Okay where do I even begin… Here I am 28 years old…. just had my third son(he just turned 12 weeks today) and finally for the FIRST time in my life I feel in control of my body and I am in the best shape of my life. There is so much to this story where do I begin. I think it is important to go through and understand my old habits in order to understand where I am now.
Here is me normally(beach in 2013), and me now. And I am in by no means saying I was big then. I watched what I ate then but also still ate sweets and diary and worked out like a crazy person to combat it. But I am one size smaller and about 10 pounds lighter! And more importantly than weight and size…. I FEEL AMAZING!!! And because I am a photographer I will also say… of course neither of these are photoshopped at all. Because if they were I would pull in my lovely hips on the left picture. And picture on the right… I clearly need to get a touchup on my roots and get a tan! 🙂
I will start with growing up….
I am a southern girl. Raised on fried okra, corn bread, and beans. I mean seriously. My parents to this day eat the same thing over and over. I have always been a creature of habit and I think it is deeply tangled into my roots. My parents fridge was always stocked with sodas growing up and there is a drawer at my mothers house(that is still there I might add) that is nothing but sweets and junk food and I could just go and grab at my leisure! I am also the middle girl of three boys so food was never something that we were ever shied away from. I was always extremely active growing up, but I definitely went through a chubby childhood stage. My grandpa called me Chubs as my nickname 🙂
I realized that cleaning up my diet was important if I wanted to have a boyfriend at all! 😉 So I started going for the “lite” versions of foods and eating grilled instead of fried, but again I wasn’t eating right still eating a ton of sugar. I also played high school sports so I was pretty active both in the weight room and on the courts so I was able to balance a lot of my bad habits with activity… like that ranch dressing salad at long horns…. 🙂 And boys probably TMI but it was also here I started taking birth control to regulate cycles… mentioning that because there is way more to the story here.
Well there was the first extra five pounds. No longer had to run suicides for that missed free throw shot at the end of practice. I did still watch what I ate and stayed in the gym. I did try to come off birth control because I wasn’t liking the way it made me feel. Skin reacted horribly and the OBGYN diagnosed me with PCOS even though I did not have high insulin levels…. and since I didn’t want to be a college person battling acne I quickly just went back on and my skin cleared right back up but this all the other symptoms birth control brought on came right back and I just dealt with it.
I also got married in college and then right after we were married, Jeremy had a brain hemorrhage(another whole story here), and I had no time for me. I honestly slipped into a depression. I didn’t go out or see friends(and I am a social bug), I didn’t workout(and that is my “me time”), and all I could think about was my life was over.
Jeremy got better and we decided to try to have a baby. My doctor said with my PCOS and irregular periods it would be hard to get pregnant. Well…. I came off birth control… and got pregnant that same month! Apparently birth control stays in your system and can still triggers ovulation for 30 days.
Pregnant with First Baby:
I mean I was eating for two right? I did not workout. I gained 37 pounds. My skin was HORRIBLE and I of course related it to hormones. Had to have c-section because he was breech. I realized that I did not enjoy being pregnant at all. Had Roman, went right back on birth control, initially everything went back to normal and lost all my weight. Got kidney stones and had to have surgery for that and of course I still had all those other symptoms on birth control but I kept on taking.
It took me 2 years to even emotionally think I could do that again. And by that I mean be pregnant. I talk to so many women that just love being pregnant, and they are glowing… the only thing that was glowing to me was the Krispy Kreme sign and I wanted to make a pit stop. With August I came off of birth control and after trying for a year nothing. At this point we were not sure if we would have another. With the PCOS diagnoses, fertility was recommended. I opted in and got pregnant first go around. This pregnancy I gained 34 but I stayed active doing yoga the entire process. With him I was able to have a VBAC and I was officially done with having babies. Went right back on birth control. Returned to normal weight plus five pounds.
In between second and third baby I developed a glutten allergy. Anything with wheat I could not touch. It made me feel so sick so I had to cut that out of my diet. I thought I was getting old and my body was changing….
