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Monthly Archives: July 2012

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Writing this early in the morning on Day 4. Day 3 was a little bit tougher than days 1 and 2. I kept having cravings for solid foods, but I did not succumb to the cravings.

I still could not manage to get over 1000 calories consumed because I am still dealing with the issue of having to stretch the juices that I have available due to my present problem with funding. That meant that I didn’t have the kind of energy I needed when I went to workout. Probably all the extra work I had to do getting things packed for moving and trying to clean up the apartment in the hope of getting back the $1000 we had to pay as a security deposit helped to zap me of energy as well. I actually had to modify my workout around my lack of energy.

Drank a lot of water in between juice hours. A lot of water for me is probably not much water for most people. I need to work on improving my water drinking habit.

I suppose Day 3 is too early to start checking if I am seeing any change in my stomach. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t really expect that by the end of 21 days, if I manage to make it to 21 days when I don’t have money to afford juice, my fibroids will be gone. I don’t have any expectation that I’ll be fibroid free in 21 days. What I’m looking for is shrinkage that will be indisputable. Complete disappearance will be great but I think my someone working with as large a set of fibroids as I have been working with should expect to spend years shrinking their fibroids if they are going about it using natural remedies. I think it will be an incremental thing where they go down little by little with each year invested into trying to shrink them.

I do hope that I will be able to stay on this juice fast for the next 17 days.

Note: I will be offline for a few days while I transition from my present location to the new state where I will be moving this weekend so I will not update with my progress until I come back online.

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As with 21 day juice fast for shrinking fibroids – Day 1, I am actually writing this on Day 3 of my 21 day juice fast for shrinking fibroids. I was too busy on Day 1 and Day 2 packing boxes and trying to make some headway with the preparations for an upcoming move to sit down and write.

I am attempting a 21 day juice fast. Like I said in the previous post referenced above, this was probably not the smartest time to make an attempt at a 21 day juice fast, but I’ve started it and we’ll see how it goes. My primary concern is being able to afford to do it. I am relying on already bottled juices right now, drinking the Protein Zone protein juice smoothie from the brand Naked and also their Naked 100% Juice Smoothie Green Machine. My intention is to drink enough in a day to get the amount of calories and nutrients I need to maintain my weight as I do not want to lose weight.

Day 2 went reasonably well. Because I had only one 15.2 FL OZ bottle of the protein zone smoothie available, I drank half when I woke up in the morning and drank the other half after I finished working out at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I did drink about an ounce at a time of the Green Machine juice in between.

Later in the day I was able to obtain another bottle of the protein zone smoothie. I drank half of the bottle and put the other half away for Day 3 so I could stretch what I have as I can’t afford to be spending $16 per day to get these juices right now.

I do want to actually make my own juices with fruits and vegetables; but for now the bottled juices are more convenient. I don’t even have a blender so I’ll need to get a blender before I can start thinking about making my own juice.

I hope the soy element in these drinks will not adversely impact on my efforts to shrink my fibroids.

Although the juices seem to keep my energy up, I was a little bit weaker than I needed to be while working out Tuesday afternoon, but that is because I had only consumed 420 calories the previous day (didn’t get the juices in time and had to drink calorie free tea for most of the first day of the juice fast); and by the time I started working out I’d consumed at most 500 additional calories; so I didn’t really have enough fuel in the engine, but I managed to get through the workout.

I had one or two fleeting moments of craving something solid to eat; but beyond that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by drinking only juice. I didn’t feel particularly deprived. I say “particularly” because I did have patches here and there of feeling slightly hungry, but I expect that given the situation of needing to stretch the juices. I end up still consuming fewer calories than I need but I hope to balance that out soon.

I think I can actually feel my health improving already. Somehow I feel more balanced physically. My spirit feels calmer and cleaner; but it could be my imagination. It’s still quite early in the process to really be able to tell what impact it’s having or not.

As previously stated, I am not going to be able to take any pictures to document my progress until about the end of the first week in August.

