I’ve had issues with food as long as I can remember. According to my mom, I seemed mildly allergic to one cereal as a baby, but she didn’t think anything of it at the time. Babies were started on cereals since they were the least likely to cause problems, right? That was just the beginning of the reactions I started exhibiting to food. I was also violently allergic to pork products, so pork was eliminated from my diet. In addition to these issues, I was diagnosed with asthma and allergies by age four.
I have always had an iffy digestive system. My stomach got easily upset by things I didn’t think of as allergenic. As I went through high school, more and more foods began to bother me. I could no longer eat most fruits, especially oranges. They would undo my system for days afterward. I began to take antihistamines in order to eat any fruits or vegetables after my pediatrician diagnosed me with oral allergy syndrome. This helped for a time, as I was able to eat a wider variety of things though still no citrus or pork. Towards the end of high school, I developed thyroid problems and began to take several medicines for it. I also developed an inability to process vitamins B12 and D in my digestive system.
About a year ago, I lost half my liver to a benign tumor. That was probably the lowest point in my life health-wise. My mom is a physical therapist and did what she could to help me regain my strength. Since the liver surgery had to cut through so many of my abdominal muscles, I had lost the ability to get up off the floor and had trouble carrying anything up the stairs to my apartment. I was frustrated with my inability to overcome these issues and my mom suggested I find a personal trainer to work on my overall endurance and strength. I asked around and was referred to Dutch.
I began to work with Dutch at the end of January, 2012 to get myself back to my pre-surgery condition. We started by working on my overall strength and condition. We also began to talk about diet. I was highly skeptical initially, but figured I had nothing to lose. I was just going to do it for thirty days to prove him wrong. Dutch told me I might not feel any different for at least 30 days.
I have to admit, it was so hard in the beginning. I craved sweets and breads and would search online for recipes that I could use for paleo cookies and muffins. However, I gradually lost my cravings and began to enjoy this new diet and exercise regimen. It was probably six weeks before I realized how much better I was beginning to feel. For the first time in my life, I realized how really awful, chronically tired, and cranky I had felt for years. I have cut back or eliminated many of my medications. I no longer take antihistamines in order to eat. I no longer take asthma medications. My B12 blood level has increased significantly and I am slowly eliminating my B12 shots. Through changing my diet, I have discovered that I am gluten and soy intolerant but I can now eat pork (bacon is amazing and I am not sure how I lived without it) and citrus fruits without any problems. I can run up the stairs to my apartment carrying a load and am not even out of breath.
I feel better now than I ever have in my adult life (*fist pumps the air, Rocky style*). I am calmer, more focused and happier. I am going to stick with this, it is the best thing I have ever done for myself. I am in far better shape physically and mentally than I have ever been, all because of Dutch.