I would soon be the weight I was just before I gave birth to my daughter. But this weight issue was just the tip of the iceberg. I had spent the better part of the last 20 years trying to get my ulcerative colitis under control.
I had invested an incredible amount of time researching and trying various diets in the context of my disease. Then I met my husband who suffers from several food intolerances (most different from mine) and when my daughter was born, it was soon clear that she had an issue with consuming dairy and some other foods.
So, I kept researching and reading and adjusting our diets. I felt that I had a good grasp of nutrition compared to the average adult. It was a herculean effort to make a meal that could accommodate all of our family’s food issues, but I tinkered and experimented and was OK with this investment in time and energy; because getting it right meant we could all feel healthy and happy. My disease had been under control for two years, and I felt I was in good shape as well, training with my speedskating and kayak club and cross-country skiing regularly. But, still, despite stepping up the level of exercise, my weight kept creeping up and up. I started to feel like I was looking at a stranger in the mirror. I was also dealing with severe perimenopause symptoms – and this was adding significantly to a general feeling of discomfort in my body. I had a feeling that the issues I had dealt with over about five years with my perimenopause symptoms were somehow linked to weight gain. I also had a sense that these symptoms might be treated somehow through diet. I couldn’t figure it out however, nor could I fathom how I was going to keep feeding myself and my family if this required yet another dietary restriction/change to deal with both the weight and the hormonal imbalances.
I really was extremely burnt out and stressed by this struggle with diet on many levels. By the time I talked to Jordan in my intake interview, I had finally come to the conclusion that I was overwhelmed and that I couldn’t do it on my own anymore. I needed to seek out help and support. Given the hormonal links to weight that I really wanted to dig deep and explore, I asked if there was anyone on their team with this expertise. Enter Jenni! Jenni couldn’t have been a better match for me. I loved her enthusiasm, positivity and her approach that ‘this isn’t just about you, it’s also about your family’. I knew I was in good hands. She took the time to really understand the complexity of my situation from all angles. And then, just by chance, before I started the program, my daughter had a very severe flare-up of her digestive issues. Jenni kicked in, brainstorming solutions with me, and helped us through a trying time, while at the same time keeping me on track with my own weight loss. She demonstrated such empathy for what we were going through. When I traveled for work, went on a vacation, or was competing in a sports event, she was there to provide guidance. She was always there to provide me encouragement and advice. I looked forward to our meetings – not only for everything they taught me, but because she was so much fun to spend time with. Her deep well of caring, positivity, incredible knowledge of the science of nutrition and sense of humour has helped me get to a place in my life where I am once again happy and positive in my own body. I lost over 30 lbs, and as a bonus, my perimenopause symptoms are greatly reduced. I learned so much that has become part of me and my family’s lifestyle. It doesn’t feel like I am making sacrifices at all and yet I’m maintaining my ideal weight. Having more control of my weight and my whole family’s health makes me feel in control of my life again. With my very deepest gratitude to Jenni and with thanks to the entire team at Caven Nutrition.
You asked what my biggest breakthrough was: I would say it is hard to nail down, but here are a few; Understanding why I could not out-exercise a bad diet.
Relative proportions of healthy foods I eat matters (e.g. protein vs. carbohydrates). I had always based trying to lose weight just by adjusting the volume of food I was eating. I loved learning easy ways to incorporate more protein.
The negative impacts of grains and alternatives to reduce my reliance on them and craving for them.
I found ways to really maximize calorie burn with small adjustments in how and when I exercised and I lost the guilt around whether I walked or ran – and I fit in fun but sometimes less intensive exercise more often.
I loved my personal meal plan and ‘guide’ on serving sizes. It was a joy every time I got to brainstorm with Jenni about whole food alternatives to address all the food restrictions I faced. And, we had a lot of laughs while we were at it. Being comfortable with my cooking skills, I never followed anything exactly to the letter. But used it daily as inspiration to adjust my approach and even develop some of my own recipes.
Yes, I became a convert to seed-cycling (I think there is really something to it!). What isn’t great about more seeds in your diet anyway?
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