It's kind of an odd thing to write about yourself. There’s a strange balance to strike between keeping the matter focused, being a real, relatable human being and making sure there's a clear message (because I always want to make sure there's some take away). We’ll certainly get to know each other better as this blog progresses piece by piece. For now, with the intention of offering a small bit of myself, here’s a vignette of my personal motives to craft my wellness and in turn bring you Wellness Crafted.
I've struggled most of my life with a ridiculously large vat of insecurities. Even as a teeny kid, I've always felt the need to prove myself, almost obnoxiously so. Due to certain life experiences, I relied extensively and exclusively on external validation and praise. My self worth was predicated on opinions outside of myself, because internally, none of that existed. Only in the last couple years have I started to actively change this. I'm still working on chipping away at these limiting beliefs (and am making exponential progress), but it's been a long road (more on this later).
Despite a historic lack of confidence and assertion, one thing I am an expert on is ME. I'm pretty damn perceptive, and irritatingly so when it comes to my body and health. Enter the first phase of my health journey.
In my early twenties, my body started to break down: allergies I’ve never had before popped up in the most intense ways (i.e. eyes so swollen/red they felt like sandpaper); my body was often covered in hives/rashes; I was consistently gaining weight I couldn't lose no matter how much I exercised or how “healthy” I ate; I was frequently sick; my hormones were absolutely out of whack; I would poop every 5 or 6 days; had massive, debilitating stomach pain; the list seriously keeps going. Doctor after doctor, no one had answers....
They would prescribe a cortisone cream for the rash, give me drops for my eyes, would tell me pooping once a week was my “normal,” and that I was probably allergic to dust (no joke). This nonsense went on for a few years. It was FREAKING HARD! I refused to believe this was the way it was going to be. There had to be a solution. I often left doctor’s offices in tears -- it was absolutely unnerving. I think most people with autoimmune/chronic illness can relate -- there were way way too many times I experienced doctor's visits where they WOULD. NOT. LISTEN. And WOULD. NOT. HEAR. ME. Truly, I understand I am not a medical expert. I am not a doctor. But dammit, I know myself and my body and my history. It was beyond frustrating to go in time and time again and not get any answers or at least an empathetic ear.
Randomly, and finally, I stumbled into my holistic wellness practitioner’s office a couple years later (circa 2009) looking for a way to manage my weight gain. I had absolutely zero clue what her practice was focused on. I only vaguely knew there existed approaches to looking at a person holistically and treating them based on their collective self. This is where my passion awakened. I began to learn about holistic/traditional health practices while my naturopath supported me in my healing process. With her guidance, I started researching anything and everything – from lymphatic congestion to heavy metal toxicity to leaky gut to deep viruses to elimination diets to autoimmune protocol – I dived into it all. I learned an incredible amount. I put in a lot of hard work, dedication and built up a support system. Armed with these things, we started knocking down physical symptoms, peeling away the layers of health issues, working toward getting to the core concern.
I'm apprehensive to admit this, but I still don't have a 100% official core diagnosis. My Wellness Crafted tagline is "No Labels. Just You," and I 100% stand by that that. But it is tough not knowing WHAT condition/disease I have. On the flip side, it honestly doesn't matter as long as I'm making progress on my symptoms and minimizing flares. And let's be real, not having a diagnosis certainly does not negate everything I've learned that has helped me overcome the challenges I've experienced on my wellness journey. Presently, on the physical side of healing, the latest hypothesis is hypothyroidism/hashimotos and all the things that come with it, including adrenal fatigue, liver/lymph congestion, and (of course) digestive issues and leaky gut. It seems there are deep viruses in my liver that have traveled to my thyroid, wreaking havoc. In this case, hashimotos is presented because my body appears to be attacking my thyroid, when in fact it's attacking the viruses in my thyroid.
Over the years, to address my ever-changing symptoms, I've tried ALL THE DIETS (and I mean all the diets (i.e. gluten-free before it was trendy, keto before it was trendy, cauliflower crust before it was trendy, AIP somewhere in the middle of all this....you get it....) to find what might work. I've found ways to mish-mash a variety of protocols to fit my specific health challenges, and changed the mish-mashed combo as I peeled away the layers of health issues and learned what foods worked for me and what didn't. I'd be remiss to not acknowledge that I have truly made monumental improvements ever since stepping into my naturopath's office in 2009. I've come an incredibly long way, but sometimes do feel stuck -- and about 6 months ago I felt very stuck -- nearly hopeless. Enter the latest phase of my health journey.
Energetic healing: This is all fairly new to me, but I'm digging into learning about the chakras, subtle energy body and other aspects of energy healing. There's science behind how emotional traumas, ancestral traumas and negative thoughts can affect your DNA and create energy blocks, impacting your body's inherent ability to heal itself ("the issues are in the tissues!"). By breaking through these deep-rooted blocks, not forgetting a strong nutrition and exercise foundation, the body can legitimately heal itself -- I mean, legitimately heal. This is healing at the soul level, people!
Honestly, I'm still in the trenches of chronic illness/autoimmune symptoms. I still have flares, still get frustrated and still sometimes feel lost. But I'm peeling away and healing the layers one by one, including healing emotional traumas and limiting beliefs -- which is massively helping with physical health in turn. I truly have come such a long way. I'm finally confident enough to say that I am on my way to becoming my healthiest, best self. I am healing. And that feels incredible to say.
So here I am. This is me at this very moment in time. The journey to get to this point -- while so stupidly frustrating -- taught me so much. The last decade of learning, research, digging, experimenting, failing, experimenting again, failing again, etc, has gotten me closer and closer to being and radiating my true authentic self --
A badass autoimmune warrior with a story to share and love to give...
....and a deeply loving mama simply searching for a better way for herself and her kiddos (and pup!).
And now I want to share everything I can with you. I know first-hand we all have a unique set of genetics and experiences that make it so the latest diet/exercise fad/quick fix doesn’t work as advertised. There is no one-size-fits all approach. But I can tell you how I took tidbits from a variety of things to craft my wellness. And the healer in me is hoping these tidbits will help you get to crafting yours.
Shall we do this together?! What’s your story? Share in the comments!!
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