Week Six Reflection

*** This blog is not to be prescriptive nor give you advice, merely to show you my way of navigating true health in a jungle of advice and pharmaceutical pressure. Please do your own research, ask your own specialists or contact those I have used if you wish to find out more about your personal condition and symptoms. To your very best health. ***

I’ve left it too long again. And this time there’s been a lot going on that this is going to be a long post. Apologies.

The past fortnight has seen me roll between some nice normality and some pretty flat periods. With the time behind me I can see what’s caused it, so perhaps not blogging weekly has it’s benefits afterall.

Before I go any further with this blog I need to tell you about a decision I made in the past 2 weeks. It’s not been an easy one to make but to stay true to my reason for writing this in the first place I am making a decision in it nonetheless. 

Writing this blog has been solely to help someone else should they find themselves in a similar situation. I want to know that talking about what I’ve tried and gone through might help someone else find a way through their own personal maze. I have already had some very moving emails from people who’ve told me that it’s done that. So on that basis I can’t leave bits out. 

I can’t pick and choose what I tell you and I can’t protect myself because it shines a light on me in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable. 

As such this blog will contain references to a topic that just isn’t discussed. And that’s bowel habits. How frequently and easily you poo is such an indicator of health, both internally and mentally that when it’s wrong you are out of sorts. 

I don’t want to glamorise or demonise it and I certainly don’t want to open myself up quite so much publicly, but if it helps someone else because I have then so be it.

So, I will be talking about poo, crap, dumping and shit. Not because I want you know this about me, but I am not the only one going through this and I don’t want you, or anyone else to. If this kind of toilet talk offends you then please don’t continue to read.

Week 6 results

I decided not to weigh myself at week 6. It was going to be pointless. The constipation hadn’t let up and any movement was coming from taking a natural laxative. I really don’t like to do this as it can make the bowel lazy and stop trying altogether, so I’d be resorting to taking one every 3-4 days. (Those of you who poo daily and take it for granted, we need a little gratitude here! You are lucky!) I have no idea how long I would have gone without the laxative but wasn’t also prepared to find out.

During this week I was still struggling with my sleep waking crazy early every morning at about 02.30. Some days it was 03.30 and I felt like I’d been given a present with that extra hour. Between that waking and then about 04.00/04.30 I would doze, be fitful and eventually get up to be out walking before 05.00.

This sleep issue, although I was getting up untired (not a word, but it will do), the culmination of the days of short sleep were really starting to build up and most afternoons were a write-off. If I hadn’t done any work before lunch I wasn’t getting much done afterwards. I wasn’t napping then as this was affecting my night time sleep, but I sort of drifted through the afternoon, doing menial tasks or reading. Not making progress at all.

Every night I was in bed by 22.00 and asleep before 22.15. I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do to fix this.

Here’s what I’ve done.

  • Early morning daylight on my eyes to help with natural melatonin production.
  • Stopped using my computer and phone from 21.00 when I’m done with Fit Camp.
  • Stopped caffeine some 9-10 weeks ago.
  • Last meal about 18.00/19.00.
  • Exercised each day with walking and sprints.
  • Included magnesium supplementation at night time (supposed to be good for bowels too)
  • Switched my vitamin D supplement to night time at Laura’s recommendation as it enhances sleep.
  • Not had any booze for 7 weeks.
  • Journaled 3-5 days a week to get rid of any internal chatter (I prefer walking to do this, but have tried it anyway)
  • Gone to bed later, if I can hold out that long.
  • Worn a top to bed to keep me warmer.
  • Put socks on at night to keep feet warm (they were so cold even in the hot spells a few weeks ago)

Nothing was making a difference. It was beginning to take on the form of a longer phase than I’d imagined.

A symbol of health

During week 6 on a visit to the chiropractor, Kelly presented me with a very bold gift. A magnolia bush. It was quite mature and not a little pot plant and it was too tall to put on my passenger seat on the way home. Anyway, I decided to plant it in the garden and use it as a symbol of my own health and progress.

