One gals primal journey to happiness and hormone balance
Happiness and hormone balance...could anyone want more?
A bit about me:
I have been gluten free on and off since the age of 12 when I came home from school and told my mom that I thought I was "allergic to bagels". This was 1991, when gluten free options were few and far between and my family doctor didn't know anything about celiac disease. As a result I just kind of naturally veered away from gluten on and off through my teenage years. I've never been formally diagnosed as a celiac because I'd have to consume gluten to take the test and why do that if I already know it makes me sick but have a strong suspicion.
I'm a high achiever, perfectionist and former athlete who struggled with disordered eating most of my life. I've never been scary skinny, nor have I ever gone hungry, but I'd say my relationship with eats in the past has been less than ideal and at times far from "normal".
I've always had strange menstrual cycles. Diagnosed with endometriosis at age 22, cystic ovaries at 24 and sometimes experienced very heavy cycles. My doctors offered hormonal contraception as the only means of "patching" the problem.
In summer of 2007, I was in the midst of the happiest time of my life. I was half way though a busy Midwifery/Gyn residency, engaged to the man of my dreams and feeling whole for the first time. I went off the Nuvaring in the hopes I would become pregnant. I had one irregular cycle and became pregnant with the next. Two weeks after finding out I was pregnant, my fiance tragically died in a diving accident (we never recovered his body). Three days later I lost the pregnancy. I have never had another cycle since. That was October 2007.
I carried on through a very stressful residency, using excessive exercise (distance running/biking) and calorie counting to self soothe my broken heart and upturned life. As a result I lost about 10lbs on my small 5'4.5" frame and got down to 110lbs. Today I weigh between 106-110.
I found the paleo/primal diet a few years ago when friends of mine starting using it to heal some gut issues and optimize their athletic performance. After some careful research, I was impressed! It was really just how I my body wanted me to eat intuitively anyway. All I had to cut out was my one slice of gluten free bread and organic jam in the morning and increase the fat content of my diet. It was a natural swap that I have felt so good for making.
I've been inspired my Mark's writing's about the primal living. We are so much more than the sum of our parts and as a holistic health practitioner myself, I believe the mind body connection to be a powerful piece of the puzzle that is often undervalued in both society and the world of modern 'healing arts'. I've been trying to incorporate his principles into my life as I journey forth. Over the past year I've made some big changes (including moving across the country and leaving my mountain home and midwifery practice) in an effort to reduce stress, increase fulfilment and regain my sense of womanhood.
I hope you'll join me on this journey....
So far I've tried: a year of acupuncture, herbs, homeopathics, gaining 10-lbs, eating less carbs, eating more carbs, eating more fat, eating less fat, reducing exercise, meditation, therapy, HRT...nothing has worked.
Tomorrow I have my first appointment with an GYN who is a woman's hormonal specialist and works in a multidisciplinary holistic clinic. I've been waiting about 6 months for the appointment and am VERY EXCITED!!
Stay posted...and please, questions are welcome, judgement is not.
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