Your Best Self, For Real

Hello, friends! If you don’t know me yet, I’m Stephanie. I’m a writer, blogger, music therapist, and mother of two girls. I’ve had this blog for over five years, and I’ve primarily written about parenting, being a mom, and women’s issues. But recently, I had a big life change.

I went gluten free. And I felt super embarrassed about it, because it feels like such a trendy, pretentious thing to do. But two interesting things happened: it reversed a medical condition I have been struggling with for seven years. I no longer have acid reflux after years of procedures, medications, four different doctors, and countless nights spent sleeping upright. And also, I lost 23 pounds.

And here’s the second interesting thing that happened: I thought people were going to hate the blog post I wrote about my experience going gluten free—how I was embarrassed about it, how I had previously been super-judgmental, and also how judged I felt on my new diet—but that didn’t happen. In fact, it was my most popular post in months, and since then, I have gotten multiple messages from people—some strangers, some friends—asking me about going gluten free.

I have made a handful of other life changes since going off gluten. Many of them are related to nutrition and treating the underlying conditions I have as a result of my gluten intolerance and a few autoimmune issues that have emerged. I have been reading a lot, changing my nutrition in general, taking supplements, and did I mention reading so. many. books?

But here’s the thing: I feel better than I have in years. Honestly, maybe even better than I did when I turned 30 (I’m 39 now). My digestive issues have resolved. I don’t wake up tired, and I’m not exhausted to my bones by the end of the day. And I like the way I look again. I am not one to be obsessed with appearance, and as a feminist I take serious objection to the messages women receive about their bodies and appearance. That said, it’s okay for us to want to feel like our best selves. To feel beautiful, and radiant, and confident. We should all feel that way. And it may not look or feel the same to every woman. Regardless of our body types, lifestyles, ages, and family situations, we all deserve to feel like our best selves.

So I’m going to spend some time sharing my own experiences with going gluten free, becoming my own health advocate when multiple doctors let me down, and starting to feel beautiful and vibrant again. It’s something I wasn’t sure would ever happen. As I try new things, I’m going to share them with you.

And I hope you guys don’t mind. I promise I will keep writing about parenthood, about the frustrations and sucky moments of motherhood, about what it means to raise girls in our modern world, how technology has affected parenting, and the tragedy of your kid hating their expensive holiday gift.

But I also feel compelled to share the things I am learning with you, because I love my community and am eternally grateful for you. I still think it’s important to vent together and laugh together and cry together, and I think that helping ourselves to feel better can be a tremendously powerful part of our community.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do about all this. So, I’m starting a blog series called “Your Best Self, For Real.” As I said, I will still be writing about my usual motherhood stuff, but I will add a series of posts that focus more on health, lifestyle, feeling good, and resources to help you get there. With, you know, my trademark honesty and sarcasm. Because that’s how I roll.

As for the “for real” part? I think part of the reason people have been reaching out to ask me about my experience is because I’m not a super-crunchy, holier-than-thou expert on nutrition, nor am I a health blogger. I’m just a regular and seriously imperfect person, who is muddling through this as best she can. So while we getting happier and healthier, we can also keep it real. Which means being honest about how we actually cried when people were eating fried pickles at a restaurant (true story) and also still fully intend to eat chocolate and drink wine as part of our self-care practice.

So. I would love to know what you think about all this! What questions do you have? Leave me a comment, send me a message, and before you do anything else, please join our incredible Facebook community so you can be part of the discussion and stay up to date on new stuff. Just follow my Mommy, for Real Facebook page right here.

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I’m excited to see what the future holds for all of us!

With love and gratitude,

Stephanie

Your Best Self, For Real posts:

What Happened When I Went Gluten Free
Thinking About Going Gluten Free? Start Here
Why I Love Stitch Fix For Moms

Stay tuned for:
The Impact of Stress on Our Bodies
How to Be Your Own Health Advocate