A story about my life over the past 30 years as I’ve tried to navigate through my fluctuations in emotions, weight, and experiences the best I could - and a bit about the place that it’s brought me to today.
It took a while for me to realize that symptoms I was having were a result of a hormone imbalance. It's embarrassing to admit it but now that I have, I feel so empowered with the ability to change what I need to in order to feel like I'm giving myself the best quality life I possibly can. I'm pretty sure I'll never reach that goal, but the fact that I can always try is enough for me.
When I read Woman Code and learned all about the way our endocrine system works, it all made so much sense to me. I learned about what causes the imbalances (mismanaged blood sugar, poor detoxification and filtration of the body, etc.) and was given tools to improve the way my system is able to provide itself with what it needs to be in harmony.
I remember reading this book for the very first time, curled up on my sofa as I approached 30, feeling lost and helpless after trying so many things to just "feel normal". Why wasn't I waking up happy? When I eat, it's pretty darn healthy - why am I not seeing the results I should be? Why do I look in the mirror and feel so bummed out at what I see? How come my body feels like I just ran a marathon when I just got out of bed? How come I feel as though I'm in a constant state of panic? When will my mind slow down? Why is my hair thinning and seeming to end up all over the shower walls? So many questions... I kept saying to myself, "you're too young to feel like this.
It wasn't that I was dissatisfied with my life, I was dissatisfied with myself. My life was and is incredibly filled with blessings. I have a husband who loves me for me, an amazingly supportive family, and wonderfully loving friends. It was me that I was so sick and tired of because the ways I was acting, thinking, and behaving were not a reflection of my true self - deep down in my heart. But for some reason, my heart wasn't lining up with the rest of me anymore. Depression, anxiety, sadness, a complete lack of motivation, weight gain that remained stubborn to get rid of, terrible mood swings, and various other less-than-desirable symptoms have controlled my life for years.
I'll never forget the first time I felt "sad for no reason". I was about 18 or 19 and had just started taking the pill. I was waiting tables at a Country Club and remember going outside, sitting on the curb, and just feeling so confused about the feeling I had inside. That hormonal sadness/funk/depression is such a different feeling that people simply don't understand unless they've been there. It's different than loss, heartache, or sadness, etc. from any form of an actual legitimate emotion or reason to feel that way. It's like this weird fog that's surrounding your mind and you can't figure out where it's coming from. I wasn't on the pill that long, maybe just a few months or so after that before I went off it it because I knew it was messing with me in a way I did not like. I've never been on any form of birth control since and have never wanted to interact with any form of synthetic hormones again. It took my body a long time to get back to a normal swing. Back then I was in college so I wasn't taking ideal care of myself. I remember losing my period for a few months, and also going through this strange time where I would just feel incredibly nauseous and sometimes even have to run out of the classroom to go get sick. This went on for like 4 or 5 months I think, at least. Of course I didn't go to the doctor - what were they going to tell me? To take a pregnancy test and give it time, stay away from acidic foods, who knows. But eventually that weird nauseous phase went away. Anyway, looking back, I realize through my 20's, I was a completely hormonal mess - crazy mood swings and all. So as I approached 30, I was like, come on, God. Show me something here. I've tried it all. Doctors, tests of all kinds, diets, routines, medicines, all different anti-depressants, self-help books, etc. etc. etc..... ugh.
So anyway... I felt like Alisa (Woman Code author) was talking directly to me. She had written this book for me. She knew exactly what I had gone through for over ten years, and made me feel such a peace and confidence that it was all going to be OK. We can fix this. You are still capable of being filled with rich quality, energy, happiness, and exuberance! I felt like she was giving me the most comforting hug that anyone had given me in such a long time. It's like I had sat down with her over coffee, poured out all of my worries, fears, symptoms, wonders, and questions to her - just to have her answer every single one of them for me - and in immense scientific detail, not to mention her impressive credentials. She knows her stuff and I couldn't have been more enlightened.
But the one thing I remember finally feeling was that my body was beautifully made and all I had to do was make a few tweaks to help it along a little. There was nothing wrong with me. I no longer felt so helplessly sad that nothing would ever change for me. Learning about the way my body worked made me feel so amazing and I just soaked up every word. I felt embarrassed to admit to myself that I hadn't paid attention to any real details of of my cycle before. Luteal phase? What was that? Like obviously I knew I ovulated somewhere during the month but I just never really let all of that sink in as such a beautifully rhythmic pattern our bodies power through every single month. It's really quite amazing and such an incredible design. So learning about not just the weeks of my cycle, what happens during each one and why, but how they are meant to happen properly and in a healthy way, has enlightened me and completely sucked me in. It's mesmerizing and empowering. We have the capability to support our bodies in ways we never knew, and it makes so much sense.
