Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Marijuana & Weight Loss Pt. 2

I originally posted about Marijuana & Weight Loss a few years ago. It was only pictures.

I never really went into how finding Marijuana as medicine helped me regain the mobility I needed to leave my bed and my house, and lose the 100 lbs that I had gained after quitting all prescription drugs. I avoided that topic, because I was ashamed of what I had let myself become before finding Marijuana.

But the power of Marijuana to aid in weight loss and health is an important aspect of bringing Medical Marijuana to Idaho. It was also one of the first observations I made about my health when moving back to Idaho after living in several Medical Marijuana states

During Pharma Drug Use
In 2003, a year after my pain began and while I was extremely impaired on opiate pharmaceuticals, I really hadn't gained much weight. I still had some mobility, and could still leave my house, even if I had to be very intoxicated to do it. In fact, I was very intoxicated a lot of the time. The drugs made a lot of my memories of those years very hazy, and made me a person I didn't want to be (angry all the time). But I could still move, and was somewhat active, and I didn't gain very much weight.

It wasn't until the doctors told me I was a pill junkie and I rebelliously quit taking all prescription pharmaceuticals that I quit moving all together. I found myself in bed 99% of the time because of the pain. I used over the counter sleeping pills so that I could get through the night without the pain constantly waking me. I barely moved, only leaving my bed to get my son from his bed in the morning, and to get food from the kitchen, or use the bathroom. Because of this immobility, I missed many doctors appointments and important events in the lives of my friends and family.

My Heaviest
By 2004, I had gone from around 150 lbs and intoxicated, to 249 lbs and asleep most of the time. My youngest son spent a good amount of time hanging out with me in bed during his toddler years, watching movies and playing with his toys, while I dozed in and out and tried not to move in an ever-failing effort to avoid the extreme pain of an misdiagnosed condition.

Although my son still had a mother, because I was alive, it was not a life.
For me or for him.

Back to Normal
Then I found Marijuana. Or rather, Marijuana found me.
And it got me out of that bed and on the right path to the rest of my life.
(It took over 4 years to lose the 100lbs that had quickly destroyed my body)

It's been over 10 years since I weighed my heaviest, at 249#.  Since then, my weight has fluctuated between 140-160, depending on access to marijuana and increased or decreased mobility depending on that access or lack there of...

Living in Medical Marijuana states, my health and weight were pretty stable, depending on varying levels of stress and activity, and I find it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Portland 2012
When I lived in Portland, I was my healthiest. I had a somewhat steady supply of medicine, that was of good quality and a much cheaper price than Idaho. ($35/8th vs $50/8th). I had the ability to choose the strain of Marijuana that worked best for me because of community regulation through Medical Marijuana Cooperatives, Collectives and Dispensaries

I was also introduced to a wonderful invention, called the CannaCap. And through a steady supply and regular dosage of caps (2 caps, 3x a day), I finally achieved a sense of normalcy and control over my pain for which I had been longing for years. I was a healthy weight, and  while it definitely could have been better, I spent a great deal of time being physically active as a mother, and an activist.

Portland 2012
I was able to work in Portland for a few months, something my disability has prevented most of my adult life. I worked at a medical marijuana clinic, and kept a 30 hour work week without too much added pain from stress or constant motion.

As long as I had a steady supply of medicine, I was increasingly active in my own life and the lives of my children.

When I moved back to Idaho, that supply decreased dramatically. I didn't gain too much weight in the little time that I was there, but I did begin to notice my weight start to change.

I also noticed how difficult it was to move as often as I was used to moving, and how much more quickly the medicine ran out spending the same amount of money as I did in Portland. So, although it had only been a few months, I was a little relieved to get back to a medical marijuana state with better access.

The Fight for Lilly - 2013
In Washington, the prices and quality was about the same as Oregon. There were different strains, but after only trying a couple, I was able to determine which ones worked like the ones from Portland.  When I was living in Seattle, I reached my lowest weight since I was a teenager, before I had children. I hit 135# for the first time in the better half of two decades. I blame the stress of fighting for my (unofficially) adopted daughter, Lilly, and lack of financial resources at times, but also give credit to the incredible medical marijuana choices that are found in Washington State. It was the ability to choose the strain that works, and to get enough of it to last a little while before running out that helped me maintain my health.

It is something that I have missed dearly since moving home.

In Idaho, there is only one strain - that strain is called Weed. Sometimes that weed is "chronic" or medical quality and sometimes there is a name with it. But often times it is not the best quality or it's the wrong strain. One that makes me tired instead of energized and mobile. And even more often, the medicine I am able to buy from the Idaho black market is very badly kiefed. (Kief is a name that refers to the crystals that form on the outside of the marijuana buds, and is removed through the use of a kief box or other utensil that removes the crystals from the flower. These trichomes are where the medicine is located that is burned during smoking. The rest of the bud is plant material. The kiefing of medicine that is sold on Idaho streets decreases the medical quality of the medicine, because by taking the kief, they have taken the medicine from the marijuana.)

April 2015
Since moving back to Idaho from Washington, I have gained almost 30 lbs because I do not have the same type of access to the quantity and quality that I need. I can not always get the strain that I need to help with the pain and inflammation of my condition, and I find it more difficult to move as often as I would like. Chores don't get done as well or as often. Adventures don't last as long, or go as far. Activism and events that are not necessary to continue our daily life once again often take a back burner to pain and daily needs of my family.

I am tired more often, and I need to rest more frequently than when I was living in Oregon or Washington. And I know exactly why I have not been able to lose these thirty pounds I really do not wish to have, and why exactly I gained them in the first place. Without the access and choice of strains, my physical activity has decreased dramatically and I find myself working from the computer and parenting from the couch more frequently than when I have good access to quality meds.

I won't blame it entirely on the lack of access to the right marijuana in Idaho, as I'm sure genetics, age, and the chilly Idaho winters, as well as diet and eating choices. definitely play into it. But I find that I have to push myself a lot more to continue the normalcy I found in Medical Marijuana States, and also that I am often falling short of that goal. I have to dedicate my time and my energy to what needs to be done over what I want to do, and I have to prioritize my social obligations in conjunction with my increasing need to rest and recuperate.

I long to return to a medical state, just so I can feel better again. Just so I can increase my activity and lose these stupid 30 lbs. that snuck up on me. I long for a normal life again, and normal obligations that do not require my cancellation at the last minute, because I have to rest again.

After almost 14 years of constant, debilitating, stabbing and burning abdominal pain that makes me want to curl into a fetal position and just sleep to make it through, living in Oregon and Washington has been the closest I've come to feeling healthy. And I definitely miss it alot.

But my desire to bring this miraculous medicine to my home, and my wish to not have to leave this beautiful place that I love, or the people I cherish, outweighs my desire to feel thin and beautiful and be more physically active.

I want to be in a Medical Marijuana State, but I want that State to be Idaho.

Links on Marijuana & Weight Loss -

Marijuana Slims? Why Pot Smokers Are Less Obese

Making the Marijuana Diet Work for You 

The Marijuana Diet May Help You Lose Weight

Marijuana and Weight Loss

Study: Why Pot Smokers are Skinnier

Munch More Weigh Less: Marijuana Baffles Common Sense

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