I have been so busy taking care of little ones over the last (nearly) seven years that I have rarely stopped to assess my own needs. Mothering in the early years is such a physically draining job, and as I have begun paying more attention to the needs of my body recently, I realize that I am in great need of nourishment.
In the last nine years, I have given birth to three children and have had five miscarriages. I have been nursing someone for a month short of seven years straight….so far. All those hormone changes, all that nourishment being channeled into placenta building and milk production….that takes its toll.
The thing is, I eat healthier than just about anyone I know. Before GAPS we were on a mostly WAPF diet for six years and for the few years before that we were eating a largely whole food diet, though there were things I thought at the time were healthy that I later learned more about. But anyway, the point is, my body has gotten wonderful fuel for the past several years, but I don’t think it has reaped the benefits. I don’t think it’s been able to fully use what I’ve given. I do believe that motherhood has placed additional stress on my body, but I suspect there is something in my gut causing malabsorption as well. I guess that is why I was convinced that GAPS would be good for me in the first place. I am at a point in life where I am determined to fix whatever is functioning poorly so I can feel better than “fine.” I want to feel great!
As I said a couple months ago, I am feeling better since being on GAPS, so I am very hopeful, yet I do have concerns about being on a low carb diet over the long term, and I am going to be careful to listen to my body rather than blindly following a protocol just because so many others have found greater health and healing. If I discover after any given time that GAPS is not what I need, I will modify my diet so my body gets everything needed to thrive.
After years of too often dismissing my body’s needs and signals, I have decided it is time for me to focus on myself. I don’t want to become self absorbed and obsessed about every little thing, and I don’t want to seem like a hypochondriac. I just want to make every effort to improve my health now so that I can age well and have energy and vitality thirty and forty years from now – and of course so I can enjoy my life more fully now. Living in a fallen world, we are never going to have perfect health, but we can strive to have the best possible health, to do the things necessary to feel good and hopefully avoid disease, not an easy task in today’s toxic world.
So, despite a pretty clean diet over the last several years, I believe I am malnourished. In addition to the toll that pregnancy and nursing takes on the body, as well as probable gut unhealth, I am convinced that metabolism and thyroid play a big role for me, which makes sense since metabolism is so important for proper digestive function. In fact, I have no idea what the actual state of my gut is, and I would like a clearer picture so I can be more efficient in addressing problems.
As far as the thyroid goes, I had three miscarriages before Jonas was born. After the third, I had some basic tests run. I was certain I would be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I had so many of the symptoms. But the blood test came back on “the low side of normal.” At the time, I didn’t realize that many people with thyroid issues are told they are within normal range. And the more I read about hypothyroidism, the more I realize what a complex issue it can be.
Lately, I have been running into information that makes me question whether it is best, in light of my probable thyroid issue, to stay fully on GAPS. I’ve read of people who’s metabolisms have been driven further into the ditch by low carb lifestyles. I feel great overall right now, but supposedly many people experience a honeymoon phase the first few months and then they go downhill. I will just keep listening to my body, and we’ll see where it leads me.
I need to get to the doctor. After losing a pediatrician we loved, we are fortunate to have found a great holistic doctor with a background in pediatrics. The kids all saw him in November, but we haven’t been back since starting GAPS. Jonas and I have appointments later this week. He is also a WAPF follower, so I think he would be knowledgeable about GAPS. Anyway, I really want to talk through some of this and get some testing done to better assess where I am at and hopefully come away with a more complete plan for getting healthy.