Last time I posted about phase I of my wedding prep it was most personal blog post I have ever done but the article had just as many hits as some of my most popular recipes, so you guys must be interested! So I thought I better give you an update with phase II because things haven't gone the way I was expecting..
Just to re-cap my main goals are:
- glowing and smooth complexion
- flat stomach
- Toned arms, butt and back (all over toning also welcome :))
- bright shiny eyes and white teeth
I also mentioned that weight loss is less of an issue for me but I expect that naturally I may lose 2-4kg as part of the routine I am doing for the above goals. What is most important to me is feeling good and in light of recent events (more about this below) feeling like myself!
All was set in phase I to get myself back into a routine with exercise (I had been a bit slack having a very busy first 6 months of this year) with the aim to just be consistent and worry about increasing the intensity and volume in phase II and III. For my diet I was focusing on gut and liver supporting foods as well as reducing alcohol (I only drink on the weekends so it was just cutting this back to 1-2 drinks only 1 day on the weekend - unless there was a special occasion), eating out less and choosing the healthiest option when I did eat out.
The nutrition was coming easily to me, naturally, but I was suffering from some digestive symptoms (bloating and stomach pains) even though my diet was very clean. I had suspicions something was going on, either some dysbiosis (unbalanced gut flora) or a potential parasite. I also struggled getting into my exercise routine. Usually I am an early riser exercising at 6:00am most days but my body felt extremely tired and I felt like the early mornings were becoming a real chore. I also noticed I needed A LOT of sleep, anxiety was creeping in, my dermatitis was hanging around for dear life and I didn't feel like my energised happy self. Although I love exercising I am definitely one to listen to my body so I swapped some high intensity sessions for sleep ins and just stuck to pilates and 1-2 strength sessions.
Meanwhile I made an appointment with my integrative GP and she identified a parasite (explaining the digestive issues) and adrenal fatigue (explaining the tiredness and fatigue - which I had actually suspected). Adrenal fatigue in summary means you have exhausted your body and your adrenal glands and it's a sign you need to stop, re-charge and recuperate. It makes sense this has happened as I was under quite a bit of stress the first 6 months of this year with a very ill dog who ended up passing away (for those of you who know me and Jack, our dogs are our babies!) and also over-committing to too many work projects.
Despite this set back however, it just means my game plan has changed a little for the next 4 weeks. While most brides might be freaking out about being told by their GP that no high intensity exercise is allowed, I am luckily educated enough to know that nutrition is 90% of reaching your health goals anyway so I will still be well on track for reaching my goals for the big day. I am also lucky enough to have an incredible integrative GP who respects my wishes for holistic and natural treatments and works with this philosophy herself - so it's safe to say I didn't just get prescribed antibiotics and sent on my way!
So the next four weeks involves my same clean, nutrient rich diet (minus dairy and gluten to help reduce any chance of digestive inflammation while I boot out this parasite), a mix of pilates, yoga, walking and 1 strength session per week, a lot of sleep and lazy weekends, daily meditation and some personalised supplements. These supplements are to balance my zinc deficiency, aid in microbial support and gut flora balance and to support my neuro-endocrine and nervous systems. I will also be completing my 21 Day Detox Program starting on October 15th (and you can even complete it with me!) to really amp up liver support and reduce any forms inflammation that might be present.
For my skincare routine it is much the same as before, alternating external treatments between dermapen and lactobotanical peels but more importantly getting in as many antioxidants, micro-nutrients and healthy fats as I can through my food. I am supporting this with collagen, as well as evening primrose oil, and a new product soon to hit the shelves which is a vitamin supplement for skin, hair and nails made from organic fruits and vegetables with zero synthetic ingredients (the first of it's kind available in Australia! - more coming about this product soon). One other thing I have done is set a goal for myself for a minimum of 2 x my 750ml drink bottle of plain water per day which I can find difficult but know it is so important for my skin. The rest of my water needs are met through herbal tea as I drink A LOT of this throughout the day.
So although phase II is not what I had originally planned the priority is rest and re-charging my batteries so that I can get my energy back and feeling like myself again. I am back to my integrative GP in three weeks and hope that my body has recuperated so I can re-assess what the plan needs to be for the rest of phase II and also phase III. I think it's safe to say intense exercise won't play a huge part in my wedding prep but it's all about what works for your body and at the moment, gentle movement and nourishment is what is best.
I'll post an update on this post after my next visit to the GP but otherwise stay tuned for phase III in a few weeks!
Update 03/10/2018: Good news, my recent adrenal test came in with positive results and my body has benefited greatly from the past 10-12 weeks of rest and rejuvenation. I can ease back into exercise by adding 1 x weekly high intensity session per month but still need to give my body rest when it needs it, especially on weekends. I am feeling 100 times better but still need to listen to my body to ensure a full recovery!
*Please note that this article is not intended to prescribe any skincare, diet or exercise recommendations for others. The ideal wedding preparation journey will be different for everyone!