Hey Autoimmune Sister,
Have you had that one moment in life that changed everything for your health?
I did. Here’s what, and when, it happened…
In 2012, I was awakened in the middle of the night with a pain in my left arm that felt like someone had placed it in a clamp and just kept tightening down until my bone screamed with pain. It escalated from there to my hand then my other arm and hand and lasted a few months. Months!
I was casually, and off-handedly, told by an urgent care physician that it was simply a case of tendonitis.
(Tendonitis… are you kidding me?!)
Fast forward on and off for a few years, and the pain would come and go, but the fatigue was in full force for much of the time. This made getting out of bed difficult as I never felt like I’d had enough rest, I had trouble remembering things and my recall was fuzzy.
I became chronically exhausted and had days when I couldn’t do my hair or makeup because of the pain and swelling in my hands. Heck, I couldn’t even dress myself, much less drive to work!
As a mother of three at the time, I was focused on their future, and raising them, so I didn’t really pay attention to my symptoms in the beginning, and I wasn’t connecting the dots.
I blamed myself for being a “bad mother” because I was always tired or just not motivated to help them with homework or even just being with them. I felt guilty and depleted.
I even thought at one point when the depression was kicking in that I just wasn’t cut out to be a mother. That, of course, was complete and utter bullshit, as I would come to discover.
Nonetheless, my self-worth and sense of value were plummeting. I sunk into depression and just became numb. I felt misunderstood, unsupported, and alone.
I got so tired of well-meaning people in my life saying things like “but, you don’t LOOK sick!” when I would share my symptoms with them, and could sense the attachment of labels like ‘hypochondriac’ and ‘attention-seeker’. Which couldn’t have been any further from who I was.
So, eventually I just detached from family, friends and coworkers.
It wasn’t until ‘The Whole 30’ book came into my life, accidentally on purpose, that I would be enlightened in so many ways. You could say it was health- and life-altering. And this was way before any officially unofficial diagnosis was in.
I realized that I didn’t have to be superwoman all the damn time and that I would have to learn to live with being perfectly imperfect.
I also discovered that what was happening to me was due to a few key things that were actually in my control! And, it started with my second favorite of the eff words…
F-F-F-Food!! I’d always had digestive issues my whole life, yet I never connected it to INFLAMMATION.
All the doctors, all the time, and all the money I spent wasn’t getting me any closer to an answer, so I took charge of my own health, and went ‘all in’. Go big or home the f*ck home, am I right?
I changed made a number of critical changes to my diet and felt transformed in the first 30 days. No joke.
Here’s the kicker though – I was (still am) a foodie. I was never a fast food girl, I’ve always had an epicurean part of me, and a part of me that enjoyed REAL FOOD.
Even as a little girl I would pretend I was on some cooking show, I’d have all my spices placed in cute little bowls and I’d be making magic happen!
But as a mother, cooking those meals did not happen. It was a lot of ready-made, simple-to-heat, processed foods. But those processed boxes of “food” said they were healthy in some way or another so I felt good serving them to my kiddos and eating them myself.
So you’d think the transformation would have been a struggle right?
Nope. I actually enjoyed the process. I developed a new connection to food and what it did for my body. I could literally feel the difference in how my body responded.
Hopelessness was replaced by optimism that I hadn’t felt in years. My pain and swelling were gone. My energy came soaring back – vitality! I even shed some excess weight that I had been carrying, and my body composition actually changed.
(Hey there muscle tone, where ya been all these years?!)
Want to get a jumpstart on your optimized health plan too?
Well, being the human that I am… eventually I slid back into my old ways of eating and the symptoms started rearing their ugly head here and there until finally, I had a full-blown flare-up.
I was lucky enough to get into a specialist while I was inflamed (versus having to wait weeks and by then be “fine” again). Finally, I received the answer I had been seeking as to what was causing these painful, debilitating symptoms – Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
Relief turned to fear, worry and sadness as my first thoughts were the impending doom of a life of pill popping for pain, deformed joints, and chronic fatigue.
Then, the Autoimmune Warrior in me spoke up and said…
“F*ck that. It doesn’t have to be this way. You know how to do this!”
But, I didn’t just shift what I ate, I shifted my mindset… big time!
And a fire was lit within me, and I was compelled to help other women who needed to heal from autoimmune disease too. (I suspect that that’s YOU, my friend!)
So, that’s when I knew that I needed to find a platform that enabled me to amplify my voice in order to help guide and support other women who are wearing the same shoes that I had been.
This is why I became a Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), and WHY I feel compelled to help other professional women and busy working mamas — who are also struggling with chronic illness and autoimmune disorders.
So, hey there my new friend! I’m Beth, and I’m here for you.
Join me over in the exclusive Women’s Autoimmune Collective community — that’s where I share all kinds of healthy lifestyle tips & resources, including live recipe demos!