I know you’re here because you’re tired—exhausted, even—and you’re looking for answers, relief, and, most importantly, hope. I’ve been in your shoes, and I’m here to tell you that there’s light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel. In this post, I’m sharing with you my personal journey overcoming fatigue – the struggles, the victories, and the lessons I learned. It’s my story of finding answers, healing, and the hope that helped me get my life back. Stick around, friend. There’s a lot to uncover.
The Beginning: It All Started with Eczema
First of all what is fatigue? Maybe you’re not sure if what you’re experiencing is actually fatigue or just tiredness. Read my post here for more on that. In a nutshell, fatigue is overwhelming exhaustion that doesn’t just go away after a good night’s sleep. It persists for weeks, months, or even years.
Fatigue is something that slowly develops over time for some people, but for others, it can come on all of a sudden. And in my case, it started quickly but then gradually became more and more consistent. At first, I shrugged it off as normal tiredness from being a busy mom of three young children, but there was definitely more going on!
It started during a pretty hectic time in my life. I was working as an elementary teacher and had just started this blog. In all my “spare time” away from teaching, prepping for lessons, cooking, cleaning, and all the other mom duties, I was learning all I could about health and wellness, trying to find solutions for my eczema.
I’ve shared some posts and YouTube videos about how I healed my eczema. But here’s a quick recap – I developed eczema in high school and it worsened after I got married. After my second son was born, almost 8 years ago now, I grew so frustrated with the steroid creams that didn’t work, the doctor visits that were a waste of time, and the “we don’t know the cause of eczema” stories.
So I tarted to read and research on my own and make the connections between diet, gut health, and eczema. That’s when my passion for health, wellness, and natural living really began.
When Things Took a Turn for the Worse
I was successful in getting rid of my eczema (at least for a time). But my health journey did not end there.
I became overly fixated on eating clean, adhering to clean, sticking to strict diets like paleo, AIP, and Keto, and avoiding anything that would potentially cause an eczema flare. I didn’t know then that what I was doing was just preventing flares – it wasn’t actually healing my eczema for good.
This mindset of restriction and the stress surrounding my diet and toxin exposure, combined with my busy lifestyle, started to take a toll on my energy levels. Now, eating healthy and avoiding toxins is by no means a bad thing. But when it becomes an obsession, causing stress and fear around every ingredient that might trigger a reaction – it’s not good.
I vividly remember when the fatigue, and some other symptoms that came along with it, really started for me. Both of my boys’ birthdays are in February, and one day in February 2019 we celebrated at a trampoline park.
I had just gotten over the flu, so I was a little weak, but I was still able to jump. No big deal….or so I thought.
However, as soon as we left the trampoline park, I felt a sharp pain and pressure in my chest all of a sudden, as if an elephant was sitting on it. It became hard to just breathe and fatigue set in. Thankfully, it lasted only that evening and then went away. But it left me feeling scared and uncertain about what was happening to my body.
About a week later, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves with massages and dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But on the way there, that same feeling I experienced the week before came rushing back. It became difficult to breathe, my chest started hurting, and exhaustion took over. The massage was not enjoyable at all.
Looking back, I remember while on our way to drop off our boys at my parents’ place, my mind was consumed with planning and scheduling blog posts and all the other million things I needed to get done at work and at home. I for sure was not present and in the moment with my loved ones. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I’m now 100% confident that stress was a major factor contributing to my fatigue.
Over the next few months, my fatigue grew worse and worse. It wasn’t just a little tiredness, but a constant overwhelming exhaustion that affected my entire body. My legs felt numb, and although the chest pain became less intense, a dull ache lingered. I also started experiencing abdominal pain, which was more manageable compared to the fatigue and weakness that made even simple tasks a real struggle.
My body felt like it was running on fumes, and no amount of sleep or caffeine could fix it.
The Struggle: Trying to Find Answers
The Traditional Route
After struggling with this exhaustion for a few weeks and it not getting any better, I visited my primary care doctor and told her about my fatigue and the other symptoms that came along with it. She asked me how my stress was. That seemed like a really odd question to me at the time. You’re a doctor – not a therapist. I told her it was fine – just like any other busy mom. I had just started a blog – so that added to my plate. But it wasn’t a big deal.
