- I love myself enough to do what it takes (to get well)- My walk through adrenal fatigue, chronic hives, hormone imbalance, weight gain, emotional healing, etc. etc. etc.
- I love myself enough to do what it takes (to get well)- PART 2 of a series about adrenal fatigue, chronic hives, hormone imbalance, weight gain, emotional healing, etc. etc. etc.
This part is about what has worked for me physically on this journey…(the physical part is only a small portion of the journey, and this blog post is only one part of the physical part…so please come back for the future installments about more of the physical parts, as well as the mental, emotional, spiritual and relationship parts of my healing journey)
I continue to feel better and better. I want that for you too. This is the second installment in this series…HERE IS A LINK to the first part…..and again I have been reluctant to publish it because this has been such an intense, complicated and personal journey….and mostly because I know for sure that each one of us needs to get a professional opinion before entering into any kind of a program that involves supplements, medicine, etc……so, be sure you do that, ok? I am just going to share with you what I have done.
I want to help you so much if you are where I was. I want that so badly…that is why I am writing this all out. Please keep in mind also, my friends…that I am still a work in progress. I have to be so careful every day or I backslide….and that happens! I know this is going to be a long journey and a complete life change that has to be permanent. I am still learning. I still have really hard days and I still make really big mistakes. I still get lazy and careless about what my body needs. I am only an expert at this to the extent of what I know and what I have tried.
Here’s where I am today…..I don’t have hives anymore….it’s been 6 months since my last outbreak. I have lots of energy. I feel good. I am losing weight. My hair and skin is healthy and glowing. I don’t have mood swings. I am sleeping. I am HAPPY. I am at peace. I love life. This is all VERY DIFFERENT than how I felt a year ago and two years ago.
If you are like me…you want to see sort of a list of what is working. I will put that at the end. I can’t just start there because it is so much more complicated than that…and it would be cheating you out of what this is really about, as well as minimizing what it really takes. But…if you just have a little bit of time….I have listed my daily regimen at the end of the post.
OK, so let’s talk about the physical parts of this journey. I’m going to discuss my physical body…what my body has gone through and what my body has needed. Currently I am down about 17 pounds I most days I feel fantastic. That is a miracle to me after how I have felt the last few years. When this all started, I took the health of my body for granted. Our bodies are just such fine mechanisms….miracles, really….and they just breathe and pump blood and distribute chemicals that we need when we need them. They work so perfectly….until they don’t. But when my body was working… I never thought too much about it. It was fairly easy, if I was careful, to stay at the same weight I’ve been at since my twenties. I had a lot of energy. I slept well. I have always tried to eat right, for the most part…so I was pretty healthy all along. However, I consumed a LOT of caffeine….and artificial sweeteners. I went on lots of crazy diets when I wanted to lose a few more pounds. I had no respect for my body’s limitations and when I was tired, I just consumed more caffeine.
I also worked too much and played too little. I said yes to just about everything that was ever asked of me. I didn’t make time for rest, recuperation or self care. The thought of self care never even entered my mind except for maybe a pedicure here and there….some spray tanner…maybe even a massage once a year or so……that’s what I thought self care was.
I need to tell you upfront that although this part of the series is about the physical side…..in order to start addressing the physical side, I have had to have a complete and total change of heart and mind. When I sit down with people and tell them what it has taken to get well….some are just honest and flat out say that it sounds too hard to do all of this. Then…they come back months later because they are getting sicker. I guess when you get sick enough, and you get tired of living your life as a sick person, you will do anything. If there was anything that I know for sure that you absolutely NEED to have to be able to get well and whole in life….it is a new frame of mind about it…the willingness to do whatever it takes. The change of heart required to love yourself enough to finally begin to take good care of yourself might be the hardest part of all of this…..and I promise you that I will be writing SO MUCH about that….but I am starting with the physical parts.
Over the course of a few years, as I look back…..my health started declining gradually in almost every area physically. I started losing energy. The caffeine stopped working and only made me nauseous and jittery. I lost my ability to cope with stress the way I used to. I became very sensitive and allowed my feelings to get hurt a lot….I took things personally. I felt wired and exhausted at the same time. My heart raced almost all the time. I would get surges of massive anxiety and adrenaline just as I was trying to go to sleep that would keep me awake and exhausted for hours….then, once I finally did go to sleep….I would awake in a panic, heart racing…massive anxiety that kept me awake for the rest of the night. I started getting social anxiety and I became someone who could hardly be around people, especially if I had to have a conversation. The thought of having to have a conversation scared me so much that I started to hide out so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I started to gain a few pounds…then few more, even though I wasn’t eating any more than usual and even when I tried to limit my calories….I still kept gaining weight. My skin and hair dried out. I was either really cold or really hot. I felt humiliated and angry about all of it. I didn’t want people to see me like this. I berated myself and beat myself up over my lack of ability to control it….I beat myself up over my limitations. I was really mean to myself when this all started….and for many years into it. I didn’t want to be the way I was, and I let myself know it.
