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Change My Body, Change My Life

2012 vs. 2015

You know how Steve Urkel stepped into his invention and turned himself in Stefan? Old dorky Steve Urkel gets in and swish bam boom he changes his own DNA and comes out a suave cool mother f-er alter ego, who actually gets to date Laura. Well that’s what pregnancy did to me but the exact opposite. You go from dancing in the moonlight to pushing your double stroller around your neighborhood while drinking a diet coke. You woke up a cliche. It all seemed to happen in a flash. It must have been Steve Urkels machine. You went in wearing a hot white dress. You came out with poop on your cheek. It’s not a bad thing, but I am a new version of myself. I am altered. As it turns out, I was altered even more than I had realized.

HERE is a picture of me the night before I got pregnant with Benjamin Button.

 

Man and Wife. So you pull the goalie. Things happened quickly.

This is you 2 years, 2 pregnancies, and 1 home bought and moved into later…..

 

 

You wake up one day and you are like, wait… what the duck just happened.

Disclaimer: OF COURSE my boys are worth it. I’d gladly grow a tail if it meant my kid came out healthy. But these things still happened. So I must discuss.

You’re boys gave you greater happiness than you could have ever possibly deserved. Yet coming into this world they left you looking like you got run over by a mack truck.

You wake up one day…
You are 50 lbs heavier than the day you got married.
1 Foot size bigger
You have a reoccurring rash on your upper arms.
You are hot, CONSTANTLY
You are forgetful
You are moody. (Well I guess we can’t call that one any thing “new.” Har Har Har. Beat you to it Dad and Courtney.)
Your stomach is hard but sticking out. Like permanent bloating. See picture above when I’m setting up for the birthday party. Thank god for Sisters for capturing you right out of the shower and looking so delightful. Sisters don’t care. That’s why you love them.
People congratulate you regularly on your pregnancy. The other day at the playground I didn’t even feel like dealing with the awkward after conversation of telling someone I’m not pregnant. Some woman says, “Wow. These two boys are both yours and another on the way? Good for you!” I just wasn’t in the mood for awkward. So I said, “Ya, twins. crazy right?” She says “your going to be a busy lady!” Gives me a wink and finally goes away. I secretly hope one day I see this woman at a library class or something and she can say, “Where are the twins?” and I’ll be like, “Oh I sold them on Ebay. You get A  LOT of money for babies. I bought a new camera and mac book for my blogging activities.” Then the horror on her face will be my revenge for her calling me fat at the playground. 
You have seasonal allergies? You think?
You feel swollen.
You feel tired.

You keep thinking you are eating healthier, but you can’t even pull your stomach in. You lose weight. You gain it back. You feel like Willy Wonka walking up the stairs. He goes up 3 stairs then down 1.
Finally, you look down the lens of your camera and you are taking pictures of Jack’s 1st birthday. You no longer have an infant. Ya, you know that postpartum stuff takes a long time. But something is just not right.

You HATE the Summer currently? This is the first summer in two years that you can have a delicious beer on the beach and yet you are not happy. The beach seems hot and tiring. Beer just makes you feel bad.

Your face often feels puffy. Did I mention that I’m ALWAYS hot. Wait, you hate summer? That’s not right.  Of all the stuff going on with my body, the last straw for me is that I realized I hate Summer. Haha. Although it seems a little silly, it’s really not.

Mostly, because you are a Summer girl. You grew up with your house on a lake. Like your back yard was part lake. Your preferred style of shoe is no shoes. You would wear your bathing suit from the day school got out until the day you had to go back. When your Mom would say things like, “bathing suits are not underwear for school.” Hmm.. Debatable. The point is when you were 19 and would head out to parties, you would stick your bikini in your purse. You know, just in case you ended up somewhere with a pool. Or if boating became an option. Always prepared haha. Hey! You never know.

Although those days are long gone. I’m just not the girl who hates Summer. I am practically a professional at sitting in a tube. I have many references you could check to testify to that. What is going on?