YES I was done having kids each time… so somehow we talk about having a third. I knew I would have to do fertility route again and mentally I could not get there. Canceled my fertility appointment 3 times and decided timing wasn’t right and it felt forced. Well guess what… yep ended up pregnant. And we got our third(and final) blessing… might I add. For realz this time. This pregnancy was the same as the others except for I stayed active this entire pregnancy doing classes at the gym and I ate pretty clean. Month 7 my gall bladder stopped working. Well I quickly found out what a gall bladders function was… to process fats! Both good and bad fats. So even nuts and things like that I had a hard time eating. My body could not process diary or cheese at all and sugar was like death to me. I was basically forced to kick a ton of bad habits and cycles I created for myself. And me and cheese were like BFFs. So thanks gallbladder for forcing me to treat my body right. Because cutting sugar and dairy was NOT EASY! The further along in my pregnancy the worse it got. The last two weeks of my pregnancy I lost 9 pounds! Yes the baby was chunking up and I was losing weight because I was so sick. I also worked out this entire pregnancy so for the first time being pregnant I stayed fit and this was a huge part of this next phase.
After having baby I didn’t workout for 6 weeks and only watched my diet. I started adding back in a ton of fats but only good fats.. avocados, nuts, etc. But a lot more was going on. My skin was crazy, I had rashes everywhere… I still would get sick which trying to touch anything with wheat or sugar. At my follow up visit OBGYN I decided to get back on birth control and I started taking them and my symptoms went from bad to worse. I knew deep down for the first time in my life I need to let my body just be. There are so many bad things about birth control pills. Here I was eating organic, but yet sticking fake hormones into my body to control it. When I came off birth control this last time before I got pregnant I dropped 7 pounds and did nothing different. There is nothing natural about birth control. So after taking it for 5 days I stopped.
Here is 3 months ago 11 weeks ago(a week after having baby), 9 weeks ago and 6 weeks ago. So this was all just eating right and staying active. Had Silas and here was my first couple of weeks. I was pretty sure I would never go back to normal! But this shows with staying active and eating right you CAN! So for the first time in my life I decided to try to do it a more all natural healthy way.
Here I was April 10 and then May 11. Picture on the left I was 5 pounds more. So you can see at this point I had already lost all my “baby weight” from dieting and staying active. At this point I still had that 5-7 pounds I wanted gone, I was still feeling so tired mainly after I ate, and my skin and rashes were still horrible. I thought I had ran into poison ivy and just rolled in it. Google Canidia, there are a ton of symptoms and a lot of Americans have it don’t even know it!
This is where Elizabeth(firstname.lastname@example.org) came in. She is a nutritional coach and certified energetic healer and will have a blog up soon so she can share recipes and I can share some of my favorites. On the right, was after implementing a lot of what I was taught from Elizabeth and by reading and researching. And ignore the random iphone shots. I took these so I could see my progress which kept me motivated.
Elizabeth was huge at helping me clean up my diet and getting on the road to recovering. And so you know my main goal was my skin not my weight, I was okay with my current weight, but I also mentioned if I could lose 5 pounds I wouldn’t complain. She asked are you sure it is a hormone issue. I was sure it was a hormone issue. I was pregnant so I thought my hormones were out of wack(which they probably were)and they told me I had PCOS. She said it could be a gut issue. I go to the dermatologist or my skin and what do they want to do? Treat symptoms by antibiotics. I didn’t want medicines. I wanted my body to fight. Elizabeth put me on a regimen and diet plan. Probiotics, bee pollen, drinking a green smoothie, and I also started oil of oregano. I know I couldn’t do it alone. I went from bad to worse! I felt like I had the flu and rashes popped up everywhere. I thought she was poisoning me for a day and I thought I was having an allergic reaction 😉 I chatted with her and she thought I was detoxing. I said detoxing? Explaining it all to her she said I think to have Candida. I of course googled it and l was reading so many symptoms that I had that I didn’t even know what not normal. Long story short Candida, is a gut issue to do with yeast and birth control is one of the main causes and I had been on it practically my whole life… yes those stupid pills! I went and got a blood test and guess what… positive! It was like a light bulb went off and everything made sense. I was getting worse because my body was detoxing. I cut almost all sugars and of course carbs because Candida feeds on sugar. So that is where I am at now. My skin went from bad, to horrid, to 90% back to normal and clear! During the process of detoxing and cleaning out the candida I also got some other added benefits, I now have SOOOOOOO much energy and I dropped another 7 pounds…. that weight that I could never get off.
