Hi all, I am Kris and this is my story:
As an individual who sought after improving his physique, it became apparent that diet and exercise were critical components. This lead to the development of a so-called healthy lifestyle with a heavy focus on daily intense exercise, continually counting calories and living within the confines of dietary restriction. While this seemed to somewhat help achieve the end goal, happiness and pleasure were completely sacrificed in the process. Instead, obsession and a severe lack of self-fulfillment ensued along with feelings of hopelessness and emptiness. Not to mention the endless sugar cravings and binges, and moodiness never to feel satisfied. Additionally, my loved ones and friends watched helplessly as my hormonal systems came crashing down.
While this fragile, vulnerable state lead me to the discovery of the importance of hormonal balance and endocrine function, correcting these imbalances remained a mystery. Drugs and hormone replacement seemed to be the only solutions and I knew this was not the road I wished to travel at the ripe age of 23.
As if the hormonal and obsessive behavioral struggles were not enough, severe leaky gut syndrome struck me with a vengeance. This resulted in consistent debilitating pain, bloating and gas despite eating a so-called healthy diet. My gut was sensitive to whatever down the hatch, and I felt the alarms go off after each meal. With frequent absences from work, abundant visits to hospitals, clinics and diagnostic tests, no answers were to be found. All hope was lost and I began to accept my fate: severe physical and emotional pain and suffering for the rest of my life, in addition to adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems, hypogonadism, loss of fertility, loss of all drive and wellness in my life and the feeling of giving up and throwing in the towel. This was truly rock bottom!
After research and experimentation, a plausible solution found me: the ketogenic diet. I had attempted this diet in the past with success from a weight loss perspective, but has always assumed it was unnatural and unhealthy. With the implementation of the ketogenic diet, symptoms of leaky gut soon resolved and stabilized! Was this the be-all, end-all solution? Not so fast. After various attempts of the ketogenic diet, my results were inconsistent. For the most part, the gut issues could be well managed with compliance to this dietary template. However, hormonal dysfunction persisted and an inability to conceive a child became the forefront of my concerns. While medication had fixed that problem, attempting to reset my hormonal systems naturally had failed in every attempt resulting in a rollercoaster of emotions. What an exhausting journey! It was back to the drawing board...
What struck me as bizarre was the fact that I was an individual who religiously followed conventional wisdom with regards to being healthy and fit. At this point I exercised in moderation, ate extremely healthy and had remarkable bloodwork results despite hormonal imbalances. How was it that most men who neglected their health had perfectly normal hormone panels and yet I continued to struggle despite my efforts?
I began digging deeper. I needed to know what truly regulates our hormones beyond food, supplements and an active lifestyle. I began discovering that many athletes and health conscious individuals suffered similar hormonal dysfunction despite looking incredible on the outside. I began putting the pieces together and learned about how the brain regulates all growth and metabolic pathways in the body. I came to the shocking discovery that our hormones are subject to daily and seasonal variations and the way we release hormones in a cyclical fashion is controlled by something called the circadian rhythm. Our biology is designed to change based upon our environment. These changes are simply environmental adaptations that were built into our DNA over the course of thousands of years of evolution.
My light bulb moment was the fact that the environment our DNA was adapted to was entirely based upon the daily and seasonal variations of the sun and earth's cycles; that is the earth's rotation within its axis (to create day and night) as well as the full revolution around the sun (to create annual seasons). This meant we had to adapt to both changes in temperature as well as changes in light. I discovered that the flow of energy within us is entirely controlled by these global changes; the problem? Modern life has promoted indoor living with the ability to alter the light cycle in our own environment! I realised that if we were unaware of the importance of our circadian rhythm and accidentally lived outside our evolutionary biology thanks to modern conveniences, we could seriously throw off our entire body chemistry in a major way! I believed this was the root of my hormonal dysfunction and perhaps even my gut issues. It also explained why exercising like a madman and restricting calories may not be an ideal strategy long term because the brain is supposed to regulate activities related to energy and food intake. That means daily exercise and eating the correct amount of food are supposed to be automatic functions controlled by our circadian rhythm and if we had to fight against these behaviors, it meant there had to be some level of dysfunction in the system.
So I knew I needed to reconnect to nature and let my body experience the transition from night to day and day to night. I always knew intuitively that I was drawn to nature and always felt a boost being outdoors. I began to use the sun as my daily clock, letting it shine in my eyes without sunglasses and respected the evening darkness. I even learned about the different wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum and how they affect photoreceptors in the eye and skin to control our circadian rhythm. This lead me to changing my own light bulbs and protecting my eyes with special glasses that block a particularly disruptive wavelength emitted by common light sources. Additionally, I focused on adapting to changes in temperature rather than avoiding going outdoors on a cold day. This drove me to learn more about how mammals adapt to cold environments naturally through an ancient metabolic pathway when food is scarce and generating heat becomes critical for survival. I began to experiment with frequent cold exposure using cold showers and baths to activate this pathway and the results were astonishing!
What's ironic is that all of these discoveries were made shortly after relocating my family to the countryside. We moved to a larger property surrounded by trees in a quiet community. It was the perfect environment to reconnect to nature and begin re-aligning my circadian rhythm that had likely been out of whack for many years. I noticed that all my health parameters improved rapidly and that diet and exercise became less important to my success, but were now mere tools used effortlessly to enhance my wellbeing.
I feel it is my duty to share my findings with others because I know I am not the only one who has struggled to this degree despite religiously abiding by conventional wisdom. Nature has built into us all the programs for health and wellness! I hope to help reveal this to others.