When I ran out of energy…even from caffeine….I started eating the quick energy that my body craved…sugar and simple carbohydrates…bread, white rice, potatoes……that accelerated my sickness and my weight gain. After a while, I didn’t even have enough energy to care what I put into my body.
Then the hives started. The welts. So…..not only was a getting chubbier, none of my clothes fitting…but I was also covered in hives that hurt, itched and made me look scary. The energy that my body was using the fight the histamines that were invading me made me even more exhausted. This was a miserable few years.
I was completely out of energy….but I kept working just as hard. I worked myself into the ground. I felt resentful about everything that I had to do every day…but I never told anyone how bad I was feeling so of course I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and self loathing at the same time…..being a martyr. Being a damsel in distress. Waiting for someone to rescue me. Feeling powerless. Feeling angry. Blaming situations and people and relationships and circumstances for the way I was feeling. None of that did my body any good at all….and kind of took me to rock bottom. Part of getting well has been taking 100% responsibility for my actions, my emotions, my thoughts and the part I’ve played in life that has gotten me to where I am. One of the first and most important parts of healing is admitting our own part in our sicknesses. Being a victim, a damsel, a martyr…..those are some of the most common places are where sickness lives. My physical body needed me to believe the truth that I am not powerless and that no matter what was happening in my life….it was my choices that got me there. It hurts to admit that!!!! And you have to forgive yourself for being someone whose choices and thoughts you no longer respect or want to be part of. You have to meet yourself with mercy. Once I did the very hard work of owning that…….I got my power back.
Knowing your power…stepping into your power…..accepting your power….taking responsibility for your power…appreciating your power and the source it comes from…AND TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE….It is SUCH a long process, my friends. And it hurts. It hurts to admit that we are hurting our own selves, that the abuse that led to our destruction was by our own hands. It is scary to not be able to blame anyone else for where we are. It is also the most powerful and freeing secret to good health and vitality and heart and soul peace that there is. My physical body is so thankful that I have taken responsibility for everything. I am not powerless. I am powerful…..and I have physical limitations because I am human. I have to eat, I have to drink, I have to sleep. I have to love, I have to accept love. I have to create. I have to think. I have to pray. I have to ask. I have to give. I have to connect. My body needs these things. I have the power to make sure my body receives these things. I also have the power to protect my body from the things that hurt it. It is my responsibility to make sure all of this happens. It is not anyone else’s responsibility….because I am a grown woman. I am not powerless.
Today I sleep…at least 7-8 hours every night. I am so incredibly protective of my sleep. I take a LOT of supplements every morning and then some more in the afternoon and evening. I do not eat sugar. I do not eat grains. I try to eat as much food that was grown in the ground as possible. I limit how much meat I eat. I drink a lot of water. I have a timer set on my phone for every 2-3 hours and I make sure that I eat something when that alarm goes off so that my blood sugar stays level. I do not consume caffeine or rely on caffeine. When I run out of energy every day, I have to rest. I go to bed earlier. I had a lot of expensive tests done to find out where my body was lacking….and I have had to sacrifice a lot of things that I really want to be able to and have right now to be able to spend money on the supplements and help that my body needs and was completely out of. I still don’t have a lot of energy to exercise…so I just walk. I order salads at restaurants or I don’t go out. I carry food that I can eat with me everywhere I go. I don’t make excuses about why I can’t take care of myself. If I am not taking good care, I own it.
Remember please that I am only speaking about the physical parts of things…..and honestly I think the other parts are even more important….the mental, emotional and spiritual parts…the relationship parts. If you are reading this series…please make sure you come back for the rest because these physical things are such a very small part of things.
Before I tell you my daily regimen, I want you to know that I had blood tests done for everything and a saliva test for my hormones and adrenals. I needed to see where my levels were. When I started I was stage 3 adrenal fatigue. My cortisol was incredibly low, as was my adrenal levels. I was high in estrogen and low in progesterone. My vitamin d was low, my cholesterol was low…everything was low. I was depleted in every way. I could not have known all of this without the tests. Please go get the tests if you possibly can.
