The Struggle is Real Ya’ll

By: Lindsey Norton | Posted: August 14, 2018

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So most of you have read that I have been struggling with the Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) lifestyle change. I started off strong, but now have fell back into old binge eating habits. There are some truly wonderful things about it and other things I really do struggle with. In my previous posts, I have admitted to cheating…shame on me. However, I have learned some extremely valuable lessons that have taught me what 2 ingredients my body is not able to tolerate at all anymore.

Sugar. Yep, those beautiful white crystals that sweeten our food. I decided to have some cake to celebrate my youngest daughters 15th birthday (or at least that is what I was telling myself). The birthday part was true, and the cake thing came, uh…a few days later, so ya for her birthday. I became so sick after eating the cake. Stomach cramps, nausea, indigestion, ect, and it left me feeling miserable for about 2 days. I even made my husband promise to remind me what I felt like when I ate “the cake” when I say I need something sweet. I also had some other sugary items I am sure contributed, but I will not be mentioning what kind of treats, out of courtesy to all of our sweet tooth peeps out there. I believe the highly processed content of sugar has greatly contributed to my medical history of IBS. Also, it does not help that I binge eat when I get my hands on sweets. I literally have no self control. 

Salt, yep the other white crystal we use to flavor food. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Processed foods contain a HUGE amount of sodium. The more research I did, and the more I looked back at the sodium content of the foods I used to eat regularly, and the quantity I would consume, I realized I was over dosing on sodium daily. For example, I would eat a food item that has around 1000 mg of sodium per serving and my serving size would be 5. So basically, I would consume 5,000 mg of sodium for ONLY one food item. SAY WHAT!? I have really been trying to pinpoint what has made me feel so sick for so many years, and of course it is usually always after I eat. This has caused me to only eat once a day most of the time. Too much sodium for me is a huge trigger to me feeling horrible, now I know. My bodily does not like sodium. I get dizzy, shaky and my body starts to swell, especially my legs. At times I feel as if I could pass out when I have had extremely high doses of sodium in my food. I can feel changes occurring in my body when I have exceeded my bodies sodium intake threshold.

I now know my body dislikes Salt and Sugar. I am now way more aware of the sodium my foods contain. I now do not add any salt,I buy low or no sodium items, and eat in moderation if the sodium content is higher than desired. I stay away from sugar, and even stopped my Splenda addiction all together when I first started (which I never thought I could). When I stay within my meal plan parameters, I feel great. A lot more energy, I feel lighter, my thoughts are clearer and I feel invincible at times. Even though I have made some mistakes along the way, I am learning more about myself and my body on this journey. 

The last few weeks have been challenging for me. I have been fighting a virus and was feverish on and off for 2 weeks, now I have my husbands cold (thanks honey, love you, the poor man keeps coughing and is waking up coughing in my face half the night), I have been applying, interviewing and shadowing for nursing jobs and accepted an amazing opportunity at a local hospital, my oldest daughter starts college next week (we are still trying to finalize things there), and my youngest starts school this week. I will officially start my new job next month and I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I also graduate from my IOP program this week, per insurance orders not the docs or mine, but I have truly been feeling better and feel like I am now moving forward. I am constantly trying to use my skills I learned (I make mistakes, but the difference now, is I can forgive myself, learn, and move forward). I am currently working on a plan to set my world up for success with my new nursing role, continue my WFPB lifestyle and also I have plans to get a gym membership and start working out (never thought I would even want to do this again either). 

So there you have it. The struggles are real ya’ll, but I try to take a day at a time and sometimes a moment at a time. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, and guess what…that’s okay with me. 

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