My Stress Cascade!
Stepping back just two years ago and I was feeling really great! My daily energy was consistently good, my digestion was great and I was starting to move towards a healthy lean body composition. My diet has not changed, but my stress load has and I am not able to move, as in exercise, whenever I want!
Life with the double stroller was AMAZING! Whenever the girls were stir crazy or better yet, I was stir crazy, I would put them in the stroller and find every hill in the neighborhood to walk. I can’t do that now and at first, it was literally crushing me! Then I started to find ways to move during the day as much as I could with the girls and boys when I am able. My morning workouts are my cherished time to work on me and keep me strong and able both physically and mentally for the day. But, it still was not as decompressing as a brisk walk!
I still function well throughout the day, my diet is consistently great and I move every day. But, there are many moments of both real and perceived stress that are overwhelming. I mean, are you kidding me…two sets of twins! Like just two minutes ago where I feel like I am stuck/trapped and OMG drowning in an endless stream of work! That is a recipe for some serious physical breakdown! And… well, that is exactly what has happened. In the last year and a half, I started to develop digestive stress, bloating after meals, strange neurological symptoms after certain foods, and poor digestion. I attributed this to the fact that no meal, not one throughout the day is ever eaten in a proper, relaxed environment or even sitting at the table. This is true, but I had no idea the damage that was being done to my gut!
As a result of the stress cascade over the last year and a half, my hormones became imbalanced, I have an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria and H. Pylori. I have gained about 10 pounds and I have lost muscle. This all occurred despite my nutrient-dense diet and daily exercise.
Fortunately, I went through Functional Diagnostic Nutrition training this year and I am now a practitioner. What better way to learn the process than on yourself! This is NOT a permanent condition, but it deserves a dedicated focused approach so it does not continue to erode. This is how degenerative conditions begin, how subtle symptoms become chronic, and all of a sudden we have a new normal. I cannot change my responsibilities in the household and the kids, well, they react and get upset and get very loud. But, I can change my reaction to the stressors and the environment around my nutrition.
I am having a full abdominoplasty surgery in 6 weeks and I have to be back in full function. I have been treating H. Pylori, and gut bacteria for 60 days with botanical herbs and addressing the hormone imbalance. I already feel a massive difference. But! I have to do the work to have better stress management and meal habits.
The purpose of writing this post is to show the enormity of stress in our world as mothers. I LOVE my kids with all of my heart and there are many people dealing with stressors MUCH greater than a screaming toddler or tons of dishes. At least that passes. But, I feel like it would be irresponsible to not share the important observation that this stress is real and it can cause a decline in health. More importantly, remember that there are real, actionable solutions for the health effects that occur as a result of stress.
In my next blog, I will discuss some of the stress management and meal habits that I have adopted to keep moving towards health.