Change, it can be the hardest thing for people. We get accustom to a certain way of living, it becomes like routine. We don’t like being told we need to change. We even don’t like taking a step in the direction of change unless we are seriously motivated and are in the right mindset of making a change. How about a lifestyle shift? Does that sound any better?
I knew once I had made the appointment with a Naturopath Doctor(ND) and walked through the door, I had taken the first step to making change happen. And I knew deep down I needed a change, more like a complete lifestyle shift. My gut health was completely f***ed. I was bloated after anything I would eat, I had headaches all the time, I was unmotivated, and downright miserable feeling. I used to be so positive and vibrant, full of life and working out basically every day. I have literally quick working out, except for walking 2 miles a day with coworkers and an occasional exercise routine. I knew deep down what I needed to do, I knew I had to eat healthier and get on better routines. I just didn’t know what all that would entail.
Once my ND told me about the gut health issues and trying an elimination “diet” I was nervous. How could I eliminate all of the yummy foods and get all my nutrients? –Insert palm to face- I had done the research. It all starts with getting your gut health right! I knew things to eat and what to avoid, she had just confirmed it for me. Eliminate gluten, dairy, sugar, and processed foods. Add healthy organic veggies and fruits. Drink more water. Exercise at least 3 times a week. Take a good probiotic and liquid multi vitamin.
Considering I had let my nutrition slip and given in to several “food days” at work, I had my work cut out for me. But I was determined! You know what the biggest motivator was for me? When my ND told me if I didn’t get both the gut health and lymphatic system issues healed I could pass it on to our future kids. Scared the shit out of me. So I gave in and make the changes.
I started tracking my foods, literally everything I was eating, every day. I began thinking of nothing but what I would nourish my body with next. I started going to our local farmer’s market, this has become one of my favorite things to do on the weekends. I made little changes that would have the greatest impact. I am not going into detail on my exact foods I ate. I simple became more aware of what I was buying and what I was eating.
For the first three weeks I was golden, I was following everything to a T. When I slacked around the 4th week mark, I went downhill. I got in a slump and in a mindset of “one thing isn’t going to make a difference”. Newsflash for me, it does, it makes a huge difference. I started experiencing headaches again and some bloating. The struggle was real, but it helped me figure out foods I could and could not eat. Processed foods are a definite no go! Dairy is still up in the air, but I have avoided it like the plague. I don’t think gluten bothers me like I thought it would, though I have tried to stay away from it as much as possible. My biggest struggle so far has been when my husband buys something I am love, but shouldn’t be eating-apple pie, chips (which some are okay just got to limit it ;)), etc. And when mother nature comes, ladies you know what I mean, I tend to let myself get a little more off track than normal. For a couple weeks I was way off track. I started feeling guilty about it, not because I had slipped but because I felt like crap and just kept adding to it. After a big mindset shift I was READY to go all in! I even made a note on my whiteboard at work reminding myself “Stop Eating Junk”. Though it may be silly, it has helped so much.
I am fully back on track now and have been for about three weeks. There have been a couple times when I have a treat. I just try to remind myself we are all human, it happens, just don’t go overboard, and that I am on this health journey to feel better and the crap makes me feel like crap. Healthy living starts with a healthy gut!
I still have a long way to go for my gut to be healed. We are always on a journey. It doesn’t end when we reach a goal. We have to keep working at being healthy every day. I now have a different mindset, even from the beginning of this journey. I am more excited about how I will feel and what I will learn about my body. I am excited about the foods I will get to try and how they will give me energy. I am ready to live my best life and be my healthiest and share the experience with you all along the way. Next week I will talk more about my lymphatic system and steps I took to healing.
Much love, Ashley