I’m a Type A type of girl. I like things to make sense and when they don’t, I get stuck until something changes. Until I change my approach, my attitude, my direction OR until the circumstances change.
I’ve been stuck for a few months. I knew something wasn’t right with my health. I knew there was a reason why I felt so tired all the time. Why I couldn’t lose any weight even though my calories were low and I was running and completing CrossFit workouts. I knew the brain fog in the afternoon wasn’t right. I knew bad sleep and catnaps weren’t the best signs of a healthy life. I knew problems with infertility and high blood sugar and the mix of both of those were not helping my view of how I want my life to be. I continued running because I love it. I even completed my first marathon and then got severely sick for weeks after. During these months, I saw all my doctors and had complete blood panels done. I was borderline on hypothyroidism. I was borderline on needing to start an oral insulin pill. I was borderline in needing hormone injections. All of these were in that grey area that could mean I begin taking a bunch of medications and hope something worked. I, along with most of my doctors, refused to go down that path. In the meantime, I started having some digestion issues.
It took almost a year to find out that gluten was a huge factor in a lot of those things. When I cut it out of my diet, my immediate digestion issues returned to normal. I even lost some weight. I went down 1 size in my jeans and felt better. The brain fog in the afternoon completely disappeared. What surprised me was my mental outlook on my health. I felt so much better with just a few changes in my diet.
I replaced the gluten with corn, rice, and potato products. I piled on the sugar. I knew it wasn’t smart, but it was the “holidays” and I enjoyed them tremendously. I got really sick in October and I spent 3 months just surviving to go to work. No running or CrossFit. Not even consistent yoga. Just work, come home, sleep and take massive doses of steroids to combat repeat sinus infections. Then massive doses of anti-inflammatory for the separated and broken ribs. At one point, I finally sat and had my pity party. I took a good hard look at what I tried, what worked, what had not. I knew something had to change. I needed to be at my best in order to handle the rest of what life has in store.
Was this how I wanted to face my 30-something birthday in mid March?
And 5 weeks later, I barely recognize myself. What changed?
I returned to my first love. Running. I started walking and running again. I thought if I could just get back in the routine of running, I could be content again even if nothing changed with my weight or body shape.
3 days later, I started a drastic new eating plan and one that I said I would NEVER attempt because a girl needs cheese, beans, and grains in her life, right? But I started it and 30 days later, I finished. 35 days, to be exact. And I found out just how easy it is to say NO to things that were making me sick and sluggish. While corn, rice, potatoes, and dairy do not cause the instant (within hours) severe reaction that gluten does, I could definitely see the physical swelling in my face, fingers, and feel it in my joints.
During this 30 day plan, my running just got stronger. The first couple of weeks were hit and miss. The last two weeks and the 2 weeks after the 25 days have been amazing. I feel like running is no longer a huge mountain to cross EVERY TIME I RUN. I have a good mix of easy and intense runs now. I almost see glimpses of those runner highs I used to have. Now when I’m bent over, catching my breath, it’s a fantastic feeling, not an “I’m so fat and out of shape and I’ll never be that girl again”. I AM that girl. And I’m only getting started.
So here I am, 23lbs lighter in 6ish weeks. I don’t recognize my face. It has shrunk. My rings do not fit my fingers. I’m digging out clothes that I’ve had “put back” for 2 years. Simply put, I’m enjoying living again. And breathing easier. And no longer wondering “when” or “if” I will ever feel healthy again.
3 quick things that worked for me.
2. A nice collection of shoes. 3 pairs of running shoes and 1 pair of CrossFit shoes. I’m excited to add some more miles to the Saucony Virratas! Saucony sent them to me as a Fitfluential Ambassador to review and post.
3. Accountability. This particular picture is for my second DietBet. I’ll have more information about that in an upcoming post, but being accountable to ANYTHING helps. I was eating on the Whole 30 plan with a group from my CrossFit box and a year long weight loss contest with a close group of running friends. The DietBet was a GREAT source of motivation. Yes, my toes need painting. I run therefore I will never have pretty feet.