Good morning everyone! I am writing from my home office this morning and have been up since 4 AM. The fire alarm batteries needed to be changed so I didn’t need my alarm clock this morning. Yeah!!
Actually, I feel wonderful despite getting up a few hours earlier and have jumped on a number of things already today. Maybe I will make some changes.
Speaking of changes, why do we feel this obsessive need to go 1000% into something new? In my health coaching course, we talk about setting too lofty goals. Most of us are way too aggressive and unrealistic with setting new endeavors and ultimately what happens is that we fizzle out which leaves us drained. There is actually a concept called the false-hope syndrome which labels this over-zealous approach to goal setting. Furthermore, we setup ourselves for failures by underestimating how long and how much effort something will take. This is called the planning fallacy. Its great to have enthusiasm, but to make an impact it needs some structure.
I think most people deal with some degree of this and for me this has always been an issue. I have gotten much better with this myself, but I still have to keep this contained. Typically it has gone like this for me: Have a wild thought>Visualize the act>Go 1000% toward it>Road Block>Frustration>Stoppage
The main reason for this evolution is that I didnt always apply the SMART approach to goals. When you break down your goals this way it forces you to define them in such a way to promotes success.
S – Specific – Goals must be specific. (i.e I will accomplish this task by 7/1 or I want to finish this entire course by such and such a date)
M – Measurable – In order to see progress, we need to be able to measure them (Two workouts a week, I will use healthy cooking oils ½ of the time this week, etc)
A – Attainable – This must be a realistic goal and something that can be achieved. A lot of what holds us back is our lack of faith that we can accomplish something. When we prove we can do something, our self-efficacy improves which is the key to long lasting behavior change. The real key here is to be able to motivate yourself and rely on your own internal processes to motivate yourself to do something rather and external motivator.
R – Relevant – Purpose is everything and when we are not clear on what we want and why we want it, the goal loses steam. Define goals that are totally relevant for you
T – Time Bound – This one is kind of tricky because we often don’t know how long something will take, but in order to be successful you will want to set a time line on when you want to achieve something
Sounds simple right? Not so fast my friend! We ALL have issues with moving forward on things, but to feel fulfilled in life we have to challenge ourselves. Don’t get in the trap though of setting goals that are out of scope of the SMART approach or another similar convention. You may bounce around a bit, but when you apply some methodology, your goals can and will become a reality.
Hope you find this useful! I know full well how difficult implementing lasting change can be, but I have found quite a bit of success using these methods. I would love to help you, just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or our contact page @ https://www.hearttohealthwellness.com/contact.html. Have a wonderful day!
Our attitude about our health is everything. We can only go as far as our beliefs will take us.
In 2003 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease that impacts the digestive system and it indeed impacted every aspect of my life as I knew it. From fatigue to my beliefs about what was possible, my entire life changed from the split second my doc said I had UC.
What truly was miraculous through this though, was the quality of people that I came across during my quest for answers and solutions. If it was not for some very key people in my life, I am quite certain that I would not be here right now or at least in much worse shape.
This is really at the heart of why I decided to be a Nutritional Therapist and to write material like this introductory e-book. What these wonderful people brought to my life is 100% the reason why I want to share my own experiences and its the great feeling of watching someone else do miraculous things on their own journey.
This e-Book is a very simple compilation of ten things that I think are critical to the healing process. I am not a doctor, so I am not offering health care or treatment, but what I am offering is my perspective and how making small course corrections ultimately helped me to find wellness!! I hope you enjoy this and can find something to use in your own experiences. Please message me with any comments.
Heart To Health Wellness Process
How do I describe Nutritional Therapy? First and foremost, Nutritional Therapy is a dynamic process that identifies nutritional and bodily deficiencies that are at the heart of health challenges, illness and disease. These are the signs that we experience and the outward symptoms that we feel and experience. Our process here at Heart to Health Wellness is one that supports the body while helping you to identify/remove those things, food or those things outside of food that are causing stress on the body. This exposure comes from any of the countless number of toxins from the foods we eat, air we breathe, beverages that we consume and the personal care and cleaning products we use.
