The Art of Recovery

There are definitely tricky nuances when recovering from longer term illnesses. I have been focusing on my struggle with Candida, or yeast overgrowth, but it also applies to other health issues that require a recovery process. When I had mono in college, I had to pace myself in order to heal completely. It took a couple of months to get back into my full activity schedule. With Candida recovery, I am still doing that daily evaluation of physical activity and carb intake amounts. We have to realize that is par for the course, but not let it overwhelm us. When I have to take a step back or cut back in an area, that is not a failure, it’s a modification to ward off where I have been. This allows me to continue to make progress. It’s progress in itself to “see the sign” and correct it. I have to remind myself that. It’s important because my perspective affects my healing process.

I didn’t realize before that there are patterns our body becomes trained to follow when it has been compromised over a period of time. Dr. Crystal, my doctor, was explaining how some of my “Candida” symptoms, may not be because the Candida is coming back. My body is in an old pattern. For example, I was feeling very achy at work when I got stressed or had a lot of physical activity. Usually physical and mental stress occur simultaneously as a server. After a clear discussion on this, she had mentioned that my body was out of fuel and eating would probably stop this symptom. I tried that the next time it happened and it worked. I eat smaller meals and several times per day, so it can be challenging sometimes to reach for a snack. It was helpful to know that I wasn’t relapsing.

Hormones also play a big role in my Candida recovery. I hate to say it, but PMS really messes with me now. It occurs in my mind/thought processes. I have to mentally fight these thoughts in my head, and say these are “hormone” thoughts, not mine. They are not real. Not only do these hormones put fear in my mind that I am relapsing, but they also cause some of the same physical symptoms I associated with Candida. Pre-vaginal yeast infection symptoms, back aches, exhaustion, anxiety or being overwhelmed in general. Again, this is progress to look at “PMS” week and remind myself that this is just hormonal, not a relapse. Sometimes, I say it to my husband or a close friend at work because it’s helpful to say it aloud and release it. It’s also an acknowledgement that this is temporary. If you want to check out natural remedies to balance hormones, Dr. Josh Axe’s has an article on this topic. This is not an affiliate link.

Physical stress also plays a role in recovery. People still ask me if I am running again. I ran the Pasadena marathon in 2010. That seems so long ago. Since having Candida, I have had to make sure not to stress my body too much. Jogging is one of the exercises that can stress your immune system when it is compromised already. I gave this up for a while, but I am finally up to 1 mile two times per week. That may seem silly, but it is a huge milestone for me. I do weights and abs twice a week, still modifying the workout. I also do yoga stretches once a week. I found when I wasn’t exercising at all, my digestion and mood were affected. I had more stomach aches. I am grateful to have made this progress. I’m not one that loves to work out, but I do enjoy the health benefits of it.

Sometimes we need to take supplements to aid in healing. Grapefruit seed extract is the number one recommended supplement to take when fighting Candida. I take that everyday along with olive leaf extract. Olive leaf and grapefruit seed are natural antifungals. I take a shelf-stable (meaning the live bacteria won’t die during storage) 30 Billion CFU probiotic and ingest fermented foods filled with probiotics. I take ReMag, a liquid magnesium that has several health benefits. I recently added Omega-3 to help with brain fog that seemed to be coming back. This was recommended by Dr. Crystal. I have my regular “supplement staples”, but sometimes I add a supplement temporarily. Sometimes our needs change based on diet or stress. It’s good to be open to making changes.

Recovery can be a scary process. It’s a process for the body and the mind. Be gentle with yourself. Beating yourself up is never helpful. Stay in the moment and make the proper adjustments toward progress. Sometimes we have to stop looking for the sickness like it’s a demon hiding behind every bush. Let’s not let fear rule our mind and body because it has no place in the healing process.


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