Mistakes were made. A lot of them. For a lot of years. But I didn't know any better. I didn't know that the diet choices I was making were actually making me sick, causing increasing period pain, heavy bleeding and intense migraines every month.
I actually believed that what I was doing was healthy, well, because all of those commercials online for Weight Watchers, SlimFast, Mazola Corn Oil, and Kraft said so. If it's in an advertisement from a giant corporation it has to be true right? Nope. Hold on though, I was losing weight. Don't we all want that? I mean maybeeeee, but not like this. It sure as hell didn't fix my period problems eating that way, and it didn't make me 'healthy'.
It was somewhere around the start of college that I decided SlimFast shakes for breakfast were the best way to start my day. They were sure to fill me with all the energy I needed for a full schedule of classes and long nights at work. I believed they were filled with tons of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that were a perfect and complete breakfast. Here was my first mistake. I even remember my dad seeing the shakes and telling me not to get obsessed with losing weight and end up unhealthy. I shrugged him off and continued on. What did he know?
Lunch generally consisted of a processed deli meat or a can of tuna between two slices of whole wheat bread, complete with low-fat cheese galore. Dinner was generally something from a fast food location near campus, spaghetti, Ramen, pizza, or a giant bowl of mac n' cheese. Delicious. It was comfort food, and filling, and hey, I started my day with SlimFast so I was winning.
I woke up one day and hopped on the scale. I felt weak. I was dizzy. What had happened to me? While the number exactly isn't important, what is important is that I was at least 20 pounds lighter than I entered college and was lighter than I had been since potentially 7th grade. I wish I could say that day was an awakening for me, that I saw the error of my ways and changed my diet on the spot, healing my hormones and freeing myself from the pain. Unfortunately, my problems didn't end there. While that day was a shock and one I remember vividly, it still didn't shake me from my poor eating habits.
The fix to my migraines and pain? Surely it would be The Pill. How to regain my strength could be solved by going to the gym more. Eat less, exercise more. Special K, Subway sandwiches, and more mileage on the treadmill. I followed different workout and diet plans put out by different celebrities. If they were famous, surely their plan would work for me. This pattern continued on for more years that I care to admit. Not once did anyone explain that hormones are made from fat, that the pill was causing my migraines, that whole grain bread really is no different and still a processed loaf of garbage, or that those SlimFast shakes are filled with high fructose corn syrup, canola oil, artificial sweeteners like sucralose ontop of other sugars, and about a million other chemical additives. A chemical shit storm that disrupts hormonal signaling.
I went from doctor to doctor looking for the cause of my migraines, and switched from pill to ring in hopes this one would reduce the monthly pain I was in. I switched from celebrity diet to celebrity diet. Nothing got better. Learning about nutrition was something I was always interested in, something I collected books on, but always felt so confused by. What I was reading wasn't what was on the front of those cereal boxes, in those commercials, or what anyone around me was really doing.
The round to regaining my health was long and winding. I didn't arrive where I am overnight. One day I read a book titled Eat The Yolks and learned about the Nutritional Therapy Association. I had already been testing out a lower carb lifestyle and had begun to feel better but it wasn't until I started to learn about WHY and HOW we have been lied to about what a healthy diet is, what fat in the diet is actually good for and what makes a fat source inflammatory, sugars and what they do to your health, and what really increases your risk for heart disease that I really started to put it all together. How could I not have seen that what I eat every single day is the key to my issues?
Through what I have learned, I have ditched following a specific labeled diet and instead eat just for health, not a number on the scale. By eating a nutrient-dense diet that is comprised mainly of foods in the whole natural state, removing inflammatory foods like canola oil and high fructose corn syrup, and making the decision on my own to come off of hormonal contraceptives, I can honestly say I feel better than I have my entire life. I no longer have migraines, I wake up energized and ready to take on the day, and I feel mentally stable and in control of myself. I don't diet. I eat for health.
The word diet is restrictive. It should only mean the food you consume, but it has come to instead stand for depriving yourself of whole food groups, and sadly going low-fat, nutrient stripped, high sugar garbage. Dieting in soaked in eating prepackaged, highly processed, whole wheat, low fat, tasteless meals, for the sake of our health. Or so we are told anyways. The way I eat is anything but. I honestly feel sad for those still trapped in the confusion, but hopefully if you have followed me for any length of time, you know I am here to get you out of the cycle!
My hormones thank me for finally seeing the light, ditching those celebrity diets, and regaining my true health again. Want a sample of what I actually have my clients eat when they want to balance their hormones and ditch their period pain and balance their hormones? You can access a full 3-day meal plan for free here.
Ready to see what Nutritional Therapy can do for you and your hormones? Schedule a free consultation and discover all the ways, you too, can regain your health and ditch dieting.