I truly feel like I have come full circle when it comes to what I fuel my body with. Unlike many women, I feel extremely fortunate that I never had to deal with weight issues or poor self image. I was active my whole life, ate food in moderation, and never used food to “comfort” myself. That’s not to say that I have not struggled with food though.
When I first started my health and fitness journey I was the “cleanest eater” there ever was. I didn’t eat ANY processed food whatsoever. If I bought anything in a package it had to only include whole ingredients. I was certainly obsessed.
Once I found myself getting a bit bored of my food choices and options, there was a huge shift in the bodybuilding space. More and more people were jumping on the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) train and I was all too eager to join them. Basically you can eat anything and everything you want IF it fits within your daily macronutrient allowance for the day. Up until that point, I had never tracked a single calorie in my life. That’s nearly unheard of as a woman and I was already pushing 35’ish at the time. If I’m being completely honest and candid here, this is where my disordered eating began. I became obsessed… again.
This time around it was with tracking calories. I logged EVERY calorie consumed for an entire year, not one day missed. I relied on tracking. It comforted me. I leaned on it and it took over my life. Tracking calories became an addiction and I found myself spending huge chunks of my day working out the Tetris puzzle of macros on MyFitnessPal all too often.
In many ways, my spinal disease diagnoses and health plummet saved me from this disordered way of eating. When you can barely walk, need your husband to carry you up the stairs or to the bathroom, and your in so much pain you can’t think straight tracking calories seems a tad insane. I was so consumed by pain, fear, anxiety, and moments of chaos that I barely had time to think about food. Calories certainly don’t matter when the world as you know it is falling down around you.
When my health began to decline even further and I was going through autoimmune testing, we were sure I had MS (multiple sclerosis). At this point in my journey I was already completely over conventional medicine and doctors because I spent a year with them failing me time and time again. In an effort to regain control of my health, I decided to turn to nutrition as my “medicine” and fortunately I stumbled upon Wahl’s Protocol. I bought the book on Amazon and the day it arrived my nutritional philosophy was forever changed.
This protocol is about cellular repair & change, reducing inflammation, vital nutrients, essential fatty acids, and using food to heal the body from the inside out. It’s heavily paleo based so 100% whole foods, always. There are three levels to the protocol and on day one I jumped right into level 1. Felt better than I had in over a year, so I jumped immediately into level 2. Spent two weeks there and decided to go all in with level 3 or ketosis.
I stayed almost entirely keto for a span of two years and in that time I brought all of my inflammatory markers within normal range, didn’t have a single doctor visit, took zero medications or prescriptions (not even Tylenol or Advil), was able to resume a regular workout routine, got back into resistance training/bodybuilding, traveled with my family, and found a new way of life, a truly healthier and better life.
Currently my diet is still based heavily on the Wahl’s Protocol. I am 98% whole foods based, waver between a paleo & keto approach with lower carbs, eat the rainbow always, and fuel my body with nutrients that help me to feel MY best.