I have wonderful news! I have mercury poisoning.
Bear with me.
One of the reasons I was obsessed with dieting and weight (besides inheriting our collective cultural obsession) was my health.
I was diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager, which is a hormonal ‘syndrome’ said to be caused by insulin resistance and … poor eating? Weight gain? They don’t really know what causes it, which was my first clue that they were off on their “cure” too.
It can cause the following: imbalanced hormones and cycle, infertility, weight gain/obesity, poor skin and acne, high androgens, diabetes… and basically the list goes on and on. Different people have some symptoms and not others.
But at 14, I was told to keep my weight down by dieting. Most people are instructed to ‘manage’ this ‘syndrome’ through weight obsession, among other pharmaceutical drugs.
For a solid 10+ years, I tried. I went on every diet under the sun, including raw veganism, paleo, gaps diet, atkins, etc etc etc.
I committed every ounce of my being to these diets. My ever present (since childhood) binge eating was my sworn enemy, and I was convinced it was the reason for my health problems. I thought if I could only control my bingeing, I would become skinny and healthy and maybe even ascend this earth, I dunno.
If you’ve read this site before, you’ll probably know that The Fuck It Diet was an epiphany I had on my 24th birthday – that I was never ever going to be happy or healthy if I continued my fixation on food, that I was ruining my metabolism by restricting carbs and being afraid of food, and that I needed to let go of my fear of, obsession with, and attachment to weight, in order to become anything close to normal with food. And that that was the healthiest way forward.
It was at this point that I decided to let go of my search for a health cure. I knew that TFID was my current necessary path.
At that point I still suffered from irregular cycles, acne, bad skin, insomnia, muscle twitching, low minerals and magnesium, some excess hair, and chronic fatigue. But in order to heal my relationship with food, I was going to let go of health perfectionism. Letting go of health perfectionism was a huge, and incredibly helpful part of The Fuck It Diet. I couldn’t have done it without that piece.
I set a general intention, that if at any point there was something I should be doing or following in terms of my health, that I would follow any guidance.
But for now, the thing I needed to do was heal my fucking relationship with food and with weight.
And for 5 years that is what I did. And I wrote about it. And it has become what is now The Fuck It Diet. And I stand by it 100%. It healed my mind, heart, and in many ways, allowed me to surrender to the slow path that would heal my body.
Because of the Fuck It Diet, I have normalized my relationship with food, stabilized my weight, and learned that weight and health have very little to do with one another (thanks to Linda Bacon‘s work).
I was finally normal with food, eating normally, and craving really great and varied food, and my health improved. I slept better, could metabolize carbs and other foods better, I had heightened intuition and food intuition.
Not only that, but my weight had stabilized low, because I have a low genetic weight set point, which previously I thought would be the cure to my health. But it wasn’t. I knew I still wasn’t fully healthy. I still suffered from insomnia, still had reactive skin, and more recently, I stopped being able to drink alcohol – sensing a lot of congestion in my liver.
I knew it wasn’t from my eating. I knew my eating was better and more intuitive than ever. But something just wasn’t quite right, and I have said for years that it’s something environmental. But I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know what to do. So I surrendered to maybe just being a little chronic fatiguey and ruddy skinned and having an irregular cycle for my whole life. I realized, my life was great, even if my health wasn’t excellent.
In the last year I was pulled to work with a certain natural doctor who specializes in chronic illnesses*. The first time we worked together, she asked me if there was anything I was unwilling to do, and I said, “… Um, I’m not willing to go on a diet. Unless you are positive that it will actually help. I eat really intuitively, but I’m just not willing to do something arbitrary”.
She said, “Nope, that’s totally fine.”
I have since tested very high for mercury. Mercury is both from environmental sources and inherited from my mother and grandmother’s mercury amalgams (it can be passed in utero). I also tested for parasites. And many low grade chronic infections (like epstein barr) some of them possibly from cavities in my jaw left by the huge amount of dental work I had done in high school. And I have an impaired immune system.
