Endo Prayer: Struggling With Lifestyle Changes

 

Endo Prayers_ When I Feel Misunderstood (1).pngDear Lord,

It’s February and I haven’t been able to sustain the lifestyle changes that I set out to make. I’m discouraged because I feel like I keep disappointing myself. I can give excuses but deep within I know that I have been my greatest barrier.

Lord, please help me to see myself through your eyes. To love every part of my being. And to see these changes as a good thing, not a punishment, so that I do them out of a place of love.

Give me divine wisdom to know what to do, help me find what will work for my body. Change my attitude as I do this.

Strengthen me and renew my resolve to be kinder to myself in all that I do, to eat well and exercise. Help me to be a good steward of the body that you have given me. Even in the moments of pain, help me to see that you are right there with me.

In Jesus name, I pray and believe,

Amen

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5 Ways To Navigate The Endo Inspired Energy Rollercoaster

I seem to have found the spring in my step. Some mornings I wake up feeling like an Energizer bunny, it is such a good yet surreal feeling. One of the aspects that I hate about Endo is how it hampers with energy levels.

I went from being an energetic teen to a mostly-tired human being. Sometimes the fatigue was physical, other times it was mental, but it was altogether overwhelming. I’d wake up in the morning after an 8-hour sleep feeling like I had been digging all night with interval naps on a bed of thorns. An exhaustion where even your skin is tired. It is hard to glow when you feel so tired. It is hard to be excited about anything when your whole being is just focused on mere survival, no thriving, just living.

Over the last year, I have found a few things that have helped me navigate this tumultuous journey.

  • Keep a Period Diary

My period diary has shown me that my cycle affects my energy levels. This has been so critical to understanding my body has also helped me be kinder to myself and prepare in advance. Putting systems in place to help me on my low energy days makes them more manageable. I am most exhausted when I’m on my period, on day 1 a flood of sleep sweeps over my being. Once I have slept, I wake up feeling brand new.

I have more energy to arrange and do administrative work after my periods, so I schedule such tasks after my period and prepare for this low energy phase by doing them in advance.

  • Check your weight

After I took Lupride, my limited level of energy diminished, I was now getting energy from my reserves. I was surviving on the morsels. Meagre tasks felt like they were so much work to do. Pregnancy caused my weight to yo-yo and the hormonal imbalance also took a toll on my energy. I didn’t look overweight, but I felt so heavy.

Now that I have lost some weight, I am feeling more energetic. Ready to get back to an active lifestyle this year.

  • Check your diet

The fastest way to deplete my energy is to eat too many carbs. My body is in a somewhat complicated relationship with wheat. It tolerates it in small quantities if I have too much of it, I bloat, get cranky, fatigued, constipated and get canker sores. That is a horrible combination.

My pick me up drink is ACV, it has been so invigorating, though my three-year-old daughter is so high-nosed about my elixir. I wake up early to drink it in peace because, in her words, ‘it stinks’, but I love it. The benefits far outweigh the bad smell. It’s an energy drink sans the hidden sugars, preservatives, and palpitations.

  • Avoiding mental stress and fatigue

We often underestimate the effect that mental and emotional stress has on the body. The body and the mind are connected, when you feel drained emotionally you may also feel physically fatigued.

There are days I have woken up after 10 hours of sleep, physically rested but mentally exhausted, which means still unable to perform the tasks that I need to do. I am more sensitive to my emotions because they affect how much energy I have at my disposal.

  • Find something that fills you

Self-care is absolutely important. When you are fatigued it is hard to do things for yourself, but these small things are great pick-me-ups.

I am writing a list of the things that make me happy so that I can plan to do more of these things and fill my cup. You can’t pour out of an empty cup, when you fill yourself then you have something to give.

Here’s to more energized and happy days.

Prepping for Auntie Flo’

After many miserable months of barely surviving during my periods, I realized that I could make my experience better by preparing my body in advance. The little changes have had such a huge impact, incorporating certain foods into my diet a week before Ms. Flo’ checks in has proved to be beneficial and made certain symptoms one less thing to worry about.

Constipation, cramps, clots, bloating and migraines made me dread my periods, my only saving grace was that I had a long cycle which meant 11 periods a year, I was counting all the blessings I could think of.

The game changer for me was the migraines. I had found a way to live with the other symptoms but the migraine was the one that made having to stay home from work worse, I couldn’t read, think or sleep.

Here are a few of the things that I have since incorporated that are giving me some much-needed relief.

I’d love to know what is working for you, I am open to trying out new things, so please leave me a comment below.

Meltdown

Walking with an irritable, overstimulated and exhausted toddler is like carrying a ticking time bomb. It is only a matter of time until it goes BOOM, and you are left dealing with the shrapnel. So you hope and pray that the bomb goes off in the comfort of your home. This tense situation is the reason I stopped going shopping with my little girl at lunch time. It was just a recipe for disaster. Sleep is like the ocean, sometimes it comes subtly, other times, it rages and turns calm water into volatile waters. One minute she is calm, and the next she is on the floor wailing, all because she wants to sleep.

