It’s been several months since I’ve been on RCP.
It’s been several months since I’ve talked about health, nutrition and food.
Not because I got lazy.
Not because I lost interest in health, nutrition, nor food.
The reason was because I got sick.
Sick to the point where I felt it was inappropriate of me to advocate any of these things that I was passionate about. Because I felt like I had no right to talk about health when my own health was plummeting.
Since September of last year, I put myself through a number of significant and overwhelming changes in my life.
I moved back to Vancouver, the city that was once familiar but now foreign.
I started a new job, a job that wilted my soul.
I lost a friend, a friend that I thought was my soul mate.
It was the first time I’ve experienced the mental and physical impacts of feeling alone, suppressed, and let down.
Cravings. I started to notice a never-ending appetite for comfort foods. Carbs. Sugar. Chocolate.
Eating Disorder. I developed an eating disorder called chewing and spitting. Chewing and spitting, is exactly what it sounds. Which I now realize manifested from pent up anxiety, stress, and depression.
Restlessness. I never felt fully charged even after 8 hours of sleep. Even when I felt energetic, people would comment on my dark circles and ask if I had a long night.
Weight Gain and Water Retention. I gained weight all over, essentially full body edema.In the span of 3 months, I uncontrollably gained 10 pounds.
Infertile. My hormones were so imbalanced that I essentially became infertile. A hormonal test showed extremely low progesterone levels; meaning I did not ovulate.
Breakouts. Overall poor skin conditions and acne everywhere.
It was happening all too quick, too fast, that total damage was done before I could seal the leak. The most confusing part was that I maintained a healthy diet even though I had strong cravings for sweets and fats. I stayed active and worked out at least 3 times a week. But I felt worse than ever.
I thought to myself, “I’m doing everything right but why is everything going wrong?”
JOURNEY OF RECOVERY.
How I coped.
The hideout. At first, I just wanted to hide out. After a long, draining day a work, I didn’t want to do anything but be at home. I didn’t want to socialize. I had no energy to socialize. And I also didn’t want to drag down others with my negativity. It was too much work to pretend to be happy in front of others.
Socialize and surround myself with like-minded people. In search of regaining familiarity in unfamiliar territory, I took to meeting new people, participating in Meetups, volunteering, and rekindling of old friendships. Spending time with like-minded people lifted me, made me smile, and helped to relief those heavy gray clouds shadowing over me.
Removed stressors in my life. I sat down and carefully identified all the stressors in my life. I had to make a very difficult decision to put nutrition school and this blog on hold while I got the other parts of my life sorted out. I ended up saying goodbye to the job that disserved me. This by far was the most important and effective thing I did. Because it was my mind that was impaired. When I removed these stressors from my life, my mental health immediately took relief. Allowing my body to stop fighting these stressors and instead regain the capacity to focus on its normal operations and functions.
Seek professional help. I did everything I could to recover in the most natural way possible. I sought help from a nutritionist, a naturopathic doctor, an acupuncturist, a Chinese massage specialist, and a Chinese herbalist doctor.
JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
After this experience, I couldn’t agree more with this statement. I personally experienced the impact of poor mental health. And that no matter how well I ate and how active I was, when my mind was sickly, nothing else I did mattered.
Scientifically, the state of the mind biochemically affects hormone production. Hormone production centers like the pituitary gland start to go bonkers. Cortisol, serotonin, dopamine levels are all out of balance. Vitamins like vitamin D, a precursor for essential reproductive hormone production become deprived because of stress. The production of cortisol steals necessary vitamins required for the production of sex hormones like progesterone (which is what I was deficient in). Kidneys, and specifically the adrenals, become fatigued. Resulting in lethargy, brain fog, reduced cognition, thyroid suppression, weight gain, restlessness.
The light at the end of the tunnel.
The body is so spectacular. It is so intuitive, resilient, and adaptable.
When I was at my lowest, I couldn’t imagine being normal again. All I felt was despair and an incredible sense of melancholy. I still remember vividly how disoriented I felt. When I felt like I lost control of my body and everything was going haywire.
But in actuality, I have all the control in the world.
I was able to make the changes necessary to get back on track again. I just had to make the right changes.
The moment I identified and removed the strongest stressors in my life, I immediately noticed a significant difference in my energy levels, my attitude towards life, my appetite control, my weight.
The body is your sacred vessel that keeps you running at optimal levels. It may break down at times, it needs oiling regularly, and it’s a resilient, durable machine that will run smoothly if you maintain it with care.
No matter at what age or stage in your life,
know that you always have the ability to make a change to this sacred vessel of yours,
know that you are the best mechanic of your own vessel, and that everyone has the capability to recover their physical and mental health to optimal levels.
So don’t give up on yourself, ever.
And don’t ever take your body, health, and life for granted.