April 16, 2010

Let's Hear It For Sunshine!

It's been a rough couple of months for me on my weight loss journey...I have tried all kinds of different things, stuck religiously to recommended programs and calorie counts, and worked my little ass off at the gym. For what? Sometimes a loss, sometimes a gain on the scale, but at the end of 6 weeks, NO NET LOSS.


So, before I switched up my program, I decided to make sure there was nothing going on medically that would be keeping the pounds from dropping off...i.e. underactive thyroid, etc. Blood work was ordered and as I waited for the results, I found myself feeling very low, discouraged. Never in my life have I wanted something so bad, worked so very hard to get it and still have it be outside of my reach.

Just because something is difficult doesn't mean it's impossible. 
If you find yourself in a similar situation, 
regardless of the dream you are working toward, 
do NOT give up!!! 
{I guess this was actually a center note, ha}

As it turns out, my thyroid is absolutely fine but my vitamin D is on the lower end of the normal range, and is in need of a big boost. I asked the doc if he thought my D levels could be contributing to my weight loss challenges despite my efforts and he said absolutely yes! So, I've been supplementing with extra vitamin D3 and in less than two weeks, I am beginning to see my energy resurge, my weight loss resume and my attitude improve! Yahhh!

A simple remedy for a common problem....maybe you should get tested too.

There are an abundance of physical issues that have been connected to deficient vitamin D, such as:
  1. Low immunity against colds, viruses and the flu.
  2. Trouble with blood sugar regulation and insulin resistance.
  3. Stalled out weight loss despite strict adherence to a sensible program.
  4. Lower muscle mass and weakness.
  5. Psoriasis (this one surprised me ALOT!)
  6. Depression and other neurological disorders.
  7. High blood pressure......and congestive heart failure!
  8. Abnormal thyroid conditions
  9. And even cancer.
  10. Even more conditions you can read about here.

Old thinking is that vitamin D deficiency was only a problem for children, resulting in rickets. However, the topic is now one of the hottest in the research field, and with a remedy as simple and inexpensive as over-the-counter supplementation, we are wise to request testing from our medical professionals.

And, don't forget, the most natural way to increase and/or maintain our vitamin D levels is sunshine! I LOVE THAT!

Yup, 15 to 20 minutes a day without sunscreen will often boost our levels. Foods that are rich in this all important nutrient are salmon, whole eggs, soy milk or mackerel. The natural route is always the best I think. But, if you find yourself on the low low end of the spectrum, supplementation may be necessary.

So, with that, I think it's time to go for a walk out in this Minnesota sunshine! 

Hope you all are well,

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor nor any other kind of medical professional. This blog reports on my own experiences, research that I have done and advice I have received, and should not be used as a replacement for consulting your own medical professional. 


  1. I just saw something about this on the Today show. They had a crazy high percentage of the population as deficient. Because I am a skin cancer survivor, my doctor assumes I am slathering on sunscreen and tests my D level yearly. So far so good.

    I'm glad you found a reason for your struggles.

  2. Cheryl,

    I had the same problem a couple of months ago. My doc tested me and I was just under the minimum. Took the 10,000 I.U. daily for a month, then 1,000 I.U. for 2 weeks. Then had a second blood test and am awaiting results. Like you, I felt better after a couple of weeks, and my appetite is not as strong...I was always hungry before. I have begun to drop a few pounds and feel much better.

    Please, if you have not been tested, do so. It is such an easy deficiency to treat.

  3. @Karen Congrats on being a survivor! Would love to hear your story sometime. :)

    @Jo That's what I'm taking too, 10,000 I.U., but will do it for a month, then go down to 5,000 I.U. for a month, then get retested. Would love to hear what your results are when you get them. You can email me at cherylwrites at gmail dot com. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing the story on Vit D. Yes, it can severely impact your ability to lose weight and get healthy. The low levels of most people are unfortunate side effect of daily life in offices/cubicles, too much TV time and too much sunscreen. Beside getting Vit D with my calcium I also try to include whole eggs and mushrooms (another good source) in my diet.

  5. Thanks for the post Cheryl. I have been recovering from this for about 10 weeks now. I was diagnosed with a severe deficiency and have been on 2000 IU a day plus 60,000 IU once a week plus 1000 calcium daily. Energy levels are slowly coming back. Amazing to me since I am a sun girl, drink milk, etc.. I hadn't heard the weight loss part. Still learning about it...Did lots of research when first diagnosed. I go back in 3 weeks for a re-test

  6. I sincerely hope that medical professionals are being proactive with their patients and testing for vitamin D levels. Seems so often they begin searching for the needle in the haystack when there's a big ole' ax sticking out that'd be so easy to fix!

  7. I had no idea so much was connected with Vitamin D deficiency. Glad you got to the bottom and you're sharing and keeping us in the know!

  8. Yay! I'm glad you found out what is going on, and I can TOTALLY understand your frustration. I'm also glad you're back on track, and not letting anything stop you. YOU GO!

    Hope :)

  9. @ Heidi, I know, neither did I. So, I guess there's a biological reason we feel better in the summer!

    @Hope Thank you! Would really love to hear how you're doing with those last few pounds!

  10. I'm so glad you found something that worked! I took your suggestion and hit the sunshine for the whole weekend and saw the scale move in the right direction this week. Maybe we could all use a good dose of sunshine to get everything moving in the right direction!