Five simple changes you can make to start feeling better today!
October of 2017 changed my life forever!
I fell into bed exhausted one night...... and stayed there for weeks. My body finally succumbed to an illness it had apparently been fighting for years without me even knowing.
Our bodies are amazing like that! They are brilliantly created machines that will adapt and shift and protect until they just can't anymore. There are VERY simple changes you can make in your daily routine that will help support your body while it does its best to protect you quietly from the inside! Not everyone feels the need to make HUGE changes in their routine.... and I get that! But, even the smallest of changes can make a big difference in the way you feel!
I'd like to share FIVE things you can do for yourself starting TODAY..... that will have you feeling noticeably better in just a few short days! And below these listed changes I have decided it is time to share my own personal story of change...... in hopes that it will offer HOPE to many of YOU! 5 Steps to Feeling Better:
1. Drink more water!
Drink half your body weight in ounces..... everyday!
Example: If you weigh 175 lbs..... divide that number by 2.... which is 87.5.... and drink that in ounces (87.5 ounces of water a day)
Your body relies on water in order to function at its best. Our bodies are capable of adapting without enough water.... and most of ours are being forced to do so.... as the average person is living in a constant state of dehydration..... which over time can cause serious damage to very important organs.
AT LEAST try increasing your daily consumption with this above calculation being your goal.
2. Get more sleep!
Create a bedtime routine and stick to it!
The suggested amount of sleep recommended by the American Heart Association is 7-8 hours per night.
Sleep is a gift we give ourselves..... and our bodies rely on sleep to "clean house". It is while we are sleeping that the body redistributes fluids, filters toxins, washes the brain, cells are repaired, energy is restored.... just to name a few!
Again.... your body will adapt and try to carry out these processes with less sleep.... but overtime..... you will likely pay the price with deteriorating health.
I practice a breathing exercise called 4-7-8 Breathing twice a day.
I've linked it here where it is demonstrated by Dr. Weil. CLICK HERE
This is a fabulous practice to help induce stress, alleviate stress immediately and lowers your heart rate.
It is a simple technique that you can use anywhere and anytime!
4. Move your body!
I encourage you to incorporate 20-30 minutes of purposeful "movement" into your every day!
I come from the 1980's generation of hardcore aerobic exercise with my headband and leg warmers and loud music pumping producing loads of sweat..... as being the only way to work out and anything less than that was child's play! Not anymore!!!! At 56 yrs old...... I've accepted the fact that even the gentlest of movements is perfectly fine and acceptable toward my daily "self love" goals. A gentle walk around the block while taking in some fresh air.... consistently..... is worth celebrating! Walking laps inside your own home is acceptable!!! Pushing the vacuum cleaner for 20 consecutive minutes counts! Just move ON PURPOSE everyday!
5. Cut back (or even eliminate) OBVIOUS sugar from your diet!
I know..... this is the one no one wants to hear.... but it is truly the BIGGEST game changer!!!
I had NO idea how dependent and addicted I was to processed sugars until I removed it from my diet.
I have now helped thousands of women go through this same elimination process and they also are shocked to find they too were truly addicted to this substance.
Sugar is in all the processed foods that you eat and trying to remove it from you diet can be very overwhelming.
So I begin by recommending cutting back on the OBVIOUS sugars like candy, ice cream, adding spoonfuls of sugar to your tea and coffee, sugared cereals, etc. The things you KNOW loaded with sugar.... just try to cut back on those. I know that making even the simplest of changes can be very challenging! I'd known for years that I needed to make changes in my daily habits.... and I would try! I'd do good for awhile and then I'd just fall back into old habits. Doing it ALONE is just so hard!! But by the grace of God...... I was forced to "wake up" and make a change...... and the challenges and hard work were 100% worth it!
Why I started the 5 Steps to Feeling Better
Let me explain a little of the backstory to try and justify why I was so severely distracted and clearly missing all cries from my body for attention!
In 2006, I gave birth to my fourth child at 41. I was newly remarried after having been a single mom to three older children for 10 years. During that 10 years I worked as an RN in a pediatric ICU..... and most of those years were spent working nights. I slept very little and did my best to be present and active with my three teens. Being newly married and having the opportunity to stay home with my new baby and enjoy these moments at a slower pace was a real blessing. However..... my health was beginning to show signs of stress.
In 2007 I had a total thyroidectomy which was followed by months of hormone imbalance, mood swings, personality changes and a host of other unpleasant results.
In 2008 our country's economy crashed and my husband's business was in total jeopardy. He was stressed, I was still a hormonal wreck and we together were a disaster. My mother (my best friend and sounding board) lost her battle with cancer..... and passed away. And Matt and I spent the next two years trying to find our way in an economy that was not kind to small business owners.
By 2010, Matt had closed his oil and gas business and was trying to find his next path. We'd sold everything we could to save our home and cars. I had let my nursing license lapse so my returning to work as an RN would not be a simple move.... not to mention I had committed to being home with our three year old.... which was a real source of joy for me during really rough times. My grandmother passed away. I became a grandmother. And that granddaughter's first birthday was approaching and my son asked if I'd be willing to paint my old french provincial bedroom suite for her big girl room. He remembered me painting furniture many times when he was a child..... and thought it would be nice to update an old set for her. This was a turning point for me and launched a new career that I never saw coming and was certainly not mentally or emotionally prepared for!