I'm excited to share more about what I've learned about the female endocrine system and what it entails, how it works, and what it needs to work well soon. It's all thanks to this Woman Code book and I couldn't be more grateful. No doctor has shown me what I've learned here.
If you're reading this and you struggle with anything you suspect to be hormone-related, read it. If you suspect it might be hormone-related, it probably is. Our endocrine system is literally the central system for the connection between our body and our mind. It, along with our brain, is what makes it all connect. Our souls fit in there too, making us who we are. But all of this keeps us what we are! Beautiful earthly goddesses, dwelling here until our time is up. And why not make that time as valuable and as quality-filled as possible?? That's what I'm all about and so excited to do.
Those who journal do so to release thoughts, savor moments, tell stories, release emotions, etc. I've never really been a writer, though I've always been an expressive person. When I found photography (probably sometime during my middle school years), it became my primary form of life's documentation. Otherwise, I verbalize things to process/organize my thoughts, typically to my husband or my mom... they're such great listeners and graciously let me just vent away... But when I'm going through something, like really going through something - I find that that's when I really write. I write when I have no one else to talk to or when I want to just get it out but still keep it to myself. I write when there's nothing else to do because I just have to tell someone, even if that someone is only me.
Lately I've noticed that I was starting to feel the need for a space to express myself in a more open way. As a business owner, much of my online presence is with a professional approach. Though I try to remain very authentic and stay true to myself in the way I present my business, sometimes there are invisible lines that needn't be crossed as far as content sharing - things you might say are not relevant to my business goals or brand, not professional, confusing to my followers, or simply don't look cohesive on my Instagram feed. And I get it - I shouldn't necessarily jump from chatting and posting about wedding photography to all of the reasons why chia seeds are beneficial to our health, to a picture of my dog, to a snap of what I made for dinner the night before. And sharing in an Instagram story about how anxious I was feeling - are you kidding?! - talk about utter fear of my clients and friends would think less of me... I realized it was time for me to develop a separate outlet in which I could share tidbits of my passion for healthy living, nutrition, etc. and to also honestly and openly discuss things that so many of us go through like depression, anxiety, weight fluctuation, loneliness, happiness, love, relationships, dietary lifestyles, recipes, and so much more - to others out there who were interested in following along, who might even relate to things I experience in their own life.
Now that I'm approaching 30, I've been going through a lot of self-reflection and basically anything of the like. Growing pains, if you will. So I guess that means that it's time to write. But what's different this time, is that I want to share what I'm writing and not just keep it all tucked away in my drawer. There's been so much that I've realized about myself, life, my patterns, my relationships, who I am, who I was, who I'm becoming... And I don't want to keep this ever-enduring growth journey to myself. I want to blog my journey not because I find it so fascinating that my potential readers would absolutely hang onto every word or because I've discovered some new recipe for the perfect life by any means, but because I believe we all have a story worth sharing, and feel as though we can all help each other in some way. So even if there's just one tiny little thing that I have found to be of immense help as a result of dealing with depression for example and that helps just one person out there... I know that I have done something good by what I'm doing here.
And I also don't want to hide behind anything - I want to strive for much more grit and less perfection. There will be typo's. I am not a good writer - this will be my thoughts just spewing out through my quickly-typing fingers onto the pages of this blog, but whatever - it's me. And I am not perfect. I also believe that there is far from enough openness and honestly about who we really are when it comes to what we share with not just the internet world, but with our friends, our family, and whoever it is we've crossed paths with (for a reason!). So here I am... doing my best to give the realness of my life, difficulties I go through and my journey in trying to overcome and in turn, celebrate them for what they have taught me. I also want to celebrate the joy and happiness in my life with you too!
I am not a professional nutritionist, trained in anything of the sort so I would always want my readers to research things on their own and consult a doctor for certain conditions on their own. This is just going to be me sharing what I do and have done, learned and want to learn, experienced and want to experience... and a little this and that along the way to simply see what makes my mind, body, soul, and life feel more fulfilled and of course - healthy! Some of the main focal points of this blog for me will touch on things like anxiety and depression, the pressure and constant stresses of entrepreneurship, finding an over-all balance in my life, appreciating inner and outer beauty, being more real and honest with ourselves and those around us, and so much more. Many of us face these inevitable stepping stones often or even every-so-often, and if you're like me, you find yourself wanting to hide behind an online facade acting like every single day is simply magical, or maybe retreat from the outside world all together. Well I'm over all of that for myself. I'm ready and excited to open up to you like I never have before. I encourage you to write back, comment, share, email me, and keep this conversation interesting because we're all in this together. I hope we can be friends!