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.