Take the top 7 mistakes I made on my gut healing journey. Apply them to your own life today for faster healing.
Note: This was originally written in 2020; updated in 2022.
If you had to do it all over again, would you?
That’s a question I’m asked frequently, as it relates to my gut healing journey.
The answer is both yes and no. In other words, vague and uncertain. Here’s why.
No, I Would Not
- I would never want this to have lasted as long as it did. I can trace things back to high school with the “peak” of onset my Freshman year of college. I’m not afraid to tell you how old I am – 39. You do the math.
- Perhaps I’m okay with the journey. However, I am for sure happier on the other side. To pretend that it was fun would be lying to you. It was miserable.
Yes, For Sure
- If I never got sick, I’d never know the art of actual good food.
- My own journey changed the trajectory of my personal career. I now get to do these things I love to the nth degree on a daily basis.
- I believe that if I would have been well, getting pregnant and then staying pregnant would have been far easier. Truly. Without this journey, I likely would not have my angel babies.
- It was one big learning experience. And it now allows me to write a list like this, in order to help you.
When you combine the two, it’s clear for me to see that while it was no picnic, there was massive reasons for it. I believe that there are reasons for your own journey as well.
However, I do not believe you should suffer any longer.
Enough is enough.
My hope is that you might see yourself in any of these top 7 mistakes I made on my gut healing journey.
And then pivot.
Top 7 Mistakes I Made on My Gut Healing Journey
Click HERE to save the top 7 mistakes I made on my gut healing journey for later.
1. Following A diet
I jumped around from gut healing diet-to-diet because something was just never right. Every single diet I followed had certain foods that did not work for me. And the diets I tried to avoid had other foods that did work for me.Instead of following my personal GAPS diet, I got lost in diets that simply never fully worked.
By the way, my personal GAPS diet I’m referring to is not THIS GAPS diet.
It’s one I’ve talked about in the past; the Gut and Psychology Sarah diet. In other words, my own, 100% customized and unique diet.
p.s. this is also why in 2022 I came out with A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut. If you’re not interested in following a templated diet, but instead want to learn to create your own based on your unique situation, then you’ll love my book, A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut. In it, you’ll find 100+ Creations. Grab your copy on Amazon HERE.
Or, have this book at your fingertips instantly by downloading the PDF now.
2. Adopting conflicting goals
I spent far too many years with conflicting goals.
My desires were to train super hard and get incredibly lean in order to run faster, easier half-marathons. And all along, my goal was also to heal my gut.
The two cannot co-exist. I’m sorry to be the one to bring you this news. And if this is you, your instinct right now is to feel mad and angry at me.
I know this because when people told me it for years, I was mad and angry at them, too.
Now I wish I would have just listened. I do not believe in hard workouts and under-eating while gut-healing.
In fact, I don’t even believe in intense workouts with adequate eating. And I certainly don’t believe in under-eating for gut healing. Period.
You must keep your eye on the prize. The prize is healing your gut. Because your life will change. There is no better prize.
3. Incorrect journaling
I get it. This one seems like it might be on my list purely as an ad for my gut healing journal. It kind of is, but mostly it’s not.
I’m pretty sure I started my first food journal the summer after Freshman year at college. The journal was filled with food and how many Weight Watchers points each food contained.
It also included how much water I drank, if I worked out (how many minutes), my weight, and other things like that. In fact, if you want to see the various journals and how they evolved over the years you can HERE.
Over the years, it would turn into general gut healing notes. And then it morphed into a Gut Healing Bullet Journal of sorts.
But today? Today I have it nailed. The last time I ever kept a gut healing journal was when I healed for good. And looking back, I know why. The journal was conducive for understanding from a holistic viewpoint what was going on.
Let me tell you, darling, this is critical.
A gut healing journey journal can and will change your life. But it has to include all the healing things. After years in the making, mine does.
And with this journal, you can chop off extra stress with your journey and hopefully years healing as well!
4. Understanding the difference between diagnosis and root cause and/or trigger
The diagnosis is not the same thing as root cause and/or trigger. And the root cause and/or trigger is what you need to heal in order for the diagnosis to improve and/or go into remission.
For example, I thought I was finally set free with the SIBO diagnosis. If the SIBO could heal, then I would also be healed.
So after that first round of Rifaximin when I felt phenomenal, I shouted, “Healed!” Not even a year later and I had re-lapsed. This is because, up until this final healing period, I never addressed the root cause. Once I did, I actually healed.
I’m going on four years feeling, functioning, and operating at 100%.
5. Resisting alternative medicine
I bounced from traditional doctor-to-doctor straight through until about 2014.
It wasn’t that I intentionally resisted alternative medicine, rather that I had no idea what it was and how it could help me. Instead of figuring it out, I stayed in the cycle of same old / same old.
What do you get with that? That’s right. The same old. Nothing was changing. I was simply just hearing the same thing, from a different person, on a different day, with a different “mask” i.e. medication for the issue.
6. Resisting medication
And on the other side of the coin is what happened in 2014 when I finally saw a functional doctor and my real diagnosis surfaced.
I was so grateful for the answers and the heartfelt approach to seeing me as a whole person instead of a number and prescription that I got wrapped up in medication ignorance.
If you don’t choose medication, that’s incredible – for you.
But I started to think that no one, for any reason, at any time needed medication. This would keep me sick for years. I’ve written all about this one, and if you’re on this side of the coin today, please know that sometimes you just need the damn medication.
7. Neglecting me
This is seriously one of my top mistakes. And I think it’s probably one of yours, too.
I forgot to ask myself every single day, “How is this working for me?”
I remember one day, while in the thick of SIBO, having some avocado. Later, I thought, “Strange. Avocado is high-FODMAP, but I feel just fine.”
And I remember another day having honey, same thing happened. And yet, I did everything I could to keep those two things out of my diet for fear of FODMAP foods.
Do you see what I did? I neglected myself.
I failed to listen to my gut; failed to hear what my body was telling me.
Even with SIBO, there was no reason for me to completely avoid all avocado and honey (this also goes back to number 1).
Today I’m 1,000% in tune with my body because of it. You’re not a research study or lab rat. You are human, and there is absolutely, positively, ZERO chance that you are like anyone else in the entire world.
Take My 7 Gut Healing Lemon Mistakes and Turn Them Into Lemonade
Seriously, I want you to learn from me. So click HERE so you can always return to this list!
- Do not follow any templated diet. The minute you tell yourself only Keto, Paleo, gluten-free, Low-FODMAP, etc, is the minute you’re set up to fail.
- Create your own diet based on journaling and listening to your body. It’s not easy, but worth it.
- Stop the hard workouts.
- No more under-eating.
- Quit doing hard workouts and under-eating.
- Don’t long-distance run. (Yes, you hate me right now. This is just tough love.)
- Set one goal (hint: Heal my gut.) Create every last thing around that one goal.
- Buy my journal. Yes, shameless plug. But why would you try to re-create the wheel? And there is no other gut healing journey journal like this on the market.
- Meditate on and think about these two questions: What is my diagnosis? And what is the root cause and/or triggers?
- Consider alternative medicine.
- But don’t completely neglect medication and Western medicine.
- Answer this question today, “How is everything that I’m currently doing working for me?”
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
- A Gutsy Girl Podcast Show Episode 1: My Full Story
- Gut Healing Scabs vs Scars
- 9 Best IBS Supplements
You will heal. I will help.