My goal for you:
When I was in my late twenties I was afflicted with some serious gut issues. At least twice a month I would have these episodes where I was unable to hold food down or in. I’d feel like I was going through an exorcism for about 12 hours, then I’d be super depleted for a few days, then I’d have a good week or 2, then the whole cycle would repeat itself.
After about 3 years of this, I was becoming frail both mentally and physically. I had definitely developed food fear, which led me to eliminating a huge list of ingredients from my diet. When I had gone to doctors to explain my issues I was surprised that no one even wanted to check my physical body. Three separate doctors had questioned my mental health. I felt like I was being accused of imagining my symptoms, exaggerating, or being accused of doing this “on purpose” for weight loss and also I had many people tell me that it was a form of disordered eating.
I was 8 months pregnant when my symptoms first presented. I wasn’t concerned about my weight at all. I thought that my symptoms would subside post partum, but instead they became worse. Then, I thought that once I finished nursing my hormones would stabilize and I’d be better. I got worse. Meanwhile I read every book I could get my hands on about toxins in the home. I decontaminated everything in my house, eliminated every processed food. Bought a $500 Excalibur food dehydrator and became a raw vegan. I bought a necklace that was supposed to repel “electromagnetic chaos”. I did all the yoga (this was when I decided to get certified to become a yoga instructor), I turned bedrooms into bat caves, I started juicing herbs and drinking pure ginseng and doing abdominal massages. These things did offer some relief, but just when I’d think I was on my way to healing, I’d be on my knees exercising the demons.
About 3 years went by. I was going in for an eye surgery (completely unrelated) and I stepped on the scale with my coat and boots on and weighed in at 98 lbs. (I’m about 120-125 now usually). I felt tired and weepy and honestly just wanted a cheeseburger but I seriously cannot handle the aggressive internal assault that could potentially follow.
Post surgery, I began following an elimination diet protocol. It was easy to follow because I wasn’t really eating anyway. I stuck to about 7 single ingredient foods for about 2 months. These were all very mild, easy to digest foods. I didn’t get sick at all during that period. Then, I began adding 1 food every few days and gingerly became more brave with what I would try. I still kept everything squeaky clean and thought about “purity” way too often. Meat was what I was most afraid of because I always seemed to have the most violent reaction after eating it. It probably took me 2 years to incorporate it. Meanwhile, I went to my physician because my blood pressure was so low that I had tunnel vision. She asked me a few personal/probing questions that were, again, unrelated to my physical body. Without warning, I started crying and I couldn’t stop. I probably hadn’t cried in 3 years, so it was like a dam let loose. I was mortified. She slipped a card for a therapist in hand and left the room. I never saw her again.
Filling in a blank here, while I was administering these “healing protocols” and getting my gut right, I was also taking control of a very stressful situation in my life. I won’t even begin to get into details, but trust me, I had been bearing this burden for a long time, and while I thought I was managing it, I was actually perpetuating it. Through counsel and good friends and family, I began to manage my life much differently. The only reason I tell you this is so that I can share with you’ve what I’ve learned through completely rebuilding my life 10 years ago.
First, those doctors that told me I was crazy were definitely right. Perhaps they should have done a more thorough physical exam to placate me or as a “just in case” precaution, but in hindsight I think I was blind to what was clear to them.
Second, our minds are powerful beyond all reason. Stress can start as a mental condition but completely manifest real, physical conditions. Chronic stress can lead to chronic illness. When it isn’t managed properly you can actually perpetuate deeper symptoms that do more damage. Don’t be afraid to get help. If a medical doctor suggests you see a therapist, just do it. It will save you years of worry and probably thousands of dollars. The expense of therapy pays back in dividends. If you feel like you need a medical diagnosis, by all means, persist in getting one, but it’s never a bad idea to get your mind right. I wish I would have sooner.
As I am today, I can eat just about anything and my body responds in a normal, functional way. This means that I feel best when most of what I eat is fresh, whole foods, but I can also eat ice cream, a burger or even something with food dye in it on occasion, and it’s not a big problem. I’m happy with my bodyweight. I fluctuate about 5 pounds throughout the month, and even on the top end, I’m comfortable in my body and don’t mind that I’m not the lowest weight I’ve ever been. I’m less rigid about “food rules” and am calmer about allowing my kids to make their own food choices too. I bought Liam and his friend Pop Tarts at the store today. Many people will think that’s un-notable, but if you’ve know me at all, you know that I squeezed that box in my hand until the cardboard tab was sticking it’s tongue out at me, mocking me for caving in on it’s “garbage” contents.
My goal for this website it to give you some simple, healthy options that will make your life easier, fill you with energy, and help you reach your fitness goals. I also want to provide you with accessible workouts that will help you be strong, flexible, and fit (inside and out). What I don’t want to do is perpetuate fear or make you feel that you need to punish yourself for missing a workout. Good health does mean maintaining a healthy body weight. I want to help you do that. Good posture leads to confidence and energy. I want to help you achieve that. Lean muscles support healthy joints. Flexibility leads to faster recovery. I want to you to have all of those things in your life.
You don’t need my permission to buy Pop Tarts. You don’t need me to tell you every move to make. However, I’ve spent most of my life studying fitness and nutrition in both healthy and unhealthy ways. I’ve put myself through the drills so that you don’t have to. Let me share what I’ve learned and be your partner in sorting out this crazy fitness thing.
I’m here for you!