Experience is worth so much more than any book could ever teach us. But it's when we're in the midst of these "teachings" that we wish we weren't, and only after the fact, we can clearly see that the book/s barely touched the sides of the issue.
Adrenal fatigue is said issue for me.
Don't get me wrong here - I've learnt loads from books, research, college, lecturers, Naturopaths, friends, and more that I possibly wouldn't have learnt elsewhere. But having been through it all myself, I've learnt, more than all these taught me put together. And for that, I am forever grateful.
-- Where it came from may not be so clear cut
You might let feelings of fatigue linger for far too long hoping it's 'just' a crappy week/month/6 months before you realise it's not going away, and actually have no idea why you've been feeling the way you have been. Enter Case study #1: You love your party time job around your study so it's nothing too strenuous. You enjoy training and mix it up with pump classes, pilates, yoga and running most days. You love a good coffee - but no milk or sugar thanks. As you're feeling more tired, that coffee on an empty stomach before training at 5am is a welcome comfort. Your relationship is great, but every now and then it tests you. Rewind 10 years ago... your parents got divorced, both remarried, an eating disorder happened in high school, international travel on your own... whatever it may have been. No big deal right? All pretty common stuff these days. Well anyone of these, or all of them, can/may/will be a contributing factor in adrenal fatigue.
The "why" it happened doesn't really matter, unless you know exactly why... Let me explain...
If you know your adrenal fatigue is from your 10yr corporate job you hated and that had you slaving to a shitty boss 60hrs a week... then it's clear the only way to heal yourself is to get out of that job and all the energies surrounding it. However if your story sounds more like mine (yep, that's me above), and more of a whopping combination of a whole lotta things, then it's probably something a little less tangible... like you're control (issues) around things in life... or your consistent daily worry... a traumatic event from years ago that you know you haven't gotten past as yet... Dig a little deeper if everything else you're doing to heal isn't working for you.
-- Only YOU know when to change things up
And I specifically wanna talk about movement here.
Now for most people I suggest that mornings before brekkie is the best time to move your body (especially for fat loss), however, as with anyone, if there is something preventing you from moving then, and the afternoons work really well, then do that. Any movement is better than no movement.
With adrenal fatigue however, this is not my suggestion, as depending on where you're at with it, you might be better off sleeping in until 9am everyday. I don't think no movement is beneficial, as something can always be done - rotate your wrists, your shoulders, your ankles. Raise your arms above your head and stretch up, to the right, then the left. You get my drift...
From a text book, someone with adrenal fatigue shouldn't really be doing any strenuous exercise at all. But to wipe exercise out all together may or may not be necessary. And this is where it's YOU that will know. And yes it's also trial and error. Some days it was too much for me to walk to the end of the street and back. Other days I could walk around a few blocks. There will come a time when your body has healed somewhat and is craving movement, even if you feel like that day will never come again. Just don't go all out when it does (that jog when you're feeling a million bux might just wipe you out for the rest of the week). Little by little you will feel better, more limber, ready to move, enjoy it, and feel the pull to do a little more.
-- Consistency is not always key
We all love a good saying, and a motivating one at that. But this one came to nip me in the bum over and over again (ironic perhaps?). I thought it would prove helpful to always take the same supplements and never miss a day; to always walk to the end of the street and back (if only for fresh air); to always sleep in as much as I could; and always have an afternoon nap. My research would back it all up too though - have a routine to get healing quicker. Well, I didn't find this to be true at all.
When you think about it, more and more people are getting adrenal fatigue these days. Why? Loads of reasons pertaining to the individuals of course, but if I had to really generalise for the sake of this point, it's cause we're slaves to city routine, and everything that comes with it. Particularly us women. Control freaks. So of course trying to control the way I went about healing was great for my ego, but sh*t for my actual healing. I had to drop it all.
Some days I walked, some days I didn't. Some days I took all my supplements, some days zero, and other days a few. I would eat protein not fruit for brekkie for a while, but then (contrary to my naturopaths advice), I began fruit for brekkie again and felt great. I would wake up when my body did - not from the 6am alarm to go walking, and not at 9am because it had been long enough Christie.
Yes a routine can be hugely beneficial for someone who would be all over the place initially, or for someone who is generally a little like this and needs support to incorporate nurturing practices into their life... but for most people, you just gotta drop it. I believe ditching the routine is the only way to get in touch with your body - what it wants, what it doesn't, how it wants to move and when, and how exactly healing will happen for you.
-- You're living in a way that you don't actually love
Hard to admit for some but as I began looking at fatigue differently, I also began to see it's purpose.
Think about it for a sec; you're literally too tired to do anything... what are you making yourself too tired to not do? What is it about your life that you'd rather be sleeping through?
Is it your job you hate? Is your relationship wearing you out? Are you living in a country or city that's dragging you down? All those Body Attack classes you think you love... do you really? Perhaps your body would much rather tai chi? Whatever it is, there is a massive part of the way you are living your life that you hate! Even if you're unaware of it or can't admit it. Something has to change girl or this will never give up!
-- Proper time out and away is crucial
But no-one likes to think so. Well, perhaps a little. The thought of doing nothing for a year but sleeping in, eating when and what you want too, seeing a practitioner here and there, not going to the gym every morning, and not going to work everyday is blissful. But to actually do it. Much much harder. Perhaps a little boring for some. But this is what may be needed. Even if you dropped all responsibility, gym sessions, coffee breaks, tv watching, and take away food, and only went to work 5 days a week... that means you cannot sleep in when you need to. You cannot have an afternoon lie down if you need too. You barely have sufficient time to make nourishing meals, enjoy magnesium baths, day dream, or whatever else you need in order to heal. It will be different for everyone but I really believe that you need to drop everything and put you as the number 1 priority in your life.
And to wrap it all up into one simple lesson -- YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT BEING IN YOUR WORLD AND YOU NEED TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AND TREAT YOURSELF AS SO.
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