Sharing My Truth, From My Heart

There was a time, just a few years ago, when I couldn’t get up the morning. It had been ages since I had a decent night's sleep.

I was constantly waking up in the middle of the night because I had to pee, or I was starving at 3 am, or I was drenched in night sweats.

My joints constantly ached and my muscles felt inflamed. I carried Icy Hot in my purse and was having coworkers bring back prescription strength topical Ibuprofen from business trips to the UK because you could get it in the drugstores there without a prescription.

I was exhausted, stumbling through life with brain fog.

Clearly my adrenals weren't functioning properly, I was experiencing hypoglycemia and my gut was a hot mess. Except, I didn't know it.

I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my running coach before the Giant Race Half Marathon in June 2010. He was trying to give me advice should I have GI issues during the race. I brushed him off and told him, "I have a stomach made of steel!" Hahahahaha! #thethingsIthoughtIknew

That was in 2010 and I suffered through this lifestyle for another four years.

Oh, and did I mention that I was still trying to keep up with the group exercise classes at my gym (Body Combat, Body Pump, kickboxing, etc) because I didn't want to break off from that social circle? 

I was also living through the most stressful time of my almost 20-year career. I was being micro-managed and my anxiety levels were at high. I ran to release the stress, always in pursuit of the ever elusive "runner's high."

But yet my workouts were suffering, and because of that so was my mental stability.

I was eating healthy. I even went gluten-free, thinking just because something is gluten-free it's healthy (Hint: it's not necessarily).

I was adamant about going to bed early by 9 pm seven days a week. Even during the summer when it was still light outside. My friends made fun of me for doing this, but I was so paranoid about getting a good night's sleep that I felt I had to. Or else, I thought, I might not get any sleep at all.

I was doing every single workout on my training schedule and then some. My friends ran 50+ miles a week whereas I would break 40 miles during my peak week of marathon training. Runners World said if you want to run fast you have to run more and more and more! So I did that. And yet I was injured all the time. So I thought I wasn't doing enough. So I secretly did more, not even disclosing this to my running coach. #runningconfessions

The mental anguish of trying to figure out what was going on was probably the biggest stressor in my life. More than my micromanaging manager.

I read books, attended lectures and took online courses on "how to build mental strength." It's all that I talked about in my sessions with my therapist.

When people would post photos on Instagram and Facebook that said, "Running is cheaper than therapy." I felt resentment and thought, "Running is causing me to run to therapy." (Sidenote: my therapy was also cheaper than my running addiction.)

Had I connected the dots I would have realized that there were massive amounts of things I could have done differently to avoid all of this.

Have you experienced anything like this too?

If so, I’ve been there. I get you. 

Instead of waking up with worry I now know exactly what to do. 

And I’m going to teach you exactly what to do when you’re feeling drained, fatigued and brain fogged. I’m going to teach you what to do when your gut is a hot mess.

Once I got over my pre-conceived notion of "cleanses" and went through one myself, I finally understood the true meaning of a cleanse.

It is not just about eliminating common allergenic foods. Food is a big part of it, but there's so much more to it.

It is also about looking at your daily habits and practicing self-care. I feel like self-care has somewhat become a cliche these days but for me, it means, 

  • "What am I doing to restore and rebuild my body in a body-conscious AND mind-conscious way?" 
  • "What am I doing to recover and repair my digestive AND immune system after a stressful experience like a hard workout, long run, or stressful life experience?" (Because ice baths and "legs at the wall" sometimes isn't enough.")

Cleansing is about ridding ourselves of toxins, including asking ourselves questions like:

  • "What products are in my home that is contaminating my environment? Are there cleaner, gentler cleaning products and cosmetics that I can be using instead?" 
  • "Am I hoarding unnecessary things that are burdening me and weighing me down?"
  • "Are there relationships in my life that are causing me to feel resentment, anger, jealousy and unnecessary stress? Are these relationships worth working on? Or is it time to let go of it?"

Because when we look at the big picture and connect the dots these are all areas that have a physiological effect on our overall well-being.

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Naomi Nakamura is a certified Holistic Health Coach who takes a holistic approach through functional nutrition. Through her weekly show, The Live FAB Live Podcast, coaching programs, and safer skincare solutions, she helps people with acne and other chronic skin issues clear up their skin by teaching them where food meets physiology and how food, gut health, stress, and toxins are intricately connected to the health and appearance of our skin. Naomi resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and can often be found romping around the city with her puppy girl, Coco Pop! Connect with Naomi at: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest.