Shortly after I first heard the word “endometriosis”, I turned to the Internet to find out more. It didn’t take long for me to come across the endo diet.
The endo diet includes recommendations on what to eat to help manage symptoms of endometriosis.
I remember feeling overwhelmed with the long list of foods on the avoid side of the list. Those foods made up most of what I ate every day!
After this initial discovery of the endo diet, I did my own avoiding. I closed the web page and went on about my day.
Yet the pain persisted. I needed to do something and that didn’t include the choices presented to me by my doctor. I didn’t want to get back on birth control pills.
I decided to jump in and give the endo diet a shot. That wasn’t exactly easy. It felt very restrictive at first.
An unhealthy relationship with food
Those feelings of restriction rose up since I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food or the whole concept of “dieting.”
Up until that point my thoughts on diets had been related to losing weight. I grew up with messages of low-fat, low-sugar, “diet” foods and counting “points”.
Early in my twenties, I fell into that weight loss craze, as the number on the scale and bulge in my tummy started to grow. I began to meticulously count my calories.
I survived on Easy Mac and ramen noodles. It was cheap and I was easily hitting my daily 1,200 calories mark. I was proud when I was able to squeeze into a size zero at the fashion clothing store I worked at.
I was thin, but I wasn’t healthy.
My body craved nutrients and foods that would actually serve me. Those cravings for energy manifested into crazy sugar binges. I used to hide boxes of snack cakes in my dresser drawers and escaped to my bedside to devour mouthfuls of sugary bliss.
With all the sugar binges, the size zero didn’t last long. As my twenties progressed, so did my belly.
Maybe if I exercise more?
Even though I was restricting calories, the number on the scale didn’t budge. I was obsessed with hitting a certain number. At the time I was taking birth control pills, and my digestion was slow. Most of the time I felt bloated, constipated and uncomfortable.
I became more conscious of my body as my relationship with my husband blossomed. He’s gorgeous and I didn’t feel adequate. That was when I started to exercise.
I invested in a gym membership. After showing up at the gym for awhile one of the trainers approached me and suggested he give me a fitness analysis. I reluctantly agreed.
While I’m sure he had good intentions, the sales tactic of the trainer made me feel worse about myself. My weight, body mass index and fitness abilities were put on display in a public place. I didn’t fit in with the other hard core exercisers around me.
I didn’t go back to the gym after that. I turned my attention to exercising at home and got into Beachbody products… slamming out P90X in my living room. Ha. Exercise made me feel strong.
Until I pulled out my back and experienced the worst pain of my life. That slowed down the intensity and woke me up to the necessity of having a strong root. When your back goes out, everything goes out.
The good news? The herniated discs in my lower back introduced me to yoga, and to the power of my breath, but that’s another story, for another time 🙂
Connecting Food to Feeling
Through all that time of intense exercise, I failed to connect with the impact of the food that I was putting into my body. I thought that if I restricted my calories and exercised that I would lose weight.
I wasn’t considering what I was actually intaking and how that influenced my body’s processes.
It was endometriosis that forced this lesson upon me, many years later. In a grand Aha! moment I recognized that food influenced the way that I felt. Somewhere along the line, I’d missed that connection.
This was a huge perception shift!
It wasn’t about restriction or deprivation. It was about what nourished me on a deeper level. What made me feel good.
Endometriosis forced me to feel. It made me face the pain, and it made me pay attention.
While the endo diet had “diet” in the name, it was more than that. It was a life style transition.
It was also a big first step for me in awareness. Food helped me to re-connect with my body and it re-directed me down a path of self-love.
It reminded me that my choices each day nourished my being and impacted how I felt both physically and mentally. The food that I ate impacted my energy and pain levels.
Having a choice with what I put into my body each day gave me a sense of control over this condition that, upon diagnosis, felt out of control.
On the Positive Side?
I committed to the endo diet and it didn’t take long for me to start to notice a difference. I experienced less pain, gas and bloating. My daily headaches dissipated.
And I easily dropped ten pounds that I believe were tied to inflammation from all the poor foods I was putting into my body.
It has been over six years since “endometriosis” entered my vocabulary and along the way the endo diet has been a staple. It has been a life style shift that stuck around, because when I stray, I feel it.
And I recognize now that I deserve to feel good.
You do too! If you want to start making better choices with the food that you put in your body, but feel overwhelmed about where to start then I have just the solution for you!
I put together a free course called the Endo Diet Jump-start. I designed it to help eliminate the overwhelm that can come from making a change with your eating patterns.
I provide guidance, support and a step-by-step plan to get you started on feeling better with endometriosis. There’s three steps to the process: Awareness, Add-in and Avoid.
The information is only helpful if you take action. If you need more support than what I can provide in a course, I’d love to chat with you one on one. Find out more about my coaching program and schedule time with me here.