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I am actually writing this on day 3 of the 21 day juice fast for shrinking fibroids that I am attempting. Day 1 went okay. I drank mostly tea all day because I did not actually have any juice to start with. Later in the day I was able to get a Protein Zone drink from Naked Juice. That was my only juice intake for day one but only because I didn’t manage to obtain it until close to bedtime.

I am in the middle of packing and arranging for a move to another state so I won’t be able to do any photos until I settle into the new place about the end of the first week of August.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know if I can afford this 21 day juice fast. Whether I purchase already bottled juices like I’ve been doing or buy fruits and a blender and make my own juice, this is an expense that I don’t really have the funds for right now. We’re still short of the funds we need to cover all the expenses that this move has incurred; but I have started the 21 day juice fast, probably at an ill-advised time, and I hope to be able to see it through.

The key I have come to realize is to make sure I am consuming enough calories and nutrients to sustain me and avoid the weight loss I have been concerned about. I was ignorant of the fact that juice fasts are very different from the 5 day tea fasts that I do. Essentially during those 5 day tea fasts I am going without food because the tea I drink has no calories and none of the essential nutrients that I need so naturally I lose weight, which is not my goal.

Like I said, I am buying already bottled juices right now. Specifically I am drinking the Protein Zone juice smoothie made by the Naked juice brand. And I am also drinking Naked 100% Juice Smoothie Green Machine.

I can’t afford to drink more than 2 bottles per day right now so I am still getting fewer calories than I need to maintain my current weight and avoid weight loss, but I am hoping once we settle in at the new place things will pick up and I can increase to at least 3 bottles per day.

Hopefully it’s not dangerous to be getting 180% of the daily allowance of protein that your body needs. That’s how much protein you get out of 3 bottles of the protein zone smoothie, at least according to the nutrition label on the bottle. You’d also be getting 66% of the recommended daily allowance of carbs, 78% of the daily recommended daily allowance of potassium, 54% of the recommended daily allowance of cholesterol, 30% daily allowance saturated fat, 33% daily allowance sodium, 30% calcium, 30% iron, 36% fat, 840% Vitamin C.

I’m no nutrition expert so I have no idea if any of that is dangerous or in any way counter productive. It could be that there are better juices that I could be drinking. I’ll be able to do more research once this move is behind me. For now Naked smoothies are my juice of choice for my attempted 21 day juice fast.

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Since about 2005 I have had a problem sleeping. Maybe it started before 2005 but I became aware of it in 2005. My life changed suddenly and dramatically in 2005. I can’t go into details about what happened because I’m still so ashamed that the choices I made in selecting a life partner put me in that situation in the first place and I am still with the same individual; but that’s not really the point of this.

I woke up at 4AM this morning. This has been the pattern since 2005. I will wake up between 2 AM and 4 AM with a feeling of complete and utter dread and hopelessness. Like I said this started in June 2005 when my life underwent an abrupt change that was very traumatic for me. The problem has since remained. I do manage to get some sleep on occasion but for the past 7 years I really haven’t been sleeping well.

It’s only now writing about this that it dawns on me there could be a link between the traumatic experience I suffered in June 2005 and the mental and emotional strains I was suffering in the years before that and have been suffering since, and the development of this problem with fibroids. For sure I know that the fibroids began to develop in 2005; but I thought my body was just changing and taking on the shape they say women get after a certain age. I didn’t realize it was tumors growing inside me.

I had noticed that my previously flat lower abdomen wasn’t flat anymore and no amount of exercising was helping to flatten it. I figured it was just life and so I put away my form fitting tops and modified my style to suit the change in my body. At that point the bump was still tiny so I could hide it easily enough. It wasn’t until about 2007 that the fibroids really started to grow; and interestingly enough it was in 2007 that I got back with my husband after being apart from him since 2005.

