My Journey: Listening to my body Pt 1

Over the past two years I have developed a relationship with my body that I never would have thought possible. It began while trying to uncover the reason behind why I was having trouble conceiving a child – more on that here.

First step was a blood test interpreted by professionals that I trusted and respected (my holistic doctor and dietician) which identified a number of deficiencies including iron, zinc, b12, magnesium, vitamin D and cholesterol. Yes I had a cholesterol level that was too low – I didn’t even know that was possible. A few years prior, I’d had a blood test that also reported low cholesterol but was told by a doctor that this was a positive thing!

On top of this it was also found that I had a digestive parasite which was the cause of my abdominal discomfort. I started an intensive digestive cleanse first to eliminate the parasite. This involved taking a range of different high dose anti parasitic herbs and a double dose of probiotics. My diet was pretty good so I didn’t have to make many changes here, just buckle up and get through the next 3 months of taking up to 6 tablets at every meal!

Before too long I began to notice that within an hour taking my iron tablet in the morning that I would have a tummy ache. This observation allowed the doctor to identify that the parasite was feeding on the iron in my diet (causing the unpleasant symptoms and my low iron levels) and we were then able to raise my iron level using other methods. I loved that my observations had led to a big win for my health and I thanked my body for providing such a clear message.

About halfway through the cleanse I started to get an unexplainable intuitive sense that I was taking too much of one particular herb. There was no direct evidence, just a very strong feeling so I reduced my dose and reported what I had done at my next docs appointment. My doctor always encouraged me to trust my body and my instincts. He stated that as the parasite was reducing I could reduce my dose of this herb and ensured me that I had made the right decision. This sort of confirmation allowed me to develop my communication with my body and fully trust the messages I was receiving from within.

The cleanse provided me with a platform upon which to practice and hone my mind-body connection. Numerous times I felt guided to take more or less of certain tablets or to avoid or include particular foods and was always confirmed not only through the observable feedback from my body but also from the professional guidance I received from my doctor and dietician.

I reached a place of confidence, knowing that I can fully trust my body to steer me towards optimum health. I don’t think I would have found this journey so easy if it weren’t for the amazing health professionals I’m connected with.

Once my many deficiencies were corrected and I became pregnant, I lost a tolerance for many foods and had cravings for salty, starchy, fried and crunchy foods… and not much else.

Then I faced a challenge which ultimately confirmed what I already knew but not without completely unsettling me first! I spoke to the naturopath at the health food store about how I was feeling and told her that for the time being I could only tolerate certain foods. She told me that everything I was doing was wrong and that I had to eat XYZ regardless of how I felt in order to support my baby. She went on to tell me that she’s had 3 children and that I needed to change what I’m eating immediately in order to ensure my child was being properly nourished.

Heavy! Especially after my difficult journey leading up to eventually conceiving. I started to doubt myself and feel guilty. For the first time in months I thought “maybe my body is wrong” and “maybe the lack of fresh vegies etc. in my diet is having a negative impact on my baby.” I was in a difficult situation because eating the foods that I “should” have been eating caused me a whole range of unpleasant symptoms.

Nervous and losing faith in myself, I spoke to my doc and dietician who thankfully reassured me that my current eating habits were temporary and that I needed to trust my body without worrying about doing myself or my baby and damage. I actually believe that the worry and the self doubt was more damaging for me than the bland food was!

Before too long, my symptoms improved, my tastes changed and my health improved. This challenge reminded me that I don’t need to get sucked in to the opinions of others and that I have all the inner resources I need regarding my health.

Part two of this post (about pain, exercise and massage) coming soon!

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