Last April, I posted a blog about nutrition and the possible benefits of eating the right food. I wrote that I was going to go on a healthy sugar free diet consisting of only organic food. I started out switching over to organic produce and over the course of a month gradually weaned myself off all sugar (both processed and organic). As I was doing this, I was continually researching the Internet for the best foods to eat. I thought I had come up with a good healthy eating plan and stubbornly, I stuck to it. Then, week by week for the next two months, I started losing weight. For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I am tall and thin and underweight for my height. So, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was lose weight. But in just over two months, I lost 1.25 stone (~8kgs) pushing my weight to a dangerously low level.
Some of you may read this and think, that’s great. Tell me your diet so I can lose weight… To a person looking to lose weight, “my homemade diet” may work but for me it was a disaster. As concern for my weight grew, particularly among family and friends, I eventually relented on my stubbornness and sought the help of a nutritionist. Before my appointment, the nutritionist asked me to fill out a questionnaire so she could have an idea of what I was eating. When I eventually saw her and we spoke about my diet, her exact words to me were “your diet is so clean and healthy and perfect for losing weight”. So what I thought was a good healthy diet, turned out to be not the case for my own body. I was lacking calories, proteins and healthy fats as well as having no variety in the foods I ate, thereby restricting my body of essential nutrients from other foods. So, my nutritionist helped add “weighty foods” to my homemade diet and I’ve started putting on a little weight, but it will take a long time and hard effort of dedicated eating to get back to a healthy weight for my height.
You’re might be thinking… So, I lost some weight. How is that unhealthy? Well, during the two months I lost weight, I also noticed my Parkinson’s symptoms worsening. Could it be a coincidence? Yes it could, but I think the two are related because in the four years since my diagnosis, my symptoms remained more or less the same. And then to experience a decline in my symptoms at the exact same time as I changed my diet. It seems more than just a coincidence to me.
As a young person with Parkinson’s, I’m a firm believer in self empowerment and want to manage my Parkinson’s to the best of my ability. But you can’t put an old head on young shoulders, hence my stubborn attitude of I’ll do it myself. So what’s the moral of this short story? When it comes to self management, there is no substitute for professional advice!!