Like everyone else, my life is a series of journeys. One leads into another, or they overlap, always working toward self betterment and contentment at where I am.
#LiveAbundantly was birthed from a desire to love every aspect of my life with a mindset of abundance. I wanted my life to begin reflecting something beyond mere contentment, no matter what I happen to be enduring.
While stories from the whole of my life all contributed to where I am now, I want to share a few snippets from the last few years that have changed my physical trajectory more directly.
The first major change began in 2011. I was five months post delivery of our second and youngest son. A friend had come to our oldest son’s third birthday party and taken pictures for us and this image made a huge impact on me. I was over 200 pounds, and what I saw astounded me. I’d struggled with fluctuating weight my whole life but never to this extreme result.
My half-hearted attempts to be healthy had always failed miserably up to this point. But I was determined. Through self accountability, I completely changed my diet, implementing portion control, eliminating all fried foods, and eating sugar in moderation. I lost 40 pounds in five months, and another 10 by the next year.
I was maintaining my dietary changes and had implemented workouts five days a week. But for the next three years I plateaued, unable to reach my ultimate weight loss goals. I was so frustrated because I had the determination, but not the results. So I started looking at what else could be going on, wondering if there were any underlying issues keeping me from losing weight the way I should be. I took a leap in September 2014 and ordered some supplements to work on this concept called “gut health.” It wasn’t something I’d ever heard of before, but the whole “I can get healthier with diet and exercise alone” wasn’t cutting it for me, so I figured this may be worth a shot.
Before I let you know how it worked, let me take you back a bit and get kind of personal. Ever since childhood I had struggled with severe constipation. I was an average sized child, but my stomach was always so bloated, that kids would tease me for looking pregnant at the innocent age of eight years old. I remember being so doubled over in pain from said bloating at times that I would just crawl under the dining room table and cry.
My mom took me to the doctor as a child and the doctor simply said “she needs more fiber.” So she stock piled my natural fiber intake at every meal (thankfully I love most every fruit and vegetable). Nothing really changed. I was “going” about once or twice a week and it was always an uncomfortably painful process (I’m embarrassed to admit that hemorrhoids were a norm for me since preteen years). As a young adult I added fiber supplements and that still didn’t help. I had resolved that my body simply didn’t absorb fiber.
Enter these “gut health” supplements. And in January 2015 I fasted all carbs and sugars for two weeks…. and suddenly I was going. Now, mind you, I had tried said fast the year prior and because of my hypoglycemia (oh, did I forget to mention that?), was unable to do it because my body was so accustomed to the regular sugar intake. But with these supplements in place, I was able to fast without any drops in my blood sugar. And I started looking into foods that might cause constipation, and wouldn’t you know that, of the five main causes, I was consuming all but one during that fast: gluten.
Upon embracing a gluten intolerance, I lost a few more pounds but two pant sizes! My body as a whole started to improve because it was finally beginning to detox properly. The pictures speak for themselves.
Of course, this one revelation and the addition of supplements wasn’t the end of my journey to health. It’s not even over now. But it was the beginning of changes I never anticipated. Now I have a passion for helping others understand how poor gut health is connected to so many ailments that modern society endures as normal, or treats the symptoms rather than the root cause. I’m passionate about showing others that diet and exercise alone aren’t always the answer. I’m passionate about helping others find physical abundance.
I know what it is to “try everything” and still fall short of your goals, or know that how you feel isn’t as good as it can be, but reluctantly embrace that it’s all it will be. I’m here to tell you that’s not true, that you can feel better. I’m here to help you do it, if you’ll let me. #LiveAbundantly
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