Your health is a journey, not a destination; it’s a marathon not a sprint, and it is ever-changing!
Did you know your disease might be here to teach you what you need to know? It can be teaching you how to get back in touch with your body. It can be a blessing not a curse. Let this illness transform and morph you! This autoimmune disease may be the very thing that brings meaning to your life.
Your body is always advocating for you! Symptoms are the body’s way of communicating with us. Symptoms should not be suppressed, covered up or ignored. Symptoms are clues. Sometimes the clue (Symptom) is the first manifestation that you are listening to. For symptoms to appear, you very well may have been having issues for quite a while, but you were not listening.
The road to better health may take a year or more. There is no quick fix, no magic pill, you need to do the lifestyle, implement what you learn from your health coach, to see an improvement in your health. It’s very hard to get Americans to stop, to cut back, to go to bed and sleep or take a nap and rest, but this is what we need. We need to slow down, stop doing, say no and set boundaries. You need to choose what is more important, chose the time and activity that will work for your body not against it.
When someone jumps from practitioner to practitioner, from program to program they are looking for the magic pill. (A thyroid pill will not undo or prevent further autoimmune disease.) They do this because they may not want to put the work in. And by work that means un-working, undoing, unplugging, slowing down. You cannot look for a practitioner to repair you, regenerating is your choice, your doing, supporting your body. Become your own practitioner, do the work, and listen to your body and see how it responds. Tune in to the body and what it’s saying as you tune out the rest of the world/noise. Stop being a human doing and be a human being. Trust your body knows how to repair when you give it what it needs and remove what it does not want. Stop the shoulding in your life. “I should do this.” Stop keeping up with what society says you need to do, stop keeping up with the Jones’s. (They are all sick, unhappy and in debt.) Stop overbooking, over committing. Treat yourself as you would your sick child. You make them go to bed and sleep. When we have chronic issues this is how we need to treat ourselves…like a sick child. Eat, sleep, rest, hydrated, down time, relax, chill etc. Simplify your life, simplify your schedule, and simplify your home. (De-clutter if necessary.) Cut out the ‘noise’ and what doesn’t serve you or that which complicates your life. Skip the coffee, go to bed, and say no. Putting yourself and your health first is NOT crazy, doing this-putting yourself last may be normal, but it is NOT NORMAL- or it shouldn’t be. Ask yourself what do you REALLY want to do, what lights you up? Then let others down, you need to do this to mend, set your life up to take care of you!
When we keep busy, and keep going, we are then unable to stop and listen. We need to be still, and feel our body and listen. Ask your body, how it feels, where does it hurt or feel tight. Then give your body what it needs. That tells your body you are listening and you are taking action to support the body! Listen to the inner voice, don’t push it down. Symptoms are the body’s way of whispering something is wrong. Disease / diagnosis is the body screaming that it is in Dis-ease. Listen when it’s whispering.
Stress raises inflammation just as much as the wrong food, viruses, yeast or toxins! There are some practitioners who will not work with you if you are not already 100% gluten, dairy and sugar free because they know the impact of inflammation in the body. But some, also will not work with you if you are in an abusive relationship-verbally or physically, or have an unsupportive spouse, or are in an unhappy marriage etc. Again, because they know that all the food, yoga and supplements in the world will not be able to undo that stress and the impact it has on the body. One fight with your spouse raises IL6/inflammation for 3 days…3 days after the fight you’ll still be inflamed.
When you find a comprehensive program, like the Transforming Lives Coaching Program, which addresses mind, body, and science embrace it! Take action, and be motivated, the program won’t work unless you do the work/exercises. This is why I add in self care exercises in the program. They may seem unimportant, but it turns out they are very important. Driven A Types tend to look at what can I do, what pill can I take, what program can I follow, what should I eat or avoid eating, and what test should I run. (And those questions are important to a degree and as A types, myself included, we will address them.) What we really need to ‘do’ is undo, just be and take care of yourself, give our body what it needs and is asking for. Spend a lot of time rebuilding the body, not detoxing, but replenishing. Cutting out and cutting back on engagements and work. Adding in nourishing foods as well as the self care exercises I provide in the program.