Basically, I have an overload of stuff, and also have a less-efficient genetic detoxification capability. It’s all currently more than my liver can naturally handle alone without a little help to get it going. Not only that, but my blood just tested with high liver enzymes, meaning my liver is a little damaged. And it’s a chicken-egg situation. It’s damaged because of the overload, and it can’t handle or process the overload because it’s damaged.
Why am I sharing this? Am I trying to scare you? HELL NO.
I’m sharing this because it has nothing to do with food (unless you count mercury in fish, which again, like most things is fine if you’re not already overloaded. You can also take a heavy metal ‘binder’, like chlorella, to help your body process it out).
All of my health problems have nothing to do with food, and basically never have.
And the cure also has nothing to do with food.
All of my supplements are to help my body process and detoxify better, and to support my immune system.
Basically, food is the least of our problems. Unless of course our relationship with food is messed up. Once you eat normally, food is most likely not the thing causing health problems unless it is a very acute allergy.
Meaning: if you have chronic health problems, you can heal without dieting. And in my opinion, The Fuck It Diet, is still your best bet.
All of the health stuff and body support I am doing now? I would never have been able to do any of it while I was still petrified of food and health and weight.
And just to make sure, I asked my amazing doctor:
“Ok, so my liver is damaged? …. I don’t need to change my diet do I? …I eat a lot of dairy?”
“Nope, don’t worry. Just keep taking the supplements we talked about and doing the things we discussed” (Glutathione, Castor Oil Packs, etc).
I share this to tell you that if you have chronic health issues, and feel afraid or dysfunctional with food because of it, you can and should still go on The Fuck It Diet. Isn’t that excellent?
I will update from my couch while I do a castor oil pack and eat cheese.
Many people have reached out to me asking what natural doctor I started working with.
I am working with with Dr. Christine Schaffner, who trained with and works with Dr. Klinghardt: Sophia Health Institute. Dr. Klinghardt’s work and views on chronic health issues really resonate with me.
I live across the country from them, so I have phone consults. I also started working with someone near me who trained with Dr. Klinghardt as well.
I would be careful to mention your need to not focus on diet, especially if you are just in the beginning of healing your relationship to food and weight.
Thank you for this. My disordered eating began in childhood, but it intensified over the last few years. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease as well as thyroid cancer and had to have my thyroid removed. As a person absolutely petrified with weight gain, having my thyroid removed literally sent me into a wild panic. I immediately vowed to omit every carb I could. I even eliminated fruit completely. I was eating 3 eggs and 4oz of plain ground meat daily. I lost 50 lbs in 3 mos and my hair began to fall out in huge chunks. It’s funny because I was convinced the hair loss was due to my thyroid- nothing at all to do with starving myself! Anyways- my bingeing really escalated after this period of starvation and I have felt so OUT OF CONTROL. I recently gave in, threw my hands up and surrendered. I’m done. The f*ck it diet has literally saved my sanity. I am SO grateful. I have a lot of work to do, but I feel like I have seriously had an epiphany! I am so appreciative of you and your work! Sorry this comment is so long!
Thanks again, Caroline – I think you’re amazing ❤
I’m confused about “I slept better” and “I still suffered from insomnia.”
What I meant was: less insomnia, but not completely better. You can sleep better but still have insomnia! Does that make more sense?
Can you give me the name of the natural doctor you used? I’d be interested in seeing her for myself.
Hi Sarah! I started working with Dr. Christine Schaffner, who trained with and worked with Dr. Klinghardt at the Sophia Health Institute and I live across the country from her, so I have phone consults with her. I also started working with someone near me who trained with Dr. Klinghardt as well. Their specific view on chronic health issues really resonates with me. I would mention your need to not have a focus on diet, if that’s important to you.
This really resonated with me, thanks so much for sharing. I have been obsessing over food as it relates to health (vs weight) for a long time and would love to give it up. But what about when your health issue is explicitly gut-related (e.g. SIBO, candida, etc) and it seems harder to make the “diet doesn’t matter” argument?
the gut and immunity are so incredibly affected by stress