I’ve planted it next to where I like to sit in the garden and so far made sure it’s watered and happy. It is already thriving.

I’ll take that as a good sign.

One funny thing I’ve noticed (as has Mr S-C) is that my boobs are bigger since eating this way, despite me having lost weight. Normally with weight loss they reduce somewhat. Not this time, nope. There’s another story completely here, but that will have to wait for a shorter blog entry.

One of the things you’ll remember from week 5/6 was that I learned I had some intolerance and immunity issues with certain foods, like dairy, buckwheat and tapioca. The buckwheat and tapioca plants are also cross-reactive with a group of foods that cause something called latex-food syndrome.

These fruits are varied and many. Chances are some of them will cause me a reaction as would latex itself.

I was telling my Mum about this at our normal Sunday morning rendezvous. Mum piped up that she has a latex allergy! Another link in the chain.

Good grief, when will this stop?! So I have a low functioning thyroid which she does too, as did her mum and rellies. My elder daughter Laura has been diagnosed with thyroid issues and auto-immunity in the last few months and my sister is going through the process of seeing where she sits on this spectrum.

What a bunch of crocks! I don’t like being ill or out of action at the best of times, this long term diagnosis and acceptance is a test to be sure. It’s another reason why I write. I’ve got to find a reason for it. If I can help someone then it’s a bit like justification for the hassle.

I’ve had staggeringly cold feet during this week despite the sunnier days and warmer nights. My hands and feet have really struggled to gain any heat at all. I almost don’t notice it but then realise that after my morning walk my hands are so numb that I can’t write or hold a pen or type. This side effect of low thyroid has definitely got worse over the last few months.

On the Friday of this week I was booked onto a Yoga Retreat in Sutton Courtney in Oxfordshire. I booked onto it months ago. Months before starting this food regime and had originally told them that I was gluten free. The weekend is all home catered by the community living there and it’s all vegetarian. This would normally not cause me any problems. However after the last diagnosis and the new food protocol, I wrote to the organisers and asked if it would be OK if I brought along my own cooked meat/fish protein for the weekend and joined in with the veggies that were on offer?

With pretty much all vegetarian protein choices appearing on my avoid list I couldn’t run the risk of eating what was available and putting myself back 6 weeks. Dr Datis says that even a mouthful of a trigger food can aggravate autoimmune symptoms. With weeks clean under my belt I didn’t want to risk that.

So I took 6 portions of cooked bits of meat and fish to surreptitiously place on my plate each meal time.

This is a new experience for me. I normally like to blend in and make things easy for me and others. I now had to try not to stand out.

  • The weekend was very relaxing and restoring.
  • The venue was peaceful and beautiful.
  • The pace was slow and considered.
  • The food looked and smelled flippin’ gorgeous!

My personal experience was that my sleep didn’t change, I was walking the pavements of Sutton Courtney at silly o’clock both days, but seeing some great day breaks. The constipation continued. This isn’t entirely unusual for me. Any change away from home normally upsets any rhythm. And I did manage the food. The problem was that the other veggies served weren’t always appropriate either and so my meals were all my cold protein portion and fluffy lettuce … you know the kind, frisse. It’s all show and no substance. This isn’t particularly sustaining and so I was resorting to eating more fruit than I would normally.

I discovered a thing here. When I ate more than two pieces of fruit a day I was exhausted after it. My blood sugar would crash and I’d be longing for my bed and a coffee. I made a note on that. Stick to my one apple a day and make sure that I can get my veggies in other ways.

I was also reminded that I much prefer something in each meal to be hot and cooked and fatty. I am happy to have a side salad with it, or a big salad with hot protein. It’s way more rewarding and sustainable. If I find myself in that situation again I think I’ll have to take more veggies or soups with me.

Unfortunately whilst I was there, and in the third yoga session of the weekend, I tweaked my back. It was something I’ve done many years ago and whilst standing and walking kept the ache at bay, any sitting down made it worse. So I felt a bit rubbish by the end of the weekend as I’d been limited in what I could do and how I could move..

Here’s some pictures of The Abbey. It was lovely.