When you know you want to make a change, sometimes it’s really hard to know where to start. From my experience I was craving, and at times crying, because all I wanted was someone to help me figure out how to change the path I was on. My body was in constant pain and I was tired.
Willpower failed, restriction failed, counting calories resulted in obsessing which was terrible for my own mental health. I was sent from one specialist to another with each one telling me conflicting things about medicine and nutrition. At times it felt like I had done more to work to educate myself than they had. I even had one ask to photocopy the research that I’d done on my own so that they could share it with their patients.
At 23 I was diagnosed with thyroid disease and told not to worry because there was a pill I could take for the rest of my life. I trusted that my doctor knew best so I followed his instructions. For the next seven years I’d go to my annual doctor appointment complaining of brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, anxiety, and a strange sensitivity to cold and heat just to name a few. He’d check my levels, change my meds and tell me to come back next year. Thankfully my insurance changed and I had to find a new doctor.
After seven years of being on medicine and still having unresolved symptoms I happened to find the most amazing doctor. He listened, looked at my chart and told me that I had Hashimoto’s which is an autoimmune disease.
For some, changing can be frustrating and feel like starting over when it comes to your treatment progress. For me, it proved to be a good change.
He explained that my symptoms were classic for Hashimoto’s which is a thyroid autoimmune disease, which is where your body begins attacking itself. I had more labs and an ultrasound to confirm his suspicions. At this point a lot of damage had been done in my body. It took nearly 5 more years to get the celiac diagnosis. And several years later I got another diagnosis, rheumatoid arthritis. The dreaded trifecta.
I’ve seen neurologists, an allergist, a gastroenterologist, rheumatologists, a dietitian, and the list goes on. The thing with autoimmune diseases is you start to feel insane. At least I did. I found a great therapist who also has autoimmune diseases who shared my experiences. I also became friends with an amazing pediatrician who has been validating that this struggle is real. After having so many bad experiences with the medical industry I finally had a very small group who helped me feel less alone.
That feeling of loneliness while struggling with health was the hardest part. Luckily, I have a really supportive husband who goes along with every aspect of how I need to eat and move. But from what clients have told me, most have very little support and some don’t have any support at all. I hear people tell me they feel lost and alone and have no clue how to start.
Here’s the good news, I’ve been on a journey of aiming for improved health for the last 15 years. I’ve pushed the RA into remission. This came about because of an overhaul of how I eat, my own education and a really good medical care team. I finally have days full of energy which I never thought I’d have. My husband tells me he sees the difference in every area of life.
I know that this path is hard especially when you feel like you’ve failed and your body is failing. But failure is really the best way to learn. You know what hasn’t worked for you. You may have learned that you can’t do this alone and you want that support to help you create lasting change.
I work with people who don’t know how to start. We’ve spent our life being the hare, in a race to accomplish everything faster when really we need to slow down and be the turtle.
What I’ve learned is that health doesn’t come in the form of the latest fad diet, a magic pill, a shake, or a detox tea. Improved health comes from changing habits that no longer serve you. It comes from eating whole foods, moving your body, and calming your mind. It come from support, knowing that you’re not alone and we can do hard things.
If you don’t know where to start, I’d love to go on this journey of improved health with you. We’ll work together as a team to create strategies that will work for you. Join me on this blog. Join me through a training program, join me in person or via zoom. We will do this together.