At the other side of this process are methods to help you to identify the personal beliefs that may stall or inhibit your own health goals. The key to implementing any lasting change is to understand the reasons why past efforts have not succeeded and to offer guidance that will help you to implement lasting change.
Outlined on this slide is the entire process that will help you discover the keys to identifying those conditions that have been a struggle for you. Most clients that utilize this approach find rapid improvement is possible, even if a fraction of these areas are supported. For others, it may not be as rapid, but you will ultimately experience improvement.
If you can identify with any of the points listed here, please message us or contact us at the link in the bio for a free consultation.
Comparison. What is the deal with comparing ourselves with everything and everyone in this life? I personally feel that chronically over measuring myself is at the top of the list of things that contributed to disease for me.
You see one main area that has always troubled me is my body image. I have been a skinny dude my entire life. So much so that I can seriously empathize with those that deal with any body image issue and the internal pain that is involved with thoughts of lacking what is really wanted. Whether you are trying to lose it or put it on, the drive all comes from the same place internally and will leave the same mark on your life if you let it.
During the years that I was absolutely annihilating myself in the gym, I thought I had found something to make me whole finally. This was the first time in my entire life that I actually had people that I didnt know admiring the body that I had created of myself. It was truly special at first and I admired myself for the amount of dedication that I was pouring into this and the results. It was truly making a difference. I was looking stronger, getting stronger and feeling stronger and this fueled my ambition...at least for a while.
Anyone who works out, knows that plateaus are a part of the process. This is why its so easy to relapse into old behavior for some, especially people new to working out. But for me this became an unhealty obsession. It consumed way too much of my time and thoughts. Being a trainer, coach and nutritional therapist I know the value of exercise. I also know what happens to the adrenal glands when you workout beyond your own capacity too.
Essentially, I was using supplements that I knew nothing about really. Piling on loads of food, most of which caused me digestive issue all to grow my appearance. Working out way too hard and never really being able to recover. And the kicker is I never got fully satisfied with the outcome!
Every damn mirror became like a magnet for me. The reflection in the glass would catch my eye. The bathroom mirror I am sure got tired of me. And the scale was not my friend either! I was officially addicted to this whole process.
The funny thing is that I had to get really ill and flare up badly from the Ulcerative Colitis to really understand this whole thing. I weigh significantly less than I did back in those days and the simple truth is for the most part I really am not all that focused on it anymore. I weigh myself maybe once a month now. What I really value is how I feel. How I truly feel! My energy level and vitality are the only measurements I need to go by now. When I feel tired, I rest. When my thoughts are not sharp, I rest my mind. When I start to pick at myself and compare every little facet, I try to rest. Notice I said "try". I say try, because I still deal with this like we all do.
Comparing ourselves is a one way ticket to miserableville. For me the comparisons come and go, but the difference is the duration to which I do it anymore. I think this success comes with mind calming practice. My baseline has also changed and I allow myself so much more freedom to just be me dammit! Thats its...just be yourself!!
This is what I bring to you! I bring humility and empathy and a knowingness of how to bring the mind and body into alignment through the right nutritional, physical and life plan that is right for you. I dont have it all figured out and that is actually a comforting thing knowing that your therapist or trainer is humble to admit that they dont. It doesnt matter where we are at in life, we all can learn from everyone and everything in our lives and I love to surround myself with people and things I can learn from! This is of great value to someone on a quest to find peace!
