Your health has many components, including the physical, emotional, and spiritual. Most of us take our physical health for granted, well, right until the moment it begins to fail us. This can be a scary time, creating feelings of helpless no matter the strength of one’s emotional or spiritual health.
I clearly remember the moment my doctor told me something was “up” with my liver and the best I could hope for was a Celiac diagnosis. My immediate response was an internal monologue well known to anyone who’s sat in a doctor’s office with such news: “Are you kidding me?! I don’t need another “something” going on in my body! I focus on mental and spiritual work, I’m a good person! How did this happen? My dad just died…isn’t that enough trauma right now?? Please tell me, why the hell is this happening to me? No, really! Why?!” I lived in this state of fear and anxiety as I endured lab tests, an ultrasound, and a biopsy of the liver to find out I have a second auto-immune condition called Primary Biliary Cirrhosis. Well, here’s what I knew at that point: the liver has the word “live” in it, so clearly I needed it to stay alive.
After several months mourning the diagnosis, I pulled myself together and began researching ways to turn this around. One of my core beliefs is that the body can heal itself if given the proper support and tools. And another is that I refuse to feel like a victim. I spent the year playing with healthy eating and exercise as I tried to figure out what was best for me and my health. Somewhere during all of that I was given the name of a nutritionist who practices functional medicine and I gave her a call. (There’s nothing like random moments that become major life points to remind us to be grateful for the little things every day.)
I will never forget my first visit with her. You see, I may have still been a bit resistant, but I was quickly drawn in by our shared belief about food as medicine. At the end of our session, I agreed to start adding vegetables to my intake, as many as I could tolerate. Well, in truth – and typical Julie fashion, I woke up the following morning and somewhere in my sleep decided I would give up dairy, grains, sugars, and beans, with the added caveat that I had to understand everything on the label of any pre-made foods. I suppose it’s just that moment when you finally wake up and shout “enough!” and take back control. Well, those first two weeks were definitely a white-knuckle experience, and needless to say my second session with the nutritionist was humourous considering the goal after the first session was just to add some vegetables!
My body quickly released about 40 pounds of fat and inflammation. I had energy and clarity unlike ever before. I had turned the corner of not just eating for weight loss, but eating for my health and healing. I’ve been eating this way mostly for a year and a half now, and through this process I’ve regained control over food. And from this control comes a stillness to really listen to what the body needs. What it needs now? Green juice! And more of it! And apparently cardio kick-boxing classes, too! I like to go fast, heal fast, move fast, and stay in motion, so now my cells are begging for the energy to keep up.
While many parts of my body have healed, there’s still more physical healing to go, in addition to always improving the emotional and spiritual sides of my health, ever blooming into new health and new life. Will you join me? What are your health goals? Do you feel like you struggle with change and fall short of achieving desired outcomes? Are you ready to take control? Let’s talk!
Still Blooming, Julie