As I mentioned in a previous post, I have pretty dramatically shifted my diet to be low FODMAP as I found that it is the widely recognized diet to directly impact SIBO and expedite the killing of bad bacteria in the gut. I listened to hours and hours of podcasts, wrote to my favorite ladies at Paleo for Women Podcast, and read articles about how best to treat my gut and my hormones with my diet. With so much of the information conflicting, it has worn on my patience (of which I have none) and had me question the core of my entire approach to healthy living.
After trial for 6 weeks, I can confidently say that a low-FODMAP diet has been incredibly helpful in treating my gut. I have not had any post-meal pain or bloating (horray!) and I am trying desperately to get a little creative in the kitchen. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I feel very restricted in what I can eat. I would love to load on the cheese to my salads and I dream about garlic at least once a week; but I know this is only temporary. A low-FODMAP diet is not a long-term sustainable option for me, but I’m really trying to embrace this experience and take it as a lesson in what my body can and cannot handle.
As for my adrenals (my serious and very frustrating condition), I have been making a conscious effort to release stress from my life. What does this look like you ask? Well today that means I leave work at the office, try to keep my working hours to a very manageable 40-45 hours/week and learn to break for lunch. I know this may sound absurd to some, but this is a VERY big step for me considering I used to clock 60+ hours a week, never break for lunch and use my free time at home to ‘get ahead’ on projects I anticipated.
I have learned that sleep and appropriate exercise are critical success factors for me to heal. I was already making conscious efforts to be in bed between 9-9:30 but often I would find myself sitting with my iPad until 10:30- 11 or lying in bed running through my life to-do list in my head. Truthfully, this is one I am still working on. I still find myself swiping between apps until 10pm, but I am trying to replace that routine with guided mediation to sleep. I have found when I do use a mediation podcast (found here) I fall asleep faster and sleep deeper than on other nights.
My exercise has been a bit all over the map. I have not run since my appointment on July 15th. This is not completely unusual for me during the summer months as I loathe running in hot weather. I suspect as the cooler weather sets in, this will be more and more difficult for me to maintain. I have been cleared for TRX training and have gone to 1 class/week with a group of lovely ladies that allow me to ‘go easy’ and do not envoke my competitive side. But Crossfit. (sigh) I have not attended a workout in over 2 months. I know that I cannot ignore my competitive nature and don’t trust myself to slow down when the rest of the class is pushing hard. I hope that I have enough confidence and sense in the coming months to return at MY PACE without fear of missing out.
In scaling back my exercise, and changing my diet, I have gained approximately 10 pounds. This is the hardest part for me to cope with. I have mentioned in previous posts, that I have always struggled with my weight and the negative self talk that goes along with it. Right now, I’m trying to tell myself everyday, that this period of rest is NECESSARY and my body needs to heal (even if that means a few extra pounds). When I begin to think about how some super strict diet and grueling exercise routine will trim me down, I need to remind myself that it comes at a very high cost—my health. My adrenal recovery will be a long road, but I hope that with time, my anxiety about what I “should” be doing and look like will calm so that I can surrender entirely to the healing process for my body.
Thank you for everyone that has reached out with supportive emails/calls and comments! It’s been very helpful to have people surrounding me that support me on this journey.