Taking Back Your Health, Even with Diet Restrictions

I’ve written about it before, but at the beginning of February I woke up one morning and the teeth on the left side of my mouth didn’t align. It turns out I, like many women, carry some of my stress in my jaw, and I had pulled my left jaw muscle so tight that it was in serious distress. After countless trips to the dentist, several massages, a visit to a pain specialist and being on a liquid diet for 5 months, my jaw is finally beginning to feel normal again. (That even means carrots of the non-pureed variety can be consumed. YAY)

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During those 5 months of intense pain and a really funky diet, I let me health and fitness goals slip. It was too difficult to think about getting to the gym. My diet consisted of Saltines peanut butter, yogurt, and all sorts of soft non-chewable things, which are usually pretty high in fat and sugars and calories. Needless to say, I gained weight and stopped working out. I kept telling myself this isn’t going to last forever. Soon this will be over and I will be able to go back to my normal gym routine. The pain will soon be done and I won’t want to crawl into bed by 2pm everyday from trying to just endure.

But what I didn’t think about at the time, was eating that way and skipping my workouts was making me worse, not better. It wasn’t helping my jaw and body relax. I was making me upset. But, hindsight is 20/20.

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At the beginning of July, I got hit with another major life-changer. The pain specialist I went to see, called to let me know that my blood allergy tests came back and I’m crazy allergic to a lot of the foods I eat EVERY DAY. The results shocked him. He was surprised I was able to function this long with so many high allergies. He was sure this is large part of what contributes to my frequent and intense migraines. His recommendation – CUT EVERYTHING OUT OF MY DIET that showed up as a potential allergy.

Let me tell you, the list is long. Like, really long. And the list isn’t full of exotic things that nobody eats anyway. Nope, this list is filled with the things I eat every day. The things that I have been eating for years (well, before the soft food diet). Now I can no longer eat: beef, eggs, pork, black pepper, dairy, wheat, bananas, lettuce, spinach, apples, pears, rice, sweet potatoes, celery, coffee… and the list goes on and on. Those are just some of the more devastating ones.

When I got this list of no-nos, my heart sank. What in the world was I going to eat? And was this new diet stage of my life going to be a repeat of the soft food stage? Weight gain, lethargy, fatigue, etc… I’ll be honest, I moped about this ridiculous diet for two weeks and only half-heartedly threw myself into it. I was in denial and didn’t want to have such limited food options.

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And then, after that I decided that I wasn’t going to complain and feel sorry for myself. Instead I was going to take advantage of this time to eat well, to really look at my food intake, and to eat in a way that nourishes my body not just fills my stomach. I wasn’t going to be a victim of this diet, and the allergies my body has. Instead I was going to take control of it. I was going to make the decisions that would be good for my health and well-being. And I was going to take advantage of this to put myself back on the right health and wellness track.

Fast forward – It’s now been a little over a month of living this diet in a dedicated way. I’m careful not to cheat, because cheating could mean a migraine. I’ve gotten used to eating tuna for breakfast and snacking on carrots and cucumbers in between meals so that I feel full. I’ve begun to think strategically about my every meal – how I will get the protein I need and the carbs without eating things that are traditionally considered carbs. I make sure to keep hydrating throughout the day, take my daily multi-vitamins and my pro-biotics and magnesium to help with the migraines.

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And I’ve begun pushing myself at the gym again, which honestly feels amazing. I picked a new FitPlan training program to do and work to hit the gym at least 4 days a week. Sometimes that means waking up early to be at the gym when it opens at 5am in order to get a workout into my day. But it’s worth it in the long run.

Despite the funky diet, overall I feel better than I have at any point in the last year. I still have the migraines, but it’s a work in progress. I have lost the weight I put on with the soft foods and lost more than that too. I have more energy during the day and at the gym. I feel myself becoming stronger and my body becoming healthier. And it was all about the mental choice to take control and not let it control me.

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Shirt: ShopBop
Skirt: LEI via Amazon
Sandals: Target
Bag: Mexico Boutique
Sunnies: Sunglasses Shop

Katy Rose
Filed In: Fitness

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