The best way that I know to communicate the journey to health is by relaying tidbits of my own wins and struggles. Why? Well, it isn’t a straight path going from being unhealthy or being ill to health. Everyone is a little bit different and there are going to be steps forward and steps back, even some steps sideways while you play Sherlock Holmes a little bit.
As I’ve said before, I’ve been at this for 4 years. Initially feeling better was easy. Any improvements that I made was something that my body thanked me for. I felt soooo good just by making some significant diet changes. I dropped 15 pounds in two months. It was easy to stay there, for a while. Then the shift started.
I had heard that this could happen, hoping it wouldn’t be me but the reality is just the diet wasn’t enough. My body had so many issues with leaky gut, autoimmune, inflammation, food sensitivities, excessive bacteria, HPA Axis dysfuntion, etc. that it wasn’t able to address all of these issues at the same time. And if this sounds like I was a bit of a mess, I was. And, I also want you to know that much of what I experienced is unfortunately normal when it comes to being unhealthy. When I changed my diet, my body was able to begin some of the necessary healing but all of the other things that I hadn’t addressed were now wreaking havoc and the attention shifted. I was finding that all of the energy that I had gained was starting to wane and I would have days when the brain fog was back. Even the some of the foods that my body seemed to enjoy was now causing gas pains and bloating.
Another way to explain the shift is that all of the systems in the body work together. At the center of the systems is the HPA Axis (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal Axis). Because all of the systems are connected and to some extent dependent on each other (our body really is a beautiful thing in the way it works), a dysfunction in one system will eventually affect another. Many of the symptoms I was experiencing were coming from several different systems within my body. So, when I began to fix my gallbladder and iron absorption issues through diet and supplements, the focus was shifted from there to other areas. Headaches started to appear, energy would wane, severe abdominal cramping, bloating, weight gain and the brain fog was back.
In FDN we work on supporting the body as a whole, to help the body heal itself. But, you have to understand where all of the dysfunction is to make sure that it is being addressed. I had completed all of the other tests and learned plenty about how I had screwed myself up but I had been avoiding the food sensitivity testing because I wasn’t keen on having to eliminate even more foods. I am so picky as it is and I have already shifted my diet so much. The reality is that food sensitivities create a lot of inflammation in the body. They are actually responsible for many of the migraines that people experience and play a huge role in leaky gut and therefore, autoimmune. Food sensitivities are very different than a food allergy and they may not even contribute to symptoms in the body. But they do a number on your internal environment and when I say this, I mean the balance of bacteria in your gut. So, addressing food sensitivities has also become an important part of my journey to health and I am embracing it as one of the final steps, I hope, to finally achieving my goal of being as close to remission as I can get my disease.
When I say “One More Thing, Ugghhhh”, I am expressing the difficulty that getting healthy can sometimes present. It isn’t always going to be an easy process. There are many factors that play into health and if you aren’t willing to make the commitment, it can be difficult to stay focused, stay the course so to speak. It isn’t a 30 day fix. It can be a year or more. It depends upon the damage that has been done.
It is important to realize that there is a very big “BUT” to this. Within the length of the process, and the frustration, there are improvements happening. The body does heal itself and as your body makes small and large leaps towards health you begin to feel so much better. You will begin to wonder how you actually existed in that place that you were existing. You will have the energy to spend with your family and your life will begin to feel like your own again. That your life belongs to you. And you will thank yourself for the choice you made because it is worth it.
So, instead of the “One More Thing, Uggghhh” attitude, make today the day that you shift your attitude and choose health. It doesn’t have to be with me. There are plenty of us out here that are guiding people back to their own personal definition of health. What is more important is that you do it, and stay the course. You are worth it!!