"You are not as a mess as you think you are! In fact you are probably so close to achieving something so magnificent and you don’t fully realize it yet. "
Whatever it takes! These three words take on a whole new meaning when you are ill, don’t they? From the very first time I heard the words “Ulcerative Colitis” I was on a mission whether I knew it or not to do whatever it took to get better. That I was ready to do whatever it took to heal my mind so that I could get better! During my recovery from a really nasty flare in 2015, I was very honest with myself and repeated over and over to myself, dammit I am going to do whatever the hell it takes to get better! I embarked on a whole new lifestyle. I changed how I ate. I removed things in my own world that were causing me to fall apart on the inside. I altered my perception on healing and no longer viewed myself as a victim of this freaking disease! I can still feel the day when I knew that things were going to be different. It was an amazing feeling. So much so, that I get the goose bumps thinking about it right now as I am putting my thoughts out there for you to read. This was an unusual feeling. One that I hadn’t really felt before and one that embodied the concept of “whatever it takes”. Almost three years later, I am still a work in progress! We all are in this perpetual state, aren’t we? If we are really honest with ourselves, it’s a never ending process.
That’s a good thing though. Change is good and especially if those changes are life giving, life altering. I firmly believe that the small course corrections in how I was viewing my life really sparked healing. This is how it starts; small changes that make a big splash! You are not as a mess as you think you are! In fact you are probably so close to achieving something so magnificent and you don’t fully realize it yet.
When I started to re-frame how I was looking at this boulder, it started to break apart right in front of my eyes! Suddenly those irrational thoughts of where I was at on this non-linear path of wellness started to float on. The thought was losing its two feet to stand on because I was allowing rather than pushing. I have always felt that my own autoimmune hell was in big part due to my inability to go with the flow of life rather than pushing against it. When I started to let go a little bit my own body gave me re-insurance and I started to see signs that this GAPS diet, this change in lifestyle was really having an impact on my mind and body. The more I let go, the better my outlook became.
This is a huge thing to learn not only in times of illness, but just life in general right? Think about any situation and be really honest about it and ask yourself, am I living in sync with life or am I trying to control the things that are not able to be tamed? Setting realistic goals and achieving them is different than pushing. It’s kind of a fine line between too much and too little. Too little and you beat yourself up for not getting there. Too much and you end up with your adrenal glands screaming at the master orchestra conductor, the pituitary gland to help out. You end up wasted from the head to the toes. Once that happens anything meaningful you are working on is seriously in jeopardy of being phased out.
Healing Our Body Through Allowing
The big learning lesson for me through this health journey has been about letting go of control. I was wound so tight for so many years that my own little world mirrored my internal chaos. And it was a tiny world for me. My mind was pretty closed up to new ideas as giving up control of “my way” made me way too vulnerable. It made me feel weak if I didn’t have all of the answers and the only messages that really came to me were in the form of pain, inflamed intestines and despair. This wonderful thing that I have learned about myself is what I think makes me connect well with others, connect well with my clients.
I fully realize now that my “whatever it takes” is different than someone else’s version. My threshold is pretty high in some ways when it comes to life, especially the things I do to try to heal. However, the healing journey and process unfortunately at times had become like a full time job on top of my full time job and took on a life of its own. I know I am not alone with this. Countless numbers of people trying to find their own path out of their own hell have taken on every old and new type of fix imaginable. For me this second full time job of wellness had really become a drain on my energy at points. It became a chore. I had to reinvent myself and my way of thinking on this very thing. I had to give up control to get better. The message is this, don't get sucked into this trap of trying to control every facet of your recovery. Its hard to get out of and can become too much very quickly. Just know that you will heal if you fully allow and within your own zone of healing. In my practice I fully embrace this mentality and know that for one my threshold to change can be entirely different than someone who comes to see me to make change. Keep in mind, that the idea of “whatever it takes” doesn’t mean blindly throwing darts hoping to get a bulls-eye. It means things like finding new ways to change your mind set about illness and healing but doing it in a way that is comfortable and in alignment with your own ideals. Maybe you have a level of guilt because you are comparing yourself to someone else’s journey and where you are not. Your ability to mind shift at any one point in time can be a moving target. Your threshold may be low now, but quite possibly it will ebb and flow to the point where you are ready for new ideas at points in your future. The quickest way to sideline improvements is to compare what you are doing with what someone else is doing. The bottom line is that at any one point you may need do multiple things to bring on positive change. Dance to the beat of your own drum! Do what works for you! Ask yourself if you feel better? If so then thats great, you are on the right path! If not, move forward and fake it until you make it. Where we get into trouble is when we set the wrong expectations, our reality doesn’t manifest and then we are left holding the fragments of our goals. I hope this reaches you and I always wish you the best along your own personal journeys. Thanks for reading!
