I’m not a fan of before and after pictures. Because
they can glorify unrealistic lifestyles which sets unrealistic expectations such as working out 4 hours a day, eating a strict diet with zero tolerance for flexibility.
Lighting & camera angles can do more for looks than a month in a gym.
BUT, I decided I had to share mine because body transformations are not always the result of hours in the gym and strict calorie counting. And more people need to hear that.
This transformation shows the results of reducing the toxic load on my body.
In 2018, after struggling for YEARS with my son’s chronic allergies and not finding any relief through traditional methods, I got desperate and began looking for alternative treatments and was introduced to the world of essential oils.
Sounds woo-woo, right? Hang with me!
We started using essential oils in February 2018. That spring was the first spring in 8 years that my son did not suffer from allergies. He went from taking 3 prescription strength antihistamines (year round), at adult doses, to ZERO. His symptoms were minimal at best, and easily managed with natural methods. No more sinus infections. No more excessive drainage. Fewer missed days from school. (I share a bit of our story here). (Obligatory Disclaimer, I am not claiming essential oils cured my son's allergies. I'm saying we began using oils and at the same time, my son's symptoms disappeared)
Because we saw such a huge change in something “so small”, I had to know and learn more. This lead to learning about toxins and their impact on our body. The fact that the products we buy at the store are full of endocrine disruptors, inflammatory chemicals, and toxins (these send our bodies into chaos and throw our hormones out of whack).
As I learned more, we swapped out products in our home. Body care, hair care, deodorant, laundry soap, dish soap, and on and on. The more we swapped, the better we felt.
At the same time, I was learning about food and how foods we eat can be inflammatory. Did you know that even some “healthy foods” can cause issues?
The saying goes “know better, do better” so, knowing that some foods cause inflammation, I began reducing those problem foods.
Let me pause here, this was not a whole house purge and we went on some crazy diet. I did have to follow the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) eating style for a bit to identify my trigger foods, but have successfully managed to reintroduce most of my original diet. I did find that gluten, while I’m not celiac, causes me digestive issues. Never knew that before!
And we still eat out, I just choose healthier options when we do.
In addition to the toxins from products and the inflammatory foods, one other area of life changed.
My stress level.
Worrying about my son, having to take sick days from work to be home with him when he was ill (frequently), not to mention the financial impact of all of this (doctor visits, medication, breathing treatments, etc), caused a lot of mental and emotional stress.
Did you know that stress, whether mental, emotional, or physical, causes chemical reactions in your body that releases the hormone, cortisol? This hormone is part of your fight or flight reaction (Sympathetic Nervous System(SNS)part of the Autonomic Nervous System). When we are stressed, cortisol is flooding our system and our body thinks we are in mortal danger. It diverts energy to life saving tasks ie focus, decision making, breathing, and works less on non-life-saving tasks such as digestion. It stores what we eat because it is focusing energy elsewhere, and/or it thinks we are starving and it needs to stockpile. (Find more about the Autonomic Nervous System here) Staying in a stressed state for prolonged periods of time (chronic stress) will eventually harm the body.
Now that my son is healthy, I’m losing weight, and I’ve become more confident in our choices and lifestyle, I am less stressed which allows my body to function better. That’s a cycle in the right direction!
There is a 20+ pound difference between these two photos and I can honestly say it is due to reducing the toxic load on my body.
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