Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Where the Sun Don’t Shine…

Hello again my friends. As promised I said I would come back and share my updated GI health story with you all…

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 1.54.04 PMIf you followed way back, you know for the longest time I had been dealing with GI issues. It wasn’t until a random conversation at the gym, that the idea of a parasite was brought up and I asked to be tested.

I came back positive…very positive

Blasto was his..their..name. And making my tummy miserable was their game.

I was treated. Twice.

Medical interventions for them buggers, well they suck.

As I had told you all afterwards, basically the treatment for parasites is a full on ‘death by meds’ to your gut flora. It doesn’t matter if they are useful or not, they will all be killed off. That was not pleasant, as they are integral for digestion and so I was left being unable to tolerate a lot of foods because I just couldn’t break them down like a normal person.

No veggies. No high fibre foods. No red meat. Careful with too much fat in one sitting…it goes on. And the award for the most “unhealthy” dietitian goes to…

The biggest sadness that came from that was the loss of some of my favourite foods…

My beloved oats were kicked to the curb after my stomach spazzed so hard that I almost passed out.

I still needed carbs. I’m an athlete and I’m also a notorious carb-burner. Everything became rice.

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Cream of rice replaced my precious oats.

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yesss to peanut butter not leaving my life…and yes I save that blob for last. Judge me.

I went through 5-6 bags of Lunderberg brown rice cakes a week because I used them as “easy on the tummy” carbs.

I learned to accept it and was content.

…Minus the lack of being able to go out. But hey, life sucks sometimes so I had to move on. 

I was under the impression that now my gut just had to heal, but I was very wrong.

Fast forward two years, I’m entering my Master’s program and probably the most school pressure and stress I will ever face, and here I was the sickest I have been since my eating disorder.

I knew there was something wrong. I have known the entire time but it was frustrating because the medical system would just yell at me for being underweight and say either…

~”gaining weight is hard, it may be uncomfortable.”

~You know we don’t normally treat parasites…” <- Really something is stealing my nutrients from my body and you don’t think thats an issue?

~”Maybe this is just “Chelsea”..Maybe this is just the way you are”

~Oh and just for shits and giggles…. “you’re so small. You have no blood” <- Bravo GI doc… 

Here I was trying my best to just eat my maintenance and I felt like every medical professional was against me. I told them I was bloated 24/7, felt full randomly all the time and just didn’t feel normal anymore and they didn’t listen.

“It’s just the past ED…”

It wasn’t until a few months ago where things got really bad.

Dumping syndrome (I will spare you the lovely details, go look it up if you would like to know..) began happening multiple times a week..

My iron levels and overall blood levels were falling through the floor

My electrolytes all fell

My last blood pressure check was 90/55 (today)

My kidney and liver function were compromised

And I just looked grey all the time. I still do because it hasn’t stopped yet. 

I had pretty much given up at this point but the doctors finally looked concerned and I began seeing them more than my friends, or it felt like it, but they did nothing except tell me I was a concern. As a last resort I sent out a message to my friend, Andrew, an NP and he ordered me the GI map test (basic sense, its a map of your entire gut biome, good and bad, plus other markers of gut health and stress).

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If you’re interested in the GI map, its $$$ but I wish everyone could get it, heres the link.

On top of some other critters, Blasto made his appearance once again along with a lovely sheet full of red markers stating I had SIBO (bacterial overgrowth), leaky gut (high zonulin levels), parastic pathogens AND the calprotectin signals that I should be checked for Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) and/or infection.

So I have the problem diagnosed right?!? They will believe me know right?!?

Wrong. Well at least from the MD side. My family doc didn’t even know how to read the fricken report.

fail

ND had a much more active approach. Andrew listened and gave me his parasite purging/ gut healing protocol.

I take a lot of supplements (especially right now, low absorption..) but I have never taken so many pills in my life.

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this x like 5 …

It is a liver support + parasite purge + gut healing protocol and I would be at it for about 6-8 months. So that was where I sat. MD continued to be useless until they scheduled me into a new Gastro doctor in Burlington.

So to a new GI I went, that was this past Saturday. Much nicer doctor and more open. He doesn’t think the parasite is my biggest concern but has put me in for a gastric emptying test and a colonoscopy for two weeks.

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*** Any friends reading this who sees me in two weeks..please do not be alarmed. Colonoscopies make me look like death after… ***

So, after a pretty emotionally draining weekend (thank god for my bf..honestly), I now get to wait. Wait for that horrible test and continue to feel the same way for two weeks.

complainin

I’m frustrated that my emotions have been up and down, so I tell myself this on the daily

I’m not trying to sound whiny and complain but I have to admit that I’m a bit scared to say the least. I know I have to know but the test itself and the results scare me. Most say that they don’t think I have Crohns but the possibility is there.

Pun intended, that scares the shit out of me.

But we wait and until then, I will continue to keep doing me and staying busy because you know what? I need to do what I need to do. It will be good so I need to just move past it.

