This month on instagram, we covered a lot! I got pretty vulnerable and shared my story of living with a chronic illness. If you're not already following me on Instagram, you should check it out!
Throughout my life I have always been a highly sensitive person. That includes physical sensitivity. As I reached adulthood, I started experiencing a slow, gradual increase in problems with my health.
After getting married and experiencing a difficult struggle with infertility, I gave birth to healthy twin girls. We discovered that the reason I had unexplained infertility, as well as some other mysterious issues, was because I carry autoimmune antibodies, which means my body can choose to attack itself in a multitude of different ways.
These ways can change over the course of my life; infertility being one of them. After the birth of my twins, I started experiencing very weird and extreme reactions to different foods, soaps, cleaning supplies and makeup.
Many foods put me into excruciating digestive pain and I couldn’t even tell which ones I was reacting to. It was traumatic, annoying, exhausting and depressing all at the same time.
My doctor and allergist couldn’t seem to figure out the problem, so I decided to try a more holistic approach and met with a Naturopathic Doctor.
The naturopathic doctor could tell right away which foods and which substances were a problem for me. Her suggestions for how to start healing and rid myself of pain were very extreme and limiting, but at this point I was ready to try anything.
It took a few weeks of eating a crazy strict diet and switching to natural soaps and detergents to really feel a difference, but eventually, I felt like a new person. My pain and inflammation went away and my mood lifted, helping me to feel like I was free again.
These changes, combined with regular exercise are what still give me energy and keep me functioning; as regimented and limiting as they may be. People ask me all the time how I can live such a disciplined lifestyle.
Part of living with chronic illness is acceptance of the challenge you have been given. I was never happy about dealing with health complications, but ignoring and fighting the reality of my body doesn’t make my chronic health issues disappear.
Knowing what my body can handle, what I can and cannot digest and when I need to slow down and rest are all ways I can pace myself and manage my body. I also know that pushing myself to do things which my body rejects, like eating foods I can’t tolerate, or refusing to rest when I’m tired, will wear down my body’s immune system and cause me to become even sicker, making the recovery time even longer. I know many of you are committed to intuitive eating and that’s great!
But for me, (and probably other people as well) my intuition goes towards my body’s abilities and limitations. And yes, I can still eat delicious and tasty food and enjoy it a lot- I’m just limited on which foods I can eat. Learning how to do this has been hard, but It’s what I need to do!