I chalked everything up to being postpartum. Hormones! Damn hormones! I just kept trucking on and assuming things would start to level themselves out. Trying to get a lot of exercise in. Lots of produce and whole wheat everything. As I tried to get healthier, things seemed to get worse. I felt hotter and hotter. I was always sweating. I know sexy right? I was lugging around 50 lbs of kids on the reg. I have to carry Jack because he’s a baby. I also have to chase Ben down and hook my forearm around his chest  and drag him in, while still holding Jack. This happens quite often. Mostly because at this current point in time, Ben is not a fan of leaving anywhere. I usually have hunt him down. I say, “Okay Ben let’s go.” He wraps his arms around the swing and stares at me like, you can pry this swing out of my cold dead hands lady. Therefore, I have to lay down the Mom boss law. It can get tiring.

So I started to push the stroller less. I was like, “Well of course you’re hot Brit! You are overweight. It’s terrible uncomfortable but it is what it is. Just keep taking care of yourself and things will get better. ”

They didn’t.

No, just more congratulations on being pregnant. I happen to work with students with autism. They really like to tell me how it is. Always asking me if I am having another baby. I’d have to explain, “No, I’m not pregnant. That was a hurtful thing to say. You don’t need to ask women if they are pregnant. They will tell you if they want to.” Then continue on to the next topic. As if we were just talking about the weather. Even though a small part of me feels like I just got punched in the stomach. Good thing I’ve got a lot of cushion to soften the blow!

Now I’m sure you are a logical human being reading this. Hopefully. So you must be asking yourself, How could I not know? Like, Brit, why didn’t you go to the doctor sooner?

Good question.

Mostly because I’m a busy ass Mom. I’ve been trying hard to fight the good fight of not losing myself. But I do typically come last. I got some needy dudes at this point in my life. It’s the easiest slippery slope to fall down as a Mom. The cloud of postpartum/ sleep deprivation/ everybody’s constant demand of your attention, it can do things to Ya. But like I’ve said before, I just had an easy justification for everything.

50 lbs heavier– Just had two kids. Figured it’s a long work in progress.
1 Foot size bigger- Pregnancy does weird stuff to your body.
Rash on your upper arms & Chicken skin – Hormones.
Hot- Hormones. Summer time. Extra weight on body. Not in great shape.
Forgetful- Mommy brain. Lack of sleep.
Moody- Postpartum. Lack of sleep. Hormones. Stress. Sometimes your husband is an idiot.
Permanent bloating.- Two 10 lb babies sat on those abs. So they were stretched out.
Seasonal allergies? Thought maybe pregnancy made my body change and not like season change.
Swollen.- Heat. Weight. I just need to work out more. Get that blood circulating.
Tired.- 2 kids under 2.

Justifications to pass the time. Like I said, just too busy to think too deeply about anything. But are you ever too busy to prioritize your own health? Um, No. Your body is literally all that you have.

I guess when you are the closest to something, sometimes you don’t see it at all. Strange thought, but I think you know what I mean. Husband knew I wasn’t 100%, but I kept telling him, “Oh just postpartum stuff.” So he did his best to be supportive of whatever. After all, he did recently witness me birthing our kids and it’s still fresh in his mind.So he wasn’t trying to make waves. He’s definitely not mentioning that I’ve put on a few pounds. He’s seen what my body is capable of. He isn’t trying to poke that bear. He’s too smart for that.

Finally, I realized that I need to take action. I’ve been in really good shape in my life before. I know how good my body can feel. I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I knew I didn’t feel like my best self. From having random sporadic intolerance issues with wheat in the past, I knew that was the place to start.

So I did what I always do.

1st I start manically reading about the subject.
 I dragged the boys off to Barnes & Nobles and purchased the Wheat Belly Diet by Dr. Davis and the Ultra Simple Diet by Mark Hyman, M.D. I read them both in 3 days. The boys would play trucks in the yard and I would read the Wheat Belly book aloud to them. They are both very knowledgeable in this subject matter now, if you have any further questions.
2ndI called my on-call nurse practitioner of woman’s health
and fired questions at her on the subject matter. She kept talking about how it was her day off. But I was like “listen sister, is that really my problem? We’ve got wheat issues at hand.” You can talk on the phone and sit on a boat with your husband.
 thanks homie.
 
