It’s been over a month since that long post about discipline. Remember that one? The one where I said I was starting “today” that day? Yeah. Here we are, and ya girl is struggling.
When will I learn that you can’t change your life in one day? When am I going to get it into my head that things take time? When I was first given my protocol for functional medicine, I knew it was my Obi Wan (ahem, my only hope? Any Star Wars fans? Never mind). I had tried everything and I was a ball of anxiety and IBS no matter what I did. This was it. I was supposed to take a month to eliminate foods and add in supplements. I was supposed to introduce things slowly and gradually. NOPE. I knew it was my answer so I did it ALL. AT. ONCE. I have a food addiction - which i’ll expound on in a moment - but because it was my answer, I quit it all cold turkey (even cold turkey). I started eating a protein and 3 servings of veggies at every meal, drinking bone broth, taking 15+ supplements a day, drinking apple cider vinegar before each meal, doing exercises, meditating and deep breathing, all within the first few days. Guys. Those were HUGE lifestyle changes that I was just like “Yep gotta do em. This is me now.”
And. it. Worked.
Anxiety? Gone. Mood issues? Gone. IBS? FREEAKING GONE CAN I GET AN AMEN. Depression? What? Depression? Who’s that? They don’t live here. No sir. Not in my body. I had energy without panic for the first time in my life. I didn't know what to do with it all!
As you probably guessed it… I didn’t set myself up for long term success. I needed an answer and I got it. However, I didn’t have a plan for what would happen once I felt better and didn’t need such a strict protocol.
I got married 6 months after my protocol was given to me. I looked the happiest and healthiest I ever have in my life. You know what else? I ate everything on my wedding day. My best friend is cheesecake and we were reunited on that beautiful July evening. Only moments after vowing to the love of my life that I was going to be the best me I could be, love him imperfectly and whole-heartedly, and be his best friend for life, I reopened my relationship with food. You can actually hear me say in my wedding video, “I just had 85 grams of sugar and I need to keep moving!” and “oh my, I really had a lot of sugar! Who wants to run in circles?”
I was happy, I was healthy, and I had no maintenance plan. I tried to keep up. On our honeymoon, I packed my blender and greens, I brought all my supplements and supplies. I also ate bread - sweet, delicious bread - at a little home cooking place in Tennessee. I forgot to bring my snacks with us one day, so we got Ben & Jerry’s. I slowly but surely reintroduced all of my weaknesses again. Here’s the problem: I didn’t have the immediate consequence of panic attacks hitting me to make me stop. I didn’t have the IBS flare ups to say “ok wait maybe it’s time to go back to your protocol.”
I’ve attempted to get back on track. I hosted Thanksgiving and made it 100% compliant, paleo, gluten-free, and delicious. That didn’t stop the running to the store to buy oreos because I had a craving. That didn’t change the fact that I have had an unhealthy relationship with food my entire life. That didn’t stop me from associating being upset with needing a pint of ice-cream. That didn’t set me up for success in the long run because I failed to prepare.
So here I am. A year later from when I started, 25 pounds gained back, depression in full swing, and terrified that my anxiety will come back if I don’t get my shit together soon.
Why am I sharing this? What’s my point?
My point is that in my quest for healing my anxiety, I discovered a pattern of disordered eating. I didn’t know it was an issue until I had completely gotten rid of my vices for another reason. I have a binge-till-I-hate-myself-to-fill-the-void problem. I noticed I started hiding food from my husband - someone who has never judged me or my choices. I became aware of the fact that if we were going to buy a king cake, I needed to buy the one slice, not the whole thing, because I’d eat the whole thing. Spoiler alert: we bought the whole thing and I ate the whole thing… for breakfast… one morning. I even do this really sick thing when my husband tries to hold me accountable, I say something about how my day was hard or I have depression, or he doesn't have the issues I have so that he'll just let me eat the treat. What is that? I had to figure out that I had to clear the anxiety to understand a deeper issue: food. I’m not saying all bread is bad and indulgence will kill you and everything with a carb is satan.
My point is that this is no longer just a journey of functional wellness and how I've healed, but my relationship with food and how I’ve used it to cope all these years... and how I'm not really healed. Am I actually hungry? Or am I eating so I don’t have to think about how hurt I feel? Do I really have a craving? Or am I craving not having to process what’s really going on?
I mentioned earlier today in my Instagram stories that I am sharing my journey with you for a main reason: so you can see the during.
I know I’ll get better. I’ve been better before. However, sometimes, when we see health advocates or influencers or youtubers, it’s hard to believe them when they say “oh I’ve been there.” I want to show you what there is. My there is going to look a lot different than your there. But I want you to feel like you’re not alone in your journey, whatever yours is. Who knows if anything will ever come out of this blog. Who knows if I’ll actually help anyone. Who knows if I’ll ever write that book, start that business, or be that person.
I just know that everything in my life has led me here. Everything in my life is connected. The anxiety, the eating, the pain, the failure, the success, the love, the brokenness, the anger, the passion, the beauty, the mundane - it’s all leading me to something greater. I hope that I get to share that greater with you.