Exsoycise is now Awakened Nutrition & Training, a blog for health seekers, food lovers and dream body builders!
It’s been a hot minute since I last posted on the blog. I hope you all didn’t miss me too much! ;) I’ve been doing a little self healing and running my Sexy Summer Detox which has kept me busy busy!
The last time I posted was when I was riding high on the GAPS diet. If you are unfamiliar with GAPS, it is a very strict whole foods diet designed to heal a leaky gut. I was going through the introductory phases of the diet and started to detox from a lot of the junk and toxins I was normally putting into my body. I felt so amazing, I was losing weight, my abdominal bloating was practically gone, my period was starting to normalize and I started to feel somewhat normal again besides the fact that I was eating an ultra strict and very limiting diet.
During the introductory phase of the diet, you go through stages where you gradually start incorporating approved healthy foods back into your diet and see how you react. Well after gracefully cruising through the first several stages, I got stuck. I gradually started to incorporate different foods such as raw honey, cooked fruits, nuts and nut flours back into my diet. I quickly started spiraling out of control and binge eating on whole bags of soaked nuts and the fruit. When I wasn’t binging on the foods I was adding in, I was going to town on butternut squash and roasted carrots. I would eat two and three bags at a time. I started to feel a little crazy. Was I just too deprived from these sweet foods that when I finally got my hands on them I just went wild?
I read other blogs and everyone else seemed to be going through GAPS with flying colors and here I was mixing gobs of honey, cinnamon and nut flour to create my own nut butters that I would binge on in secret. I tried to deprive myself of these foods even more and stayed stuck in the stages where I could only eat grassfed meats, oils, veggies and fermented vegetables. Even when I was back on my game, I still suffered from unexplained bloating and gas. But as soon as I thought I had a handle on my binging and would attempt to add another food in, it would happen all over again. One handful of nuts would quickly turn into a whole pound bag of nuts.
Then one night I broke down.
I was sitting in a friends kitchen alone, I started thinking how I was eating some of the healthiest food I’ve ever eaten in my life and should be making amazing progress, yet I felt more out of control than I ever had. I literally felt like I was going insane and I was going to be trapped in this vicious cycle of healing and self sabotage for the rest of my life. How could I ever heal myself if I couldn’t get my shit together? I want to be normal again one day, so the motivation is there. I want to be able to go to a restaurant and not have to be the weird allergy girl that everyone has to accommodate. So at that moment of weakness and disappointment, I took my binging to a whole new level and started going to town on some left over Halloween candy completely blowing the months of hard work that I had put in. I ate piece after piece of any chocolate I could find and literally couldn’t stop myself! I started getting full and each piece started to taste less and less delicious to me, but I still kept on eating it. Then, I moved onto kettle corn popcorn. I kept telling myself that I should stop eating because I wasn’t even enjoying the food anymore but I couldn’t make myself stop.
I felt like I wasn’t in control of my own body or mind. I felt like an addict.
After failing on the GAPS diet, I came to the conclusion that I had a binge eating disorder. Not only because of this incident, but also because of my struggles with binging over the last several years. I had a very emotional conversation with Chris about how I was pretty sure that I had an eating disorder and that I had been dealing with it for years. This made me feel like a failure. How was I supposed to be a health coach and help my clients when I couldn’t even help myself. We decided that it was best for me to take a break from the GAPS diet and any other strict eating program besides my food allergies until I could get a handle on what was going on with me.
This tear filled conversation brought up so many emotions that I was harboring deep down inside of me. With all of my binging, I had gained quite a bit of the weight I had originally lost which made me feel so insecure and unsexy. I was beating myself up because I felt like I had to live up to the amazing shape I was in when I got my fitness photos taken in June 2013. If that all wasn’t enough to deal with, I realized that I had nearly lost my once very vibrant sex drive! How could this have happened and how did I not even notice? I think with all of life’s craziness and stress, it just started to slip away and I was too busy and sleep deprived to even notice.
