Hormone healing is getting thrown around a-lot lately, but what does it really mean? To be honest, I had no idea the journey healing your hormones would entail until I had to get on that ride myself. From years of confusion, frustration with my body + energy, to finally seeing my health make its way back to me: I’ll share my hormone healing story.
The Downhill Spiral of My Hormones
It was 2.5 years ago I started to notice a trend in my body that wasn’t typical - my health started to go downhill. I started to gain weight aggressively although I had not changed my lifestyle, my energy was non-existent unless I was pumped full of coffee, and my menstrual cycles were irregular. All throughout, I started to have very annoying symptoms like IBS, dry skin, hot flashes, and intense bursts of anxiety and insomnia.
Before I knew anything about hormone healing, I automatically assumed I needed to make lifestyle changes since I came from a bodybuilding background. In that background, we are told we need to work harder: Diet harder, train harder, and supplement harder. The years went by, and although I was training 6x a week and only eating about 1500 calories a day max… There was no change. The scale wouldn’t move, my energy was the same, and to make matters worse… my symptoms kept escalating.
To be honest, I was ashamed. I was ashamed my weight had spiraled out of control from my typical self, I was ashamed I couldn’t keep up with the swing of life, I was ashamed at how sensitive my nervous system was to absolutely everything. Finally after trying literally everything from dieting, training, every supplement, to even colonic… I wanted answers. To get answers to my symptoms, I sought out a full scale blood panel at my local doctor that tested everything from minerals, to thyroid, to hormone panels.
The results? Everything looked “fine”. I remember crying out in agony thinking “Something isn’t right, there is no way I am fine on paper”.
My Hormones Gave Up on Me
I remember clearly waking up one day and thinking “Enough is enough. I can’t live like this”. I recalled that one of my friends, Kristen, worked in holistic and hormone health and had offered long ago to help me with some guidance through a modality called the DUTCH test. The DUTCH test is one of the most advanced hormone tests that works by testing urine throughout the day to see how your hormones operate in a 24 hour window, not just when you’re fasted in the morning. The test came with a consultation from her, and a recommended supplementation plan: I was ready to make a change.
When the results came back, it was absolutely devastating - these were one of the worst hormone results Kristen had ever seen. In short, my DUTCH test showed I was essentially in early menopause with high testosterone, putting me on the brink of PCOS. This could explain why my weight isn't budging, the dry skin, period issues, and intense hot flashes. So what now? How did we get here?
The Causes of My Hormone Dysfunction
Through consultations with Kristen & hours and hours of research, the most likely cause of my intense hormonal crash had to come from a combination of being on hormonal birth control, breast implant illness, and the intense stress & strain of my everyday life. I was confused since these symptoms came years after being on birth control or having breast implants, but here’s the secret: This level of damage, toxins, and imbalance live in the cells and rise up when it’s time, mine coming aggressively all at once.
Birth control ruined my life after being on it for 7 years, and it has to almost all women on it. It will undoubtedly mess with your ability to produce vital things like progesterone and estrogen, which my body had almost ZERO of. Why do you get nice skin, hair, and boobs when on birth control? It’s because you’re adding in synthetic hormones to trick your body into not ovulating. While many women have issues while on birth control, some of the real issues unleash themselves when you come off of it: There are repercussions for supplementing fake hormones and disrupting your natural cycle. I would highly recommend following Calee Shae for info on how to get off birth control naturally without the intense hormonal fallout!
Breast Implant Illness:
When I was 19 years old and naive, I got silicone breast implants without knowing the real dangers of breast implant illness. One of the most common symptoms of BII is endocrine and autoimmune turmoil, which usually shows up during or years after having them as the toxics from the implants seep into your body. It’s also not rocket science to think that your body will break down and absorb components of a foreign body - leading to devastating, toxic effects. About 90% of women I know with breast implants have some sort of hormonal or autoimmune symptom, but don’t think it’s their breast implants sine they “don’t hurt”.
I had mine removed 1.5 years after having them due to insane BII issues.
