many of us have digestive issues, either with gluten, or problems with wheat, or end up feeling lousy after eating red meat; many of us want to lose weight but can’t, or have little to no energy. To those of you who feel this way, I’m throwing this low stomach acid thing out there as something to consider. It’s a very common issue that most doctors who don’t specialize in nutrition, the body’s digestive functions or how the body processes and reacts to nutrients, tend to overlook.
(More from my BFF Wikipedia here.)