If your lifestyle is very busy, this topic may hit home for you. I myself am A type and driven, but my autoimmune diseases have taught me to slow down, learn, grow, listen to my body and honor the natural rhythm of life. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything gets accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu. Autoimmunity is the process of our body attacking itself. So ask yourself, where in your life are you attacking yourself. Do you have negative self talk? Do you put your needs and wants last? Are you not speaking up, or do you feel unheard?
Lastly don’t be a perfectionist about this process of undoing. And remember not one thing will restore you! No one is perfect, you may mess up. Trying Paleo, herbs and yoga may not help you. You may need to try Keto, meditation and working on hidden infections. We are all different, there is no one magic diet or silver bullet pill. There won’t be one doctor, one test, one nutritionist who will have all the answers for you. We all got sick for a different reason and we all need a different plan of action to get well. There is no need to stress over your diet, over the amount of supplements you may need to take. There is no need to force yourself to do yoga, if you hate it. You need to find what works for you and your body. Did you know, the body cannot turn the thyroid hormone T4 into the active from T3 when you are under stress?! If you are constantly trying to push through, muscle through, your body will be in survival (Adrenal mode) so it won’t be able support your thyroid. Your body will think that it’s more important to preserve life, by slowing the HPA axis / adrenals. It certainly won’t be thinking about supporting your thyroid, giving you a sex drive or a baby or healthy hair, skin and nails. Stress exacerbates thyroid issues. You can get your life and health back but you will need to take an active step to get there. You need to be leader of your own health care journey.
We have to be a partner in our health transformation; we should not let the doctor be the ruler or god figure over us. The doctor may not have all the answers for you. Doctors should not be the boss, you should be the boss of your health. No one knows how you feel more than you do. Stand up, be an advocate, speak up, take responsibility to do what will make you feel better. Do not depend on others to do the mending for you. After all, you doing the work, giving the body what it needs and take away what it doesn’t, allows the body to improve and function. Your body does the healing! The pills will only get you so far. You need a team that is in and OUT of insurance.
It’s your life, your lifestyle; you control what you eat, and what you do. Some ‘magic pills’ won’t work for you; you may have to try another pill, another doc.
You need a team of health and wellness experts to help you feel better. You need to be your own health advocate; you need to take ownership with each of those on your team as well. You don’t want to just cope or survive, you want to be thriving and resilient and participating in life! This is a process, a journey and there will be uncertainty. Be your own hero! Stand up for yourself! Take back your health, no one else will be as invested as you. Your health coach may help you 20% with guidance, support, materials, and education, but you are the one who has to go home and do the work! You have to buy meals, cook meals, read material, experiment with what supplements work for you. You are responsible for implementing and doing that other 80%. You have to be open to the process and engaging in the process.
I know this is hard and you may not want to hear it. I myself skipped over the ‘emotional’ chapters when I started off on my healthier lifestyle to support my Crohn’s. After all I didn’t need them, I’ll do the diet and take the pills and I’ll be good. Or so I thought. Now, many years later I realize just how important this step is. This emotional aspect may have been more influential on my journey, if I had just started there. We don’t want to go through it or look at ourselves. It takes a lot of work, and time. And you may even feel very uncomfortable as you do some of the deeper work.
So I’m telling you it’s going to take time. As you peel away one layer, you’ll uncover another. It’s just like an onion. One layer may be your diet, one may be toxins, one may be infections another may be emotions. The point is it took time to get sick, many things have happened to us over the years, and it’s going to take time to get better. Keep digging away, keep cutting away and peeling back the layers. It’s a process, a journey. The journey and your body are always changing. What diet works for you now, may no longer support you in 10 years. It’s not a sprint, there is no quick fix. We are always evolving!
I know many of you out there are busy moms, grandmas and maybe even single moms. This might seem selfish or indulgent or even impossible. But keep in mind you need to put the oxygen mask on you first, to help your family. If you run yourself into the ground, you won’t be able to take care of them.