I have been struggling with my attention span, and focusing at work and school since I left home at 18. I did the normal college routine: dorms, cafeteria food, drinking (just a little in the beginning!), boyfriends, sororities, clubs, oh yeah, and class. My school program was a little different. I studied electrical engineering at Kettering University, where I got a co-op job with GM. My first job was at their truck plant in Fort Wayne, IN. My family lived 4500 miles away in Kaiserslautern, Germany. I would visit for 2 weeks at Christmas, and that was about it!
I put on a good 30 pounds in my first year, and began experiencing extreme stress and anxiety (and who wouldn’t, being so far from home and family, having my first “real” job, having to learn how to manage my life, etc.). I knew something was “up,” but I had no idea what was going on. I started to get acne for the first time, as well.
I got on diet pills (Zantrex3) and lost 40 pounds, and started doing better at work and school, but I still felt “off.”
I started a raw food diet after that, and started feeling much better. I also had a super supportive boyfriend (and boyfriend’s family) at the time, so I’m sure that helped, too.
I got off that, simply because it was too hard to maintain after graduation when I moved to Minnesota, and fresh fruits and veggies were harder to find!
My weight went up and down, and I could tell that my well-being was definitely tied to food. I think my system is constantly inflamed, mostly due to processed foods and dairy.
It was after this that I went to see a doctor about it, and basically just got prescribed depression meds. I actually felt great on Prozac for a while! Then, it began to lose effectiveness, and I put on more weight.
THEN, I found Ultrametabolism and the Four Hour Body diet (they are pretty similar in concept). I changed my diet again, and started feeling better, but I still needed caffeine to focus at work.
THEN, I got married, got a new job, moved to a new place, acquired 2 stepsons, and had to forgo my diet because it was too hard to manage cooking different meals for my husband and the boys, and myself. And – my husband is not a vegetable or 4HB foods friendly type of guy. He would literally give me grief EVERY time I cooked lentils…
Anyway, fast forward 2 years and 20 MORE pounds later, and I decided to start 4HB again. I was doing well, and then I got pregnant… Yay… It became nearly impossible for me to eat lentils or meats or eggs (which are the backbone of 4HB) without vomiting, so I turned to my dear friends: processed carbs and simple sugars. So, I’m back to feeling bad (yes, I’m pregnant, and that contributes to it, but I have felt this same “bad” feeling on and off for the past 10 years, so I know it’s not just “normal” pregnancy stuff). And, now that I’m in my second trimester, I’m feeling like I can get back on some sort of healthy diet!
So, my plan is to compare the 4HB diet with the full GAPS diet, and see what the differences are, and see which I should go with.
I’ll tell you my “poor diet” symptoms are: constipation, bloating, acne, fatigue, inability to lose weight (even on a severely restricted diet), weight gain, inflammation (internal and external), slow healing in my skin (I scar like a mo-fo), dry skin, irritability, brain fog, inattention, hyperfocus, memory impairment, loss of interest in hobbies/friends, low libido, and needing excessive sleep (over 9 hours to feel rested).
When I’m on a great diet (like 4HB), most of these symptoms disappear within a week or two, and I start shedding pounds and feeling like “my old self.” So, I’m pretty sure I lack digestive flora, and have a very sensitive digestive tract.
TLDR: I’ve had a whole slew of issues since I left home at 18, and I think they are all related to my diet. I think I have “GAPS.”