This is my journey of gut healing and I want to share this not for sympathy..

PLEASE PLEASE don’t think I’m sharing this to get an “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” Other people have things way worse to go through. I’m doing this, being vulnerable, because more people than ever have been having stomach issues and I hope this can reach them and if they have questions they can ask me or it can give them some idea on what things to ask their medical team. 

My goal is always to educate and relate. If I can help one person stand up for themselves and seek help and GET some relief, this post has served its purpose.

I will keep you updated my friends. Thank you for always having my back.

best

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Today Was Just A Good Day

The title says it all. I was going to make some banana bread tonight for the gym but instead I just had to sit down to write down my thoughts and share them with you. A lil self reflection on the day so hopefully I don’t bore you all. I feel it’s necessary to share the good and the bad so here goes nothing.

To preface: I have been getting some help from another coach lately, Ryan. He has worked with a number of people with gut problems and helping them heal while also using his experience in bodybuilding and nutrition to help them their reach their goals. Overall, I have only just begun with him (about 1 week in) but I’m very excited to see how things go as he is trying to help me to reduce my inflammation (which I did test positive for in my lower bowel but was unexplained) and my body’s acidity issues while also helping to gain weight and continue my strength gains. This first week has been a slow introduction of a few new supplements and natural aids (spirulina, ACV shots, maca powder and MSM) and although it’s early to tell, I have had some very VERY good tummy days. I’m hoping that I get more and more of those because you have no idea how much of a difference it makes when I’m having a ‘good day’. 

So today…

Started off with an amazing lift with an extra boost from someone I talk to quite frequently. She has complimented my progress before, but today was different…

Her: You’re looking really good.

Me: Aww, thank you (smiles…)

Her: No really, you are looking really good, I mean it…

I really didn’t know what to say, I just kept saying thank you. It was just the way she said it that got me. It was like she was excited for me. She could see my energy. I dunno, it just felt really heartwarming.

The big thing is that she sees me train often, so it’s not likes been a month’s difference there. No, she’s noticing slight differences with shorter time intervals so that is a big thing.

…..

My friend Lexi met me at the end of my workout and spent some time with some rehab exercises and I showed her some glute activation exercises to help strengthen that area as she as a bummed out knee that was told by her physio that she needs to work on those areas. We then spent the rest of the afternoon together starting with post-workout noms (I made her a vegetarian greek pasta salad with chickpeas) followed by a trip to GoodnessMe! for me to show her some things as she is trying to make some changes in her diet and ya’ll know that I’m always up for questions and foodie talk.

She then gracious took me to Zehrs where she laughed as I legit squealed when I saw OSTRICH steaks. Oh the foodie in me reveals itself.

….60 bucks later ….

She dropped me back off at home, we chattered for a bit and then she headed off to see her Gran back in my hometown.

Spending more time with her I reflect back on how much I’m thankful that we reconnected (we are from the same hometown and high school). We never lost touch 100% but when I came into Guelph and realized she was living her, we got together and it seems as though we never have a quiet moment. We just talk and talk and talk and I can really appreciate that kind of friendship. 

I did my usual, napped (lolz), had dinner, etc but then as I left to go out for my nightly walk (which is something I still do despite Rita not being here, but Lexi joins me sometimes now), I decided to challenge myself a bit because…

I was feeling good. And THANK YOU RYAN!

Like today was a ‘good day’ tummy wise.

What that means is that I wasn’t feeling bloated out of my mind after dinner and wanting to walk around in a bag…

I had found a pair of cropped jeans that actually fit me from American Eagle a month or so back and because they were on sale and WHITE (I love white!) I bought them. I folded them up with the receipt and left them on my shelf. Well, I decided tonight was going to be the night, I was gunna put those damn things on and go for my walk.

DO IT.

Now this may sound silly to most, but people are shocked when I wear legit pants. It’s true and it’s not just a “I’m a gym rat and live in Lulu 24/7 or nothing” thing either (well that is a part of it..). No, it’s also a personal struggle for me that has hung over me for..wow for almost a decade since I was sick. Other then shorts in the summer time, which take me a bit to get re-adjusted to mentally, I have a really big problem with tight pants because I’m afraid of folding. So, especially after dinner and a full day of eating and drinking, lets just say tight clothing is a no.

But tonight was not one of those nights.

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I’m having a good day, so dammit I was gunna put those jeans on! Was I feeling absolutely amazing?

No, but I didn’t spend the whole time fiddling with them or doing weird checking behaviours… and I kind of felt good.

Big movement forward! Psychological win for tonight.

So as I made my way around the last bend of my walk, I literally couldn’t help but smile.

Today was a good day

Good days mean a happier, peppier Chelsea. One who beams and glows and I swear others must catch my mood and vibes because I find myself being the most chatty on those days. Smile are contagious all. 

And because of that, I had to write it down because that’s what I do with my feelings these days.

Much love my Friends!

-Chelsea