I’ve been thinking a lot, as I wander around the house or look at my daily life, about game changers. What are the habits, purchases, books, items, products or relationships that have been, and continue to be game changers for me?
There are a lot. I like to try new things. I used to be worried about trying new things because I didn’t want to ‘waste’ time, money, energy, or emotions. I was afraid something new wouldn’t be as good as what I already had, and I would have somehow lost something in the process of finding that out.
Don’t worry. I see the flaw in that logic like a beacon in a storm.
I now recognize and honor (yes, I said honor) the process of learning, even if what I learn is that what I had to begin with was the best I was going to get or good enough. That, in and of itself, is a valuable lesson.
I’m also honest now about if something works. Before, I wanted what I tried to work. I was invested in it being a game changer, and I fooled myself more than once that a beauty product was ‘amazing’ or tried to lie myself into liking, say, zucchini noodles.
I actually haven’t tried zucchini noodles. See my bias?
Let’s get to the point.
Vitamins have been a game changer for me, and I was downright skeptical.
In one off-the-cuff conversation with a guy in China, a guy from San Francisco who lived in a house in which the basement was used to grow weed and produce meth, I decided vitamins and organic food was a waste of time.
The conversation went like this:
Guy from Meth House: Organic food is the biggest scam of the 21st century. I can’t believe people buy into that shit. Right up there with vitamins.
That’s it. That was the conversation. For 20 years it has stuck. I somehow let one guy, in a beard and a pair of raggedy pants, convince me that I wasn’t intelligent if I bought into vitamins or organic food, that I wasn’t cool or counter-culture or hip.
Readers. What the what?
Over the years, I took a few vitamins. I tried b-vitamins, which made my heart race. I took multi-vitamins while pregnant. I tried fenugreek while nursing (an herb, but still), and it didn’t make me gush with milk.
So, that guy’s voice rang in my mind, loud and clear: vitamins are a scam.
Then, about four years ago, I had significant joint pain. I was pretty sure I had arthritis. I was going to make an appointment for a doctor. My hands, wrists and knees actually burned when I woke. My knuckles were so swollen in the morning and evening that it was visible just by looking at them. I had to get up, move around and not sit still for an hour before I could start my day. It wasn’t every day, but it was regularly enough that I was noticing it, thinking about it and worried.
Then, my sister-in-law recommended a vitamin. I was….skeptitcal. She’s not a healthy-living devotee. I was like, “Mmmmhmmmm…..”
But these vitamins happened to come in gummy form, and as a sugar addict, I was willing to try anything in candy form. I got a bottle of vitamin D, ate a few and had no hope it would make anything better.
Three days later the joint pain was gone. Gone.
If I stop the vitamin D, it comes back within about a week.
Readers: GAME CHANGER
I’ve tried other vitamins since. I take melatonin (gummy form, of course) each night. That was a game changer for our daughter, who struggled (and I use that word to be kind) with sleep since the day of her birth. Seriously. Day 1. We gave her 1 mg. of melatonin at the age of 3 and that child slept through the night. Boom.
So, those are two game changers.
Then, after reading a few books, one of them The Superwoman RX, I decided to try some B vitamins again. I didn’t know which kind, however. I was torn. Then, on a fluke, I got a multi-vitamin. I am normally against multi-vitamins because of the iron (constipation anyone?), but these were gummies, and the actual levels of vitamins included were relatively high. Sometimes, multi-vitamin levels are so low, you’d have to take 27 vitamins to get 10% of your daily allowance.
I like to exaggerate.
Anyway, I got these multi-vitamins. I take 6 per day (yes, 6), and I love them and chew them up like little desserts. I take 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.
I have noticed higher energy levels and, more importantly, more stable energy. My days don’t feel like such a slog. My stomach issues have been better, provided I don't overeat. I just feel slightly better, all around.
Also, these gummies have vitamin D, so I don’t take that as a separate supplement anymore.
I feel like these vitamins have really made a noticeable difference in my quality of life. The difference isn’t as big as the vitamin D alone was, but this stable energy is pretty fab. I just feel overall more balanced out. It’s been two weeks of vitamins now, and I feel the same, so I’ll keep going with them and see if the results continue.
I bought these particular vitamins:
I have tried a lot of supplements over the years. Probiotics have been hit or miss. Collagen did nothing (though more on that later in the week). Fish oil supplements are enormous in size and hard for me to take and I never saw a measurable difference.
What I’m saying is that I try things, am honest about the benefit and feel pretty jazzed when something works, especially something I’ve been holding out on for 20 years because of some off-the-cuff comment by a guy with zero percent authority.
I’ve heard other people rave about supplements and vitamins as well, and now I’m more open to trying new things.
I’ve heard turmeric is a serious game changer for arthritis and joint pain.
I’ve heard magnesium is a game changer for sleep, anxiety and sore muscles. I just got some magnesium soft chews. That took some time to find magnesium in candy-form, but I was diligent and stuck with it. I now have some soft chews to enjoy mid-morning. :)
Also, I have had my vitamin levels checked by doctors over and over. They always come back normal. Always. So, the fact that vitamin D could make such a huge change, even when doctors told me my levels were fine, makes me really skeptical of doctors and tests and the whole shebang. I think this is exactly why people turn to naturopathic doctors, to supplements, to the Internet. Doctors mock us, but they also provide little relief for chronic issues, long-term health concerns and general well-being.
I’ll get off that soapbox now.
Does anyone take a vitamin that has been a game changer? Have you tried anything that doesn’t work?
Finally, here is a link to Allure’s latest post on vitamins: Pretty Pills: How Beauty Supplements Changed the Way We View Wellness. They get into the merits (and demerits) of the vitamin/supplement crazy and look at the latest and greatest.
Finally, you can mock my gummy preference, as I did myself for many years, but I’ve learned that the key to success in any endeavor is consistency. Whether you’re exercising, eating greens, sleeping well, cleaning the house or writing your novel: consistency is king. So, if gummy vitamins helps me stay consistent, I’m cool with that.
I can only imagine what the supercool dude from San Francisco would say…not just vitamins but gummy vitamins.
Hahahahaha. To be so young and to care so much. Bless my heart.