Discussions about gut health are EVERYWHERE, which can be really insightful and inspiring… but it can also be overwhelming.
Everyones journeys are different.
This is my journey.
As I said in the last post, I’ve struggled with my anxiety since forever.
I’ve dealt with the usual stomach issues from anxiety (cramping, can’t get off the toilet, occasional vom, you know, the usual), but I started to really notice something wrong when I went from a really active job, to a more stationary job.
I should start with what I was feeling daily:
- dry mouth
- my body felt inflamed
- either constipation or diarrhoea
- mood swings
I know so many people will be reading this and can totally feel my pain. Everyone seems to have been through it, or are still going through it.
I started to eat better, minimised my gluten and dairy intake, tried a heap of different quick-fix things (degas, vitamins, teas, gut health challenges etc), but it wasn’t working.
But it was getting worse. My mental state was falling apart and my motivation was basically gone.
During this time I lost my dad too, so that amplified it even more.
About a year ago I decided I have to fix this I have to do whatever it takes to fix this. So I quit my job.
I’m not saying that everyone should do this when they feel defeated… But I was at breaking point.
I was also so so lucky I have the partner I have, who has been nothing but supportive of me leaving work to heal myself.
I’ll go into more detail about leaving work in another post, because that’s been a new journey in itself and something I’m finding so many people don’t talk about.
I started to go to a naturopath the week after I left work and I connected with her instantly.
I’ve always believed in more holistic approaches to medicine and as she explained what we would be doing, it was like music to my ears.
I did a few tests to start with, to check my vitamins and minerals, discover what foods agree and disagree with me, and to get to the bottom of everything.
Once my results came back it turned out I was very deficient in many vitamins and minerals, which explained a lot. I always thought it was certain foods doing it to me, but it was that my body was struggling to do what it was meant to do… without what it needs.
There was also a list of food and additives that doesn’t agree with my body.
For 90 days I had to avoid these foods and additives and be consistent with the supplements. It was pretty frustrating having to read everything in the ingredients in the aisle of Coles but slowly it got a lot easier and I could feel a change in my body.
So you must be thinking ‘she found out what was causing the problems and now she’s feeling great’
Sure I’ve started a really clean diet and lifestyle through all of this.
no wheat, no dairy, minimal fructose, make most foods from scratch, a lot of tea (loose leaf or organic tea bags), really mindful about where I buy my fruit and veggies from, minimal red meat, minimal food wrapped in plastic, eliminating chemicals from cleaning/body products, filtered water.
*I didn’t wanna lie and claim I’m living this entirely clean life which is why I’ve said minimal, the goal is to be totally free of that all*
But once I started working on the physical, the things I’ve tried to sweep under the rug, aka. the mental stuff, all started to come out.
I always knew that a toxic life can lead to a toxic body but wow, it’s so correct.
For my entire life I’ve had to be strong and independent which has made me the woman I am today. I enjoy who that woman is, but there were a lot of things I kept inside. I turned to bad habits when I was younger and didn’t really care about my mind and body until I started realising the damage I was doing.
I’ve put my body and soul through a lot of stress.
To be the person I used to be, to be like other people, to get better quickly, to be the best partner and friend, to be active, to make money…
I didn’t realise I was being so hard on myself until one day recently, I got a wake up call.
I was doing my hair and as I went to do the cute Ariana Grande half up half down style, I found something so weird. I had a bald patch.
I yelled out to my partner to have a look. It was about the size of a 50 cent coin, totally bald.
It totally shook me.
I’m doing everything right, I’m meant to be better?!
I don’t have a great ending yet, I can’t say ‘living a healthy lifestyle has made me such a happy person and fixed me’. It’s definitely helped, but we don’t know what’s caused my hair loss.
I’m currently writing this with a heat pack on my back, from tension build up thats caused my back a lot of pain, and only a few hours I cried to Evan because I felt defeated.
Life will always through you curve balls, but through those curve balls, take care of yourself. Not just the “fitness and eat vegetables” kind of thing, but just stop and be still. Breathe, cry, feel exactly how you have to feel, surround yourself with good people, feel the sun on your skin and of course.. VENT.
Chances are that someone you know is feeling exactly how you are feeling right now. Try not to feel like an outsider and creating a huge monster inside of yourself. That can possibly turn into something really hard to come back from. Let it out.
There is so much proof behind anxiety causing physical issues like I’ve spoken about, and I have no doubt that without my anxiety and depression, it would be different. But I cannot imagine my life without my mental issues. They’ve made me so self aware and strong… we 100% have a love/hate relationship.
I have a lot of good in my life to be happy about, but I struggle everyday to think that way. I have to remind myself, usually after I’ve had a whinge to myself or my partner.
But the more I remind myself of the good things in my life, the easier it is to deal with those bumps in the road.
Be kind to yourself. We’ll get there.