I think it was in May 2007 that I felt something hard and lumpy in my lower abdomen one day while I was lying on the floor doing crunches. I could be mistaken about the year but I think it was May 2007; and by the end of the year the fibroids had grown to a size that were, according to the doctor, too large to remove via any other means but a hysterectomy.

In my years of being unable to sleep through the night, it was always because of this unsettling feeling in my body starting in my throat in spreading through my stomach. I don’t know the right words to describe it, but it was (is) like there’s something toxic in my body and starts moving around in the middle of the morning when I’m asleep and it plays with my mind until I wake up feeling heavy with depair, unsettled both physically and mentally, feeling like I’m choking, like the core of me is filled with toxic air and my mind is just sinking in unbearable depression. In those moments I’ve often felt like I wanted to die, like I just couldn’t do it anymore. Usually after I’ve been awake for a little while it passes, but this is what I’ve suffering for the last 7 years.

I don’t know if there is a corelation between lack of sleep and fibroids. I’m inclined to think there is a corelation between fibroids and lack of sleep, like fibroids can affect your ability to sleep soundly; but what impact might lack of sleep have on helping fibroids to grow in the first place or what impact can lack of sleep have on impeding your progress as you try to get rid of your fibroids? I’d be curious to find out.

Certainly I know it’s not good for my overall health that I’ve been getting between 4 – 6 hours of sleep on average since 2005.

 

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Picture of stomach with fibroidsI don’t want to act like having fibroids is the worse thing possible because I know that there are many worse things than having to walk around looking like you’re pregnant or like you need to incorporate crunches and situps into your workout regimen when you are not pregnant and you’re not fat and out of shape.

Out of consideration for all the people in the world who are living with serious illnesses that threaten their lives, I’ll endeavor to avoid making out my situation to be some kind of major crisis. Yes, this is very real health problem that impacts on daily living in ways that undermine overall quality of life; but I’m not likely to die because of my fibroids. I’m sure it’s possible to die because of fibroids, but it’s highly unlikely.

That being said, having to walk around with lumps in my stomach that change the shape of my body to something that is considered not attractive is very unpleasant for me. Being someone who has always had a heightened level of image consciousness, it’s very difficult to live in this altered body that I have acquired due to uterine fibroids.

When I first found out I had them I didn’t hesitate to start making plans for a hysterectomy because there was no way I was going to live with a protruding stomach, but then I got scared when the doctor told me that, even though cases of women dying during hysterectomy surgery are rare, dying was a possibility. I decided to hold off and give things some thought and here I am several years later having lost the opportunity to get the hysterectomy. Vocational Rehab was going to cover the surgery then. Now I have no coverage options and I have no money so even if I wanted to get the hysterectomy, which I still don’t, I couldn’t get one.

I am sitting here right now with my shirt up over my stomach. Sometimes I get uncomfortable and I have to bare my stomach and sit back and just let it all hang out. It’s embarrassing to live with a big stomach that I can’t do anything about unless I get my uterus taken out or unless miraculously I find some natural remedy to try that completely dissolves the fibroids.

I’m not in the worse place that I’ve been with the fibroids; but I’m still fed up and frustrated.

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I just came across a video from a lady who says she used the herb red clover to shrink her fibroids naturally in 3 months time. She was a lovely lady, but the information for how she managed to shrink her fibroids using red clover does not appear to be available for free and unfortunately, although she is only charging a small amount for the book within which she tells how she did it, I cannot afford to buy her book. So I am now trying to read up on red clover.

Apparently red clover contains isoflavones, which are estrogen-like compounds. I’ve come across articles in the past that talk about isoflavones in connection with shrinking fibroids. Apparently the isoflavones in red clover have been used to treat menopausal symptoms and to help balance the acid-alkaline level of the vagina. Acid and alkaline are two words I’ve come across a number of times in my research trying to find natural ways to shrink fibroids, but I’ve never really understood their importance well enough to attempt to explain the role of either in fibroid growth or fibroid shrinkage.