Knowing chronic stress could have been a major trigger pull in the toxic swarm of my body from the substances above was a kick in the ass. Stress alone can disrupt the endocrine system, and deplete the body of major nutrients like magnesium and vitamin b needed to lower stress commonly known as the “Vicious Circle”. Living in a constant state of fight or flight can literally “freeze” the production of appropriate hormones.
After discussing all these with Kristen, I burst into tears when she told me “No matter what you could have done, nothing would have changed with hormone issues this severe”. I felt years of guilt, shame, and agony leave my body when I realized this was a matter so much deeper than my level of effort.
Steps Towards Hormone Healing
When starting my hormone healing journey, it was really important to me that my healing be done from a place of finding the root cause of my issues, and not slapping medicine on the symptoms. For 5 months, I followed my supplement protocol and made lifestyle changes that were recommended to me, and I started to see results. The most important result was that my period was coming back monthly, and on time! I had lost only a few pounds, and my digestive sensitivity was declining.
Although I was happy with the results, I knew there was more for me to do. My ultimate goal was to get a harness on my hormones so I could lose the aggressive amount of weight I had gained, and start to feel even more alive than I was right now. I felt I needed an absolute, full scale hormone healing revolution:
Although my health was slowly improving, I wanted more: I wanted quicker, more aggressive changes in my body + healing and someone to hold me accountable. I was scrolling on Instagram when I saw a fabulous before and after photo with the words “HEALING FROM PCOS” slapped on it from Nutrition Dynamic. When researching Nutrition Dynamic it was so clear they were the answer to what I was looking for: A massive team of holistic and functional practitioner coaches that help address the ROOT cause of your issues like hormone imbalances, gut issues, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, and more. Naturally, I hopped on a consultation call with them.
Within minutes, I signed up without a fucking doubt in my mind they would help heal my hormones. Not only do they address hormone healing, but they do it from a full 360 degree natural approach which involves diet, supplementation, exercise, mental health, and even spiritual health.
**I'm not gonna sugarcoat this: It's a significant investment to begin with - Initial investment, testing, and supplements add up. I was proud to make this investment, since it meant my health was going to benefit. You are the most important investment you can make!
I met with my fabulous coach Lauren Trego, who passionately explained the process I would be going through:
Rigorous testing to see where my hormones, vitamin levels, and immunity levels are at.
Doing a MASSIVE detox cleanse before beginning any other work on my body.
Working immensely on my gut health, since the gut directly affects hormone function
Supplementation to support your gut, hormone, and nervous system health.
Complete diet change: Upping my calories slowly, and taking out key irritants like gluten, dairy, and soy.
Exercise and movement: I actually STOPPED exercising for 2 months, since exercise can cause stress to a hormonally unfit body.
Stress Management: Getting my stress in control to stop disrupting my hormones.
Hormone Health Testing
Nutrition Dynamic is very thorough when it comes to testing - this is to make sure the root cause is found for your issues. I did an additional DUTCH test, which still came back pretty bad - my testosterone was off the chart, my estrogen wasn’t being metabolized properly, and my progesterone was wishy washy. All in all, it was a recipe for disaster.
Luckily, my general blood tests and tests to see if I had any auto-immune issues or thyroid issues came back completely normal - some good news lol!
The Hormonal Flush
The flush is the most aggressive part of your program with Nutrition Dynamic, where you follow a very strict diet, water regime, and supplementation routine that cleanses your body and organs of all the slushy, gross shit that’s been stored. The craziest part of all? I wasn’t allowed to work out at all, just take walks every single day: When you’ve been programmed to think working out is the end all be all, I was terrified. I won’t lie to you, this cleanse was super hard - not because of the diet, but because I was expelling so many toxins I thought I was dying. The cleanse was aggressive in dispelling 5lbs alone in the first week, and triggering my menstrual cycle to come early: Something super normal when you are starting to heal your hormones.
Things I’ve had to give up for the foreseeable future:
Alcohol. I haven’t drank alcohol in 4 months and the results on my mental health and body are incredible. No bloating!
Caffeine. I still have a coffee here and there, but have greatly decreased my caffeine consumptions
Gluten, soy, dairy (I’m actually allowed to have some cheese, but choose not to)
Processed foods & unnatural ingredients. I essentially follow the Mediterranean diet and it’s been super lovely for my body.
