Taking on Too Much

One of the things that I made myself promise to do for April, was stop taking on too much. I’ve been EXTREMELY busy in my career job. When I’m already putting in 10-14 hours a day there, having anything to do at home other than decompress is insane. That’s why Matt’s been blogging a lot (like here and here). That’s why we took last weekend off. I keep saying I want to get to the gym, I want to swim and lift weights – but when I feel myself hit a wall at 8pm while I’m still at the office, I force myself to go home.

There’s a few reasons I have adrenal problems, two of which are my personal perfectionism and inability to say no. So, when Diana from Radiance Nutritional Therapy gave me my New Protocol and Mantra, I of course dove in head first to do everything she suggested all at once.

As a summary, that list was:

  • Begin taking 6 different supplements
  • Take 2 tsp of fermented cod oil daily
  • Eat fermented foods daily
  • Quit alcohol, caffeine, all sugars (even fruit), dense carbs and anything not strict paleo
  • Get to bed before 10:30pm every night, so when I naturally wake up at 6:30am I’ll have had 8 hours of sleep

It was a lot. I’m not going to lie, I thought the hardest part was going to be giving up daily dark chocolate and coffee at 3pm. But those things were killing my adrenals, so it was uber-important. What I experienced the first few days, however, was not what I was expecting. With the fantastic supplement protocol Diana (visit her on Facebook) had me on, I didn’t get the ‘carb flu’ the sugar-and-caffeine-deprived-headaches or any other negative symptoms. There was no detox.

Instead, my body seemed at peace. I wasn’t craving foods. I was digesting foods, I was properly absorbing nutrients and was having normal movements despite going below 50g of carbs a day (in my Gallbladder post, without supplements, I said this wasn’t possible). And then a couple days in, my nails started getting strong. My blurry vision and “spacing out” dissipated. I started feeling amazing! Instead of hitting a wall at work at 4pm, I was hitting that wall at 8pm or sometimes even later.

And then I got overwhelmed with all I had to do. Because I’d taken on too much, too soon. I got overwhelmed each time I had to take supplements or forgot to take my cod liver oil on time. Or if Matt packed a fermented food I didn’t like and I was worried I was ruining everything by not eating enough that day. I had to skip a few meals because Matt forgot I was on sugar detox and gave me food with apples or pineapple mixed in. It was stressing me the heck out.

It shouldn’t be this hard, I realized. So on day 11 I ate some dark chocolate. On purpose. And nothing happened. The world didn’t stop. It wasn’t the best thing in the world I ever ate. Or the worst thing. It was just food. I had 3 small squares (about 10g of carbs, 3g sugar) of anti-oxidant rich dark chocolate, put it away and moved on. Per Diana’s recommendation, I also ate a few more carbs at dinner, and slept more soundly that night (go away cortisol)!

I don’t think I have a candida problem afterall. I looked into it more and the only symptom I have that’s not associated with digestion issues (now being resolved) was the yeast infection. So, I’m going to a medical doctor about my yeast infection. I’ve tried to solve this thing twice without sugar (in January for the full 21 days and this time for 10 days) without any signs of improvement. So, I have no shame in the fact that today I’m getting myself a prescription of Diflucan and fully expect to not have to deal with the problem again – since I have a low sugar diet daily. If it comes back, then I have an issue I need to address.

What I really have is a super-woman complex that’s causing me major stress. A stress I can eliminate is the food restriction. I going to keep taking my awesome supplements, but stopping 1 I don’t like (with Diana’s approval). And my hope is that they continue to moderate my fat and sugar cravings, without needing the sugar detox. Did you know that if you’re properly absorbing your nutrients and digesting foods properly – if you’ve got your hormones in check – you don’t crave sugar, salt and fat all the time? Yeah, me neither. So lucky I met Diana, who knew that!

I’m going to try to stay ketogenic, while allowing myself some days off to drink alcohol and eat reasonable paleo(ish) treats or dark chocolate. Cyclic ketogenic diets can be beneficial, too. But mostly, I’m going to try not to worry about it. I’m never going to lose 50lbs in time for the Low Carb Cruise before May (yes, of course I’m thinking about that). So, eff it. My husband thinks I’m hot just how I am. And, these supplements will help the weight come off naturally the way it did the first year I was paleo, if it’ll come off at all with all the stress I have going on right now. So, I am backing off this obsessive food behavior and going with what makes me feel good. Reducing stress is the best thing I can do for my health right now.

The moral of this story is – I’m bailing on the detox, but that’s OKbecause I wasn’t actually detoxing. My body isn’t addicted, I never went through “withdrawal.” It’s just stressed. And the best I can do is eliminate stressors and focus on my needs. My body’s telling me that it needs a little less on it’s to-do list, and there’s no shame in listening to my body!

