My SHAPE Program journey began on February 23, 2013 as a last-ditch effort to get well. I also had some weight to shed but my focus was on wellness rather than weight loss because, without wellness, weight loss is meaningless.
Prior to the SHAPE Program, I had seen doctors for over 20 years seeking relief from a long list of health issues. During this time, I received diagnosis after diagnosis and prescription after prescription but only continued to get worse.
Some of the numerous diagnoses I received were:
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Lupus (although doctors couldn’t agree on this, so who knows if it’s true)
- Vestibular migraines
- Adrenal fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Several conditions I either can’t pronounce or remember
- And the infamous “It’s all in your head” diagnosis
My primary health issues included:
- Extreme fatigue. I was so exhausted I could barely function – it was getting worse and happening more and more often.
- Brain fog. I call it Cotton Brain and some days the cotton was tightly packed while other days it was loosely woven. I was very hard to focus and concentrate on even minor things.
- Chemical/environmental sensitivities. I couldn’t go out in public much. The perfume, hand lotions, hand sanitizers, cleaning products, pesticides and myriad of other environmental pollutants made me very sick – sometimes incapacitated. There were times when an exposure knocked me completely out of commission for several days and I was at risk of losing my job.
- Pain. At times, my joints and muscles hurt so bad that it took me 30 to 45 minutes to get out of bed in the morning. I dreaded waking up each day and having to face the chore of standing up. On the other hand, I was always thankful I had a strong bladder!
- Flu-like symptoms. I had flu-like symptoms 24/7. I knew it wasn’t the flu but, for some reason, I had symptoms that resembled the flu.
- Weak immune system. If I caught a cold, it could last for weeks. If I got a cut, it could last for months. Sores would appear out of nowhere and took forever to heal.
- Weight issues. I’ve always been overweight, but I would gain 10 or more pounds in a matter of a day or two even though I didn’t eat enough calories to gain that much. I’ve also tried to lose weight over the years, but it eventually became very difficult. Many of my doctors told me I just had no will power.
In June 2012, I began seeing Dr. Julie Smith (aka Dr. Julie) and by this time my symptoms were out of control. I also felt the Grim Reaper lurking nearby waiting for his chance to whisk me away.
Dr. Julie vowed never to give up on me and, in early February, she suggested the SHAPE Program. She and her husband, Dr. Glenn Smith, had been following the SHAPE Program for the past few months and felt I might benefit from it.
My choices were clear: give the SHAPE Program a try or let the Grim Reaper have his way.
I chose the SHAPE Program.
I began my SHAPE Program journey feeling like death warmed over and weighing in at 419 pounds.
Week after week, I had new and exciting health improvements to report, not to mention unbelievable weight loss.
- My unexplained sores healed, and new cuts healed quickly. Five months into the SHAPE Program, I had emergency surgery which left me with an 11-inch incision across my abdomen. Even with a few routine surgical complications, my incision healed in less than 5 weeks.
- My brain fog was lifting.
- My flu-like symptoms disappeared.
- My extreme pain was gone. I woke up and I could literally hop out of bed.
- My fatigue improved. Little by little I began functioning again.
- My chemical sensitivities improved. This isn’t gone completely but I’m able to go more places, tolerate it for a period of time and recoup quickly, if needed. I can live almost normally now instead of being a recluse in my own home.
About a year later, I’ve regained control of my health and it continues to improve. I’ve lost 158 pounds and the countdown moves on. Most importantly, I’ve ReClaimed my life.
I touch my toes… because I can.
I dance with no music… because I can.
I live… because I can.
Submitted by Dr. Julie Smith