|Posted on January 5, 2014 at 6:40 PM|
It's actually been just over two years since I competed and it has taken my this long for my body to stabilize itself and return to a new normal. But this new normal is different. While I am thrilled to say that I really and truly feel like I am cured of my food issues and obsessions, which is why I did not want to make this decision, you see, there is a problem.
While my food obsessions have disappeared and I am at the point where I can eat what I want, when I want, without guilt or shame there are issues which I must address. And after months of trying everything but.....it comes down to my nutrition.
As much as it pains me to admit it, during my contest prep was the best that I ever FELT physically. I had tonnes of energy, my skin was clear and I had no digestive issues.
I was eating a pretty low carb diet which was gluten free and high in protein, fats and vegetables and fruits. I enjoyed everything that I ate and felt fantastic. But in all honesty I thought that it was the adrenalin from the show prep. I wanted it to be the adrenaline. You see...this whole low carb, paleo/primal and in particular, gluten free fad, is a HUGE market right now and I did not want to promote that lifestyle to my clients. I didn't view it as being balanced and totally healthy, although in reality I do know different. It can actually be one of the healthiest diets that there is... the majority of what I had given up was processed food, even a lot of what many would consider "health" food.
So here I am two years later having to make a choice. A choice to give up the "eat what I want, when I want" - hoping that I make choices that support my health and goals (I haven't been). And get more specific.
About nine months after the show, well into my new "anything goes" nutrition plan, I started to develop hives. Daily. I would break out with itchy, burning, red hives that would multiple the more that I scratched them. I started taking antihistamines daily which worked; but me being me, I hate taking medications. I believe that while they are often necessary, they were just masking my symptoms and not helping me get to the underlying cause of this unusual conditiion.
Three doctors visits; all passed off as nothing. Luckily I broke out in my dermatologist's office while I was there for my annual mole check! Finally! A doctor who didn't think that I was crazy!!! He ordered a boat load of blood work and allergy tests and sent me home with a sheet about mast cell over production of histamine. (not what it was called exactly but that sheet is long gone). And guess what? I'm not allergic to anything. WTH?!?!? Are you kidding me??!?!
A few months later I find a name for it.....it's called DERMATOGRAPHIA (meaning skin writing). But while it is deemed a fairly common problem, there is actually very little information about it, including the cause! Some believe that it is an autoimmune disease while others say its an allergy. In the end, I have tried just about everything without doing the one thing that I know in my heart of hearts will help me.
This whole problem started when I opened myself up to eating anything and everything. The truth is I over did it. I ate too much of the wrong things. Not wrong simply because they caused me to gain weight, but wrong because of how they affected my body systems. I have simply not been feeling 100%. Exhausted, cystic acne, unmotivated, digestive trouble, blood sugar crashes and the horrible horrible itching and hives.... not me.
It is believed that 80% of the immune system exists in the gut. I believe this more than ever now! So as the new year approached I reached an inpasse. I had to make a choice and I am choosing to get my health back. To get me back!
For me this means making some diet modifications which will probably not happen overnight but the sooner the better. As of today I am going grain free. I suspect that I will allow a little rice here or there to my plate or a bowl of quinoa (techinally a seed) to pass my lips on this journey; but in order to reset my system I will try my best to adhere to a very clean diet based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and proteins. I will also be making sure that I am getting a minimum of 2L of water a day (been working on this one for a few weeks).
Getting outside as often as I can to ensure that I am getting enough daylight for my body to manufacture me some good vitamin D (we are all pretty low this time of year) and making sure that I am getting enough sleep as well are also top priorities for me.
I'm ready to take my health back and reset my system.
Anyone else need to press the reset button?
Categories: Mindful Nutrition