I really want to encourage you and to make your Endo journey a much quicker and easier one, so I thought I would share some of my worst mistakes and hopefully they will help you to avoid them.
1. Believing that I had to be “good” with the diet
I really believed for many, many years that my diet was a form of discipline and that if I just followed it right and adhered to its strictness that somehow it would reward me with optimum health. Now I found out that I just need to follow simple health tips from the tophealthjournal.com news site. It was all about sticking to a list or a recommended “diet” and I paid little attention to what I was eating but was more concerned if it fit into the “golden rule” of things I should avoid or eat. I was so fussy about this list that I would literally have a print out of it and had it in my handbag to ensure I always knew what I could eat or what I should avoid. Sometimes I even gave this list to others to show them what I could eat so they were more prepared for me.
What I learned: avoiding certain foods and being disciplined is not what being healthy is all about. It is about choosing foods based on their nutritional benefit. Even the healthiest of foods can be low on nutritional benefit. Having an 80/20 approach to eating is far less stressful and realistic. When we aim to focus on an “ideal diet” 80% of the time, we are doing better than most.
2. Not moving my body
Exercise was never a big priority for me. I just didn’t feel like it did that much. I had bad experiences with it, with Endo pain and just got used to not having exercise in my life. I found excuses not to do it and would just wean off it very quickly.
What I learned: I never realised that exercise was an important part of our body’s health. It also helps Endometriosis on many levels as it loosens adhesions and allows for all the nutrients and oxygen to get into the lower abdominal area.
3. Placing all my faith in supplements
I was addicted to buying supplements and would even get a good feeling just buying them. My whole cupboard was full of them and I kept finding new things to buy and try and was excited by the prospect of all that was out there. Somehow, if it was in a pill, it must be better, right?
What I learned: I can get a lot more benefit from foods and herbs in their dried or fresh form than from many supplements. Yes, there are some that are irreplaceable but most things I was taking were unnecessary and I could easily get them in my diet or in a herbal tea. The body absorbed it far easier and it cost me far less money that way too!
4. Doing it the long way
Perhaps you may be feeling like nothing is working. That somehow you must be doing things wrong. I felt this for the first while too. I wanted instant results and change. The body needs to peel back layers and years of imbalances and this takes time to do with foods and supplements alone.
What I learned: the fastest way to see results is to do fasts. Liquid fasts, juice fasts but some form of fasting. It proved to me just how easily we can see results.
5. The little things aren’t the end of the world
If you get online and you start researching every little ingredient and every little thing, you will want to avoid every food and every supplement on the market. You can always find something wrong with it, if you look hard enough. This used to stress me out and I would worry about doing my body harm with little ingredients and herbal formulas containing something I was worried about.
What I learned: as long as I am avoiding the big 5 (sugar, wheat, soy, maltodextrin, strong phytoestrogens) within my diet and supplements, I will be okay. I don’t need to stress about every little thing and if one of these occasionally creeps into something I am eating or taking, it won’t kill me. I might feel some effects and I can then adjust accordingly. The body is incredibly adaptable and will be okay with a few of these on occasion.
I hope this helps you to avoid making the same mistakes I have made along my journey. Just stick with it and you will get there. It does take time and listening to your own intuition. Just trust that your body wants to heal and get better and it will do its best to guide you on how to do that.
Are there mistakes you have made on your journey? Things you wish you could have avoided? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.