Monday, July 11, 2016

My Struggles with Food & Hormones and What I'm doing about it!

Happy Monday, Babes! I hope you all had a great weekend!!! I certainly did, yet I spent most of it researching and obsessing about food. Yes... Obsessing. Or more accurately, agonizing. As I had mentioned quite a while back, I have been having a major struggle with food vs exercise for quite some time. Last Spring I started taking up jogging and though I'm not the type of jogger that can run for long, extended periods of time, it really started the ball rolling in the deterioration of my hormones. That's not to say running isn't good! I know plenty of people who run on a regular basis, but your nutrition needs to adequately support the lifestyle. Factor in that I was also doing BBG on top of this, and I just wreaked total havoc on my body.

I already have a delicate hormonal system due to endometriosis and functional ovarian cysts, so my body is extremely sensitive. I'm gotten mixed up in feeling like I need to further cut out entire food groups - I'm already gluten-free and dairy-free (both are musts as I have intolerance and minor allergies to each). Now I'm not saying that lifestyles like Paleo, Vegan, 80/20 etc are bad. Those extremes just didn't work for me long-term. After trying each I would often feel sick at some point because my new lifestyle just wasn't supporting my active workout regimen. Oh, and I don't have a gallbladder. Even more of a challenge and why the diet that worked best for me (Traditional Paleo) ultimately left me with more weight because I couldn't support the fat I was eating.

Fast forward to today, where I'm still trying so hard to maintain my active lifestyle and even experimenting with weekly weight training, but still feeling like a former shell of myself. I've been on a quest to find the personal eating template that works well for me and also to stop over-training. That's probably going to be a whole other post at some point, but I will say this. I see so many girls over on Instagram that are doing BBG on top of Tone it Up or Lauren Gleisberg daily and maybe it's because they are younger than my old, I mean wise, 35 years.... but I just don't understand how they do it. It's not so much that it can't be done, but how their nutrition is able to optimally support an excessive lifestyle. If you're over 30 and especially approaching your mid 30's and you're doing this, and struggling with digestive issues such as bloating and bathroom problems, feeling fatigued and burnt out, and just feeling depressed and not like yourself.... I suggest you take a long, hard look at your training regimen. It might be too much.

From a personal standpoint, last year when I was working out excessively (doing 2 programs plus running), that was the beginning of the end of my feeling happy, healthy, and vibrant. I felt great at first and was toning up, losing fat, etc and then all of the sudden, like a train wreck, I put back on so much weight because my body was so stressed out. Now if training a lot works for you, that's fantastic! Consider yourself lucky. It might just be my hormone situations that make it impossible for me to maintain that lifestyle. But if you find yourself in the same boat as me, read on.....

So what am I doing? I haven't made the leap yet, but after tons and tons of research in addition to the background that I already have (I'm an IIN grad, so I'm not stranger to healthy living), as well as trial and error, I've settled on Carb cycling. There are tons and tons of variations. If you look on Pinterest you can find a bevy of info, but if you go that route, be very careful, it can be overwhelming. A couple choices that I came across were from Dr. Chistianson's Adrenal Reset Program and Chris Powell's programs which you can choose between several cycles and tailor it to your lifestyle. The Adrenal program looked promising, but without reading the book, it looks as though it takes a standpoint of going low to high daily. Whereas Chris Powell's program can be more interchangeable and seems to support a very active lifestyle.

After a ton of stressing and reading article after article - this one was exceptionally helpful and made everything click for me! I finally feel like I can give this a try. And the fact that I can easily change the amount of days to support whatever workout schedule I might be following, even on a whim, helps reduce my anxiety. Generally a low carb diet is what's recommended for someone with endometriosis, but I went down that road and I think I made things worse. This might work for someone that doesn't workout, but not for someone that's doing cardio, lifting, tabata, and HIIT. I also never took into account that maybe the carbs I was burning off didn't necessarily count as carbs in my body. I can't even imagine how much I was running on empty all those times I amped up my workout.

So with my current workout schedule and following what that article I linked said, it looks like I'll be following Chris Powell's extreme cycling plan or something pretty close. I'll be started with some of the foods he recommends, even some whole gluten-free grains like oats, long grain brown rice, etc. This has been a no-no for me with my digestion in the past, but I'm going to try it. If it doesn't work, I'm just going to create a Paleo/Cycling hybrid of no-grain carbs most days. And no, I'm not an affiliate! I'm just a woman that wants to be the healthiest I can be for myself and my family, but that's going through quite a struggle. But if my struggle can really help someone else, then that's at least a silver lining right?

Hopefully I'll be starting this this week. And if I feel good and all goes well, I'll make sure to do some update posts sporadically throughout the next few weeks. Being pretty much back where I started weight-wise has been really depressing. I'm hoping this works well for me! I would love to hear what you've been doing that has worked! Especially if you're in your 30's and/or have hormone based disorders like I do!!!

Coming Soon....

~ My latest Pharmaca haul with some hormone supporting supplements for my endo & cysts
~ A review of an amazing new line of protein
~ Some of my fav new Clean Beauty products

Enjoy your Monday, lovelies!!!!