I received an email a few days ago from a lady who had purchased my recipe book and upon opening it discovered a few foods which hadn’t been recommended by her doctor. She seemed somewhat annoyed that I would have them in my book.
I know that place well. It is a place where you are convinced of something being right or being what you should follow and nothing can convince you otherwise. The fear of questioning someone that you respect is perhaps harder because that would mean questioning everything and in some ways, it is easier to respect someone else. However, here at Endo Empowered my mission has always been quite clear. I provide you with the insights, experiences and knowledge for you to be able to make decisions for yourself. I guess it comes from my own personal dislike from being told what to do! I hate it and I certainly don’t like being told what to do without any justification for it.
So, I thought I would share what it truly means to be empowered about your health and why I believe it is so important.
1.You adopt what works for you
Though it is easier to follow a specific diet or get the guidance of an expert, we are all different and our bodies respond differently in a different situations throughout our lives and even though that expert may have the best intentions and reasoning, only you can truly know what works for you. We also change throughout our journey and what may have helped us, in the beginning, may not be necessary now or work anymore. An example is my experience with dairy. When I first started on my journey, I simply couldn’t touch dairy of any kind. I would get an instant reaction and feel terrible. Now, years later with my gut being more healed and in a better place, I can eat dairy with much less of an issue.
The same applies to you. You may not react to certain foods the way another woman reacts to foods. You may be okay eating a mainly Paleo type diet or a Vegan diet. We have to adopt what works for us. There isn’t a specific diet or a specific way of eating that works for all women with endometriosis. We are all different, have different needs and our healing is in different stages of our journey.
Another example may be with taking hormone treatments. You may believe that you need something when you are starting out on this journey but over time, your hormone balance adjusts and it is simply no longer necessary.
The secret is to tune inward and recognise when your body is unhappy with something you have eaten or taken. This is something that you only learn over time but ultimately you can trust that your body knows better than any expert out there.
2. Get the depth of knowledge
I have recently been researching some of the information shared by known experts in the field of endometriosis. It has certainly been interesting to see some of the same patterns in their recommendations but also somewhat scary to see some of the things I wouldn’t recommend or worry about. There is a heap of information available to us all and some of the information may even seem plausible at the time of researching it but I have always had a nagging few questions when researching things such as: “how can I go deeper on this?”, “what is the root cause of this imbalance?” and “why doesn’t everyone have this issue, then?”.
I think the driver behind some of these are somewhat personal because I live with a man who simply doesn’t experience health issues and does a lot of things which wouldn’t be recommended within typical health fields. He doesn’t have any ill effects from some of the foods we are often recommended to stay clear of and it made me question things far deeper than many experts might.
It is also really important to me that I research things thoroughly and to not just read something on a website and take that as conclusive. There are many things which are “hype” and create much media attention or interest but when I drilled down into them, there was nothing conclusive to worry about.
This can create a heap of anxiety for us and it is truly unnecessary and certainly doesn’t aid in healing.
3. Stand up for yourself
This is one of the toughest things about truly being Endo Empowered. We have to trust in ourselves and be determined and tough enough to stand up for ourselves and our decision to apply these methods in getting better. This is actually incredibly hard!
Whether it is standing up for yourself in terms of the treatment you want to follow and going against what perhaps “everyone else” is suggesting or whether it is simply standing up for yourself in insisting that you are going to take that 30 minutes of “me time” to do yoga.
It is a big part of getting empowered because it is about putting yourself first and making that a priority and it is surprisingly hard to do. I know it was for me too. It felt selfish to get up and do yoga when my husband was home. It was hard to insist on eating at certain restaurants when going out with friends or to order something completely different to them. Those things are hard because we want to belong and fit in and we want those around us to love us and yes, these things make it more challenging. Sometimes, we just think it is easier to do what others want us to do … even if it isn’t necessarily in our best interest. And that is perhaps the whole point, isn’t it?
We need to choose to make ourselves a priority.
Being Endo Empowered is about getting empowered for yourself and what works for your body. Research, learn and try things but always know that you are in charge and that you are your own guide throughout it all.