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A Little Bit Of Hope? | Healing my body series.

'Hope is the only thing stronger than fear' 

I thought this a few days ago as I cried with relieve. I wasn't even going to write about it but I truly felt the need. This cry wasn't a negative realise, yet only a positive one. A sign that maybe I can see a way out from where I currently am. I mean I'm happy, happier than I've ever been but I know my body isn't. And living in a body which isn't happy... It's draining. 

I'm starting a journey to heal myself and my body. 

So where am I currently?

DISCLAIMER. We are going to get a lil deep n dirty with this post, so if you don't want to hear about periods and sh*t's.. I'd stop reading.

It's been 6 years since I had my last period, yes amenorrhea has been a huge part of my life for a long time. For the past 4 years I've battled with chronic IBS, a mix of extreme pain and bloating, poor digestion, constipation and leaky gut. Like when I tell people I have bad digestion/gut issues.. I mean I have BAD digestion/gut issues. It's only recently I've been getting more apparent symptoms such as: acne, poor sleep, hot flushes, weight gain and fatigue, all in which as you can imagine have been pulling me down. I've also had scans which have shown I have one Polycystic Ovary, this being a sign of PCOS, along with unbalanced hormones and extremely low Oesotrogen (women's powerful sex hormone which plays a huge part in a regular menstrual cycle.) To add to this my uterus lining is currently incredibly thin meaning there is no chance of me ovulating any time soon. What it comes down to is that my body just really doesn't trust me. This is only causing me stress, which makes my symptoms worsen and the cycle continues.

Learning all of this and going through it all, it's hard and I know many other girls going through a similar thing can agree. I guess in the past year, I've reached a point where part of me had accepted that this was it. I was going to live with bad gut health and lack of confidence for the rest of my days (especially in the bed room), I'd expected I'd never be able to carry children and through other people's opinions believed I was 'naturally' a stress head. Despite it all being incredibly disheartening, I've wanted to simply shut it all out and pretend none of it exists but when you're dealing with pain and bloating 24/7, can't sleep and not had a period for 6 years, knowing I may never have the chance of being a mum purely because of what I've done to my body... It got too hard to ignore.

But why would you want a period? They suck.

Well, yeah. No girl likes her 'time of the month' however whether you want it or not, want children or not, they're so important. A regular period and menstruation shows to you that your hormones are in balance which is so important because if unbalanced it can lead to PMS, fatigue, loss of period and weight gain. Not only that but if your hormones are balanced, your bone, thyroid and metabolic health will be better.

So despite my future decisions, my lack of period indicates that for a long time my body hasn't been working properly, put at risk and possible long term damage.

 So what causes hormone imbalance? Hormone imbalance can be caused by multiple things. Low weight, Eating Disorders, stress levels, lack of sleep, diabetes, menopause and thyroid conditions. Like I said all other these things don't show a sigh of good health. It's not something to just brush under the carpet.

Anyway going back to where I'm currently at. I thought I was stuck. I truly did. I'd been to doctors, had tests, they've asked questions, only to want to place me on the pill. A road I did not want to go down. Like was that all they could do? Sign me off to cover up underlying issues.

A sign of hope. 

Only recently, I've reached a point... I just cannot carry on this way. There has to be a chance, some way out? Surely? A way to heal myself. Which is why I found a Naturopath, Linda Orrett. I'd heard about Naturopath's and had always been curious. A Naturopath is a qualified health practitioner who helps with natural and holistic remedies on things such as digestive issues, emotional issues, stress, weight management and hormones. As someone who would rather fix things as naturally as I can, I saw no reason why I shouldn't give it ago.

So on Wednesday I went and saw Linda, slightly sceptical but hoping for the best. Worst comes to the worst, she couldn't do anything and I leave right? We spent a good 90 minutes going over everything from my lifestyle, gut issues, diet, past, stress levels etc. Linda was super supportive throughout it all and listened to everything I had to say. We figured out that a lot of my gut and hormonal issues had not just come from my lifestyle and diet but also my stress levels, past experiences and relationships. She told me some of her own journey and how she got through it and that she'd be able to help me too through certain changes, natural remedies and recommended hypnotherapy. I felt a glimmer of hope run through me like never before.

So what is next? 

I don't want to go too much into detail with this just yet but there are various aspects of my life I'm going to start making changes to. One being my diet, obviously I follow a very healthy, plant based vegan diet which is mainly fibrous foods. While this is brilliant and what it should be especially for someone with PCOS and fibre is a essential part of your diet however at the moment my gut simply cannot handle the amount I'm consuming. So I'm stripping it back, to then be able to hopefully gradually increase it back up and figure out the foods which make my stomach worse. The next is my stress levels, which are effecting a whole abundance of things from my hormones, to sleep, to gut. I'm working on finding ways to manage stress such as meditation and hypnotherapy, again something I'm going to go into more detail about later. Lastly my lifestyle, as we all know I love to train, I love lifting weight and high intensity workouts! They give me the biggest buzz. However high intensity exercise raises stress levels in the body which is making my current symptoms worsen. So instead I'm going to be focusing a lot more on Yoga and gentle movement, coming back in touch with my body rather than keeping in in a constant state of stress.

These are just a brief overview of what I'm going to be doing, I hope to go further into detail when I start making hopefully some progress or talking about any struggles I'm dealing with. Although this is just the beginning, I'm so determined to heal my body like never before. I want to to trust me again. This post was a cry for sympathy or a call for attention, more that I hope this may have helped any of you going through a similar thing. I want you to know you are not alone, as it's something I've felt quite alone with. There is hope in any situation.

For now,

Holli x


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