Day 24 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge
I am going to begin this post with a bit of a back story. Several years ago now I was diagnosed with IBS. I had been plagued by stomach aches for years and had several tests and scans done and there was nothing wrong with me. It seemed that certain foods bothered me, so I avoided them. But over time, this became harder as the list of foods that was bothering me was growing and sometimes some foods bothered me and sometimes they didn’t. And the stomach aches got worse every time and there was literally I could do but wait it out. The last major attack I had lasted eight hours.
My family doctor thought maybe I had IBS so she sent me to a GI specialist who confirmed this and then proceeded to say (I kid you not) “so, IBS makes doctors look stupid” and explained that it’s a condition largely triggered by certain foods but that it varied person to person and also by stress. So, mange your stress, take these meds if you have a stomach ache and buh-bye. He didn’t even want to do a follow up appointment. Is appropriate for me to say smh here?
So, I decided to see a naturopath. No way was I going to continue to play the guessing game of “will this food bother me or not?” and taking meds that didn’t even help the stomach aches. She ran some of her own tests and gave me a diet to follow and amazingly, I started feeling so much better. The diet she gave me really forced me to clean up my diet. But it specifically targeted foods that I had tested intolerant to, and throwing out the processed foods, the condiments with tons of additives like salad dressings, dips, BBQ sauces, etc made such a difference. I even found I was enjoying my meals more.
But over the last three years or so I have slowly started to slip. A cheat here, a cheat there. Till my diet is really not as healthy as it was. I eat a lot better than I used to before seeing the naturopath, but I don’t eat as well as I did four or five years ago now.
Being at home for so long now has really forced me to start thinking about health again. I had been really focused on taking care of my mental health, and in the process of that (because I was stressed and depressed) I had let my diet slip more and more. But it’s totally time to change that. So here are my health goals.
Get Back to Healthy Eating
I’m going to start being a lot more strict with myself about what I am eating. It’s back to lots of fruits and veggies with portioned carbs and plant based proteins for me. To that end, I am going to start making my breakfast bread again, and chia pudding. I won’t be eating out as much anymore either. There is tons of additives, unhealthy oils in some restaurant foods. So I plan to reduce how much I eat out.
Begin A regular Yoga Routine
I keep meaning to do this. But I have yet to really become regular in my yoga practice. I hope I can now really dedicate to it as it’s truly the only form of exercise I enjoy. I felt a lot stronger when I practiced yoga regularly and hope to gain back some (if not all) of that strength. I plan to use Youtube for the majority of my yoga practice.
Begin Guided Breathing Practice
This is different from mediation. I intend to start the Hoff method of breathing, where you are breathing in and out deeply for a cycle of more than ten breaths. My hubby to be has been doing this and while it sounds a little strange, he says he feels amazing. In doing research into breathing, I’ve discovered that having oxygenated blood is really important to our overall health. So I am going to begin this practice with my hubby to be. You can read more about Hof and his breathing method and the science behind it.
Continue to Practice Self Care
This one is important! When I was focused on my IBS, I did everything I could to really get my gut healthy again. But I didn’t take care of my mental health. I stuffed my feelings down, I developed really bad self talk, and I hardly took enough time for myself. I did try to practice self care, but it wasn’t enough. My focus then shifted from my physical health to my mental health and I started to let my healthy diet slide. I wasn’t taking as much care of my body. As a result, I’m weaker and I’ve gained weight. This time, I intend to take care of myself physically and mentally. I will continue to take mental health days, to have engage in my hobbies and elevate my self talk. And yes, every now and then I’ll have a sweet or two.
What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Share in the comments below.