How I lost the first 40 lb Part 1 – GUT HEALTH
Yes, seriously. I went for vitamins, specifically probiotics, first.
I had just moved into the house my ex and I had renovated to be our forever home and I had also just asked him to leave for what would begin the downward spiral through his recovery and our marriage’s end. It was a lot to deal with. For the first time in my adult life I was responsible for every aspect of the household, from finances to maintenance, and every aspect of parenting – from sending our oldest to college as well as managing the two teenagers at home (not to mention the anxiety over my ex’s health and recovery).
I was so overwhelmed that I could not fathom making big lifestyle changes and I was so overwhelmed I HAD to make big lifestyle changes. In the stress of living in what felt like a silent battleground full of eggshells and unhappiness, I had turned to food to hide from my feelings. Food insulated me from dealing with the chaos around me and eating gave me an action I could take to feel like I was doing something about it. I could have what I wanted for a few minutes when I made a choice of something yummy to eat. UGH. When my life spun out of control I realized I needed to get my health under control for me, for my kids, and for our future.
Around this time a long time friend had started a supplement business. These products, she told me, were originally formulated to help diabetics regulate sugar and sugar cravings but it was found that these products also helped people who were not diabetic to reduce sugar cravings and feel better. Sign me up. Sugar is my love and my poison. This sounded too good to be true but also sounded like minimal effort on my part to possibly get me started toward a healthier life.
So, I spent the money. And, honestly, I will be taking these supplements forever more. They make me feel better, they reduce sugar cravings, and they also make my moods more – oh I don’t know – predictable I suppose.
I do not tell you this to sell this product, though I do believe in it, I tell you this to share that really paying attention to my gut health ended up being the critical first step in my weight loss and emotional well being journey. It helped because the probiotics really did make me feel better but it also helped because psychologically I saw it as a step toward optimal health and believing I was making a choice to be healthy pushed me to make the next best decision for my health. It fixed my mindset on health as an attainable goal.
You can choose to take a step toward better health no matter how small. A step is a step is a step.
As it turns out, gut health and its connection to the brain is a real thing. Here is a brief article on it from Harvard Medical if you are interested. And, here is another one from Psychology Today that explains how your gut health affects cravings.
*This is my personal health journey. I hope you find inspiration to discover your own health journey. I am not a medical professional, just an everyday person! My story is meant to inspire you to begin your own journey, and to encourage you make the decisions you find are best for your body and for your life, which may not necessarily be the same as mine.