It’s been a while since I updated you guys on my health journey, but I’ve been getting lots of questions about it on Instagram lately, so I figured it was the perfect time to share! If you’re new around here, you might want to read this post where I first dove into my struggle with maintaining good health over the years. This year I finally decided to go to a functional medicine doctor. It’d already made a lot of changes to my diet, lifestyle and skincare regimen, but I was still experiencing extreme exhaustion, breakouts and felt stressed out all the time.
Reading books are a great place to start and educate yourself (this one was a game changer for me), but sometimes you need a professional to really get things back in alignment and I’d reached that point. I go into more detail on everything my functional medicine doctor did and share my current diet and supplements here.
It’s officially been 3 months since that first appointment, and, wow. It’s hard to know where to start. When I sit here and think about how I feel now and then think about how I felt three months ago, I get choked up. It makes me sad that I let myself get that run down and out of balance before making a change, but better late than never.
Sometimes when you’re in the midst of it, you don’t realize just how bad it is because it’s become your normal. For me, feeling exhausted both mentally and physically was the norm. I’d hit low points throughout the day where I felt foggy and light-headed, like I wasn’t even really present in my own life. It was sort of like I was watching it from afar, instead of actively participating in it. The worst part? I thought that this was just part of being a new mom. And yes, motherhood comes with it’s fair share of exhaustion, but it really hit home after Owen started sleeping through the night.
I was so pumped to start getting more sleep which I assumed would make me feel better, but a few weeks into it, nothing was different. I was still waking up multiple times in the night and not getting that restful sleep my body so needed! Pulling myself out of bed when my alarm went off was torturous. The only thing that made me get up was knowing my baby was waiting for me with a big smile! After I’d feed Owen and put him down for his first nap, I’d fall asleep on the couch and wake up only when he started to cry.
Ugh, again, it really makes me sad that I ever felt like that. What I now realize is that it doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, it shouldn’t. We’re meant to feel good and there’s a lot that we can do on our own to make huge changes in our lives. Our diets and lifestyle have so much more of an impact on our bodies than we sometimes think.
Last year I’d gone through a similar spell where I felt super foggy and not present. I’d made some big changes and after a few months I felt like I a new person. Once I’d had a taste of how it felt to be full of energy, alert and active, and actually feel motivated, inspired felt amazing. It was almost like a high—I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to, and it worked. Having felt that way not that long ago made me that much more motivated to work hard to get back there.
But this time around, all the things I tried last time were helping, but they weren’t quite enough. That’s why I finally stopped into Aligned Modern Health to get some professional help! I’m so glad I did and it’s made a huge difference. I’m still not quite where I want to be, and I’ll fully admit that getting to that place is harder with a baby. You simply don’t have as much time to dedicate to working on yourself, and that’s okay. The process might be slower, but the end result will be so worth it.
Where I am in my Health Journey Today
Things we’re going so well, and then we moved. As much as I didn’t want the stress of our move to derail me a bit, it still managed to. It’s tough to keep up your normal routine when you’re packing, cleaning, searching for apartments, etc.
The last half of April and first week of May, we ate more takeout than I care to admit, stayed up late to finish unpacking, and I wasn’t doing a good job of maintaining my blood sugar. After a few weeks of this, I was feeling crappy. My skin was breaking out, I was stressed about nothing in particular and I tired all the time, but not sleeping great either.
Last week was the first week in a long time where things started to feel more normal. I still need to finish getting Owen’s room in order and hang some art, but most of the junk that was on the floor has found a home!
I took this past weekend (p.s. Happy Mother’s Day!), to get those little things done, nap when I felt like it and simply rest and do things that just sounded fun. We went out to lunch on Mother’s Day in our neighborhood and cooked a healthy meal at home. I’m feeling myself getting less tired, more alert and feel more at peace and that’s something to be excited about!
My Health Journey: What I’m Still Working On
When I first went to the functional medicine doctor, I had a list of things that I wanted to work on. They’re all still present, but they’re lessening. As I see improvement in my health and how I feel, it makes it easier to continue making changes and tweak my “treatment plan” to get to where I want to be.