So….here’s a little list of what I do for my physical body every day (unless I am being lazy….and then I don’t, and I wish I had) If you are wanting to go this route…please go and see a Functional Medicine Doctor, that is my advice to you. Many times these doctors are also chiropractic doctors. You can work with my doctor over the phone if you don’t have one…she has changed my life…I told her you might be calling :)… and her link is…DR. SHAMANIE HANECA
Here’s my daily regimen……..
- I wake up after having at least 7-9 hours of sleep and take my thyroid medicine…it has to be taken on an empty stomach…I take Armour Thyroid and I have been taking it for 13 years.
- I wait 30 minutes before I eat. At this time, I drink a big glass of water…and I try to have at least one glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon. I try to drink as much water as I can in the morning.
- I eat a breakfast that has some protein and a bit of carbohydrates and fat. Usually, I have a shake mix that is already mixed up with all of this stuff in it. A protein shake. There are a million different kinds of these out there and so just talk to your doctor about what is right for you. I don’t eat sugar or gluten so I have shakes that are sweetened with something other than sugar.
- I take my supplements. Most of my supplements are from Metagenics….a company that makes pharmaceutical grade supplements that are checked and regulated and distributed mostly by health professionals.
- I take a supplement that is a combination of many things for my adrenals (Adrenogen)
- I take an adaptogen (Adraset)
- I take a multivitamin with Iron (PhytoMulti)
- I take vitamin D drops
- I take a histamine helper for my hives (although I have not had hives for 6 months now!) (Peramine)
- I take a high quality probiotic (UltraFlora Balance)
- I take tumeric (I buy it at Costco)
- I take fiber pills (I get them on Amazon)
- I take fish oil (Omega Genic EPA-DHA)
5. I eat every 2-3 hours….a mini meal. With protein, carbohydrates and fat….no sugar, no grains …meat, vegetables, nuts….or a prepackaged meal that contains what my body needs. There are a LOT of diet programs that offer prepackaged food that works great when you need to eat little meals every few hours.
6. I have an infrared sauna. I try to use it 3-4 times a week and I really should do it every day. I stay in it for 45 minutes after drinking a ton of water. It has changed my life…honestly. It was very expensive and I had to save up for it. It is made by Sunlighten Saunas and I urge you to do some research on what these saunas can do for you. I have the Solo and it was worth every penny. My skin is so healthy….my body is so detoxified. It makes me feel so good.
7. I don’t eat dessert with everyone else. I don’t stop for fast food. I don’t have sugary or salty snacks. I eat cut up vegetables, pickles, nuts. I find other things to do with my time than eat…because I used to eat for the fun of it.
8. I have a bedtime routine that does not include my computer. I slow down and spend time with my husband. I try to be asleep by 11pm no matter what….so THIS MEANS….I do something that I really needed to do. I spend time with him til then, and then I sleep in the other room. This may sound crazy or even controversial….but my wonderful man loves to watch TV late, and loud…and then he snores. When I was very sick, my doctor told me I had to give up caffeine and I had to get very good quality sleep. We set up a bed for me in the den. I made it beautiful and cozy and happy….I call it my sleep sanctuary. I sleep ALL NIGHT now…..it is one of the most important things I have done for my health. My bedroom is still my bedroom. My marriage is stellar. It is for sleep and I have fallen madly in love with sleep. If you are ill….I urge you to spend 30 days getting the best, most quiet and cozy sleep you possibly can every night…even if it means moving to another room.
9. I drink freshly pressed green juice. I stopped drinking caffeine by drinking pressed vegetable juice…it helped me quit and it helped me stay off. 1-3 times a day, in a masticating juicer, I juice 3-4 carrots, a slice of ginger, a whole peeled lemon, 3-4 cups of greens like chard or kale, some celery, cucumber…anything green. When I am trying to release weight, I don’t include fruit….but when I am not…I will put an apple in it. It is mostly about the greens for me. It makes me feel fantastic. I actually crave it now. It doesn’t taste like a fruit smoothie……it’s not what I would call delicious….and it’s hard to get used to at first…but now my body craves it the way it used to crave caffeine. It takes a lot of discipline to juice….but it is so worth it!
10. I don’t drink soda or any caffeine. When I want soda….I drink soda water. I miss the bubbles sometimes….so I drink it with ice. I even have some natural flavorings that are sweetened with Stevia…so I can have cream soda with vanilla, etc. When I go to restaurants, I order soda water or sparkling water with lime.
11. I stop eating a few hours before bed….at least a few hours. I drink a lot of water before bed.
12. I was using progesterone cream for a while, but I don’t need it so much any more. It really helped for a while as things were getting evened out…so ask your doctor about that.
