Christina Jordan flushed red as a Disneyland employee announced to her and everyone else in earshot, “Ma’am, you’ll have to exit the ride. You’re too big to fit the safety belt requirements.” As Christina fled the scene, she made a vow to herself: I am done feeling so out of control!
Christina hadn’t needed this wake-up call. She was already well aware that her body was going haywire as she wrestled with a sluggish thyroid that had progressed to hypothyroidism, diabetes and extreme fatigue. In fact, she spent most of her time feeling exhausted by the extra 100-plus pounds she was carrying, but her doctors and fitness trainers were baffled as to why she wasn’t losing weight, no matter how much she slashed her calorie intake.
At her breaking point, Christina did her own research and discovered something that startled her: She needed to eat more… not less.
I’m that girl who is overweight and starving!
She realized, also learning that foods containing iodine, omega-3 fats and a mineral called selenium could help heal her thyroid.
Responsible for keeping the thyroid working optimally, selenium is necessary for the body to convert inactive thyroid hormone into the active, metabolism-revving form. Plus, the mineral has a protective effect on the thyroid, so selenium deficiencies can cause the immune system to attack its own organs, specifically the thyroid. Without enough selenium, fatigue, weight gain and blue moods set in, just as Christina had been experiencing.
Inspired, Christina made the changes, adding in selenium-rich foods like spinach and apples to her diet, and in just a month, she’d shed 37 pounds.
By six months, she was off her thyroid medications, and within nine months, her car’s seat belt, which she once struggled to wrap across her size-22 belly, could easily fit around her size-4 figure.
“Learning to build a healthy relationship with food saved my life,” the mother of three cheers.
Inspired, Christina went back to school to become a nutritionist and help women like her access the healing nutrition strategies that had changed her life.
And when Christina’s younger sister, Teresa Lane, was diagnosed with high blood pressure and pre- diabetes, she turned to Christina for help. A single mom, Teresa had survived a lot — from abuse to divorce to ovarian cancer. But now, her weight was putting her life in new danger.
In addition to the new diagnoses, she’d been taking the medication Levothyroxine for 15 years.
My thyroid is shutting down, Teresa worried, knowing that if her hormones were out of whack, she wasn’t going to lose any weight. So she called her sister for help.
Teresa followed her sister’s advice to eat more often — five or six times daily — focusing on foods that would help rebalance her hormones, lowering her cortisol and healing her thyroid. She enjoyed dishes with selenium-rich eggs, spinach and chicken.
When Teresa began, she confesses, “I was terrified. I had so many doubts about myself.” But within two weeks, she dropped three dress sizes and began to believe her body could be restored.
After six weeks, her 12-year-old son, who had never been able to wrap his arms around Teresa, could touch his wrists during a hug. And in five months, her doctor took Teresa off her medications.
Together, Teresa and Christina have lost 293 pounds and 36 dress sizes so far and estimate that they have saved $800 a month being off medications. “Christina helped me find my way,” says Teresa. “I love who I get to be for my children!” For Christina, nothing gives her more joy. “The greatest gift I could give my family is a happy, healthy mom!’
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Save on Healthcare (Buy on Amazon, $12.99).