In my journey in finding answers and solutions, it was a lot of ups and downs. I struggled knowing what the heck I could even eat, and what my body needed to heal. In the process of these health events, I struggled with my weight physically and emotionally. During puberty, I grew into a bigger and much taller girl than my peers, and others would say something about my height/weight. These things began compounding into one big thing that ruled my life, my health and mental well-being.
As I adjusted my diet and limited sugar and grains to ease my reaction and symptoms of my health problems, I was losing weight which was an added bonus. But, in the meantime I was developing a negative relationship with food. I liked that I had control over the results it produced. Due to this, 6 months prior to my 17th birthday I became anorexic. Mentally and emotionally I didn’t know or have healthy skills to process and manage my life and the events of the past 2 years. As I received comments and compliments on the way I looked, I internalized it into a belief that my worth and value was based on how I looked and how skinny I was. So this even put me into a deeper and more unhealthy level of anorexia. My weight disorder gave me false worth, hope, love and control. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I was the most unhappy I had ever been, even at my skinniest of 135lbs at 6 feet tall. I hated myself. I hated my body. And I thought being skinny would solve all the problems! Ha, nope.
At 20, I still had issues with food allergies, pre-diabetes, and thyroid imbalance, and I had gained all the weight back, plus some (65 lbs). At this point I was much more unhappy because now I had to deal with the physical and emotional stress of being overweight. My self-worth plummeted. One contributing factor to gaining the weight was, my heart was broken by a boy I liked a lot. He said things that destroyed me. So I put up a major wall, which was my weight. It was my protection from ever getting hurt like that again. Protection from friends/peers who had hurt me. My trust in others was gone, including trust in myself. My wall was also protection and an excuse for me to not feel my feelings, as I ignored the buried/shoved them down (literally the weight). Everything was just too much, and the way I coped with it was being super sad and depressed, having pity on myself, and self-deprecating behavior through thought and action (over-eating).
At 22-24, I was still dealing with these things. And to continue my awesome streak of health problems, another one got added to the table. Ha! My hormones. They went completely skiwampus. I had two menstrual cycles per month and developed severe cystic acne. The kind of acne that makes you want to cry because of the physical pain and also because it’s SO disgusting and embarrassing!
Also, due to my irregular menstrual cycle, I was extremely anemic (iron deficient: a mineral that serves multiple important roles in the body), so I was sick more frequently due to a low immune system and my body required a lot of sleep to cope with that deficiency. Daily naps became a normality in my life.
Emotionally, I was still not doing well, in fact my body image issues sky rocketed, especially after the acne problem. I couldn’t get a break! I needed and wanted it all to vanish! I was done being controlled by others, food, and myself. I was done labeling myself as nothing. I was done being ill mentally and physically, and so done being sad and depressed.
I wanted freedom. Freedom from being obsessed and controlled by food. Freedom from my diseases, imbalances and allergies. Freedom to let go of others opinions, judgements and expectations. Freedom from cultural norms. Freedom from my unhealthy beliefs regarding my self-worth and value. Freedom to trust again. Freedom from my pain and despair. Freedom to be happy and live joyfully. And freedom to love myself again.
When and How my Story Changed
By 25-26 I wanted a different story. I realized I had given up control, all hope was lost, and I wanted to die. I wanted so much more and to be and feel different. I got to a point and decided ENOUGH was ENOUGH. I was the only one who could change my health, my happiness, and my life.
I knew I needed to start with extracting all negative energy out and fill my body and mind with positivity. The first exercise I was directed to was positive affirmations. During the last decade I would say or think at least a 100 negative things about myself daily. So, I made it a priority and a goal that every negative thought and/or feeling was to be replaced by something of its opposite or express gratitude on one thing about me. I did them every day, multiple times per day in fact. This was not at all easy, and in the beginning was torture, but within a month or so of actively doing it, it was developing into a habit and it become more natural. My negativity did decrease and I began to feel my energy shift into something good. It was lighter, less constrained, and I just felt I could breath for the first time in my life. I began to see I was beautiful and that my body was just more then something to look at, but a tool that enables me to create things via sewing, to exercise my mental and physical strength through yoga, enjoy traveling the world, etc.
My Mental & Emotional Healing Medicines:
Additional things that were major contributors to my mental and emotional health:
Writing. I’ve never been keen on writing anything, but I found it extremely therapeutic and healing to do so. I specifically wrote letters to people who broke my trust, love, etc. I didn’t send them, but the intention of it being like I was. I wrote everything I wanted them to know and how they hurt me and that I have forgiven them. It was hard, but very freeing once everything was out and on the table. After writing, then reading them I had a burning ritual with them all. It was a pretty simple exercise, but it was so significant and effective. Eventually when I got to the point about a year later, I was ready to forgive myself so I wrote a letter to me and did the same!
