How Healthy is Your Health?
*I am not a doctor or medical professional, I am simply sharing what works or has worked for me.
**If you are a dude you may want to sit this one out.
I know I talk about mental health a lot– so I am leaving that out of this one and sticking mainly to my physical self.
When I first started my fitness journey I really wasn’t that concerned about my health. I mainly only cared about getting and staying skinny. But it wasn’t too far into lifting weights when I traded wanting to be skinny, for wanting to be strong. Sure I still want to look amazing naked but my priorities were definitely changing.
At one point I turned to nutrition to help me reach my physical and strength goals. Eventually I started to care more about what I was putting into my body for health purposes. I experimented with juicing, learned about the microbiome and started to question what was in my food and where it came from. I started to choose better meat, opting for organic, hormone free, grass fed & free range whenever possible.
While not everything I put into my body is unprocessed (because I do believe I need balance for mental health), I have certainly evolved into caring more about my fitness and nutrition for long-term health.
Several years ago I realized that this wasn’t enough. Why did I only care about what I put in my body rather than on my body? So little by little I began to replace my makeup, skincare & toiletries–from toothpaste to tampons– with non-toxic versions.
We are surrounded and inundated with cancer causing and hormone disrupting chemicals and day in and day out. We slather our largest organ daily with toxins. There are 1300 chemicals banned from cosmetics in Europe while here in the US there are only 11.
E-LEVEN YOU GUYS.
This is alarming. There are more cases of cancer and hormonal issues in women today than there ever used to be. So when I see women wearing their faces full of toxic makeup, I cringe. I also don’t understand why they are concerned enough to make sure the products are vegan or cruelty free. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals– but how is the health or welfare of an animal more important than your own?
::Stepping off soapbox::
Sorry I get passionate about this stuff. Anyhow a couple of years ago, I considered my birth control and how horrible it must be for our bodies. After a bit of research, I said goodbye to the Nuva Ring.
Shortly after, I noticed some improvement in my moods. While my periods felt like I was back to being a teen again, I felt like it was a fine tradeoff for my health. I failed to realize how irregular my cycle became. When I did start to notice I thought it was fine, it was probably normal right?
Uh, there’s a reason why it’s called an “irregular period” apparently. It’s not normal. And a few weeks ago I realized I was having PMS symptoms for a couple of weeks along with my period ‘regularly’ being around 10 days late.
Luckily, a friend of mine recently wrote an article with some tips to transition off of birth control. Even though it had been a couple of years since I quit, I thought I might still find some insight. She suggested a supplement to try and after only a few weeks of using it, I had my first 28 day cycle in YEARS. I can not tell you how thrilled I am.
This section of her article hit me especially hard because I feel like I know SO many women with this issue:
“Often, women are also using birth control to treat more serious issues like PCOS, endometriosis, heavy periods, acne or painful cramps, without being told that it’s more so just suppressing the symptoms than it is actually treating it. To those that say birth control is “working” for them, if you stop, what happens? If the symptoms worsen or reappear then it may be a sign that your birth control is simply putting the problem on pause and not truly healing you.”
So many of us are suffering and not really talking about it so I wanted to share my experience, even if it’s just with the few of you who read this.
Wellness is a journey, and it looks different for everyone. I believe if we truly want optimal health, we have to think beyond just fitness and nutrition. Beyond just not being sick, but promoting wellness and being proactive– It’s worth it to see if maybe there is a better way.
Read the next installment of Self-Love Sunday here.