When I tell people I am a health coach, they automatically assume my diet is impeccable and I am a tree-hugging, granola-crunching, kale-muncher. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hugging trees, granola is delicious and I ADORE kale…BUT I am not perfect, and neither is my diet.
I have always had sugar and carb cravings, and since having my two girls, they have intensified – BIG time! So for the last three years, I have found myself on a roller coaster of no sleep, sugar cravings, sugar eating, sugar crashing and then fatigue. I’ve been a STRESSED OUT mommy and a few months ago I felt my body crashing – HARD! I’d wake up tired, never sleep enough, feel exhausted the entire day, and make poor food choices. My skin was dry and cracked, and inflammation was taking over (varicose veins, cysts, anger, temper, etc.)
In January, I had a breakdown. A literal “get down on my knees and cry my eyes out breakdown.” I NEEDED A BREAK! And something HAD TO CHANGE or I WOULD BREAK.
I started cleaning up my diet by starting a slow detox. I eliminated sugar, meat, and wheat, and increased vegetables and fruits, especially greens, and drinking green juices. After the first week, my energy levels were fantastic. After the second week, fatigue was starting to catch up with me and by week 3 I had LOST 8 pounds and I felt terrible! I thought, I am doing a cleanse – WHY am I suddenly really sick and sick- looking? What I am doing is supposed to be cleansing, detoxing and GOOD for me! But, I looked like I did in my anorexic days! SOMETHING was OFF!
When you do a cleanse or detox, you typically lose some weight and go through withdrawal, exhibiting symptoms like headaches, fatigue or even reoccurences of childhood or previous illnesses like asthma or rashes. But you should get a reassurance from your body that you are on the right track and all is well. I did NOT get this intuition. Instead, I got a clear message that I WAS NOT WELL!
Shortly after this revelation, I was out with friends in NYC, and out of the blue I started to hyperventilate and shake. I couldn’t control anything in my body and I was scared to death! My tongue felt swollen, my throat was closing and we rushed to the ER. My vitals were fine and the doctors concluded I was having a panic attack. At that point, I knew I was in danger, my body was starting to confirm its message. – THINGS ARE NOT WELL CARYN!
So what went wrong? Perhaps I was detoxing too fast? Maybe because it was winter, I shouldn’t have done so much raw food? It was also possible I was not eating enough. I was too tired to be hungry. Or, as I firmly now believe, when detoxing, your MIND and SPIRIT need to be strong, and you need to rest a lot. My spirit and mind were full of negativity, worry and fear. Resting I was not doing – who can with two little girls running around the house?
That night I got home and hit RESET! I knew I had to build myself UP before detoxing. I had to make myself strong in order to heal. I needed rest, rejuvenation and healing. So I kept with a healthy diet, but added meat back in small portions to build, and focused more on warming starchier veggies like roots and potatoes. I also went on vacation to FL and warmed my body, walked barefoot, swam, ate and slept. I came back feeling BRAND NEW!
So, no I am not a perfect-eating health coach. I get it wrong sometimes. But I am willing to learn from my experiences and research (in books and within myself) to find out WHAT I need to do to make my next step healthier. I am on a journey to health just like you. My journey is real, personal and authentic. I am not holding back or hiding from you or my clients because my journey makes me who I am today, and it is my goal to turn my weaknesses into my strengths; to uncover my potential and my purpose – and to help others do so too!