There is so much that we don't know yet about this magnificent creation we call the human body. Until just recently, our emotions were deemed as separate from our body by most. Since the 17th century, any connection between the brain/psychological & health/disease has been really been off limits. This stems from an agreement between Rene Descartes, the founder of modern medicine and the Pope at the time. Descartes wished to obtain body's for study and in return it was agreed upon that there would be NO involvement of the soul, mind or the emotions. This has been the norm for many centuries now. We are now just starting to make correlations between mind and body and the concept of our emotions impacting our health is quite real.
The emotions that we feel at any one time are not isolated and are not just thoughts. They impact the internal chemistry of the body. Thoughts and emotions match up with receptors in the brain and also to other specific receptors scattered throughout the body. The various hormones communicate with one another and other cells & receptors throughout the body. So an emotion is not isolated to just the brain, it impacts other cells throughout the body in turn impacting the health of the cell and systems of the body. Its all interconnected. This is a very simplistic view, but science has been able to demonstrate the interconnections of our emotions, cells and bodily systems.
For me knowing this has been a game changer in how I view my emotions. When I get mad, stress, depressed or anxious for an extended period of time, I know there is so much more going on then I first thought. Neurons that fire together wire together. Ultimately an extended period of mental anguish will eventually turn from chronic thoughts to chronic illness and disease. I had an absolutely terrible three years or maybe I could turn that around and say because I had a rough three years it led me to an entirely different place. But during these three years it felt like my world was crumbling and I know that it was at the heart of my health decline. These thoughts ultimately created neural circuitry that in turn created genetic transformations. For example, my ability to manufacture certain things in my own body to protect my cells was ultimately turned off.
Chicken or the egg?
I often wonder about the progression of it all. Was it my chronic negative thoughts that led to disease? Or was it disease that just came about that impacted my thoughts? I mean I have been around some pretty negative people and they didn't have disease? So what gives? Personally though, my stress levels were a 10 out of 10 for many many years. I didn't really understand how to get a handle on this and looking back I am so surprised that my body lasted as long as it did before giving out to colitis. But there is always a trigger to autoimmune disease and illness and it starts in the gut! Always! 75% of autoimmune disease stems from our environment. So things like wheat, inflammation, diet, allergies, food sensitivities, toxins, mental/physical and spiritual stress and many more things lead to illness. What really happens at this point is you get stuck in a current and can't get out. A viscous cycle of illness. The inability to digest proteins specifically leads to an inability to break them down into the precursors that are used to build brain neurotransmitters that make us happy and give us vitality. So the stress and emotional turmoil just gets worse and worse until digestion dysfunction is supported. So it really starts with things in our environment and for some of us (actually probably most of us) it starts from birth as the health of BOTH parents will put us in a negative deficit that we are continually trying to balance as we grow up. Throw in the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the million and one toxins in our environment + the genetics and you are a prime candidate to land on the autoimmune spectrum. None of us are immune from autoimmunity!
I hope this post helps you to understand some of the key core events that are going on in our bodies that lead to illness. Thoughts are not just thoughts and benign. Dark and negative thoughts do become cancerous if they persist for too long. On the flip side, positive thoughts are indeed life building. Fortunately we do have a level of control over this and it starts with changing our environment. Remove the things that stress the body and ultimately stress the mind as they all work in harmony together and the body is only as strong as its weakest link. Take care of yourself and thanks for reading!
"Our behaviors, especially those surrounding food are formed when we are children and they tag along into our adult lives whether we want them to or not."
