What?! You don’t feel beautiful or sexy? Have those two words not been in your wheelhouse since you turned 40?
Sadly, I’ve met more women than you would imagine who have felt the same way. Instead of feeling more confident with their bodies as they mature, I’ve met women who can’t lose weight and are constantly tired, or who feel and look older than they should having lost their sexy, self confidence somewhere along way.
I get it. Normal life for me was one long research project searching for the perfect diet, exercise plan and supplements that would help me become the woman who I knew was inside me somewhere but was trapped inside a body that was aging faster than it should.
My name is Stephanie west of the Mississippi and Lori to the east; that story, however, is for another time.
When I turned 46 I hit rock bottom and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Allow me to explain:
For most of my life I’ve suffered from one illness to another. During my elementary and high school years, I had countless bouts of respiratory illnesses, each time requiring successive rounds of antibiotics.
After gaining the freshman 15+ pounds in college, I went on a diet that catapulted me into a 10-year-long eating disorder.
By the time I reached my 20s, not only did I battle bulimia but I had horrible bowel issues, migraines and chronic urinary tract infections. Taking Tums and Ex-Lax, Imitrex for the migraines and Cipro for the UTI’s – I was stocking my own personal pharmacy.
At 32 I was diagnosed with an “incurable” debilitating bladder disease called Interstitial Cystitis (I.C.). The treatments were as painful as the disease itself. I endured monthly catheterization treatments plus MORE antibiotics.
Since it seemed like chronic UTI’s were in my foreseeable future, my Urologist gave me a year’s prescription of antibiotics so I could treat myself when I felt that very familiar pain coming on; this went on for the next six years.
I did everything the doctors told me to: I took the medications they told me to take and I ate the very “healthy” diet laid out by the USDA. As a result I felt like I was dying a very slow death. At 40, trying to homeschool three young kids, my health was nosediving into a dark pit and I had no idea how to crawl out.
The side effects of the medications exacerbated my problems as well. Bowel irritability, migraines and bladder problems still persisted, but now I had a weird rash on my elbows that wouldn’t go away and laryngitis reared its ugly head every month, lasting about five days at a clip. Chronic fatigue and “brain fog” made it almost impossible to be there for my husband and kids.
So I ditched the medications and decided to try to heal myself naturally.