Hello and happy Friday!
Last I left off, I addressed the diet and supplement changes that were recommended to me by a nutritionist/naturopathic through an email consult. I was going to talk about the next doctor’s visit I made, but I want to talk about this in more detail.
I have always been very health-conscious of the food I put in my body, but this meant I had to remake my diet from the ground-up. If you haven’t read my bio, I have a huge passion for baking and trying foods of all kinds. The diet was intimidating to say the least, and so were the long list of supplements, but I was determined to heal. I also had hope for the first time that I might actually begin to feel better, and that was what kept me going.
I implemented the changes on October 9th, the day after the wedding in which I made the cake, and I had the supplements ordered and ready to go. Soon after, I decided to go gluten-free as well after researching the condition more and hearing from multiple women who experienced similar symptoms. It was tough to begin with, but I soon became comfortable cooking meals for myself that fit within the realms of my diet. I even managed to bake a few things I could eat! The hardest part for me was, and still is, that I can’t go out to eat without compromising the diet somehow. Not only can I not accept the free cookie or eat much of anything at a potluck, but I also feel high-maintenance. Sometimes, I even feel judged. In a country where food allergies and intolerances are popping up left and right, many believe those claiming an allergy simply want to be “trendy” and fit in with the crowd. While this may ring true sometimes, it’s not the case for most people. No, I’m not celiac and I don’t risk death by eating gluten (which I’m grateful for), but it does increase my fatigue levels.
I did allow myself to enjoy the occasional treat on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but with moderation (something I’ve not always been good at, but that’s a story for another time). I did this partly so I didn’t go crazy and partly because I wanted to see if it truly affected my ability to function. It was either Thanksgiving Day or the day after that I was too tired to go on a 2-mile, easy hike with my family. I slept instead. Over Christmas I attended a friend’s party in another town with plans to stay the night, and I allowed myself more sugar than I’d eaten in a while. Fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks just after 8:00 in the evening, and I had to excuse myself to go to bed.
So, yes, this change in the foods I consume has definitely helped me. While I have yet to be see my fatigue disappear, I do notice the changes when I eat foods that are not recommended by the naturopathic. I eat this way because I want to treat my body well, and not because I want to restrict myself, which I believe is an important point to make. And maybe it’s just because of the reference I made to another story above, but I also want to discuss the word “diet.”
I’ve used it quite frequently in this post, but I’m not a fan of it. According to Wikipedia (I know, I know, but I like this definition),
“Diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-management reasons.”
Too often, and in fact more often than not, diet is equated with words such as “restriction,” “losing weight,” “elimination” and “less food.” This. Is. Not. Good. I began this plan with the intention of intaking exactly what would make my body healthiest. Yes, I did hope for weight regulation as a byproduct, but that was not my main intention. I actually did get some backlash from people close to me (though I believe it was unintentional) when I listed the stringent “requirements” for my diet/whatever-you-want-to call-it, but the adjustment for me was easier than I expected it to be. Instead of changing my eating patterns because I wanted to look different (refer to previously referred to story), I changed them because I wanted to feel different. This is key.
Anyways, I did make another appointment with a different doctor over Christmas break just so I could talk with someone face-to-face, but I’ll address that next time. I do want to end this post with the happy announcement that on January 3rd of this year, almost three months after taking the naturopathic’s recommendations to heart, I got my period!! And then I got it AGAIN exactly a month later on the 3rd of this month! I could hardly believe it! (In case you haven’t read my first post, it has been several years since I’ve had any semblance of a regular period – I have gone as long as 9 months without it before, and no, not because I was pregnant…)
Yes, I’m excited about this! That’s not something you hear often, but there you go. I did experience other improvements in my symptoms as well, but I’ll talk about that next time. On that note, because it’s as good a place to end as ever, I wish everyone a wonderful weekend. I hope this was helpful and please don’t hesitate to reach out 🙂