She proceeded to run some blood tests and advised me to discontinue the natural supplements I was taking (which I now know were not causing my fatigue, but she wanted me to stop them just to see if my fatigue went away – it didn’t). A few days later, the bloodwork results came back, showing everything was normal. No issues whatsoever.
So I continued on about my life with no answers and just hoping the fatigue was just remnants of the flu. But the fatigue grew worse and the pain did not go away.
I went back to my doctor. She still had no answers and no hint at all as to what it could be. So she referred me out to different specialty doctors – a cardiologist to check my heart, a gastroenterologist to check my gut, and a hida scan to check my gallbladder.
As terrible as I felt, the results, once again, all came back as NORMAL.
When I went back to my primary care doctor, she uttered the sentence that has stayed cemented in my head ever since, “maybe it’s all just in your head.”
Really?!?! Why would I make this up? Do you think I WANT to feel this tired all the time?
That was the worst thing she could have told me.
And, yes, now I get what she means. I get that there was a psychological aspect to it. Stress for sure played a role.
But it just felt so invalidating. Deep down I knew there was more going on.
Teaching became incredibly challenging. Just walking my kids from the classroom to the lunchroom felt like running a marathon! Even standing up and talking took way too much energy. So, I started having my students do more reading and other tasks, while I sat as much as I could possibly get away with. Luckily, I had lots of helpers, including a wonderful teacher’s assistant. However, at the end of that year, I made the tough decision to quit my job for a few reasons, with fatigue being a major one. That year I just longed for June to get here so I could be done teaching and just rest. I couldn’t imagine going back for another year like this.
I had hoped that staying at home and not having to rush out the door early in the morning, along with fewer responsibilities, would boost my energy. But it didn’t. Instead, I found myself driving my oldest son to school, coming back home, and taking a nap every day. I hated the fact that I wasn’t able to be the fun, present mom that I wanted to be.
I struggled with just keeping up with the bare minimum – you know, keeping the dishes from piling up in the sink, staying on top of the laundry, shuttling my son to and from school, and feeding my family. Even reading bedtime stories to my boys was too much at times. I just couldn’t wait any longer to go lie in bed and escape this exhaustion. It felt like I was losing myself to this invisible monster called fatigue.
Visiting a Naturopathic Doctor
Back in October of 2019, I reached a breaking point. I knew I couldn’t continue living like this any longer. Traditional doctors couldn’t offer much help, so I decided to try a naturopathic doctor. I remember driving an hour and a half away just to see her. She seemed to be exactly what I needed to make overcoming fatigue a reality for me.
I put $5000 on my credit card and enrolled in her program. Which let me tell you – that was hard. At this point I was already passionate about health and wellness and knew that I wanted to become a health coach. I really wanted to use that money towards my education. However, I realized that I couldn’t guide others in their health journeys if I had no energy and wasn’t in good health myself. So, I made the bold decision to invest in this naturopath’s program.
She ran some different tests than other doctors had previously done, including a Dutch test, and discovered that my hormone levels were all low. She said it looked like I was in menopause and that I had adrenal fatigue. That right there was so validating – just knowing that there actually was something wrong with me.
She prescribed progesterone cream and some other supplements, which provided some relief, but not much. She also recommended a more strict diet than what I had already put myself on, almost cutting out carbs to the point of doing keto. Looking back now, I realize that was not what my body needed.
So unfortunately, my fatigue persisted. However, I’m so incredibly thankful for the empathy she showed me, her willingness to run different lab tests, and for some answers. And another incredible blessing that came from her was when she referred me to a chiropractor who discovered that a misaligned bone was causing my chest pain. After a few adjustments, that pain was gone, thank goodness!
Exploring Hormone Replacement Therapy
In 2020, after I completed my naturopath’s program and still struggling with overcoming fatigue, I visited a gynecologist who specialized in hormone replacement therapy. Since I now knew that my hormones were the issue, I decided to give it a shot. The natural supplements weren’t helping a whole lot, and I thought maybe I need something stronger. As much as I like to take a natural approach, I desperately wanted to have my energy back, and I was willing to try meds for a temporary period.
