Thursday, January 2, 2014

Puttin' It Out There.

Happy New Year everyone!!  I hope you guys had a few wonderful weeks celebrating the holidays...I know I did.  It was filled with friends and family, and we certainly made some wonderful memories.

For most people, the new year is a time to hit the reset button and start over.  As cliché as it sounds, I’m joining everyone and doing just that.  I’m starting my second round of Whole30I had such wonderful results after the first time, that I knew I’d be dying to take on the challenge again...especially after a ton of indulging over the holidays.

Everyone’s Whole30 journey is different.  Most people ask me if I do it for the weight-loss aspect, and I’ll be 100% honest...that’s just not why I did it the first time around.  {But boy was it a fantastic perk...}

I took on the challenge of changing my eating habits purely for health purposes.  I’ve been struggling for quite a long time with health stuff, but of course, you never see that here on the blog.  Sure, I have no problem keepin’ it real with you guys and letting you know that our home is nowhere near perfect or styled like a magazine.  It’s a home.  We live in it.  Yes, we tackle things every day to make it the prettiest and most functional it can be, but come on.  Most of the time it’s a mess because of the 45 projects I've started, but not yet finished.  Our guest room is so crammed full of to-be-projects and other junk that you can’t even walk into the room.  {One of my goals for this year is to get our house purged, organized, and finish projects before I take on something new...which, I admit, is tough for this girl who is constantly dreaming up new things.}

But, I digress…back to the health stuff.  It’s hard to get so personal for all the world to read, but I’m hoping I can help at least one other person who may be struggling.  If I can touch one person, then my job is done…so here goes nothing!!

In short, I hated to talk about it.  In fact, it took me a super long time to talk about things with my hubby, who is my bestest friend ever.  Before I opened up to him, I pretty much just confided in my parents because, well, they made me, so they can’t think less of me!!  I used to think people would judge.  Don’t get me wrong...some do, but not everyone.  And one day, I heard someone else open up about their struggle.  It moved me so much that I literally burst into tears.  Her words were my words.  I felt like she was speaking for me.  She was going through the exact same thing as me, and from then on, I didn't feel so alone anymore. I became more confident in my own struggle because she vocalized hers.  She has no idea how much she helped me by courageously telling her own story, so this is my own version of trying to pay it forward.

Here is the {not-so} condensed version of what went wrong….

Growing up was great…I was healthy and social and all was right with the world (or as right as a girl’s world can be while going through middle and high  But then I got into college and things started to change.  I battled a nasty parasite for well over a year and had some suuuuper stressful relationships {putting it lightly}.  Then when I graduated, my parents moved 12 hours away.  For some, that may not have been a big deal, but my parents are my best friends.  It was a huge adjustment for me, and simultaneously, I bought my first place and started a stressful "big girl" job that involved more commuting than any person should have to deal with.

Notice a theme there?  STRESS.  After years and years of chronic stress…I broke.  I remember the month things really changed, and it was of course, smack in the middle of my busy season.  I started getting awful dizzy spells, which really scare the heck out of someone who drives 3+ hours a day.  I began getting sick after every meal I ate.  My heart started having funny rhythms.  Basically everything was just off, and I broke down.  I started having major anxiety from all of these things happening and I began to see every type of doctor under the sun.  I’m pretty sure most looked at me like I was crazy.  They just wanted to write me an Rx for Xanax and send me on my way.  But something physically wasn't right.  I knew me, and I knew it wasn't just in my head {no matter how many people and doctors wanted to tell me differently}.

Fast-forward a few years, and my symptoms hadn't changed much.  Anxiety had become the norm for me, and it completely warped my social life because, ummm, hello…I was terrified I’d go out and get sick in unfamiliar territory.  I just wanted to hang home in my safe zone, with people who I was comfortable with.  I can’t even explain how sick and tired I was of feeling sick and tired.  I. Was. Not. Myself.  Something had to be wrong, even if no one else was seeing it. 

Finally, my life started to change when my mom looked into alternative doctors who deal with thyroid, adrenal, etc. conditions.  She herself was having some issues, and was going to see a doctor recommended by the Broda O. Barnes Research Foundation, and told me I should get their doctor list and find one near me.

I did just that, and have been thanking God for it every day.  My new doctor (Dr. Michael Doyle) is the first doctor who has looked at me as a whole, and ran extensive tests to get to the bottom of things.  He looks at numbers differently than most doctors and examined things others wouldn't even think to look at.  He found that I am hypothyroid and have adrenal insufficiency {hello major stress and anxiety}…I also had such low iron and magnesium.  With his guidance and NATURAL treatments, I have started to feel like myself again.  I truly believe he has given me my life back, and in the quest to continue my journey of health, I started looking into food for healthy thyroid function and stumbled onto the book “It Starts With Food”.  The book was so interesting and informative, and confirmed my suspicions that the Whole30 challenge was right for me.

After my first Whole30 experience, the system-wide inflammation marker that came up in my first few blood tests with Dr. Doyle, was completely normal.  The constant bloat, problematic skin, low energy, ravenous-sugar-cravings, elevated anxiety, trouble sleeping...all improved or disappeared.  Through proper treatment and nutrition, I've regained so much!!

2013 was a wonderful year where I began my journey to become healthy again, and I’m continuing that into 2014!!  So basically {if you are even still reading} this is why I’m taking on the Whole30 challenge again.  I want to feel as good as possible, and that starts with the food that I put into my body.  So today is Day 1…here’s to the next 29!!

And since I’m getting all personal on the blog today, I just want to thank all of you for letting me share my story!  And a major thank you to my hubby, parents and friends for all the support you give me every single day.  You guys make life pretty darn amazing!! Xo! :)