By 2012, I was running a full time furniture painting business in our garage! I painted all day while Zadie was in school, enjoyed my afternoons with her, painted in the evenings, answered emails and worked my social media late at night...... and headed back into the garage to paint until the wee hours of the morning. I had more orders than I knew what to do with, which was a huge blessing for our family. I buried myself in my work and rarely saw more than the inside walls of the garage. Sometimes, I even fell asleep out there..... on the cement floor! I ate whatever snack I could grab from a box. I slept very little. I carried stress trying to meet shipping deadlines. I had zero boundaries..... I never said no to an order...... I put my work before my family. I only took time off for a hysterectomy and didn't give myself anytime to heal. The only commitment for myself that I had kept was, I was home with my daughter...... but I was NOT present..... and I suffered a lot of guilt over this. But I didn't change anything. We needed the money and that was my driver. I was working hard and not smart...... and my body and health were paying the price.
Five years later..... and 2017 would be the year everything changed. We were surviving..... but not thriving. We were surrounded by SO MANY blessings.... but were still stuck in our survival ways. We were now grandparents to FOUR grandkids..... Matt had started a new business..... my business was growing at a rapid pace..... yet we just weren't looking UP and living in gratitude. We were stuck in our hamster wheels seeing not much more than what was on tomorrow's work docket. Until I went to bed that night after finishing a week long kitchen cabinet job. I was so tired. My skin looked awful. My body hurt all over. My eyes were cloudy. My mind was foggy. My body was done.
Not being able to pull myself out of sleep for several days led to a doctor visit..... that led to the discovery of alarmingly elevated liver enzyme results (like in the thousands).... that led to many questions by doctors and many test and labs and more test and labs and finally.... weeks later..... a liver biopsy...... and a diagnosis. I was in advanced stage liver damage caused by Autoimmune Hepatitis. Based on the amount of damage they estimate it to have been going on for the last ten years! This takes us back to 2007.... the year I had my thyroidectomy.... my first real sign of health decline!!! My first scream from my body to pay attention..... and my first of many ignorant denials! For the next ten years.... my body did the best it could to protect me. It adapted and shifted and successfully bought me time..... until it couldn't.
Questions for you??
Does my story sound familiar to you? Have hard times and life trials stolen your ability to set boundaries for yourself? Are you relying on your body to keep you safe, yet doing nothing to support it in return? Are you surviving instead of thriving on a tank that is less than half full?Would you even recognize a message from your body if it was sent to you? Have you grown so accustomed to fatigue and pain and depression that you have accepted it as your life?
There is a better you waiting!
I have news for you! There is a better you just waiting for you to take notice! There is life inside you begging to be nurtured! There is healing to be done and growth to be grown! It is NEVER too late! There is HOPE! I am walking and living proof that by the grace of God and HIs swift move to knock my feet out from under me so I would take notice..... there is a better way!
I made some very simple changes! I put my health first for the first time in my life! I dug deep into my nursing school education and spent time relearning how the body functions and what it relies on to thrive and rest and recover. I set boundaries and stuck to them. I let go of old habits. I studied and put into practice how to create new habits that would serve me. I spent time learning about food and what works for my body and what works against my body. I firmly believe we are what we eat! Eating is one thing we ALL do as humans..... and I believe we are each a direct reflection of what we choose to feed ourselves. I started this journey with the help of a team of doctors and a nutritionist. I put into place what they suggested and I used the information they gave me as the starting line for what would become my new mission! My healing was obvious to those around me. They could SEE physical changes within just a few short months. I could FEEL changes within just a few short weeks. My doctors could see changes WEEKLY in my lab work. But the real proof came..... 18 months later..... with my follow up liver biopsy. My new biopsy revealed a complete reversal of my initial extensive liver damage!!!! I was on the cusp of being on a liver transplant list...... and I now have a fully functioning liver!!!! My liver specialist said he'd never seen such results! Whatever it was I was doing..... to keep doing it..... and to keep spreading my message to anyone that would listen. Proper nutrition, work- lifestyle balance and personal boundaries..... can save your life!
In 2018, one year into my own personal healing journey...... I started an online mentorship HERE for others seeking a vibrant life! Over the last few years we have mentored over one thousand lives through the initial 8 week process of breaking old habits and building new ones. We have recovered from addictions, take less medications, live with less pain and some are completely pain free, we have chronic conditions in full remission, we have lost massive weight, we sleep better, have more energy, now swim, bike and run and dance! Many of our members have gone on to pursue and fulfill lifelong dreams that they had long given up on! And I say with loads of gratitude.... many of the original members are still in our exclusive group today! Our community changes lives..... and serves as a place to give back to those just beginning their journeys.... which is such an important part of one's healing process.
Every single year since 2018 has been full of growth and joy! Matt and I have learned to live INSIDE our boundaries and are quick to recognize when that space is challenged. We live IN the present. We practice working smarter... not harder. We are both self-employed and enjoy the flexibility AND the ability to say no thank you. Our family is our focus.... .especially Zadie who is now 15! My driver is no longer money or a new furniture order. My driver is "helping others". My mission is to help as many people as I possibly can.... to see that living a pain free and vibrant life is possible for everyone and it is NEVER too late! We are all equipped to live our best life...... sometimes we just need a little guidance!
I am humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to share both my story and my journey with others. I truly believe that everything in my life prior to this time was preparing me for this leadership role. I was allowed to stumble..... to hurt..... to fear...... to be distracted...... to believe the lies I told myself...... to hit rock bottom........ so that I could show compassion, mercy and understanding to those that need it most! I believe my story was meant to be relatable.... and believable..... so that it might have power and light to reach more people.
You are not breaking..... you are breaking through. You are not breaking...... you are becoming.
It's your turn now. Let's do this!