I don’t personally know how to use red clover for fibroids, if there is a special formula or what. If you happen to know more about this and feel like you want to help those of us ladies who are looking for help shrinking our fibroids but can’t afford to buy books that tell us how to do it, feel free to share in the comments section.

In the meantime, I’ll see if I can manage to get my hands on the below product and put red clover to the test while not knowing if there’s a special way it has to be prepared or what.

Botanic Choice Liquid Extract, Red Clover, 1-Fluid Ounce (Pack of 2)

I did come across some material in which it was suggested that red clover should be avoided if you have uterine fibroids;but as you might suspect, I have also come across material that suggests red clover works for shrinking fibroids. I don’t figure my fibroids can possibly grow much bigger so what’s the risk if I try it?

Here are some articles you might find useful in deciding whether or not to try red clover yourself:

What Effects Does Red Clover Have on Uterine Fibroids?

Can Red Clover Help Fibroids?

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I find it odd that they say 80% of women have fibroids and yet they suggest that fibroids is mostly a problem for African American women. African American women make up such a small minority that it does not mathematically make any sense to me to say that 80% of all women have fibroids and yet classify fibroids are mainly a Black woman problem.

(Update: Whatever document I was reading when I wrote this post originally must have contained wrong info on the percentage of women believed to suffer with fibroids. I still don’t know the accurate number and it appears no one does as you will find a different percentage referecned depending on what you’re reading; but most of the reports range between 20% – 35%. With this new number in mind then my argument that it does not make sense mathematically to say that fibroids are mainly a black woman problem becomes invalid.)

Original post continued…

When you make fibroids out to be a mainly African American woman problem then you start to make wide assumptions and draw conclusions based on those wide assumptions. You also tend to allow your assumptions and stereotypical ideas about Black women to influence how you approach your investigation into trying to find out what causes fibroids which inevitably confuses the whole process of finding a fix for the problem.

Some of what I see based on the things I read suggest to me that someone decided all Black women are obese as a result of eating greasy unhealthy food every day so therefore fibroids grow as a result of being overweight and eating unhealthy foods. This is a picture of me taken around the time my fibroids began to develop. At the time it was the biggest I had ever been in my life. Sad to say I spent most of my life with body image issues such that if I didn’t look like a match stick I thought I was fat, so at this point in my life I considered myself fat and I’m sure there are many others who will look at the picture and see fat because we live in such a twisted culture, but I am happy to be well enough now to be able to see a healthy woman when I look at this picture.

Woman with fibroids

The point here is that for most of my life my problems with food and weight have been that I wouldn’t eat because I didn’t want to gain weight. Take 35 pounds off the picture above and you’ll have an accurate picture of what I looked like most of my life. And it’s not that I’m an exception to some rule. I find that there is such a need to malign and belittle Black women in this world that people readily accept generalizations about us to the point where they will go out and somehow fail to notice the 100 healthy black women that cross their path in a day and only notice the 10 who fit the description that they expect black women to fit.

There are obese black women who don’t have fibroids and there are skinny black women who do have fibroids. I have never been obese. I did get fatter than in the above picture for a couple of years after my fibroids started to grow, but at my heaviest I was never more than a little bit overweight and it was more a fluctuation type of situation where I would keep gaining and losing, gaining and losing while struggling to keep a grip on life.

Right now I’m struggling to avoid losing too much weight and I don’t think I’m an exception to some rule. I think it’s a dangerous thing to generalize when it comes to people’s health and to allow your judgement to be clouded by stereotypes and feelings of disgust that you might have for a group of people based on those stereotypes.

I agree that it’s important to look for commonalities in trying to figure out the root of fibroids, but I don’t think that if you’re going to maintain that 80% of all women, race not germane, have fibroids that you ought to be focusing in so much on a minority group and particularly on a group that is known to get negatively stereotyped with no effort ever being made to clear up the stereotypes because everyone who is not part of this group feels themselves enhanced and elevated in one way or another by having this group maintain their status at the bottom of the totem pole.

