I’ve been pretty transparent about my health these past couple of years, at least on my personal Instagram and podcast. It has been a wild ride. That’s the only way I can describe it, honestly. Thankfully, I have been on the road to recovery, and recently HUM Nutrition has been pushing me along faster to a better place. However, I really had to work to get to where I am today. It all started over two years ago when I started to have some major digestive issues, which resulted in equally challenging bowel problems. Let’s just say, I had to run (no — sprint) to the bathroom several times a day. At first, it didn’t faze me too much. I had always been relatively healthy and regular, so ya know. I just thought, “Oh, I’ll be fiiiiiine. This is just a weird thing I’m going through”.
Well, that “weird thing” I was going through didn’t end up being so temporary. It very much so became a permanent fixture in my life, much to my chagrin and discomfort…and gosh, it knocked me to the ground. Unfortunately, when one thing unsettles your health, no matter what it may be, it can have this uncanny ability to uncover other problems that your body and mind have been dealing with — things you may not have been aware of at all. ugh.
Those other problems started to bubble up and over, as I continued to struggle with my bowel heath and those manifest in the form of anxiety and depression. Yay. A double whammy and, conjoined with feeling nauseous and spending all of my time on the pot, I found myself faced with a triple threat. It really, really affected me in a terribly detrimental way. I was entirely depleted, didn’t feel like eating, didn’t want to go anywhere, was unmotivated and uninspired…not like myself at all. It was like being on one of those old, rickety roller coasters that you question having gotten on at all, but this is one that never ever ends.
So, I went through a period where I didn’t know what to do. I just kept dealing with it. FYI: not a great treatment plan. After dealing with my poor health for well over a year (yeh, I know. I guess I am either incredibly resilient or just a glutton for punishment), I decided to take my health into my own hands and to stop simply taking what I was being given. These are the things I did…
4 Actions That Have Helped Me On My Journey To Health:
1. Doing Yoga
I wasn’t that into the idea of yoga at first, because I thought it was simply a way to calm down and wouldn’t really make me stronger (ha! Silly me). After completing a few flows…I was hooked. I realized that not only did it strengthen my body like it never has been strengthened before, it also brought me back to myself. I was able to give my mind and body that time – the time it needed to slow down and recognize its incredible strength.
I’ve never connected to a style of workout like I connect to yoga! It really sets the pace of my entire day, whereas other more high energy workouts have left me feeling shaky and tired-out.
I just pull up yoga videos on YouTube. Yoga w/ Adriane is my favorite!
2. Eating Whole Foods
This was a tough one for me. Really tough. I have always loved food…like, really loved food. My mom still tells me stories about how I would always be asking when our next meal would be and could sniff out a snack (that someone was usually trying to secretively eat so that I wouldn’t find them out) like a lion on the prowl. So, yeh. I like food. The thought of changing everything about the way I was eating…? That scared me. In fact, it made me anxious and I stalled for a while on this one. I didn’t want to give up dairy or gluten, eat more green leafy veggies and check all of the labels before I put something into my cart. UGH.
The funny thing about it, though, is that once I began and made the changes I needed to…my body acclimated to the change and didn’t crave the stuff I eliminated. It wanted the good stuff! I notice that I now no longer feel like I have to have bread and sugary stuff. In fact, it makes me feel bloated and yucky. Interesting how when we start to pay attention to what we eat…our bodies, in a way, take over and change the way we see food and the kinds of foods we like to eat.
BTW: I eat pretty clean now, but YES. I do have days where I eat sugar, even some ice cream, bread, etc. Just so ya know. 😉
3. Taking Charge of My Mental Health
This is a MAJORLY important one for me. I knew that I was prone to anxiety and I had my sad days, but I was not at all aware of the mental struggle that was subconsciously taking place behind the scenes. As my body was basically weakening, the mental stuff couldn’t really hide anymore. It came out big time. I was so anxiety-ridden that I could barely go to the grocery store. I had to leave my friend’s bday dinner out, b/c I had a panic attack. The list goes on. I was forced to do something about it, b/c I could no longer ignore it.
I started going to a therapist to talk things out, which helped immensely. It was so nice to have someone to help me unpack my mess. The other step I took was to see my doctor, have her run some tests (to see if there was anything abnormal going on in my body…there wasn’t, btw) and finally…I listened to her and put away the skepticism and fear I had about taking meds for anxiety and depression. I started Zoloft over two months ago now and it has been a very important part of my recovery. I never thought I would say that.
4. Rounding It All Out With Really Good Supplements
Last, but certainly not least, finding good supplements has been imperative for me and my body. It has proven to be just as important as the other things above. I had never been big on supplementing my diet with added vitamins, minerals, etc. and when I first heard about probiotics I was all…huh?? Okaaaaaay, right. Just as I was forced to re-think other things, I had to really start considering adding in supplements to my daily life. I’ve been taking probiotics for at least a year, but am now taking it all up a notch with HUM!
So, Why HUM? Well, there are many reasons why I am very impressed with their products. The main ones being – they are premium quality, sustainably sourced, non-GMO and gluten-free. Also, they have free personal nutritionists that help set you up with what you need, once you fill out their HUM quiz. Read more about all of this here.
I took the 3-minute quiz and got recommendations personalized to my needs. These are the four I am now taking on a daily basis…
Skin Heroes Pre-Probiotic – this one is very, very important for me. It’s for the gut and also helps to support a healthy complexion, which has been challenging to maintain, with all of my stomach issues. HUM note: it has 9 Strains of Probiotic, 40 bn Organisms and Prebiotic Konjac Root
Collagen Love – I’ve really felt like my facial skin has taken a hit this past year and I just don’t think it has been nourished properly, so taking this collagen supplement will hopefully improve that. Also, just the fact that I am over 30 makes me want to start a simple anti-aging regime. HUM note: it contains Collagen Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C
Uber Energy – I got excited when I saw this particular supplement because I get tired so easily…and well, hello! Yes, I do need help with balancing stress hormones and gaining an increase in productivity. HUM note: contains Adaptogens, L-Tyrosine and B5 and B6
Daily Cleanse – I feel like this entire past year has been a cleanse, of sorts, for me. haha. So, why not throw in a cleanse in supplement form?! This one aids in digestion and supports detoxification. Basically, it gets rid of toxins in your body. Sign. Me. Up. HUM note: contains 14 Detoxifiers incl. Chlorella and Spirulina
I feel like an entirely different person now, and, while I still have to continually fight for my physical and mental well-being (and probably always will), I feel so much stronger. I made the decision to change and I did the hard work, to strengthen my body and mind. More importantly, I broke through that yellow tape — the stigma that says my mental illness defines who I am and that having to take meds means that I am less than. It may be part of who I am, but it does not define me. In fact, if anything, it has shown me how incredible a human person is! I now know how powerful one can be and that you can change your circumstances, whatever they may be! Your body is a temple, the mind a sacred gift. It deserves to be properly cared for, no matter what you’re being faced with.
Sometimes you just need a little help along the way.
Thank you, HUM, for being a helping hand and for sponsoring this post. I knew that I needed to share what you have to offer, considering my own story. It was obvious we were made for each other! Thank you, lovely readers, for reading my story and supporting the brands that support us.
Find me over on the gram (@camilledipaola) for more #TotallyCasualMotherhood moments.
Photos: Taken By Raegan