Honoponopono phrase and practice. You can read about my experience with it HERE.
Nature. I discovered a vital part of my healing was “naturing.” In my teenage years and early 20s I really didn’t enjoy hiking or other outside activities. But, I discovered as I completely surrendered and emerged in it, that I felt my truest self, because it encouraged me to let go of my unneeded negative stuff and it filled me with positive vibes, and love. Earth’s raw presence and calming energy connects strongly with my energy and has been one of my healing medicines. So now, I crave hiking, I crave the outdoors, and have found new outdoor hobbies in the last couple of years that I absolutely enjoy! Like this year, paddle boarding! I have even done yoga – paddle boarding, and it’s the freaking best! Paddle boarding is super relaxing, but also makes me super conscious of my body and my every move to balance so I don’t fall in! And it’s just fun to float!
Visualizations. I read “The Gabriel Method” and his story on the transformative power of visualizations and weight loss. I started doing visualizations for my weight loss, and discovered it was not a priority for that, but actually it was a priority for shifting other mental blocks. There were 3 major shifts that took place when I did his visualizations! He offers several varieties, not particularly for weight loss, but they all connect. If you’d like to check his stuff out, HERE is one of his free visualizations. He has an IOS app, “Visualization” with many more.
Talk Therapy. I rejected it for a year knowing I needed it, but I finally gave in January 2017 and it is a game changer! Talking about my feelings has never been my thing, but really kinda of the worst and SUPER uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to express myself healthy or at all for 26 years, as it caused lots of emotional, relationship and body weight struggles. I have had a major a melt down once a month, every year. I mean MAJOR. Till this year.
My motto since I began talk therapy early this year is, “Feel your feels.” Because I believe it’s absolutely necessary to have and experience emotions, feelings, because it’s apart of how we process things! I’ve learned honoring and respecting what is important, because what I’m feeling is real and there’s a purpose and reason. Ignoring and shoving it away does absolute no good, as I’ve seen it’s made my emotional state a living hell.
This year, it’s been painful & difficult forgiving myself, letting go of all of the crap in my life, stretching my mental-communication muscles, owning it all, and to keep trying no matter what. It has been a major life crisis. BUT, it’s getting better, and I know, because I am a million times happier.
It’s tiring & difficult to pause life, and acknowledge, respect, honor whatever the feels I’m feeling about ……. But, I’m changing, growing, learning. I’m happier. Much happier. I’m getting more on top of feeling my feels, and being totally okay with them, w/ ZERO shame. In the words of Karol Truman, “feelings buried alive never die”. I’m done burying. Everyday is a new beginning, and I can forgive, learn, let go and be better.
Talking to myself. I realized I would never talk about my body or self the same way I would to others. So, for a while I pictured my body and mind separate, like I was two beings. I began talking to my body and expressed gratitude and love for a part or whole of my body that was significant at that time in my life. For example, when I was diagnosed with my Thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s) I would hold my thyroid daily and express out loud how much I appreciated it for working and doing its best. I then would close my eyes and image light filling every cell of it. I would mentally and emotionally pore in love to it also, and express that verbally. Talking to myself out loud and as I saw it separate from my mind for a while, totally helped me to be kinder and more grateful and then over time I realized how freaking awesome my body is! My energy transitioned a lot and it became very happy and positive, which in turn has really helped my body, organs, and systems to all function, balance and operate more efficiently!
My Physical & Environmental Healing Medicines:
BodyTalk: First an overview what it is- An energy therapy that is consciousness/holistic based and addresses the “whole” person. This refers to that no part of the human psyche can be overlooked, be it physical, mental, emotional or environmental. BodyTalk promotes, supports and restores a persons well-being.
Years ago my Mom took a BodyTalk course and started applying what she learned on each member of our family. It helped me and them with some energy blocks. Years later, I became interested in certifying, because it is a very powerful, non-invasive and effective healing modality. I have had major health success personally, and I’ve helped many others!
BodyTalk Sessions performed on me has assisted my thyroid health, releasing emotions, my gut health, my pancreas (help balance blood sugar), my hormones, and so much more!
Nutrition/Food: “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates nailed it! As I have addressed my negative control with food and chosen to shift that energy block, I have learned how extremely powerful food can be for our body, mind and spirit! I have decided in the last year to use it as tool for good! And you know what?! Food has assisted, and healed me in so many ways. It’s been freeing! Especially, when I had severe gut problems. I found that Kombucha (a fermented drink), Bone Broth, and Peppermint tea was a priority to get my gut health back on track. Also, nutrition was a major factor reversing my Hashimoto’s disease and getting my thyroid healthy – which you can read HERE.