3rd- Make appointments with
my doctor for chatting and blood work.

Allergy elimination diet it is!
What did I have to loose? I mean after all the symptoms of a wheat intolerance is:

Fatigue, brain fog, 
Joint pain, swelling.
Depression, anxiety, mood swings
Stuffy runny nose
Headaches
Hives, rash, keratosis pilaris (also know as ‘chicken skin’ on your arms. This tends to be a result of fatty Acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption cause by gluten.
Gas, bloating
Fluid retention

At this point I was so uncomfortable that I had to try something! All signs pointed in one direction. This would seem to be the best place to start investigating.  I read the Wheat Belly Book so I decided that would give me some type of structure. The super abridged version of the wheat belly diet is.

  • Unlimited Colorful Vegetables
  • Unlimited Nuts
  • Low-Sugar Condiments
  • Animal Proteins/Fat
You can also have one to two servings per day of foods containing sugar:
  • Fruit
  • Dairy
  • Beans
  • Rice

I am trying out the whole allergy test so I am excluding peanuts and dairy as well.
I will eventually add dairy and peanuts back in slowly and see if they bother me at all. Wheat is the culprit. I mean wheat has never been my friend. Blue Moon or any type of wheat beer would make me break out in hives. Nothing that a benadryl and a good night sleep couldn’t fix at the time. Then I would just not drink Blue Moon beer.

My intolerance has gotten worse. Most likely fueled by my two year hormonal pregnancy roller coaster ride. It’s time to face the music and realize my body needs to be treated better.

Now all my cross fit friends are probably like, “Uh DUH!” This diets ideas are very similar to the paleo diet or primal diet. Well cross fit friends it turns out that you aren’t just good at wearing tall socks on my newsfeed. Your food intake ideas are not so bad either. Good work friends. (Hi Stace.)

DAY #1 of Allergy diet-
The day dragged. I drank water with lemon in it like it could save my life.
DAY #2
I felt awful. By 3 pm me and the boys were sprawled across the living room, hiding from the day. Watching Nemo. They said this would happen. Some people actually experience withdrawal symptoms.
DAY # 3
I started to feel a lot better. My skin is less inflamed. My stomach has pulled in a little bit. I feel more clear.
DAY # 4
I’m starting to get excited. My whole body feels relief. I have lost 4 lbs of water weight. I start judging myself for why I didn’t get my shit together and do this sooner. Oh well. Better late than never.
DAY # 5
I’m happy. I feel less tired. I ran 3 miles today. Boo freaking Ya! If I see you today, I may hug you.

These pictures were taken a week apart. The second one was taken after only 4 days of eating wheat free. I have not exercised at all this week. Well, besides chasing and caring my minions. HOLY crap I feel better. Still bloated, but everything good takes time.

This is actually the first “diet” I have ever been on in my life. Not cause I was thin. I used to yo yo diet like it was going out of style. But I was never a calorie counter or a atkins type fad diet girl. But desperate times call for desperate measures. My body has done some type of serious changing so I need to evolve with it. I told Josh in the long run “I’d like to be 97% percent wheat free” and he said, “Wow that’s a specific number.”

I don’t know if it will be easy or hard in the long run to stick to this diet. Either way, I’m on board. In some ways I don’t see it as a diet. It’s a lifestyle change.  The relief I’ve already felt in such a short time is hopefully a preview to great things to come. I want to be a healthy role model for my little dudes. I want to be a happy Mom.

I totally think you should check out the book though. Just good nutritional information. Really good thoughts for any one experiencing hormonal issues, anxiety, depression type issues. It can do you a lot of good. But don’t take my word for it. Always be suspicious of everything you read on the Internet. If the topic interests you, then you should research it further. Use credible sources and of course talk to your doctor.

So here’s to the journey. It feels good to turn a corner and head in a brighter direction.
The better I feel, the better I can love my family.

 

Stay tuned folks.
I’m just getting started.

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