3-Months.

On June 21, 2013, I turned my eating lifestyle around for the better. For real this time.

I was so very sick of my endometreosis. I had had it with the flare ups. Had it with my sudden mood ups and downs. Had it with wrenching back pain. Had it with the PCOS symptoms that were completely out of control. Had with my sleepless nights rolling in pain - trying to snuggle as many pillows as possible to feel comfortable. Really - I was so done.

Being the "I can do this myself" that I am, I was just certain this was going to go away with exercise. Because for some reason, in my mind, exercise was the cure all of pain? That makes sense ..... You remember the blog back in the fall about how I was running through the pain and was feeling better? - yeah, that didn't last long. I'm sure you remember the countless work-out posts, ha - I'd hit these awesome 4-miles ability markers, 5-mile markers and would strive through these cardio workouts that wouldn't bring me a bit of relief.

Around May is when Jake & I talked and he essentially got mad at me. Not like mad like angry husband, but mad like - you're being stupid and trying to fix something yourself that's out of your control. (And of course, this was during one of my mood-downs where I was already grumpy and mean to begin with - needless to say I didn't take that too well. Sorry, babe.)

I processed Jake's frustration and processed the fact that after a week of not going to the gym, there wasn't a thing you could do to get me to go back. Needless to say, I called and made an appointment to talk with the doc.

June 21, 2013 was my last doctor's appointment. He walked into the room and I just remember him saying - "This is what we're going to do." I don't even think he asked me any questions. Why are you here? What's going one? Pretty sure he knew why I was there. And the thing that was different about this: Jake was in the room with me - with Jake as a witness, I wasn't getting out of anything he was about to say.

He continued: If you're willing to try this and drastically change your diet and add these two medications, you don't have to have surgery now, we can suppress your endometreosis a different way. Naturally, I made a counter offer: I'll change my diet and will add one medication and will take a natural supplement in replace of the other medication ... he accepted my counter and there we were - what was this "drastic" diet change?

In case any of you are still reading and care - endometreosis is fed by an imbalance of hormones. At that point, in June, my testosterone levels were out the roof - this has always been a strong symptom of my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). What causes high testosterone levels? High insulin levels - another symptom on PCOS. So then you ask: What causes high insulin levels? There's a measurement in food called the "glycemic index." The higher the glycemic index, the more insulin produced in your body - which for me, is then doubled because that's just the way God made me - and from the insulin that's produced, the testosterone is produced, which then feeds the endometreosis, which then causes my flare ups. See? It's a chain. And I was fascinated by this - once I actually listened.

From that point on - I was restricted to only eating foods that fell under a glycemic index of 45. That means I'm restricted now to some vegetables, some fruits, and some lentils - I was cut from everything else. Our protein comes from meat/eggs/etc. - so I'm still good there and rely on those things heavily!

What popped out in my head? Starches. It all made sense to me how bad I was feeling because I definitely don't go to the produce section in search of my comfort food - I go to the potato chip aisle.

Now let's be real - all of you that are reading this have seen me eat a starch since June 21st. I haven't given up ice cream, and I would say about 10% of the time, I'll choose a starch during a meal - so I could even go more drastic if I wanted to. So really - it's been 3 months since I gave up 90% of the starches I used to normally eat.

It's the most amazing decision I've ever made for my health and my body, but also the hardest.

What do you see on the outside? You see that I've lost 15 pounds & my skin is healthier.

I can't even tell you how insignificant those are to how I feel - only 3 months later. And I know I said I feel "SO" much better in the fall blog, but REALLY - I feel so amazing. I'm sleeping all the way through the night, I've only had one flare up since June 21, I'm quicker on my feet, the fluid retention in my hands and feet is SO much better, I don't have up and down mood swings anymore (unless I don't eat - but I think that's anyone.) I just can't tell you how poisonous starches are - now that I know. When I do eat them - I'm so mad at myself for the splurge because of the way I feel.

It's been a fun and challenging ride for me and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. This is something that I CAN control. We've all got something going on - and if it's something we can fix it by our diet, how easy is that?! In the grand scheme of things - it really is just food. 

Jake has been so instrumental in getting me disciplined to where I am today. (When he's not around are usually my cheating times - shame on me!) He's been my right hand man through each day of it - now without his own benefit though! If you remember his hospital scare back in January - his health symptoms have improved greatly after his own little bits of denial. He also feels better, also is sleeping better, etc. On the outside, he's about 15-20 lbs lighter as well. He is my favorite person in the world, and this just adds to his positive influence in my life. He eats all of my spaghetti squash meals and my cabbage soups and my turkey and veggie chili - and even goes back for seconds sometimes. :) Although I do envy the fact that he sometimes eats HEB's amazing home-made wheat tortillas.

With all that being said - I am grateful. Grateful for my health and the knowledge that the practice of medicine brings that maybe doesn't cure endometreosis from growing, but leads to answers that puts women like me at ease and almost pain free.

I'm also kind of proud of myself in a way. It's been hard - but totally 100% worth it. Here's to another 3 months of this - I betcha I can do it. ;)