Chris said he could tell that I was a little off over the last several months, but he had no idea that I felt this way. He was shocked because it was totally out of character for me to feel so down on myself. The girl he fell in love with 4+ years ago wasn’t in shape at all, but had a bubbly personality and was super confident in her own skin. He was very understanding and told me he would support me any way I needed him too. He uplifted me with sweet words of encouragement and told me how beautiful I was more often. Chris's support has been beyond helpful and I'm so very blessed to have him by my side!
But I had to do some deep soul searching to find my own happy.
That came in the form of:
- dancing around the apartment to music I love
- spending time with God
- taking more time for myself
- limiting my workouts to once or twice a week and not beating myself up when I didn't go
- attempting to get more sleep
- eating nourishing foods that didn’t make me feel super restricted
- taking time for personal self care practices that made me feel beautiful
During these months of self care, I started to dig deeper into my detox practices by doing coffee enemas to help to support my liver and clean out all the junk that's been backed up inside me for my whole life. Through the enemas and taking some anti-fungal herbal tinctures, I found out that I had parasites. They literally came out of my body and I have the pictures to prove it but I will spare you those. Chris and I named my new visitors “The Frederickson’s”. ;)
This was not at all shocking to me because I suspected I had parasites while I was dealing with yet another month long sweets binge about 5+ years ago after I returned home from a trip to Jamaica, but I never had it confirmed. Once I found this out, I started to see a holistic practitioner that someone referred to me for colonics at The Piper Center For Internal Wellness in NYC. There I found out that I also had candida yeast overgrowth and because of this my body was creating a lot of mucus to help fight the inflammation they were causing internally.
The pieces of the puzzle started coming together for me.
Candida albicans and parasites both feed on sugar of ALL kinds. It can’t decipher between natural raw honey, fruit sugars, brown unprocessed sugar or plain old white sugar. It’s all the same to these guys and I was directly feeding them with most of the foods I was eating. They were taking over my mind and causing me to have such intense cravings that made me feel crazy! All of the times I felt like I wasn’t in control of my own body, I was completely right because I wasn’t. It is no wonder that I did amazing on the 21 Day Sugar Detox a couple years ago! Sugar cravings aren’t the only way that candida overgrowth can affect you, it is also very sneaky and will wreck your sex life as it did for me. It has the ability to mess with your hormones, adrenals, and in some people completely take away your sex drive. I can now only imagine the amount of woman today who are suffering from a low sex drive and wacky hormones due to candida overgrowth and feel like it’s “normal” for them to feel that way as they get older. But that is the complete opposite of what should happen to us ladies!
I immediately jumped on a completely sugar-free cleanse with special herbs that helped me to start getting eliminating some of the candida and The Frederickson’s that took residency in my gut. I felt like crap for about a week with low energy, fatigue and extreme brain fog as they started to die-off and release toxins in my body. After just 3 weeks, I started losing weight again, bloating less, and decreasing inflammation in my body. All cravings I had went away completely and I no longer wanted to the eat junk that the candida and parasites were making me crave.
Detoxing from these pests also helped my hormones to balance out again and I finally got my sex drive back! It was a Christmas (in July) miracle! I am happy to say that I feel beautiful, sexy, sane, and happy again! My physique is nowhere near where I was last June and I've even lost a little bit of muscle. But I feel SO great about myself now and that is what is most important!
This post is now entirely too long. I intend to go into more detail about this subject in future posts both here and on Awakened Nutrition so don't you worry. I am far from healed, in fact, I have a long road of recovery ahead of me but at least I have a clearer picture of where I am headed. But I just wanted to share my story because I know many women feel like the same way that I did and I want you to all know that you are not alone in this!
Have you or anyone you know ever had to deal with candida or parasites? I'd love to hear any tips or sugar-free recipes that you can share in the comments!
What are some of your favorite ways to find your own happy?