If you see me stressing or talking about weightloss anymore, smack me. I’m getting tired of these posts! I’m excited to get back in the kitchen with my boys and not be afraid to accidentally lick my fingers with something I’m making for them. I’m excited to not be on the sidelines because I’m too mentally drained to participate in fun activities. I’ve got a renewed opportunity with the Radiance Nutritional Therapy supplement protocol, and I’m going to enjoy the benefits of that for the time being. Especially since she gave me an OK to (responsibly) drink and told me to Chill out and relax.

To relax, I’m going to focus on buying cute summer dresses and the massive vacation we have ahead of us. The first one we’ve ever taken for any significant length of time without kids, and it’ll be with a bunch of friends we already know and love – but don’t get to see often!

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  • You take on a lot, Stacey, and I really admire you for being able to juggle everything as well as you do! As for the yeast infection, I found that diluted tea tree oil, or apple cider vinegar really did wonders for me. I used to have chronic yeast infections–which I thankfully don’t any more, and partially put to my diet/lifestyle changes–but TTO and ACV were my go-to’s back in the day. Of course, as with anything like this, YMMV! 

  • Not to be personal, but using various prophylactics that were spermicidal led to a lot of UTI’s and yeast infections for me. There’s latex in a lot of the suppositories and such and I apparently am sensitive to it. I am sure improving my diet will help prevent a recurrence, but Diflucan is wonderful and ya know, we do NOT live in the Paleolithic age. Some modern benefits are really OK. Pretty sure the Paleo/Primal gods won’t shoot you down for taking care of yourself in the best way you can, as decided by the only person who can really decide that, YOU.

    I admire you and your family for making such a huge change in your lives and am inspired. You’re doing a marvelous thing, and a super job. Hang in there.

    • Thanks, Brenda! And, not to be too graphic – but this always happens when latex is involved, I’m going to ask my GYN about that today and see if I can’t avoid that next time. Thank you!

  • Wow thanks for the transparency! I’m new to your blog and your journey but am already inspired! You have to do what works for you and your family and this sounds like it will!

    •  Thanks Kara! If we’re anything around these parts, it’s transparent! 😉

  • JoelleJ

    Amen to everything you said!  I enjoy your candidness and your inspiration to me on my journey though diet, life and stress. You go!

    •  Aww, thank you! Gotta do what works for you – which is not always what works for someone else 🙂

  • Joy

    I love this post! I have learned the hard way that really learning to listen to my body (and my thoughts) is the most important part of overall health. Nobody knows what your body needs and responds best to, except you. Keep up the great work 🙂

  • Good for you!  I just got your book – and love it so far!!!  I am almost paleo – eat hummus and quinoa every now and then, but I am going to stay away from that stuff for a while and see what happens, as well as trying ox bile (my naturopath suggested it).  I lost 80 pounds by cutting out grains, dairy and sugar.  Felt great, but I think I am in a plateau.  I know my hormones are a little out of synch, and I do have hypothyroidism.  But, things are getting better.   I did get a little obsessive for a while, and you are right, that stressed me out, watching everything little thing I ate. You have to enjoy yourself, that is so important and you have to listen to your own body. 

    I am going to make the mini egg pizzas tonight.  My aunt and uncle have a cabin and their neighbor is one of the guys on Mudcats – he gave us 6 pounds of deer salami last time we were down there… so just going to have to try it (I looked at the ingredients in it – all good to go). 

  • When I get close to the taking-on-too-much stage I remind myself that if I’m not good to myself first I can’t possibly be good to anyone else. Saying no to some things allows you to say yes to the things and people that are most important to you.   🙂

  • Ellemariegray

    I raise my glass of white wine to you, and say, “Relax and Enjoy!” I’m a recent Paleo convert, 56 yo and battling an autoimmune disease for the last three years, and sweetie, I’m here to tell you, if you don’t slow down… Anyway, I received your book the other day, and want to commend you for recognizing what you needed to do for your sons’ health, and having the courage to do it. I hope to be able to help my granddaughter the same way by gifting your book to my son.

    Balance. It’s all about balance. Enjoy that cruise and don’t give a second thought to how much you weigh. That’s advice from an old crony–we used to be revered back when the dinosaurs roamed.

    •  Thanks Elle – I’m TRYING to slow down, I promise!

  • Tracey Parker Nafekh

    Thanks Stacey for this article and sharing your gallbladder insights. I have the same IB problems as you before and after gallbladder, and have a better understanding thanks to your insights! I find it difficult to ‘read’ my body and figure out what’s going on, so it’s been a great help to read your experience. I’m also a perfectionist (obsessive!), don’t say no, take on too much. I think most working women have taken on much more than our mothers and need better work-life balance. It helps if your husband, who most likely also works, shares in the home responsibilities. THAT is a Godsend. I love your new laissez-faire attitude, well, semi-laissez-faire! You’re striking a balance between maintaining the goals you’ve set for yourself and enjoying life with a sane mind. Eliminating stress is so important and I admire that! Keep moving forward! …and many thanks!