When you focus on asking what do all black women have in common, instead of what do all women have in common, you hinder progress in solving the problem of fibroids because you then waste time trying to figure out things like what impact hair relaxers might have on causing fibroids and stuff like that. I don’t relax my hair. My hair is 100% natural and has been for most of my life and I’ve been around a little while. I don’t have fibroids because of relaxers because I don’t use relaxers or any other kind of chemical product in my hair. I don’t have fibroids because of bad diet, unless by bad diet you mean going years starving myself to stay thin. I’m not obese and never have been, and I am sure that I am not the only Black woman with fibroids who can say this.

By trying to treat fibroids like it’s a black woman problem, then you look for ways to blame more so than for ways to help. Well if you weren’t relaxing your hair this wouldn’t happen. If you weren’t eating all that fried chicken and cole slaw and potato salad you wouldn’t have fibroids. If you weren’t so fat and lazy and not getting any exercise you wouldn’t have fibroids. Get a hysterectomy and that’ll solve your problem. It will probably be better for the world if you didn’t have a womb for babies to grow in any way.

I am a black woman with fibroids. During the period when my fibroids were growing I went through patches of gaining weight and not keeping up with my physical fitness on a consistent basis. Patches mean that I might go 3 months not working out so I’d gain some weight; but then I’d get back on track and lose the weight and I kept up that cycle for a couple of years; but outside of that couple of years, I have always been fit. Since I was a teenager I worked out 5 – 7 days per week sometimes upwards of 4 hours per day because I was obsessed with being thin. I worked out regularly and I hardly ate, which isn’t anything to brag about. The point I’m trying to make is that weight is not responsible for my fibroids. I also have natural hair and have for most of my life, so hair relaxer is not responsible for my fibroids either.

Even if you want to insist that fibroids mainly affect black women, although I still find that suggestion problematic from a mathematical standpoint based on the fact that they say 80% of all women have fibroids, I think it’s important not to factor in stereotypes in trying to figure out what the common elements might be. It’s too easy to mislead people, and once you start spreading around ideas that have no basis in truth and fact you just hamper any real progress in finding solutions to problems.

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If reduced stress can help shrink your fibroids and yoga can help reduce stress, then by some law of logic yoga can help shrink your fibroids; but for that to be true, then it would have to be true that reduced stress can result in fibroid shrinkage; and that probably isn’t true.

Yoga probably can’t directly shrink your fibroids. I don’t personally think it can, but I’m no expert so this is just my opinion and if an expert tells you it can then I’d go with the expert’s opinion.

In my experience yoga hasn’t shrunken my fibroids; but it has helped along with my other workout routines to tighten and tone my abdomen, which has helped to make my fibroids look less pronounced.

I took the picture on the right today. By comparison to a similar picture I took a year ago, my stomach definitely looks smaller like my fibroids might have shrunken, but if I feel around my stomach with my fingers the fibroids actually feel the same to me. They are taking up the same amount of space from my lower pelvis area to right between my rib cage. There are two that I can actually feel the shape of and one near my belly button that I can almost grip; and they don’t feel like they are any smaller to me even though my stomach doesn’t protrude as much as it used to unless I eat more than 1 solid meal per day.

Of course I can’t really say what the actual sizes of my fibroids are now by comparison to what they were when they were checked by the doctor. I’d have to get them checked again to get official measurements; but based on just feeling them up with my fingers I’d say they are the same size and the reason my stomach looks flatter (flatter by comparison to what it has looked like – I know it’s still fibroid bumpy) is because of the other benefits of yoga and the other types of exercises I do to try to upkeep my fitness level and try to manage my stress and other mental and emotional issues.

I do want them shrunken and I will continue to try every thing that I can afford to try. Hopefully my financial situation will improve to where I can try some other new things; but for now I am still a fibroid lady.

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Shrinking fibroid naturally photo july 16 2012

I don’t think that just because your stomach looks flatter it means your fibroids are shrinking. In my experience different things affect how big my stomach looks from day to day.

