A couple of weeks ago, I shared that I haven’t been feeling well and what I was planning to do about it. Since then, I’ve been plugging along with the changes I committed to for this month. And now I’ve reached the end of my Whole30-esque elimination diet, and I wanted to give you an update on how I’m feeling.
I would love to say that I feel 100% better. But unfortunately, that’s just not true. I think there are a couple of reasons why (which I’ll share later in this post), but I did want to share what changes I have experienced.
- I lost a few pounds and a few inches. This wasn’t my intention setting out, but it was a nice side effect.
- My digestive system seems to be liking the way I’ve been treating it. I haven’t had any severe stomach pains this month.
- My skin cleared up (except for that one time....see next bullet). I use a charcoal face mask a couple of times a week that pulls toxins out of my skin. It was amazing the difference how much less it was pulling within just 3 days of strict clean eating. And I eat pretty well for the most part. So I was really amazed at the difference those final tweaks made for my skin.
- I figured out that almonds (possibly all nuts?) probably make my eczema flare up. I say possibly and probably because I still have some testing to do to know for sure. But 4 days after I started having a morning shake with almond milk and almond butter, my eczema flared to the worst it’s been in awhile and my face started breaking out. As I tried to figure out what was causing the flare, I stopped my morning smoothie with all the almonds and my skin cleared up within a few days.
- I got my period. This one I’m really quite proud of my body for. When I was researching going off birth control and deciding whether or not to go off of it, I read lots of stories of women who didn’t get their period for a year or more after going off birth control! I honestly think that starting a strict, clean diet along with this maca supplement helped to support my body (and my skin!) to restart it’s natural cycle.
- My lab work was inconclusive as to any specific reason why I’ve been feeling crappy. I had a LOT of blood drawn and lots of different tests run. I was out of range for some tests but nothing that pointed to a really obvious issue in my body. This is good news, and yet also frustrating. I have a few more tests to run and waiting on the results of some gene testing we ran. More to come on that.
So, how am I feeling?
I’m still feeling lethargic and tired and having morning hangover headaches that aren’t from drinking. And my mood swings can be off the charts (just ask my poor husband). It’s entirely possible that this is all related to being on birth control for so long and the effects of coming off of it. It’s too soon to tell if that’s the cause, but I’ll keep you posted.
- I’m going to keep gluten and dairy out of my diet for now, and I’m going to limit my intake of sugar, corn, soy, caffeine and many other gut offenders. I won’t be so strict as to not order something at a restaurant because there is honey in the sauce or eat the corn chips at my favorite restaurant, but I know my gut still has some healing to do. So I’m going to support my body in that process by eliminating some foods that I know affect it and limiting others. Plus having reset my food tolerance baseline over this last month, I’ll know right away if a food upsets my body. Remember - tracking is key!
- I hired a health coach to help me to continue along my health journey. Having some accountability and a fresh set of eyes feels like the right thing for me right now. Also, I’m strongly considering going through training myself to become a health coach, so it will be good for me to go through the process first hand.
- I’m doing a lot of research and studying on the mind body connection. I truly believe that our physical health is intimately tied to our mental health. I’m doing a lot of searching and self reflection in this space. This is a big one for me, and I have lots more to say on this topic. More to come.
One last note...
I think it’s important to keep in mind that living an optimally healthy life is a lifelong active goal and sometimes it’s a moving target. Our bodies need different things at different times depending on what our lifestyle looks like at any given time. And optimal health looks different for everyone. It takes time and effort to listen to our bodies and the signs and feedback it gives us, and then making changes to better accommodate our health. Living an optimally healthy life isn’t about depriving yourself or beating yourself up for “cheating on your diet” for that matter. It’s about getting to know your body and committing to making choices that fuel your body and fuel your life and make you feel good. Because really, that's what health is all about - feeling great!