Slowing Down and Paying Attention

I’ve been exhausted for months now and I’ve chosen to ignore it — chalking it up to “the winter blues”. Turns out I have anemia – with some of the lowest iron levels my naturopath has seen in her office.

Go big or go home, right people?

The good news is that I have solid, concrete reason for why I’ve felt more like a festering sack of garbage than a bad ass since before Christmas.

Tuesday morning I saw my naturopath about my anemia and her prescription was this: A good easily digestible iron supplement. B12 shots every week for the next month. No running for at least a month. And as soon as I start getting some energy back, no caffeine.

I learned some interesting things while I was there, too. Like running destroys red blood cells. All that pounding isn’t good, apparently. In her opinion, all female runners should be on an iron supplement. No one has ever told me that before. Also, caffeine is terrible for iron absorption. That I had a faint inkling of, but chose to ignore. Guess I can’t do that anymore, huh?

We’re also going to investigate a possible gluten intolerance, which could be interfering with my absorption of iron. Starting Monday, this gal is going to be gluten free for the next three weeks.

On the one hand, it’s very frustrating for me to feel like my body isn’t working properly. On the other, I realize that had I simply slowed down and paid closer attention to what my body was telling me, I likely could have avoided things getting this bad. Warning signs were definitely there: exhaustion, irritability and brain fog; not to mention food cravings that had me literally eating handfuls of raw spinach straight out of the bag.

On the other, I know that I hold the bag on this one. I chose to ignore feeling like crap and make excuses for it. I chose not to respect what my body was telling me. The thing is, if we choose to listen, our bodies will often tell us what we need to know.

So for the next month, instead of running, I will be resting. I will be practicing yoga. I will attempt meditation. I will pay close attention to what I’m fueling my body with. I will treat myself how I would treat my daughters if they were in this situation. Because you know what? I don’t deserve it any less.

Time to pay attention, slow down, and take care of me.

5 Responses

  1. Absolutely take care of you. Slowing down doesn’t mean stopping, it just means easing up. As for iron and coffee…AND running? That’s a one-two punch since I love both of these things. I vow to get me some iron supplements asap! Hope you feel better soon!!

    • Honestly, after that B12 shot on Tuesday I can feel a big difference. I’m still tired, but my mood has dramatically improved. I can almost handle being exhausted if I’m not bitchy as well! 😉

  2. I think its very easy as women to ignore our bodies when its trying to tell us something. We’re always trying to be so strong and to perservere that its SO easy to just let the warning signs go. I know I’d have ignored the signs too. So I’m tired. No biggie. So I have no energy. Oh well. Must be pms or something. Never would I think something was seriously wrong with me because well, why would it? So I hear you on ignoring the warning signs but trust that you aren’t alone on that one. I’d be guilty of it too.

    However, I love your plan going forward – focusing on honoring your body as much as you can. Although, the caffeine thing sounds rough, I know I should pare back but I love it so much! And note to self: must buy iron supplements, wow!

    • It’s going to be hard for me to pay attention to my body, I think. I’m so used to just pushing forward despite the exhaustion.

      And as for the coffee, I’ve given it up many times in the past for periods of time, but I always seem to go back to it it (I love it SOOO much!). I’m thinking that instead of giving it up entirely, I’ll just cut back until I get my health back on track. 😉 Life is too short to never drink coffee again, right?

  3. […] a loop. Since being diagnosed with anemia, I have been doing my best to take care of myself and do the things I know I need to do to get better. I’ve put my health first, I’ve focused on taking care of myself, which I admit […]

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