I’ve been having a pretty comfortable day with the fibroids today. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’ve been giving my stomach a break drinking mostly tea yesterday and today. I only had 1 solid meal yesterday and it was a pretty small dinner; and so far today I’ve only consumed tea with the exception of the 1 corn pancake I ate at around 4PM. I plan to only drink tea for the rest of the day. I took the picture on the right this morning to post in order to show how my stomach is more manageable when I don’t eat.

Obviously I still have a protrusion. I’ve said in other posts that I don’t think I’m ever going to get my flat stomach back, and right now my goal is to manage my situation so that I can achieve as flat a stomach as I am going to have while still having fibroids. If in the process of trying to manage my situation I eventually succeed in shrinking the fibroids down to where I get back the flat stomach I used to have that will be great; but I don’t think if that ever happens it’s going to happen any time soon.

If this is the first post of mine that you’ve read and you haven’t seen any previous pictures of what my stomach has looked like, here’s a picture that was taken in June 2011 (view picture). I’ve said that I think the size of my stomach when it gets to the size you see in the picture isn’t ever 100% fibroids. For sure I was carrying around more weight when the below picture was taken than I am now, but my stomach still gets big like that from time to time.

I think when my stomach gets really big like that its because the fibroids don’t allow for much space for anything I eat, so if I eat three full meals per day there isn’t any room for that in conjunction with the fibroids, so things get pushed about and around. Sometimes I can feel the fibroids pushing out my sides. There’s one that will rise higher in my chest. There’s one that will press lower into my pelvis and by the time everything has found itself a place to settle I look like I have a nearly full term baby inside me.

When I don’t eat then things settle better so my stomach looks flatter. It’s the reason I’ve kept saying that I don’t really know if my fibroids have shrunken at all. I think the only way I will know that is by getting an ultrasound.

The problem for me as I have said in numerous other posts is that I cannot afford too many days of eating next to nothing or not eating at all. It’s just not a viable option if I want to stay strong and healthy. So it would be great if I could actually get rid of the fibroids altogether, but I don’t know if that’s truly possible without getting some kind of procedure done. Obviously I’d rather not look like I’m pregnant when I’m not so I know I have find a diet that allows me to get the calories and nutrients I need to maintain my health while keeping my stomach fairly empty, as it seems my stomach needs to be empty in order to avoid looking too pregnant. There isn’t any room in there for food on top of the fibroids.

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I don’t think any amount of situps you do will have any impact whatsoever at shrinking your fibroids. Just take a look in google images at what fibroids look like and try to imagine being able to flatten those things doing situps.

I’ve been doing a lot of core focused work for some time now, and it does nothing to affect the fibroids. At the very least though you will tighten up around the fibroids so any fat there that contributes to the size of your stomach you can get rid of and your stomach will look smaller and stronger, but the fibroids won’t be shrunken as a result of you doing ab exercises.

I was reading some material in which it was suggested that while exercise can’t help you to get rid of your fibroids, it can help prevent fibroids in the first place; but I’ve always worked out since I was a teenager, sometimes 4 hours per day. Admittedly I went through a period of burn out when I was about 34 or so. I stopped working out every day and would go months at a time not working out; but then I would get back on track and I never went years without working out during that burn out period. Additionally I was never one to indulge in a lot of bad food (half the time I wasn’t even eating). I know there are exceptions to every rule; but the same is true for those of my siblings who have had fibroids. None of us were fat and we were all physically fit.

I think there are a lot of conclusions drawn based on certain assumptions and stereotypes about the people who are considered to be ones more likely to develop fibroids and it leads to the spreading of misinformation; but as far as situps getting rid of fibroids, I think even if you took a hammer to a fibroid and tried to pound it flat you might have a tough time getting it done. You could burst it open, sure, but I don’t know if you can flatten that ugly mass of tissue doing 5000 situps per day every day for 365 days.

 

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