Eating lifestyle + supplements: I struggled to find the best diet/lifestyle for my circumstances. It took me a good two years after my food allergy diagnoses to cut out wheat and dairy, because it’s in freaking everything! But, by 17 I was gluten and dairy free, and stuck with that for a long time. I also cut out table sugar and most grains like potatoes, rice, and all flours. Through learning and applying the principle of intuitive eating I discovered I’m grain sensitive and that my body is easily affected and inflames quickly from ingesting those things. It wasn’t easy changing my food habits and diet, but because I feel a million times better, it’s a no brainer, because I don’t miss feeling sick and in pain.
Eventually, I was introduced in 2016 to the Keto Diet. I tried it out and discovered it was a major influence on retrieving my thyroid health where you can read all about HERE. In January 2017, when I began my first round of Keto I researched the relationship between the diet and thyroid health. There wasn’t much out there, but I still felt very impressed to just do it and I did! I’m so glad I listened to my body, because I owe it to not only my thyroid health, but overall health. I just feel really good when I’m living Keto! You can follow my Keto Diet video journey on my Youtube channel HERE.
Household and Hygiene Products: I discovered through research that there’s a whole lot of harmful chemicals in household items and hygiene products that we use every day! This was easy for me to comprehend and change, because as a small child I use to have horrible reactions to bubble baths and soaps down in my private areas. So, I jumped on this band wagon fast and changed up all my things. And I knew it would be absolutely helpful in lowering my toxin load, so my liver, adrenals, and thyroid could function more effectively.
For household cleaning products and bath towels I switched to Norwex cloths. After a year of switching to them, I had used Clorox bathroom cleaner for whatever reason and had a serious reaction! I mean sneezing up the wazoo and feeling super light headed and dizzy. That experience reconfirmed that chemicals can incredibly effect the way I feel and operate, especially on a cellular level.
For hygiene products I switched from Dove and Walmart brands to natural and organic soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion from Millcreek Botanicals. I have been loving their products! I also switched to a more natural toothpaste and floss – you can read my story on that HERE. And the last thing I changed was my deodorant. I started making my own probiotic deodorant and I freaking love it so much. It’s a very natural product and I never ever smell yucky!
And my skin care routine has transitioned from using ProActiv to using Norwex’s face cloth as my cleanser and exfoliator, apple cider vinegar as my toner (my story on that HERE), and a mineral lotion mixed in with JoJoba oil as my moisturizer. Can’t get any more natural than that! And my skin/acne is doing way better on this regiment.
Essential Oils: Ever since I was a young child, I’ve been using essential oils. I have always taken to them well, and I have used them for a variety of reasons throughout my life. Specifically to my health journey, I used Lemon lots to balance my body PH. Peppermint for gut issues, and my hormonal imbalance (eased my nauseousness/fake morning sickness I had for 6 months). You can read all about my love and journey with essential oils HERE.
Today, I am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been!
-I have no food allergies!
-I haven’t said one negative thing to or about myself in a year. Huzzah!
-My thyroid is working! My Hashimoto’s disease is gone, my body is no longer attacking my thyroid. I also, contribute the health of my thyroid from the medication WP Thyroid – one of the best, and most natural thyroid prescriptions on the market.
-I’ve lost 18 inches this year and down 4 pant sizes and I’m continuing to loose healthily!
-I am no longer pre-diabetic!
-My hormones appear to be balanced due to my regular monthly cycles, and zero cystic acne (due to BodyTalk, diet, skin routine, and medication, Spironolactone)!
-I treat my body with absolute respect and only desire to nourish it with good things.
-I’m getting better at verbally communicating my feelings with others and myself!
-I now believe and think I am a freaking beautiful woman and damn sexy!
So there ya go! My 13 year health story in a nutshell. I will never forget who I was, but of course I will not live in the past, and I’ve forgiven her and moved on. She reminds me how grateful I am for the journey, experiences, and everything I learned about nutrition, etc. and about myself. I hope this has inspired and brought you hope. Consistency, patience and hope is the biggest thing in “doing” the change. I have complete faith you can do it! And know you’re not alone and if you ever need a mentor, teacher, or friend to guide and support you – you got me! Message me and together, lets bring your healthy back!
A special thanks to my family and friends who have supported and loved me through the thick and thin. And to those specifically who were angels throughout my journey, and who are an absolute necessity to my life! You know who you are, and I love you forever!! And lastly, I am so so grateful for my Heavenly Father and brother, Jesus for always loving and carrying me, and being right there every step of my journey and life inspiring and directing me to the things and people I need most.