We live in a country full of different healthy food choices, yet we still choose to eat the same three foods day in and day out. Why do we stick with the same food options repeatedly?
This is an interesting issue to analyze. Our behaviors, especially those surrounding food are formed when we are children and they tag along into our adult lives whether we want them to or not. Maybe you were forced to eat something that just didn't resonate with you when you were a kid and left a mark. Possibly, you grew up with only processed foods and never really got a taste for whole foods. Or maybe its a matter of preparation. A lot of us have this stigma around vegetables and the like. No taste. No fun! You are the chemist here and you can use some creativity to add fresh spices or new oils. Cut up some fresh ginger for example and add it into something and taste the foods come alive. Today, most of us get 60% of our calories from the same three foods: Corn, wheat & soy. Any processed food will contain some flavor of one of these three and its not uncommon to have a trio of them all together. Its really no surprise we don't eat anything else. If we are getting 60% of our calories from these three things alone, it doesn't leave much space for other foods unfortunately. Wheat has a unique property that actually makes us want more of it and we do this all day meanwhile filling up on these things leaving no room for other options.
Then the unthinkable happened. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2003 and I limped along for many years until I finally had the flare to end all flares. In 2015 following a series of very difficult years, I found myself in the midst of a never ending flare. I couldn't get the bleeding under control even with many rounds of steroids. Next stop was "remicadeville". I stayed on the train and didn't get off at this stop though. Instead I caught the next train going an entirely different way.
It was at this point that I really opened my mind, body and spirit to new things. I started a restrictive GAPS diet that really taught me how to eat. Through sensitivities and allergies I learned to appreciate new foods because the foods that I had been eating for so many years caused my body stress. I didnt even realize it until I started listening! My diet went from an 80-20 split of processed foods to whole foods to one of all whole foods. The diet that I have today is very clean, grain and refined sugar free and it has saved my life! It really has saved my life. Food is indeed medicine! It can either build you up or break you down.
I find myself enjoying things like butternut squash for the first time ever. Or how about getting some extra calcium from sardines since dairy is out? I visit the farmers markets regularly and my personal well being has become my priority. I never would have imagined that my plate would have become so diverse and alive with color, but it has. And this is not a fad, but rather a life long change for me.
I continue to add new foods all the time and I can honestly say that I appreciate every bit of it. When we limit ourselves to a set of certain foods, we are putting our body in a difficult position to maintain balance. When we consume processed foods over whole foods, our bodies go into a mode of protection rather than creation. All processed foods are seen as toxins to the body and the amount of energy that is used to process these processed foods is remarkable.
Jump on a new train for yourself! If you are feeling fatigued, worn out, itchy, skin irritations, headaches, crankiness, losing weight or putting on weight uncontrollably or any of the thousand things that plague us today, switch it up. Food has so much more to do with our health than most of us give credit to. Get the book Wheat Belly and discover things about wheat that you may have never known. Try adding in new foods and switching out those processed ones with something whole. There is no magical cure for anything in our lives. The one thing I know for sure is that the very plain diet of old was a monkey on my back and contributed to much of the issue that I am trying to reverse now. Nobody is immune from autoimmunity! Work on variety and if you would like to work with someone to help you to design a path to health, please by all means contact us here.
"Today its healthy; Tomorrow its not was the attitude that I had so I just became numb to it all and just ate it anyway."
When is enough enough! Bleaching? Deodorizing? No, we are not talking about the solicitor that just brought the new hydro steam 1000 into your home to clean your carpet. We are talking about the commercial process to make an "edible" oil. Guys this is a serious deal. These oils are not the least bit healthy and a far cry from the healthy alternative to animal fats that have been touted by this industry for so many years. And they are everywhere! Any processed food that you eat will contain an unhealthy oil of some kind. Dine out at most fast food establishments and you are getting more of the same and probably worse as these unstable oils are subjected to high heat as they cook french fries and the like. All of this contributes to free radicals in the body which translates into inflammation and ultimately illness and disease.
