Thursday, September 12, 2013

Celebrating a Year of a New Me

This month I am celebrating a year since I started to slowly take back some control over my body. And not just by ridding myself of some excess weight.

In the first and third photo above I was not a very well person.  I had an A4 list long of symptoms, was struggling to do the bare minimum just to get through the day, discovered I had Endometriosis (which I suspected for years but never did anything about) and had an operation to have that removed, was seeing a Rheumotologist as was showing a heap of signs, including some positive testing, for a chronic inflammatory disease and was pretty much a wreck, mentally and physically. I was hitting brick walls in getting any kind of real diagnosis from anyone and was living in total complete frustration at my inability to even get through a day with an ounce of energy.

When I decided to embark on a 12 Week Spring into Summer Challenge with Stacey Hancock, I thought it would either make me or break me.  If I had to be honest, I thought it would break me and I questioned if I was doing the right thing.  But I also felt I had nothing to loose though, nothing else seemed to be working and I figured I couldn't feel any worse than what I already did.

It was hard.  I stuck to my eating plan 100%.  I struggled for the first 6 - 7 weeks with the exercise 5 times a week, but I did it.  I hurt.  I was lethargic.  I was detoxing.  I felt gross.  It sucked.  I was loosing weight, but I wasn't feeling better.

Then at around the 8 week mark I started to spark.  I was cleaning my body of sugar, my aches and pains started to improve.  I was waking up in the morning and my fingers and joints were not as swollen, the daily nausea started to disappear and all my little symptoms started to improve.

At 12 weeks I won the challenge.  But I didn't stop there.  I was getting, and listening to advice from Stacey Hancock  Not just a PT, so so much more.  Check out her website.  She is amazing and I would not hesitate to recommend her.

By Christmas last year I was really starting to feel pretty great.  I still had bad days - but now I was having only one bad day every few weeks or so, as opposed to one good day a month.

I had really started to listen to my body.  I continued to eat as clean as possible, trying not to put anything processed into my body.

I learnt not to eat anything from the deadly nightshade family as it inflamed my joints.  I learnt how sugar was attacking my body and most of my symptoms were probably caused by this - removed sugar and after a few months my body started praising me.  I learnt my body is not particularly fond of wheat.  I learnt that the constant colds and sicknesses I kept getting, despite feeling really well in between bouts of illness, was my body protesting against all the intolerance's I had been ignoring or was unaware of, and my gut was telling me it needed some attention.

In the course of a year, I feel I know my body now more than I ever have.  But I am not completely there yet.  I know I could do with healing my gut.  I want to start introducing more fermented foods into my diet.  There are things I need to improve on, tweak and a heap more to learn.

I did have a moment of stupidness about 5 months ago.  I tested to see if taking all this stuff out was what was actually making a difference, or whether I had just recovered from whatever it was I had.  I reintroduced a lot of my 'triggers' back in.  I soon felt awful.  Joints started aching, lots of symptoms started reappearing, I gained 5kg and I bloated. I also caught Pneumonia.

So I went back to clean eating again.  3 months later I am starting to feel great again.  Yup, its taken that long to start feeling energised again.  Last week, after shifting house, I ate bread for lunch every day of the week.  By day 6 I woke up with joints aching.  I am a slow learner sometimes.  And a silly learner.  My lungs are still healing from the Pneumonia.  I can't run outside when its really cold as they protest way too much, and some days they just don't seem to want to work while exercising at all.  Silly me trying to prove something to myself that I knew deep down - that yes, taking away these things was what was making me better.  But I am not dwelling on it.  If anything its made me more determined to be stronger in my learning journey about my body.

I believe it is food.  I might be wrong.  But I don't think so.  I tested negative in my last lot of bloods for everything I had previously been testing positive for.

Confession time here.  I still like chocolate though and have the odd takeaway (cringe - those hardcore out there will be shaking their heads at me and calling me a fraud.  No offense but that's your deal.  I'm happy and know the consequences of what I put into my mouth).  I sometimes allow myself 'treats' a bit more than what I probably should, but overtime I have learnt some great recipes for clean treats to deal with my love of all things sweet.  And when I don't want a clean treat, I just eat that chocolate, and I enjoy it.  And if I feel a bit awful the next day, I know why, and I continue with clean eating.  I am not perfect.  But what is important is that I feel alive now. What is important is that I feel I am well down my road to recovery but am aware there are still more roads to take.  What is important is that when I am true to what my body actually needs I don't constantly get sick.  What is important is I realise I can't fix this overnight.

I am LOVING where I am now.  I am happy with my eating.  I am happy with my body.  I am loving being well.  Happy One Year "Getting Back Life" to me.


Leonie said...

Wow Julie! well done you! What an amazing and rewarding journey :)

country girl said...

Wow great work!! Sounds like a tough journey but so rewarding for you and your family that you have worked through it all by yourself!! Even though you had a trainer etc YOU still had to do the work. In among your busy life with 3 little ones and a business AND op-shopping :) You look great too!!!