On my mind…

De-StressThe words for this post have been floating around my head for weeks… I haven’t been quite sure how to put this all together in something coherent… and it may still not be, but here it goes…

Health a tough subject; it’s one I would try to avoid if I didn’t feel so passionate about it. It is personal, vulnerable, and sometimes emotional and scary. When it becomes the topic of conversation, somehow it usually becomes a subject of debate. Everyone has strong beliefs, whether they admit or not that they actually care.  As you can imagine, my views on health aren’t always the most popular, and I get it… a few years ago, if the old me had met the current “alternative” me, I would have thought I was crazy.  So, when people roll their eyes or laugh (yes, this happens, often actually), I understand where they are coming from.  The reaction that I get when sharing my story is most consistently defensiveness.

It sucks to be wrong, especially about something you have believed all your life.  After years of unexplainable health issues and pain, I continued to seek out doctor after doctor and different medication.  I was furious when I realized that the doctors and medication I had trusted with my health had not only let me down, but actually caused me a great deal of harm.  It’s easy to be angry and hate the system, but instead, I’m now motivated to do my own research to find what’s best for my body.  In writing this blog and sharing what I learn, my goal has always been to share what you may not be hearing elsewhere.  I do that because my life was so dramatically changed when I was finally forced to question what I believed as undeniable truth.  What I have discovered since has been such an answer to prayer that I feel compelled to share it in hopes that it might help someone find healing sooner than I did.  I wish someone would have done that for me.

In the spirit of openness…. An update of where I’m at right now….

I had a follow-up appointment recently with my naturopath.  We talked through all the symptoms that had improved on my new protocol, ones I was still experiencing and a couple things that have been getting worse lately… one of which being weight gain.  Talking through all the different factors – diet, exercise, sleep, stress – nothing was jumping out as a cause.  We discussed other options I could try, like exercising less intensely so I’m not stressing my adrenals too much, or intermittent fasting… I know my face showed the discouragement.  I was at that hopeless “will I ever get better?/I feel like I’ve tried everything” stage when she said something that’s really stuck with me…

“Christine, in the 10 years I’ve been seeing you, you really are the healthiest you’ve ever been.  Would you rather be healthy and enjoying life with a few extra pounds or what is more important?”

It doesn’t make it easy, but she’s totally right.  Even though it’s tough to put on shorts and tank tops this summer, much less wear a swimsuit around all the super thin people in my life, I won’t let those thoughts get the best of me.  While the unexplained weight gain is a sign of a health issue that we have to figure out and address, I have seen some successes with my health lately and life is good….

I am no longer drowning in stress at my job.  I’m so blessed to be at a company that actually cares that I have a life outside of work and cares about my health.  Real talk: if your job is ruining your life/health, you’ve got to get out. It is not worth it. If these articles hit home for you (like they did for me), it’s time to make a change…

As my body has been recovering from the effects of years of stress, I’m enjoying relaxing with my husband, cooking at home more, going on walks with my pup and spending more time reading. It’s been months since I was sick. I don’t get ear infections weekly anymore. I don’t come home with back pain every single day.  And when I look at it that way, it feels like a miracle to be where I’m at.  And a little extra weight seems silly in comparison to all that.

If you are struggling with health issues right now that you can’t figure out and you’re losing hope- I’m sorry. I know what that’s like and I’m still there some days. It’s frustrating and so discouraging. And doctors are sometimes just guessing, randomly prescribing, and giving different diagnoses; and that’s even more disheartening. If that’s you, I’d love to hear about your journey. If that’s someone you know, please share this with them. There are answers out there and healing to be found, I know it.

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8 thoughts on “On my mind…

  1. Pingback: A Recap of 2016
  2. Pingback: Stress Away
  3. Love this post.. Related to so much of what you said. One of the best things that ever happened to me was finding an amazing naturopath. (And also an acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist). I think you are spot on about the harmful effects of stress.. I feel so lucky to be able to work a 9month a year position so that I can recuperate from the stress of my job (although with a toddler I don’t feel very relaxed haha). . So happy to find your blog on tell em Tuesday :).. Cheers

  4. Hi Christine! Great blog, as usual. Trusting yourself and your own instincts is always the best choice in the end. Only you know yourself, and no one cares about you like you do! (Which is the way it should be, btw.) So listen to yourself, and don’t give yourself over to another person (such as a doctor) who will never know YOU. Also, advice from me: your naturopath was right, appreciation is next to love as one of the highest thought-forms achievable. Appreciate the best things about your life if you want more of those things to appear, and try to keep frustration or discouraging thoughts to a minimum. Not always easy, but good! (Of course, having said that, I get frustrated about my weight too! lol.)

  5. If you don’t mind me asking… what exactly does a naturopath do? I’ve never visited one, but I’m very interested in alternative medicine.

    1. Hi Amanda! A naturopath is a doctor that focuses on the whole person when treating them. They look for the underlying causes of illness and seek to cure rather than just alleviate symptoms. They look at everything – physical, emotional, environmental, genetic, social factors – and run tests on hormones, vitamin levels, etc to get an understanding of the individual. They treat the person as an individual, recognizing that everyone may need a different protocol. And then the solution is most often naturally based… changing diet, supplementation, lifestyle, rather than prescribing medication.

      I would highly recommend trying to find one in your area… look for buzz words like “integrative” “holistic” and “functional medicine”… often the doctors specialize in hormones and have had further nutritional training than the one course they take in med school. Seeing both my naturopath and my chiropractor has helped me understand my body so much better and really find healing finally!

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