I’ve chosen to stay away from stimulant drugs during this time to give my adrenals and nervous system a break.
Post Hormonal Flush Phase
The cleanse itself took in total about 4 weeks, as I was getting so many good results from it in terms of how I was feeling. Once Lauren got me off the cleanse, it was time to start upping my calories - I was terrified of this: Would I gain weight, especially since I wasn’t working out? I trusted her and did what I was told while following my diet and supplementation plan, and the craziest thing happened: I started to drop weight, every single week.
I remember when the scale reached 168lbs, and I screamed: The scale hadn’t moved from 174lbs in over 2 whole fucking years. Two years of agony, working out everyday, eating at a deficit, and never seeing a damn result to finally MOVEMENT. While I was losing weight, everything else began improving: My stress, my sleep, my mental health, and my cycle coming regularly.
Where are my hormones at now?
Starting my 4th month with Nutrition Dynamic, I am on a different supplementation regime and Lauren has upped my calories + added exercise : As fate would have it, I am continuing to lose weight. I am really in tune with my body, and can now identify what stressors, foods, or situations trigger it into a state of irritation or imbalance. I can still see where there are areas of improvement in my life and habits, such as stress management and sleep quality. I've lost about 15lbs so far, and I have about 15 more to go before I'm back to my "typical" weight.
The next steps in my journey is to make gradual changes in diet like a carb cycle, to see if this triggers any changes in my body composition. In the next few months, we will likely do a fresh DUTCH test to see where my hormones are naturally at now, and use that as a compass to decide where to tweak my diet, supplements, and lifestyle.
Some lifestyle changes I’m really loving that benefit my hormonal health journey:
Even though I’m allowed to weight train, I have been doing pilates & yoga instead. I love the body-weight strength it’s giving me, and I can do this from anywhere in the world with just myself and my yoga mat.
Meditation: I am a very anxious person, so forcing myself to meditate has been huge on getting clarity
I’ve recently trashed all products that may have endocrine disruptors by using the app YUKA to see what’s inside of them.
Walking every single day per Lauren’s guidance: About 10,000 steps a day if not more.
LISTENING TO MY BODY. Am I tired? Take a nap. Am I fatigued? Don’t work out today. Am I stressed? Take a 20 min meditation break. Just LISTEN.
Following Your Plan While Traveling
People use travel as an excuse for why they can’t be healthy, and I call BS. Here’s what helps me stay on track when I travel:
Bringing my yoga mat with me to exercise: I set aside 30-45 minutes every morning right after I wake up for movement. I have even done this at airports, IDGAF.
Bringing your own snacks, food, or drinks into airplanes & travel days, especially when your diet is super strict.
Buying a supplement organizer to schedule and pack all the supplements you need for your entire trip.
Getting a hotel or airbnb with a kitchen, so you can have the food on deck that matches your diet/cook when necessary
With the above, making your first stop at a new place the grocery store to get the things you need to be successful
Get really comfy about asking about ingredients at restaurants.
Get even comfier saying NO. I still go out and say no to alcohol and foods without an issue, and don’t let it ruin my fun.
I am so fucking happy with my hormone healing results.
I want to stress that healing your hormones isn’t a 2-3 month process, it’s consistently working towards it for the foreseeable future. You didn’t fuck up your hormones overnight, so they won’t heal overnight: It takes consistent, immersive effort to change your entire lifestyle for your health. While my journey isn’t done, the most rewarding portion of it has been AWARENESS: I have never felt this connected to my body, and realize what a complex and sensitive human being I am. I am so proud of my commitment to myself, and grateful for the help of my coach and Nutrition Dynamic putting me back together as my hormones heal and my body comes back to its “normal”.
I can 100% guarantee I haven’t done a great job explaining the full scale of Nutrition Dynamics services, so I invite you to check out their website or message my coach Lauren for more info if you’re ready to figure out WTF is happening to your body, and fix it holistically.
**I am in no way sponsored or compensated by Nutrition Dynamic, I am writing this without them knowing lol**