Real Talk: Tackling Chronic Pain, Anxiety and Weight Gain
“Time and health are two precious assets that we don't recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted.” ~ Denis Waitley
I recently found myself in a slump....actually, if I'm being real, more than a slump, a pretty dark place.
Between moving, raising a family of five and running a business, I somehow managed to gain 15 pounds and got really depressed about it. But my feelings of anxiety and depression were about much more than the weight gain—I felt terrible both physically and emotionally.
Six years ago, I went gluten-free after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and finding out I was gluten-intolerant. Going gluten-free and turning to therapies such as yoga and exercise helped me feel better and improved my fibromyalgia symptoms.
But over the past year, stress and a relapse of chronic pain caused me to start eating unhealthy, quick foods; it is so much easier to turn to processed, gluten-free foods instead of whole, natural foods. And as soon as I started to not feel well, there went my exercise routine too. I started to spiral both physically and mentally. I was working way too much, and my business, my family and my “bad mood" became my excuses.
As a result of all of this stress and anxiety over my health, I started getting more headaches. My overall body pain from the fibromyalgia increased. And to top it off, I had horrible stomach problems. My clothes were not fitting me. My passion for clothes and fashion was waning because I felt gross and frumpy in everything. I felt pretty darn depressed.
So about two months ago, I finally said enough is enough.
A friend of mine, actually my daughter’s K4 teacher (shout out to Ms. Khlusman!), invited me into a Facebook group called “Keto Curious” and I was intrigued. I know - the “Keto Diet” - super trendy, right!? But I was fascinated about the research behind this way of eating, and I just knew I needed a change, something to get me moving in the right direction, to help me take back my health.
In the FB group we started sharing meal prep ideas and recipes and offered overall encouragement to one another—encouragement to stick with the process but also not to be too hard on ourselves if we slip up. Having a nurturing group who was also focused on their health was just what I needed.
Now, my husband and I are actually doing the plan together, which has really helped—having an accountability partner keeps me motivated and makes me feel like I am not alone in this whole health journey.
Is this new way of eating easy? Heck, no! The first couple of weeks were really hard, especially during social events. But the whole experience has taught me (or really reminded me) about the importance of eating real foods and sticking to a plan.
So two months later, my husband has already lost 15 pounds, and I have lost a little over five. But, it really isn’t about the number on the scale. I FEEL so much better. My clothes are fitting, and I feel way less bloated. Not only that, but I am excited to get dressed again. I feel stronger, healthier, more confident...and most importantly, my pain is less frequent and less severe.
You’ll never change your life unless you change the things you do daily…
Now I'm more motivated to work out, and I have established a routine between going to the gym and the yoga studio. I am also doing lots of walks with the dog and the family, and playing basketball with my daughters.
I have realized that the key to sticking with any new wellness routine - or any routine for that matter - is the planning. My husband and I have been meal planning together on the weekends, so we can set ourselves up for success during the week. And because we are planning what we are going to eat during the week, we are eating out way less. I also scheduling my exercise in my planner too - alternating between yoga, cardio and weight training.
Do we eat perfectly? Heck no. We still indulge in some of our favorite foods and drinks, but we try to cut out a lot of the sugar. But don't get me wrong - I still have dessert EVERY night - yep...that's right, every night. Now I just have to get more creative in my dessert choices.
Do I think everyone should go Keto? Nope. Taking back your health isn't really about starting a diet; it's more about finding a routine that is right for you—a plan you can stick with and be happy doing.
This new routine has helped me enjoy a new spark for life and my health. Will I lose the whole 15 lbs - probably not, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never change my life unless I change the things I do DAILY, and the best way to do that is to start a routine, a routine that you know you can stick to (at least most of the time!).
If you want to know more about the Keto diet - or anything for that matter, feel free to comment below or email me and ask me anything you'd like! email@example.com
With gratitude each and every day,