I was talking to some friends recently about health and wellness and the role that food plays in our short and long term physical and mental health. They were quite intrigued by the concept of inflammation and wanted to know more. I talk a lot in my blog posts about inflammation but it occurred to me that perhaps it might be useful to see what it looks like in a real life example.
So this is going to get quite personal and you’ll learn some things about me you may not want to know. But it’s really important that we all understand how important it is to eat right for our body type and what the impact of choosing not to can do to us.
As a child I loved food. I can see now that I used food as an emotional crutch (many of us do) and I ate a lot of dairy which I absolutely loved. I was a super sensitive child with a tendency toward melancholy. I had a grown up view of the world on very small shoulders. In terms of physical health I had small, almost pimple like bumps on my upper arms and suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. With what I know now, I can see that my gut health was extremely poor, most likely stemming from an intolerance of dairy.
I entered puberty reasonably early so by the age of 13, I was having a terrible experience with my period each month. Significant pain and the odd bout of fainting. I was put on the Pill and stayed on it for almost 15 years. Even on the Pill I was still having bad periods and did all sorts of investigations as to why. In the end I was told by a male doctor that for many women periods are painful and this is normal.
In addition to this I was overweight and pretty miserable with it too. I had very low self-esteem and thought I was quite un-loveable. I went to an all-girls school which did nothing for my self-worth as the girls loved finding the weak link in the chain and exploiting it. I continued to struggle with my weight right up until after the birth of my second child when I was almost 31. But that story can wait for another post!
After the birth of my second child I had an IUD inserted. From a physical perspective it resolved the problem. No periods at all. But my emotional health was suffering and after 4 years (I was seriously scared about having periods again!) I finally had it taken out and I was terrified. I had significant support from my Chiropractor who put me onto some herbal supplements and I have never experienced such short, easy, painless periods.
So I can now see that I had inflammation in my body caused by eating dairy which just wasn’t right for me. Now that I have cleaned up my food and I am treating my body with respect (mostly – I still LOVE cheese after all!) I get to enjoy not only bountiful physical health, a monthly cycle that is now regular and stress-free and great mental health.
My purpose in sharing this personal testimonial is to encourage you to listen to your body and remove foods that you know don’t go well with you. Pain is a sign that something is wrong, listen to it. If you are unsure, remove the food for a month and see if there is an improvement. Your physical and mental health is worth making an effort with your food. I’d love for you to go back and re-read some of my articles on gut health and eating right for you. And if you’d like some support, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.