The first time I saw this process years ago I began to see a connection between my own health struggles and the things I was consuming. You see I was like so many others that just didn't know what was in the products that I was consuming and oblivious to what it was doing to me. I read snippets here and there from various experts, but I just chalked it up to another of the million points of view on the subject. Today its healthy. Tomorrow its not was the attitude that I had so I just became numb to it all and just ate it anyway. I think this is by design. It creates doubt and ultimately keeps us right where we are wanted, buying these inflammation makers. It wasn't until I put on the detective cap that I began to smell something odd and it was the rancid oils that I had been consuming probably since I was old enough to eat.
There is a huge huge vested interest in promoting this type of product and squashing anyone who disputes its health benefits. This is yet another billion dollar industry that doesn't give a hoot about your health. If the consumer is to make different choices, it forces the hand of the companies who make stuff like this. Until then, the supermarket shelves will be littered with clear plastic bottles of rancid pseudo oils.
There are options here and looking for quality oils is the starting point. Look for oils that are unrefined and protected from light. Do some research on the company. Think twice if you are told that oils like canola are healthy or that it gets the healthy heart approval from the AHA. Keep in mind that junk food boxes of cereal also have the AHA stamp! I highly value Sally Fallon Morell's take on health. Take a look at Sally's suggestions (http://nourishingtraditions.com/all-those-new-oils/) Put on the cap of someone who is fed up with feeling crappy as maybe this "franken" food is at the heart of your own health struggles. Your dollar is your voting power, make a different choice and be healthier as a result of your empowering choice!
Whats behind our diabetes and obesity epidemics in this country? How about the Snackwell Phenomenon?
Whats behind our diabetes and obesity epidemics in this country? How about the Snackwell Phenomenon?
This is a term referenced in The Great Cholesterol Myth where big food companies jumped all over the low fat bandwagon after the USDA announced its official policy on fat. This is where we started to see masses of low fat products infiltrate our store shelves, like Snackwell cookies and other big food trend followers looking to cash in on this gold mine. The glaring problem here that was left unchecked was the fact that sugar was the main ingredient added in place of fat. Sugar is very inflammatory to the body. So the ongoing decades long issue with diabetes and obesity began as grains and carbs were substituted faithfully by those that trusted our government body's to make good sound decisions for the good of all our people. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but the series of events that have led to this disastrous outcome scream of foul play.
How do we continue to overlook the glaring holes in the data that started this whole crusade in the 1950's? As the authors of The Great Cholesterol Myth point out, the story is one of staggering amounts of money to be gained and lost, bad ideas that continue to live past their expiration & the revolving door between government advisory committees and the industries they are supposed to police. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Serious conflict of interest all over the dang place.
It saddens me at where we have landed in this country. Its a testament really to the power of the people in charge of this country how an erroneous theory like the diet heart hypothesis could gain momentum in the first place, later become policy and then have the majority of health figures in this country fully on board with this theory. Is this the greatest marketing campaign of all time? Is this the greatest smearing campaign ever in full swing? Is adoption of this due to the thousands of lobbyists that make their impact on our politicians? Is it due to the many connections and dollars between healthcare, insurance companies and big pharma? Where is the love in all of this? I have to believe there are people that genuinely care and there are people out there in positions to make a difference that are slowly making waves of change. But until that day comes, It seriously astonishes me at how many people I am surrounded by have chosen to fully adopt that cholesterol and saturated fats are the root cause of heart disease! Subsequently these are the same people who chose to take statin drugs based on the "sound" recommendation of their doctors. I like so many others (including the authors of this book) were on the other side in favor of cholesterol, saturated fat and heart disease theories until the evidence became so apparent the other way.
