I was hoping for a great week...knowing I was finally getting test results from my Functional Medicine Dr., I thought I would finally have answers! I just knew my tests would come back with definitive results and answers to at least some of the issues I've been experiencing for years. I thought my doctor and I would come up with a game plan to begin my healing process based on the test results. That did not happen!!!
I went in this week and met with my doctor, he said "I got your results but you're not going to be happy". At first I thought that meant the results showed something bad. Honestly, I really wouldn't have been that upset about that...at least it meant answers. I'm a very black and white person. I need definitive answers, a diagnoses, exact methods of healing, etc. I work better with boundaries and an exact path, it's just who I am. My doctor went on to tell me most of the tests he ran came back negative...no SIBO, no Candida, no parasites, so excess of toxins...NOTHING! I know, I know, that's all good news. By no means do I want any of those things but again...No Answers!
He did go on to say I have a lack of good bacteria in my gut and I'm not making the proper enzymes to digest food and process nutrients but those are pretty minor and he's hoping to add supplements to help in those areas. The main thing he did find was that my Pancreas isn't functioning properly and I also have an extreme deficiency in Secretory IgA. When I asked him about my Pancreas and what would cause it to not work properly, he said Stress. I immediately smirked, I don't have stress. I am a happy stay-at-home mom, have a wonderful marriage to the man of my dreams and have 2 beautiful and healthy children. What could I possibly stress about? I know I'm extremely Type A and OCD but I've been like that my entire life so why would I suddenly become stressed enough to make my body shut down? My doctor went on to explain that my body is stressed due to overtraining. That was the one thing I didn't want to hear! He said my system is weakened by issues in my gut and my constant exercising at a high intensity and not allowing my body to rest is causing the problem. I was shocked and devastated.
All my life I've believed in exercise and eating healthy. I was a personal trainer for so long and that's all I preached...It's all I know. I fully believe exercise is excellent not only for the physical body but also for mental clarity and wellness. Exercise is my therapy, it's something that is scheduled into my day regardless of anything else I have planned. It gives me peace, mental clarity, focus and endorphins and I can't imagine having to go without it. My doctor went on to explain that I simply need to dial back the intensity of my workouts and allow more rest days (I was only allowing one rest day per week). I also have to cut back on extra activities, learn to sit down once in awhile and get more sleep. This is so hard for me to swallow and honestly, I can hardly remember the rest of our conversation because I was so upset.
Learning to cope...
I'm sure many of you reading this think I'm crazy obsessive. Seriously, how hard it is to go for a walk instead of running, go to yoga instead of Orange Theory, do pilates instead of lifting weights, and what's wrong with taking an extra day off? I know, it's really not that big of a deal. I think, for me, I feel I'm too young to have to lower the intensity of my workouts. Many days I feel so much stronger than when I was in my 20's. I definitely feel healthier when it comes to exercise and my diet. I've learned so much over the years and have disciplined myself to live a healthy life and have been working hard to inspire my children to do the same. A year ago, my daughter came to me and said "I want to learn to eat the way you do" and that made me so happy! I've always wanted to help others develop healthy eating and exercise habits. I guess now it's time for me to become the student, time for me to learn new ways.
Basically, I have to learn to walk instead of run. This will be my goal for 2018. It is my challenge, it is my mantra, and I will have to take this day by day. It's a new way of life for me, slowing down, learning to breathe, and enjoying all the little moments of joy in life. I know I could be so much worse off and I'm grateful for the body God gave me. He only gave me one and it's up to me to take care of it. I continue to pray for healing, strength and mental focus and I intend to listen to my body. My journey continues and I can't wait to see what the future holds!!!
1 Timothy 4:8
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.