Looking back I have been probably battling Candida for close to 10 years on a mild level I just didn’t know it, and it slowly kept getting worse. The dermatologist I saw, she wrote me a prescription antibiotics…… and guess what that would have done? Feed the Candida and made it worse had I listened. For the first time in my life I feel in control!!!! I feel amazing and I honestly feel like a new Kristy… like I woke up from a brain fog that I have been living in the past 10 years. Here are a couple take away points. I have also read three health books over the last couple weeks and have been trying a ton of new recipes and here are my take aways. I am totally a work in progress and still learning.
• Tell dairy goodbye. Nothing good comes from it! And you are talking to the girl that would have married cubed cheese. Everyone thinks but I need calcium. You get calcium from broccoli and a ton of other sources. I now do unsweetened organic almond milk. Especially if you are woman. Those hormones do not work well in our bodies.
• NO fake sugar. Read labels it is in everything. Almost everything that is processed has sugar added. Once you break you habit you won’t miss it.
• Lemon Water. I started this while I was pregnant. So good for detoxing your body.
• Listen to your body. Had I not had Elizabeth to bounce things off of and to give me a good foundation for starting not sure if I would have been able to do it. I knew going back on hormonal pills was not the best for me and I also knew I would gain 7 pounds immediately once I went back on. She helped me stay focus on the bigger goal and picture when I wanted to stop.
• What is the saying, your weight and health is 80 percent diet…. SO TRUE! I actually hate that I didn’t do this sooner. I was giving by body such bad fuel! I use to workout 5 to 6 times a week and was moving no where in the mirror or scale! Now I only workout 3 (maybe 4) times a week to keep my muscles tone. I go to the local Y and do various classes(Ripped, Sculpt, and Bootcamp mainly) and push myself while there.
• Greens. I didn’t get enough. For instance I LOVE Chipotle. They have all my favorite things. When I first went there I got a burrito for a long time. Then I moved to rice bowel and cut out the flour tortilla, NOW I get a salad with beans and top it with all my favorite veggies… and of course the guacamole!
• Buy organic or local when you can. I do realize that this is expensive!!! You will find what stores has what you need at the right price. I use to shop at one store I know shop at 3 to get all that I want. For instance, I eat organic nut/berry blend mix and I found BJ’s Wholesale. They sell it in bulk for cheaper and it is the organic version. This does take some time finding out what stores is the best for what. I also realized I would not be able to do this without properly planning out my meals and food that was needed for the week. This was a HUGE PART of Start Planner and why we decided to create it. So it has things like working out, grocery lists, dinner menus, did I take supplement, water intake etc.
• Get organized. Prepping and organization is key! Especially if you have a 3 month old, 3 year old and 7 year old like me and a couple of businesses. 🙂 Biggest thing I don’t have… is time!
• I never count calories. Don’t have no time for that and not a healthy way to live.
• I gave up coffee and the fake syrup I use to put in it and now drink green tea.
• I know longer crave sugar. I really could care a less about it. I was addicted and I have broke that cycle and I have found many great recipes on pinterest that I substitute for sweets that has a more natural sweetener like honey. Sugar would be so good when I ate it, and then I remember feeling tired. I now eat nutritious foods and feel like I can take over the world for hours.
• I try to not eat anything out of box or package. A lot of vegetables and now adding fruits slowing back in. Fruits are important I was just fighting Candida.
• I have a green smoothie everyday. And I need to get better about prepping this to save time.
• I take probiotics now which I should have been doing!
• I eat when I get hungry instead of eating just three meals huge meals a day.
• Find a good gym with friends. They hold me accountable and make working out fun!
Here is me now. Almost Candida free and with no synethic birth control in my system! I am sharing all this with hopes it will help someone else. I honestly felt like for the last 10 years I was fighting a battle I was never going to win. Doctors were only treating symptoms which was making my issue worse and they never took the time to get to the root of the issue. Which happens a lot here in the us. And birth control is so freely written. Oh you have a problem….. here is prescription. And through this process I am more in tune with my body and what it needs than ever before and I am slowly learning new foods and creating new habits that will leave me living a healthier life. I hope this helps just one other person. I think more women need to get off birth control and get to the root of an issue that could be going on that you did not even know! This is not a oh look at me post… I don’t want anyone to take it that way. This takes hard work and dedication. I am just finally proud I took the challenge. Share this with other women that are on birth control or that are having babies and think they can not bounce back. You can you just have to take the right steps and treat your body right.. something that I did not do for a long time! We only have one body! In my opinion it is the best gift I can not only give myself but my family and all the people that surround me.