So where do we go from here? I don't think there is an easy answer to this. From where I sit, I try to get the word out as much as possible. I like to be well rounded with all of this information to be able to present it so that others can start to question things. This is where it starts really. Question your doctors. Question your dietitians. Question anything that makes you wonder. I encourage my clients to question things... including me! Question those that suggest you take a cholesterol lowering drug based on bad scientific data. Question the numbers and what do my specific particle counts look like. What do my LDL-A numbers look like? How about lp(a), which is actually the most important part of cholesterol? Many questions. This is your life and you shouldn't put your life in the hands of anyone who doesn't make themselves vulnerable enough to be trusted. The my way or the highway approach to medical care doesn't work anymore. Step out of the line and help yourself.
Without choices life seems hard, cold and impassable. When we stop growing, we stop caring about life.
In 2015 I had a meeting with destiny where I had to decide how to put myself back together again. This storm did indeed rip me to pieces. So much so that I get teary eyed writing about it, but this was necessary for me to grow and I embraced this more than I had anything in my life which was good, because I needed every ounce of courage and stamina to make it through this!
In my present I still think about those days and I occasionally have to work through some old emotions. So I had a conversation with someone I just met over the weekend and we talked about diet restrictions. As I described the level of sensitivity and allergies that I have to foods, I got a sense that maybe there was some judgment there. Maybe it was just that she felt sorry for me? I began to second guess the number of questions that she was asking me though. Cutting out grains can't possibly help she said almost like she thought I was crazy for taking the number of steps that I was taking to reverse this condition? For a brief moment, it immediately made me feel like I did when I first started on the GAPS diet years ago and how the people around me had shook their heads at me in disapproval. Once again, how can I expect to be healthy if I don't take pills? Don't stop taking those pills I was told because Colitis will kill you. How can I be healthy if I don't visit doctors weekly? You need to get some blood work, you aren't looking so good! Aren't you going to die of a heart attack if you keep eating that amount of fats, this GAPS diet is not a good choice? You mean you can't eat cereal anymore? Man, I couldn't live without bread. No, no and no.
We do have a herd mentality in this country and standing apart is tough whatever it is. Food is so in the middle of everything in our culture, so this one was tougher than a lot of things for sure. The one thing that escaped me initially in the middle of feeling sorry for myself years ago when I embarked on this, was that it all was choice. Okay, so the initial path may have had limited choices, but it was a still a choice nonetheless! And in hindsight, it was the best choice for me and working with what I had at the time opened up more options in the future. For me I knew that something had to change. I didn't want to keep beating the same non-working drum so I seemed to swim upstream on this, but in reality I wasn't resisting, I was allowing and listening to something different. A different less traveled path.
The biggest idea of this whole post is that choices can be your saving grace in this life! Even if you don't feel like you have choices, take a step back and rethink it, because you absolutely do have one. You always have a choice to reach for a better thought. If I would have stayed on the course of hating everything about my new lifestyle, I would not have succeeded one bit. Sure there is an adjustment period to change, but learning to cooperate and be partners with change is the best thing I ever did. Let me just say this, disease sucks! For anyone that spends the majority of the day dealing with the symptoms, it sure is hard to think of good things. I know this! But what I realized is that what I was doing wasn't working for me anymore. I stepped out of feeling like I was painted in a corner with no choices to one of empowerment.
There are so many options to recovery even if things look bleak. For some, medications work to put disease in remission. For some, the medications stop working. You have to be willing to see the choices in front of you and take action to find the better one for you. Its so individual! For me it was a difficult choice to completely change my habits, but things just got to the point for me where I wanted something more empowering. I knew that there was something that I was doing that was contributing to my pain. I just didn't want to believe that there were no other choices besides surgery or harsh medications. Food is medicine and rather than slowly poisoning myself, I made a choice to leverage and harness the power of it. I identified the things food and non-food that were causing me to flare and I harnessed the power inside of me. We all have it and if you are reading this, just know that you have it as well! Embrace it and always look for the better thought.
Ian Sandage is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who speaks from the personal experience of someone with autoimmune disease and the highs and lows of a health journey