Let me start off by saying that I am not a doctor or a qualified physician. But, I do think we can learn from each other’s stories. So I wanted to share my experience with GERD/ Acid Reflux, hoping to help a friend.
It started in late 2017/early 2018. I began experiencing trouble breathing. My chest was heavy, which held me back from taking full breaths. The tightness in the chest came with an overwhelming feeling of panic. I would have to stop everything to take full deep breaths to fill my lungs. After a series of episodes, I was taken to see a cardiologist. His diagnosis confirmed I was healthy. Months later, and after many appointments, we were able to conclude that the acid levels in my system were affecting my throat, thus causing the difficulty in my breath.
By mid 2018, I considered changing my diet. But that didn’t work. I hit rock bottom quickly after. I had reached my maximum weight of 270 lbs and roughly 45% body fat.
In December 2019, I flew to Panama for an adventure that changed my life. My family members were deeply concerned with the new “Andresito” they couldn’t recognize. They encouraged me to begin taking care of myself. I was filled with depression, guilt and hate. I finally realized that I needed to change.
I started to:
- Eat at home. Eat a healthy, colorful, balanced diet.
- Eat more meals. Smaller portions.
- Exercise 5-6 times a week for 30 minutes minimum.
- Digest before sleeping (Wait 1 hour before lying down for naps, and 2-4 hours before sleeping at night)
- DRINK WATER! LOTS OF IT!
What caused my GERD/ ACID reflux?
TOP 3 recommendations
1.) HOME FOOD > take out. Let’s be real, we know the food you eat from most restaurants or fast food chains are not healthy for you. Some restaurants do include healthy choices, but those were not usually my choices. My diet consisted of a lot of fast food, which definitely is not a healthy, well balanced diet. I was mostly having deep fried or high in sodium or carb food. I enjoyed it as I was eating it. But immediately after, my body gave me a different message. Working in construction, I used to order the mightiest, manliest, most greasy meal possible. (A bit of an exaggeration, but you feel me.) Thinking it would fuel me for the job. I was wrong. Most workouts burn 300-450 calories depending on intensity, and that roughly equals to the same amount of calories in medium fries. So if you eat a full combo + some more, do the math… It’s not just the calories, but what you consume that matters. Is your meal nutritious? Are you nourishing your mind, body and soul? Is it feeding craving or body? I’m NOT saying you can never have fries again! It’s just about finding a balance and eating mindfully.
2.) Alcohol – In case your wondering, no I have never been and, God willing, will never be, an alcoholic. Did I, sometimes, especially in my younger years, binge drink? Yes. Most young adults do. Drinking was a social thing for me, but over time, it added to the acid levels of my stomach. My blood tests showed me how my liver enzymes were reacting to the acid. I made a decision to stop drinking. Am I trying to convince you to not drink? I’d never do that. Cheers! What I am saying is, consider how your alcohol consumption may be impacting your acid reflux.
3.) Exercise – This is far more than about losing weight. The body is an advanced machine. Compare it to a car: your brakes, oil, transmission etc. are all important. Exercising is more than just losing weight.
• Keeps the mind sharp.
• Helps oxygen and blood circulate through your body better.
• Improves your mood
• For most people, the more you work out, the more guilty you’ll be about a bad meal. This can have a positive effect on your overall diet
• Helps you sleep better
From age 23 - till about 3 months ago (age 30) I have been in and out of the gym, but not consistently. I’ve seen results in the past, but have never stuck to it. Sometimes, I’d work out for a couple of weeks, see some results and then BINGE EAT. I would let my cravings get the best of me, and would usually gain the weight back, if not gain more than originally. I’m sure we have all gone through this unhealthy relationship with caring for our own bodies. But I’ve come to a point where I know how important it is. There are no excuses. MOVE YOUR BODY.
The best way to get rid of GERD/ACID REFLUX is getting that belly smaller/ getting rid of it as a whole. Have I gotten rid of my belly yet? No.
But is it way smaller? YEAHHHH!
Let me be honest. I am not perfect. I still eat junk and skip gym days. What I am doing is: showing up every day, committed to living in a healthy state and helping others do the same. There are many other reasons for GERD/ACID REFLUX, but these three points changed my life. I hope sharing my experience has been useful to you.
Best of luck to anyone reading this. Let’s find SOLUTIONS, NOT EXCUSES. TOGETHER.