Three and a half years ago I made the choice to stop eating gluten and dairy. At the time it felt like the ultimate sacrifice. Each and every one of my comfort foods and favourites fell into those two categories. Fortunately, I saw a dramatic improvement in many of my chronic health issues so it got easier to stick to my resolve. And now, even if I were to ‘cheat’ I would end up feeling so sick it wouldn’t be worth it.
I have spent the past three and a half years congratulating myself on my supreme commitment to my health. I have spent all this time feeling as if I had undertaken the ultimate Radical Act of health. And I admit that I have indulged in a great deal of self-congratulation. I thought that my impressive sacrifice meant that I would enjoy impeccable health and would coast on my good choices as I moved into middle age.
For months, however, my body has been telling me otherwise. Even without indulging in gluten and dairy I have slipped into a health pattern that does not feel optimal. I am chronically tired, my heart races for no reason and my eczema is at an all-time high. I have chosen to ignore the gradual increase of these symptoms because, quite frankly, I had already made the Radical Act of health. Surely I didn’t need to do more.
I was mistaken.
A whole battery of tests with my naturopath, Dr. Carissa Doherty, has revealed significant gaps in my health; insulin resistance, high yeast, flattened adrenals, low serotonin, inflammation in my gut and chronic fatigue.
How can this be? I go to bed early, I don’t drink more than couple of glasses of wine a week, I don’t drink caffeine, I exercise, I eat well and don’t consume refined sugar. I love my work, my kids are all at stages of relatively easy independence and my emotional outlook is optimistic and sunny.
What am I doing wrong?
For those of you who know me well and/or followed my last blog, Open Secret, you will know that I went through years of relentless family stress. I pushed through my daily life on sheer willpower and was eventually instrumental in helping to shift the wellness of my middle son, Michael. We had our happy ‘ending’ and while Michael continues to live his new story my family system is blissfully stable.
I thought the old story was behind us. My body, however, is still catching up. My body is still carrying years of sleep deprivation, high cortisol, maximum adrenalin and intense struggle.
When I got my test results from Dr. Doherty two weeks ago it struck me that I was at a crossroads. I had two very distinct choices; I could choose to settle back into the reality of a battle-weary body or I could choose to claim the audacious health that will have me heli-skiing at 90 years of age.
Needless to say, I choose the latter.
It turns out that my Radical Act of health all those years ago was just the first step of my health journey. I am excited to track and share the next steps through this blog over the coming year. My goal by the end of this Radical year is to be a 46-year-old woman with a kick-ass heli-skiing body.
Stay tuned…I know I am!