Subtle (and not so subtle) signs you need more than me time

As a busy working mom of 4 kids, who also have special needs, I am often really tired or even exhausted. Usually a good night’s sleep or some time away for myself would perk me up and I’d be feeling back to myself – but the last 1 1/2 years it’s been harder than usual. Some of it has been due to changes in my business and perspectives of life in general, as I wrote about here and here , but I’ve been wondering if there isn’t more to it.
I have learned a lot about optimum nutrition, gut health, and natural wellness since we started our family 14 years ago. Feeling so crappy, especially considering the fact I had a full physical for the 1st time in years and they pronounced me in good health, has had me stumped.
When I started compiling a mental list of the things I’ve experienced in the last year es, I realized my body was trying to tell me something. Here are some of the main symptoms I’ve been having:

     Extreme tiredness – I’ve fed 4 kids through the nights, so I know tired. This tired has been after a full night of sleep, and still struggling to pull myself out of bed. It’s been feeling absolutely exhausted by 7pm and dreaming of bedtime, because I just can’t interact with one more kid . It became either I parented, or I adulted each day – there hasn’t been enough energy for both.

   Severe mood shifts – My entire life, despite some serious trauma, I have been a romantic, an optimist at the core. Bad things happen, and I’ve always felt sure that they will turn around if I keep moving forward. Not so much lately – it’s been days of feeling really great and upbeat , followed by days of feeling like nothing is going right, everything is a mess, my life is a disaster etc etc. So, not my usual.

      Excessively heavy periods – Yes, there is a range of normal for menstruation. But there is also an acknowledged range of that normal, and I have been way, WAY past that. I got tired of bleeding through super heavy duty tampons every 1 1/2 hours, so I switched to the Diva Cup. A lot of months, I have to empty that every few hours as well, my bleeding has been so heavy. I’ve also had severe mood swings and at least one day of barely functioning due to physical exhaustion because of my period lately.

Dizzy spells – This one really threw me for a loop. This last 6 months, I had several instances of feeling so lightheaded and wobbly I couldn’t stand up. At one point at a dentist appointment for my kids, I actually fell over when I tried to stand up from the toilet and had to catch myself on the paper towel dispenser. I was genuinely afraid I wouldn’t be ok enough to drive them home. It took more than an hour for me to feel normal and able to safely get them home.

     Digestive issues – I have struggled with a sensitive stomach my entire life, but this has been a year of new issues. I’ve experienced stabbing lower abdominal pain so severe I have to stop and bend over waiting for it to pass, throwing up undigested food hours after eating, being unable to eat for days on end beyond bone broth due to severe stomach pains no matter what I ate, and bloating to the point I can’t move around.

     Weight gain – Every woman’s favorite issue. I was working as a barre instructor until October of 2018, and had run a hardcore obstacle race that May. I was feeling fit and strong, and have always been able to build muscle and get in shape pretty easily. Right now, I am close to as heavy as I was after giving birth to my kids – and it’s ALL sitting around my middle section. We have had some increased stress the last 6 months, but no dietary changes, and I am still gaining weight. :/

Lucky for me, a friend of almost 20 years just finished her certification as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and she was the 1st person I thought of to ask for help.
I reached out to her and we are digging in to get to the root cause of what’s going on, but in our very first visit, she let me know I am anemic. Well no wonder I am so dang exhausted! So I’m starting there with some food to help, and looking forward to our first full consult in the coming weeks.

I have learned a lot, I have researched a lot to try and figure things out, but that’s not always enough. Having someone trained and capable to really look at the entirety of my health is a huge help, and I can’t wait to share what we do and how I’m feeling. It’s not just about how I look or what I weigh for me. It’s about having the energy I want and need to adventure with my kids and create an awesome and amazing life.

With Love,
Sarah

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