This post may come across as blunt and it is very raw with my thoughts. My blog is a part of my journey to health to help me channel my emotions. I also hope that by being so open and vulnerable it will in some way help someone else heal as well.
For some people they wake up one day and realize something is wrong with their body. Others are probably more like me, it happens slowly over time. You start to notice symptoms and maybe don’t even think they’re symptoms?! You may think that exhaustion is normal, dry brittle hair, nails that break easily, acne, brain fog, joint pain, headaches (sometimes everyday!) are just a matter of getting older or just something you’ve always dealt with so what’s the big deal?! The problem is not a single one of those things is normal. They’re all signs that your body is trying to use to tell you it needs help and something is wrong. Eventually I listened to my body and started to dig deeper.
Once I discovered what was going on, I could get on a path to healing! I told myself I would be brave, strong, take the bull by the horns and conquer whatever it was I faced. I researched till I felt like I’d read nearly everything I could. Listened to podcasts from sun up to sun down. I was determined to beat hashimotos, adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, candida and sibo.
Fast forward 6 months down the road. I’m tired. Not physically, although some days I really am exhausted, I’m tired from trying to be superwoman and conquer this. I got burnt out from research and eventually listened to so much of it that it started to make me think…”this is too overwhelming! I will never get better at this rate!” So I cut back and took a break. I took about a month off from trying to learn about how to heal from all these issues. I just enjoyed life and would listen to music in place of podcasts, read cookbooks instead of health books and took time to do things I enjoy. I’m slowly picking it back up now and getting back to learning…at a slower pace. Mixing in time to just live life.
I really thought when I started this journey in January that it’d be a straight path to “healthy”. I should’ve known that first month what a monster this journey would be. I overhauled my diet from a sort of “clean eating” American diet to Primal/Paleo. The withdrawals and detox I had from it were awful. Nearly every day I had migraines that nothing would help ease the pain from. My body ached, my joints felt on fire, and I just wanted to sleep all the time. But then something happened. I woke up and one day it all just stopped. The migraines, the joint pain, the aches and I got loads of energy back.
I never wanted to quit this lifestyle and go back to my old diet but I hoped that it would get better. I knew the ramifications of my old diet. That was what got me into this mess to begin with. All the gluten, sugar, wine, lack of mass amounts of veggies, chemicals in our home and body products. It all adds up and affects your body. You can’t expect one healthy meal to change you just like one bad meal won’t kill you. A lifetime of eating breads, yogurt filled with sugars, artificial flavors, and who knows what else just aren’t good for you. No matter how much advertising they put into chobani or any other product on the market, it won’t compare to what eating a vegetable can do. It just won’t. In fact it’s a pretty safe assumption that if it has a commercial on tv you probably shouldn’t eat it.
When I started this “journey to health” I wasn’t about to do it alone. I don’t mean to say I was dragging my family along for selfish reasons. Nope. My heart was breaking with all that I faced. I don’t ever want to see my daughters go through what I am or what their father has. Something I’ve never discussed on here is my husband being a cancer survivor. He is now 5 years cancer free but went through a year of sheer hell battling that nasty beast. Our daughters were 3 years old and 13 months old at the time of his diagnosis. I was terrified but he turned and asked me to be strong for him. At that moment my life changed. I had to be the rock in our family. Something that I had never been before. Together we conquered cancer and it taught us so many valuable lessons at a very young age. I came out a stronger person. I look back and think without having faced that battle and now this one, where would we be? Probably on the same path as most Americans, eating a standard American diet and getting sicker by the minute. After hubs got sick, I changed our diet to clean eating and did the best I could at that time.
The more you learn the better you do
Fast forward to January of this year. I had spent the few months previous to that learning all about Paleo. It just made sense to me. The science was behind it. I set a date to start and in the meantime started sampling recipes and building my pantry. You see my plans weren’t for only me to eat this way. My family was going to also. I love my daughters too much to allow them to eat junk.
Something I don’t understand and never will, is how a parent can make themselves healthy meals but then allow their kids to eat garbage. It blows my mind!!!!!! These people know what is good and bad but willingly choose to feed things to their precious children that will make them sick one day. This is the blunt part of the post I guess? Look, I get kids don’t always like certain foods, but neither did mine. Until I made them try things over and over again. Taste buds change. It takes time but they do. My girls used to LOVE pizza, candy, and all the SAD foods. Our last trip to the grocery store they begged me to buy things like roasted seaweed, baby bok Choy, yuca to try, kumquats (which they call sour patch kids), avocados and so much more produce that I spent twice as much as I’d planned. How do I say no when those are the requests they give me? I don’t. Because I was proud of them. They chose the road to health. Kids won’t starve if you give them a plate and tell them this is what’s for dinner. They eat or go to bed hungry. After a few nights of this, they will eat the food. Trust me. It’s hard but it’s worth it.
With that mindset I pushed on down the path of Paleo and primal eating. It’s been a roller coaster but we’re getting there. My girls are now excited to try a new veggie every week and beg for things like Kalua pig for dinner. For my family this is what they get. I don’t keep anything gluten inside my house. If it’s not there I can’t accidentally eat it. Hubs drinks beer because he can make his own choices. He’s an adult. My request was it stay in the garage fridge. Out of sight, out of mind. They get what is served at every meal and if they don’t like, they don’t eat. I call this tough love. As I mentioned above, I love my family too much to let them eat crap. Even if it means they don’t eat.
Some days are hard. I wake up and feel the burden of a lifetime autoimmune disease weighing on me. I have to choose to not let it break me down. Those days, I need friendship. Not necessarily to give advice, listen to me whine, or bounce my crazy ideas off. I sometimes just need to be pulled out of my head and have these people talk to me other things. To distract me from wallowing in my own pains. This is my life now and this disease won’t disappear. Navigating how I can live a happy life while having this is coming along but it’s a journey. My journey to health.