So how did I end up underweight, exhausted, malnourished, and on the verge of a health crisis?
How do any of us end up here? I am in great company, just about every health coach / expert / author / blogger has been or is in my comfortable, no-nonsense shoes. I believe the why usually doesn’t matter. What really matters is, what now?
But, I am gonna go there (to why and how, that is), because my story is not all that unusual. In fact, YOU could be on the same Road that I have been travelling.
Yes, I’m talking to YOU! You’re pretty healthy, right?
- Just a few colds, maybe the annual flu bug.
- Occasional stomach cramps, diarrhea that must have come from something you ate.
- Migraines? So common these days.
- Sure you’re really tired after work, but that’s normal…..right?
- Maybe you started getting crow’s feet in the corners of your eyes by your 30’s.
- Your skin is rough and itchy – why is it always that spot right between your shoulder blades that itches most, where you can’t reach!
- Or perhaps you have perpetual sinus infections, allergies, asthma
- Muscle or joint aches and pains?
- For ladies, the dreaded yeast infections and / or bladder infections
- Guys, got jock itch?
- Uncontrollable cravings, especially for salty , high-fat, or sweet foods (believe it or not, one cause of sugar cravings is also responsible for the dreaded yeast infection!)
- Acid reflux? Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the most widely prescribed class of medications in the United States. Did you know that research links a higher risk of death for people taking PPI’s, and the longer you take them, the higher the risk!
This stuff is all normal, right?
These may be the “new norm”, but none of these are healthy norms.
Not all of these things applied to me, in fact, only a few did. My health took a more obscure road to H-E-double hockey sticks, and it likely started from birth.
Do you identify with any of this? By the way, I’m not blaming my parents. They didn’t know any better.
- Bottle-fed (it was all the rage in the 50’s)
- Attended a school with coal heating. I remember every morning I would have to wipe the black dust off my desk or I would go home with black sleeves on my sweater.
- Childhood exposure to God knows what pesticides, herbicides and chemicals.
- I helped my Dad plant corn each year. The kernels were coated in a pink substance that Dad said would keep the birds from eating it. Hmm, probably not more than once, anyway.
- Mom would dust the tomatoes and other plants with a white powdery chemical that floated across the yard where we were playing, that tasted sour.
- When I was around 12, I sanded the walls of our living room so it could be repainted. I thought it was funny that when I blew my nose, my snot was the same green color as the (leaded) paint.
- I was never physically strong or energetic. I became ill with a fever and missed school when I ran the 600 yard dash for the President’s physical fitness challenge. I just assumed it was my normal – I’m the bookworm, not the athlete.
- I had the average number of silver “amalgam” dental fillings by my mid-teens. I just had my eight silver amalgam fillings replaced a year ago. Forty years of mercury exposure!
- I was the “skinny kid”. But by my teen years, I was the skinny kid with the pot belly. I thought everyone had to loosen their belt after eating or they would get a terrible stomach ache. Now I know this is a common symptom of digestive issues.
- I took the (birth control) pill for 20 or 25 years. By age 29 I already had wrinkles in the corner of my eyes. I only recently learned that this is a symptom of Vitamin B deficiency, which can be related to oral contraceptives.
- By age 35 I had chronic shoulder pain. At least one doctor told me I had fibromyalgia, but I didn’t believe him.
It took more than 20 years of chiropractors, physical rehab, exercises, cortisone shots, foam rolling, accupuncture, and heat and ice packs before I found the cause – I have a sensitivity (technically, an allergy) to certain wheat proteins. Going gluten-free also resolved the muscle tenderness that I felt for years throughout my body, but especially in my back, hips and legs.
As I said earlier, I always considered myself to be pretty healthy, based on my understanding of health as we were taught in school.
However, a few years after menopause, things started to fall apart.