As you know, I started this diet for my kids, one in particular. But it has turned out to really effect me and made big changes in my body that I want to shout from the rooftops! For the past ten years I have thought myself to be very healthy, energetic, strong immune system, fit, the works. The past couple years I have had some things pop up here and there that had me questioning. I had a handful of colds and flues and the symptoms were more severe than I was used to, regular headaches, non muscular back pain became an issue, I was often tired in the afternoon and took naps almost daily, I had this strange crawling feeling under my skin, I always seemed to be on the verge of a yeast infection and the cherry on top was passing a kidney stone last May (which explained my back pain). I talked to various professionals in health care about these issues and no one seemed to think they were anything to be concerned with. Seriously, three different doctors told me anyone can have a fluke kidney stone, it is after the second one that we begin looking into what is wrong. I didn't want to wait for another one, I want to prevent another one!
As I type this, I have my notes all laid out before me. One thing I have learned is that healing is slow, unperceived from day to day. It is easy to miss things, important things, though small in nature, they add up to paint a picture that shows underlying problems. This is in great contrast to our modern medicine that symptoms are improved in minutes, hours and days, but it is not true healing, of course. I have meticulously recorded our journey on the GAPS diet in a notebook and will periodically record summaries here since thumbing through nearly 100 pages of chicken scratch tends to be a pain in the butt. I don't feel I have a full picture to write up the kids yet. The first person perspective gives me a much better understanding of myself. Also, I have been doing the diet better than the kids in the way of more broth and fewer cheats.
In the beginning, things undoubtedly got worse across the board. Weeks of brain fog has helped me empathize with my eldest. Of coarse I had headaches and was tired. I was often hungry to no avail. Bad breath, dandruff and body odor that I hadn't had to deal with before. The yeast was raging and I had bags under my eyes that made me look ten years older. When you start something new and things get worse, your instinct is to stop. I had to grow deep in my understanding of what was going on within myself to clear this hurdle. It was about two months before I noticed my first big changes in a positive direction.
I have had issues with my blood sugar getting too low all my life, I would get dizzy and have even passed out a handful of times. Missing a meal was rough, I got grumpy and nauseous. I would always bring snacks everywhere and if I let myself get too hungry I would binge on candy and then feel yucky the rest of the day. I have been diagnosed with vasovagal syncope, but am guessing there were some hypoglycemic issues going on too. This last year, my back would ache terribly when I was fasting, even before the stone, I knew it was my kidneys. The first month of the diet, I was always hungry and ate constantly, but once my body transitioned, I had fewer of these symptoms and by two months in they were gone!
To me, this is a big change, not only because it had been a life long issue, but because I had no idea how liberating it was not to have to plan every outing around food. I can pretty much eat whenever, I still get hungry, but there is no immediate need. I am ache-free with my fasts (though this is more recent) I still get a little weak, but not dizzy. Without cravings and blood sugar drops, I now make my eating choices with a clear head instead of just grabbing the quickest and most tempting food-like substance. It sure makes dieting so much easier.
The second big change, that means a lot to me, is a clear complexion. I was plagued since adolescence with acne and as much as I tried to not care, I did. I was so aggravated by it and desperate to rid myself of the angry redness and sometimes painful deep sores. I tried tons of topical solutions, even a couple years of tetracycline, nothing made a lasting difference. I thought I was doomed, so it has been a dream to me to have consistently clear skin. I still have small blemishes pop up here and there, but they heal extremely fast, the scars and such from past break outs are healing too. Along with this, I had an age spot by my eye that I started concealing about five years ago. A few months ago, I brought my makeup brush to my eye out of habit and there was nothing there to conceal, it is gone!
I wear contacts and have yearly exams to check my prescription and order more contacts. My vision isn't terrible, but I have worn corrective lenses since sixth grade. A few times in the past 20 years, my eye doctor has added a little power to my prescription, but last month he took power off and noted there was a great improvement in my astigmatism!
I am fascinated by all of this. This diet takes courage and faith and when I am in the middle of what I can only guess is die off, instead of giving up I will press on. I never would have done GAPS on my own, it is thanks to my son and my maternal instincts to do the best by him I possibly can that I gain these benefits. There are so many toxic substances that contribute to deterioration of health that are uncontrollable, it can induce a real feeling of helplessness. It is easy to summit to the ways of the world when we feel trapped in the world. We can control the food we put in our mouths and through these food choices, realize the power we hold.