This doctor ran some tests on my thyroid and sex hormones, and guess what? Turns out my thyroid was out of whack as well, along with my progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. To tackle this, she put me on medication for all of those. I stuck with it for nearly a year and, well, my energy did improve a tad, but not much. I still had fatigue many days a month. And even when I didn’t have full blown fatigue, my energy was just not as high as it used to be.
The Victory: Overcoming Fatigue
Now here’s the thing I knew right from the start: I didn’t want to rely on meds for the long haul. It would only be temporary to give me some relief. So, I started digging deep, doing my own research, and boy did I learn a lot about the potential side effects of medications, especially estrogen which can increase the risk of breast cancer. That’s when I made up my mind: I’m getting off these meds and figuring out a way to reclaim my energy once and for all, without having to depend on medications.
At that point I started my training to become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist & Health Coach. That’s when I really dove deep into understanding fatigue and how our body creates energy. During my research, I stumbled upon Ray Peat’s work and the pro-metabolic lifestyle (which is based on his work), and let me tell you, it was a game-changer.
I realized that my approach to health had been all wrong. It wasn’t about restricting my diet, cutting out carbs, or obsessing over everything I ate or used in my home. It was about truly understanding, respecting, and nourishing my body and supporting my metabolism.
I began to implement changes based on what I was learned and tuned in to my body’s needs. And guess what? My energy improved – and so did my other symptoms! I finally was successful in overcoming fatigue.
And here’s the best part – my eczema vanished, and I could enjoy foods again that used to trigger flare-ups (hello tomatoes!).
How did I do it? By genuinely healing my body, not just masking the symptoms with elimination diets or steroid creams.
Now, let me be clear, this wasn’t an overnight fix. It was a gradual process of learning, experimenting, and adapting. But trust me, it was worth every step of the way.
One of the most important things I’ve realized through this journey is that my health is ultimately in my hands and in God’s hands.
I had to take charge and become my own health advocate. If I had simply followed my doctor’s initial advice, I might have ended up on birth control and antidepressants, probably feeling worse from the side effects. I wouldn’t have gained the knowledge about my body and what it truly needed. I wouldn’t have discovered true healing.
It became evident that my health wasn’t solely determined by my genes. Even if there’s a genetic predisposition to a specific disease or condition, it doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. I learned that, with God’s guidance, I could turn things around and take control of my health.
My hormones were low, but addressing them wasn’t the solution—finding the root cause of my fatigue was. My journey taught me that it’s essential to question, research, and persist until you find what works for you.
I know as moms, life can be so hectic with parenting, housework, errands, and maybe even a paid job on top of all that. It is so easy to put our own needs on the back burner. But another thing I learned was that taking care of ourselves isn’t just important, it’s necessary to be the best moms we can be.
Support for Overcoming Fatigue
If you are struggling with overcoming fatigue you are not alone. If you feel like you are barely keeping your head above water, I see you. I’ve been you.
Despite the struggles, I’m here to tell you that there’s hope. Not just to manage fatigue but to truly heal your body and be free of fatigue. Yes, you heard that right! You can heal your body, regain your energy, and reclaim your life. And the first step is believing you can.
Fatigue is not a life sentence. You have the power and the right to feel energetic, vivacious, and most importantly – alive. You can indeed overcome fatigue, and I’m here to guide you through this journey if you’d like some support.
The best first step is to download my free guide, The Perfect Pick-Me-Up for Tired Moms. It has recipes for delicious mineral-rich drinks to help you nourish your body, manage stress better, and gain energy.
But if you’re ready for more in-depth assistance, my program, The Fatigue to Freedom System, would be your very best option. This is a unique program, specifically designed with you in mind, aiming to empower you on your journey to reclaim your energy. I took what I learned through my own experience, research, and trainings and put it together in a systematic way, leaving the unnecessary stuff behind, to just help you gain more energy more easily.
We’re not doing a quick, bandaid fix here. We dive deep into the root causes of your exhaustion, and provides practical, manageable steps to regain your energy.
Remember, you are not alone in this journey and change is absolutely possible. There’s no need to accept fatigue as the norm. With the Fatigue to Freedom system, you can start to envision a future where you wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to embrace the day. I did it, and so can you!