No More Whack-a-Mole
This post is an installment in our 52 Health Hinges series. Remember, “Small hinges swing big doors.”
I don’t know about you, but I never liked the game of whack-a-mole as a kid. I never won, and it’s not much fun to play when you never win, right? So I stopped playing. I’m much more of a skee ball type of person.
With skee ball, I felt more in control of the outcome. I controlled how hard I rolled the ball, I could put a spin on it, I could gently let go of the little red ball as I bent my knees…
Now, this game I can win.
It was more work, and certainly required some trial-and-error to build the muscle memory, but over time, I got it.
As I mentioned last week, for over 15 years, I played a nasty game of whack-a-mole with my health. Seemingly random symptoms popped up, one after the other, and I’d whack them one at a time. But unfortunately, another was always waiting. My symptoms included digestive issues, weight gain and weight loss resistance, shingles, infertility, and more.
The story of everything I did is too long to share in one blog post, so today I’ll share a summary, and promise to share more details of each in upcoming Health Hinge posts.
How I Changed the Game
1. I hired a coach. I was sick of chasing my symptoms, so I decided to change the game. But I had no idea how to do that, so I hired a coach. Jill G, to be specific.
Jill helped clear up a lot of misinformation I’d heard via mainstream advice. Fat free wasn’t good for me? My body actually needs cholesterol? The exercise that I think is helping me may actually be working against me?
Working with her opened my eyes to a new world of health and wellness that I didn’t even realize existed. Plus, this is difficult stuff. It helps to have someone that’s “been there, done that” as a guide as you’re following your path.
I’ll be honest…some of what Jill G. taught me was so mind-blowing that it took years after our program ended for me to take some of the steps. I’m stubborn, so I did everything when I was good and ready. But the knowledge transfer had occurred and I tapped into it when I was ready for change.
2. I began sleuthing. Building on the foundation from Jill G., I began my own detective work. I read books, researched functional medicine, found credible sources to follow, and signed up for seminars and classes. Everyone is different, so I needed to find what worked for me.
3. I started making small changes. Throughout my learnings, I slowly started making small changes. Some worked, some didn’t. Some were easy, some were difficult. Some provided immediate and obvious benefit, some were more subtle.
Some took longer than they needed to take (remember…I’m stubborn). But I value the learning process that I went through. Knowing “why” helped to build my muscle memory. Many of the small changes that I made are the topics of my Health Hinges.
My Root Causes
Remember my long list of symptoms, my game of whack-a-mole? I finally put down the mallet and started playing a new game. It took a lot of practice to learn that perfect angle to hold my hand, and how to gently roll that little red ball, but I figured it out. Little by little.
Some attempts scored me a few tickets; some awarded me with a jackpot. At the end of the day, I found my four root causes:
1. Blood sugar imbalance. The dizziness that I was experiencing? The one that I described as the feeling you have after riding a roller coaster? That was dysglycemia. Ironically, my blood sugar was on a roller coaster so my description of what I was feeling was a pretty accurate metaphor. And once blood sugar is off, it can cause a domino effect on the rest of the hormones, leading to acne, weight gain, insomnia, hair loss, and infertility.
2. Inflammation. Remember when we spoke about inflammation? My body was inflamed in a big way. Dysglycemia can contribute to inflammation, but for me, there was more to the story. I also determined that I had food sensitivities that were continually irritating my gut. What’s more, I learned that because I was continuing to eat foods that I was sensitive to, their presence was keeping my body from utilizing all of the nutrients from the healthy food I was eating. These symptoms manifested in me as acne, digestive and mood issues, seasonal allergies, and yeast infections.
3. Toxin overload. Let’s face it - our world is filled with toxins. It’s in the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, and the products that we use. It hadn’t occurred to me to even think about this! The overabundance of chemicals manifested in me as terrible menstrual cramps, acne, hormonal imbalance, and weight gain.
4. Adrenal dysfunction. Our adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline, two of our stress hormones. I had worked my adrenals so hard that they gave up. I needed to nourish my adrenal glands to bring them back to life. In me, this root cause exacerbated all of the symptoms I was feeling.
Are you ready to change your game? I’d love to help you do your detective work, build YOUR muscle memory, and help you feel wonderful again.