After 1pm, you will rarely find me tagging along Miss K. If we didn’t go together in the morning, I go by myself. And shop in peace, while she takes her afternoon nap in peace. This arrangement works for everyone.

Going shopping when hungry is a horrible idea. Everything calls out your name, and your otherwise disciplined body wants everything that it lays its eyes on. You go from craving chapati, to ice cold soda, to chocolate, to ice cream. to chevda,  to chips. And you ask your body, ‘Who are you? How can you possibly desire all these things at once?’ The thing is, hunger just wants to be sated. It makes you desperate. You become like an indecisive little child who doesn’t want to share. Your body screams ‘Mine!’ every time you pass an item that it likes. It has a meltdown.

If you give in to the all the cravings, they taste good while you are eating them but a few minutes later, you belch and bile rises to the top of your oesophagus. You are instantly disgusted by your actions. Regret fills your belly.

To avoid the meltdowns and body tantrums, I have identified my triggers. Hunger is one of them. So I try to go shopping when I am full. I have my oat smoothie or sweet potatoes before I leave the house to avoid eating a mandazi later. When I am hungry, mandazis look like manna and Quail looked to the Israelites in the desert. Heavenly.

There’s an exhaustion that sleep cannot solve. This fatigue doesn’t befall you overnight like a thief in the night, it fills up slowly like the waning drops of rationed water in a bucket. It takes being aware of your emotions and fatigue levels every day or week to notice the exhaustion, before you find yourself in a meltdown.

Understanding when you are most vulnerable helps you to be proactive, this minimizes your chances of having a meltdown.

Listening To The Whispers

Conversation is food for the soul. Having insightful conversations refreshes me. I enjoy listening out for details, chiming in and processing the information later. It never occurred to me that my body would try and communicate with me at any one time. I used to saunter through life without a clue that the pain and symptoms were my body’s way of trying to get my attention.

Hormones are powerful little things, trust me, I have learned the hard way. Puberty humbled me enough to respecting these chemicals. From the acne that wouldn’t go away to the Endometriosis symptoms; my body was constantly trying to tell me that my hormones were imbalanced but I was too distracted to listen. I screeched to a stop in my passive tracks when I couldn’t walk because of the pain.

Pain is the body’s way of saying, ‘Help me!’. Excruciating pain has taught me that I need to listen to my body when it whispers before it screams and I can’t walk anymore.

2020 SummerPet Picnic!

Over the years I’ve discovered that it’s difficult to identify abnormal symptoms when you don’t have a baseline to work with. Finding the baseline takes time. One has to listen to their bodies daily and take note of the symptoms and emotions.

I’m kinder to my body now. I’ve chosen to be deliberate as I listen to her speak. I take note of the symptoms that I experience after eating food, experiencing stressful seasons, being on medication, and using beauty and cleaning products.

It has helped me feel more in control. I’m able to avoid pitfalls and the pain that results from bad diet and lifestyle decisions.  I have managed to be constipation free through watching my diet. After years of experiencing pain and discomfort, I can eat and have a bowel movement without tears and the help of softeners.

I have learned to pay attention to the whispers so that I won’t be paralyzed by the screams.

 

The Cheat Meal Is Just Not Worth The Pain

When I moved to Mombasa, there are two things that I absolutely enjoyed, going to the beach and eating the local cuisine. I just couldn’t get enough of the mitais, mahamris and biriani. My body on the other hand, was not too pleased. If anything, it was having a hard time processing the wheat, sugar and high amount of fat. My face looked like rocky terrain, it was screaming ‘You need to stop!’ but my taste buds were in a mini-heaven. And my taste buds were boss. So I kept struggling.

From a tender age I had bouts of constipation. This was made worse by the Endometriosis adhesion that were on my large intestine. When I moved to Mombasa, it got worse. My diet was perfect for constipation. So I would eat happily and then wail in the bathroom. Each and every day. In retrospect it seems like madness.

The Cheat Mealis Just NotWorth the Pain

Then one day, I had enough! I decided that though the mahamris and mitais were tasty, they were just not worth the pain I felt when I pooped or the pain during and after my periods.  Nothing was worth that pain and I needed to start saying ‘NO’ to my taste buds.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had conversation with Endo warriors who told me that the food that they avoid (wheat and dairy)  is just not worth the pain that they feel when they eat them. They’ve both felt the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Is the cheat meal worth the pain that you feel? Is it worth the hours spent in the bathroom, praying, trusting and hoping that the pain will end? Is it worth the pain during and after the periods?

I’ve asked myself these questions and my resounding answer is NO!!

What has your food and pain journey been like?

Blessings,

Ess