That time I was told, “I’m surprised you’re alive right now.”
Do you feel like your brain is on overdrive – creating to-do lists and jumping between 8 million thoughts about everything you need to get done in a day?
We push ourselves to do more at work, in life and in our diet and exercise and it can feel like we are stuck on a never-ending Gravitron of stress and chaos. This is the story of my recovery from adrenal fatigue.
As a recovering type-A perfectionist, I’ve been down that road SO many times – more times than I’d like to admit. And I see it all the time with the women I work with.
The worst period of stress for me was a few years ago when I was working a full-time job, starting this business, going to school at night, working a part-time job on the side, exercising like crazy and being a food-control freak. I required a pot of coffee to speak in full sentences.
I thought I was an overachieving ‘health nut’, but I was actually burning myself into the ground.
I eventually became so frustrated that my body was gaining weight despite my rigid militant ways that I went to see a Naturopath who I had to ‘get real’ with.
I gave her a rundown of my symptoms: not sleeping well, no period, libido of a robot, frequent meltdowns for unnecessary circumstances (such as forgetting to buy almond butter or losing a sock in the dryer) and relating more to feeling like an emoji turd than a human.
To me, my symptoms didn’t seem that bad because I was so possessed by my perfectionist ways that I was completely out of touch with what my body was actually feeling.
She looked at me and said, “I’m actually surprised you’re alive right now.”
My hormones were completely muddled and it all resulted from one thing: stress. So much unnecessary stress.
After a few tests, she diagnosed me as being in the final stage of adrenal fatigue and that was when the universe kicked me in the ass and sent me the message that I needed to stop. Stop working so much. Stop pushing so hard. Stop exercising so much. Stop restricting food. In other words, chill the F out.
I had beat my body into submission and the only way out was for me to make radical changes to my lifestyle.
After a couple months of focusing on resting, eating and being satisfied with ‘good enough’, the spark that had slowly burned out had returned – I was back to my happy-go-lucky optimistic weird self.
The funny thing about adrenal fatigue is that it creeps up on you. It’s not something that you wake up to like a scorching case of herpes.
It’s a gradual onset that you pass off as normal since you don’t notice how badly it’s taken a toll on your life until you’ve recovered.
The recovery required me to make some big changes that felt really uncomfortable, but in the end it’s what sent me down this path of self-acceptance and I’m enterally grateful for hearing those words “I’m surprised you’re alive.”
Fortunately, my friend Laura Schoenfeld is a genius at helping women recover from adrenal fatigue. I had the honor of chatting with her about it on this week’s episode of Fearless Rebelle Radio. We talk about the signs and symptoms, the various things that cause adrenal fatigue, why ‘healthy’ can actually contribute to adrenal fatigue and how to recover from it.
It’s rare that I don’t see some level of adrenal fatigue with the women I work with – often it’s a hot-mess of the psychological stress from their food and body obsessions, the physical stress of restricting/overexercising and rebounding and the emotional stress of trying to be everything to everyone perfectly all the time.
I want you to know that you’re not alone and that it is possible to recover and regain your spark.
Laura and her partner Kelsey have come out with an incredible 5 week program called Paleo Rehab: Adrenal Fatigue (as in, you are recovering from being paleo-crazy) that addresses the key pieces of the puzzle, including: common stressors such as under-eating, overtraining and creating a healthy relationship with food and yourself.
I’m honored to be a guest contributor in this program (talking about self-acceptance and perfectionism) amongst 10 other incredible guest experts (seriously, I took a screen capture of my picture beside Jen Sinkler) and really love what these women have put together.
If you register before May 4th at 12pm EST, you’ll get access to twice-weekly coaching calls with Laura and Kelsey, which are worth $1,970 and you’ll start with a large group of other women doing the program at the same time as you. Here is the link to the full program again>>>