13. When things were very bad…I did a lot of things outlined in the Gerson Method. It works! Google that if you want to know about it. There are things in there that are hard to discuss in a blog post 🙂
14. I don’t let food pushers get to me. I am firm in my decisions and my boundaries. This is my life and my body! You are worth it!!!
What I want you to know is that I am feeling good……quite good. I also want to remind you that I am taking time to write all of this out because I love you and I want to help…and I can’t stand the thought of anyone being where I was and not knowing what to do. I want you to have hope!!! My heart and soul and mind are in a very good place…so is my body. I am down about 17lbs currently….so I am not even halfway to where I want to be…and I am kind of at a standstill currently because I haven’t been trying very hard to release weight for the last few weeks during camp and staying out of state with my daughter after she had a scary delivery of our first granddaughter.
Sometimes I have to put my focus on other things. My relationships are all more peaceful, happy and wonderful than they have ever been in all of my life. This part might make me sound like I am on drugs…but I am truly happy. I am at peace. I feel so good about life because I am taking responsibility for MY own life and allowing and expecting others to take responsibility for theirs…I am trusting others to do that..and knowing that others are wonderful and capable and so am I…and we all get to be in each other’s lives as we do that…I can show up and love and love and love and love…and I do, but I still know that I can not force any other person to live their life journey in the way I think they should. (and why am I even thinking that I should know the exact way another should live their life?) I can teach what I know, and what I believe…..but I can not make another person know or believe anything…even my children!
So…I just love and offer what I know…and I show up to my most important sacred relationships with love and no expectation. JUST LOVE. With boundaries for myself but without manipulation or expectations. I got to this place by working through my anger, my resentments, my disappointments, my hurts and my expectations. It was hard work!
My body thanks me for not trying to hold the very heavy weight of being responsible for any other person’s journey. I teach and love and trust my children. I help them when they need help. I do the same for my husband. I do the same for my friends. My body also thanks me for not expecting any other person to rescue me, or love me to wholeness, or save me or complete me. My body thanks me for not expecting others to change to suit my own needs…but to work on changing myself to suit my own needs and desires. I have so many wonderful people in my life…we all love each other so fiercely. I am a mother and a wife and a grandmother. My relationships are the best part of my life…my joy!!! We can allow those roles in our lives to be heavy weights around our neck, or knives in our gut with all of our expectations, though….can’t we? Let’s let others off the hook when it comes to our happiness and health. Even our partners. Silly guy down there…love him so much…..
For the sake of my body (and my soul, and my mind, and my relationships and my spirit) I have chosen to not have detailed expectations of others anymore and certainly not to have conditions for the love I feel for them. My body thanks me for that. I have boundaries and I enforce them…but those boundaries have to do with me and what I can and can not tolerate…what I choose to tolerate or not tolerate….what I want and do not want to surround myself with…not with me judging another human as being lovable and worthy. We all get to decide for ourselves what our boundaries must be! I have learned to let others off the hook when it comes to their responsibility to do things so that I can be happy….to be things so that I can be happy. I love them, support them and help them wherever I can….I do all that I can and I let that be enough. I let others show up exactly as they are. My body thanks me for that. I do all that I can to teach and love my children and then allow them to learn consequences of choices they make and help them with all of that. I let who they are and what they are be enough. Is there a better way to love than to just love another without expecting anything in return? They are fantastic and miraculous and wonderful as they are…when we expect others to be something else…we miss out on what they are. I am in a place of gratitude for everything that life has and is. I am in a place of total forgiveness toward myself for everything…I am in a place of total forgiveness for others about everything. I forgive life for everything. I trust God. I know that God loves me. I know that God loves you. My body thanks me for that. I love life….even on the hard days. All of the work I have done to get to this place has been worth it….and every day I choose to stay in this place of peace and truth….then I choose it again. And…it is not easy. And sometimes I mess up and get angry and blame…and feel sorry for myself….and tell myself it’s too hard. Then my body reacts by losing it’s vitality. This is hard work….hard work that reaps incredible rewards….but the alternative is out of the question for me these days. I don’t ever want to go back to being a damsel in distress or a victim or a martyr. I don’t want to be sick. I want to be alive…fully and full of light and alive. I want that for you too!
Next up….some more information about the physical side of things…I will tell the whole journey about my hives….and my hormones…..this is all going to take a long time to write out…I’m sorry it’s taking so long. It’s just SO MUCH STUFF.
Sending love to you all.