Since we moved, I haven’t slept great. I’m sure some of it has to do with being in a new place. But, I’ve also been staying up later than normal and any nighttime routine I once had, is gone. This month, I’m working on creating a nighttime routine that’s easy, enjoyable and relaxing. So that by the time the lights go out, I’m tired and ready for bed. This will likely include putting my phone away earlier, dimming the lights, having tea, reading and giving myself more time to do my nightly skincare routine.
That last one is one of my favorite parts of my night. My skincare routine is one way I practice self-love every day. Lately I’ve been rushing through it to get in bed earlier. I miss doing it slowly, so that’s a top priority for me this month!
Lack of Energy & Adrenal Fatigue
This one is killer and if you struggle with adrenal fatigue, you know how frustrating it can be! It’s not just about getting more sleep either, but truly healing your adrenals requires some lifestyle changes. They typically get fatigued because of too much stress. Chronic stress sends your body into fight or flight on a regular basis and eventually your adrenals get worn thin.
I don’t think I’ve always been a really stressed out person, but in the last few years I feel it more. Maybe it’s the onset of adult realities like providing for a family or thinking about the future, but I’m working hard to manage my stress. Yoga and meditation work wonders for me! I also love walking, spending time with friends and just disconnecting from social media, which is tough considering my line of work! But, when I go radio silent on Instagram for a few hours or days, you now know why!
To help heal my adrenals, I’m taking a few supplements to help get my circadian rhythm balanced and keep stress at a minimum.
If I’m being honest, this is the number one reason why I went to the functional medicine doctor. I didn’t want to get on another prescription that merely hid the symptoms. Post-birth my skin was the worst it has ever been in my life. I was so embarrassed by it and the stress from worrying about it only made my symptoms worse.
As much as I’d love to say I have perfect skin now, I don’t, but wow, has it improved! Managing the two above items (sleep and adrenal fatigue) has made a huge difference. We’re not actually doing anything in particular for my skin. So eeing how everything in your body is so closely connected has been eye-opening for me. When I’m eating normally and I maintain my blood sugar throughout the day, I sleep better and feel less stressed. In turn, my skin is less inflamed and I break out less.
Over the past few months, my complexion has cleared a lot. It’s so much smoother! Like, I can’t remember the last time if felt that smooth. Maybe when I was a kid?! It just continues to get better too! It’s the most outward sign that my body is healing and it makes me so happy to see changes!
I do still have some scarring and dark spots. So I’m planning to get facials once a month to help that! I also use this exfoliating serum at night that I’m obsessed with and this Vitamin C day serum in the morning to help with brightening and evening my skin tone.
I think the only way for me to never be stressed is to win the lotto and move to the coast of Italy, haha! Just kidding. Well, sort of. In all seriousness, stress is a part of our lives and there’s no getting around it. For some reason, I get stressed about money very easily. Which is dumb. Rob and I both work, granted my job can be a little bit more unsteady, but his is very stable! We’re both frugal, don’t have any debts, and have managed to save a good little chunk over the years. When I really think about it, I realize how fortunate and lucky we are to be in this place. However it’s still something I think about all the time. Why?!? Maybe I’ll figure it out someday.
In the meantime, I’m just working to keep my stress at a minimum. Continuing to make time for activities like meditation, yoga and connecting with friends is so important for me in managing my stress.
If you read all the way through this post, thanks!
It was a long one, but I wanted to get this all written down for two reasons. One, because I’ve gotten a lot of questions and I wanted to share the ups and downs. It’s important to convey that this process isn’t always easy, but it’s so worth it! And two, I wanted to have it written for myself. So I can remember the process, how long it took, the bumps and roadblocks along the way. So I can see how I evolve and heal over the next few months and years.
Are you struggling with any of these castaway health conditions? What have you done to help heal your body? Anything that’s worked really well for you?!