Photo: White Pear Photography
Wellness really isn't that complicated.
If there's an issue you need to address, you take an inventory of where you're at. You decide where you want to be, and you go.
Trouble is, too often people lack the objectivity to handle this in the best way possible for themselves. That's where a holistic health coach comes in. We take a look at where you're at, we listen all about where you want to be (or if you're not sure, we assist you with formulating a realistic goal and holding you accountable in getting there, and also offer support and assistance along the way).
We help you find your all-around balance and get your health and personal goals on track.
A holistic health coach helps you take a closer look at your eating habits, and see where we can add in new options that may serve you better. That's your "secondary food" - what's on your plate. Then, we look at the things that nourish you that aren't on your plate, or your "primary food": your relationships, career, exercise regimen, spiritual practice (even if that just means aligning with nature, and being mindful of gratitude). To be in balance, both your primary and secondary foods need to be working toward being in balance.
Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food." Most people have all but lost sight of this advice today, with so many people looking for answers to ideal health and their dream physique inside cardboard boxes of massively processed, convenient foods. It occurred to me after figuring out how to have the health and physique I always wanted that packaged foods from the center of my grocery store are not where it's at. As I recently stood by the grocery checkout looking at the point of purchase items, my eyes settling on an energy bar with a name that promised svelteness, it occurred to me that this is precisely what people who do not worry about their weight DON'T eat.
Food has been a powerful drug for me - both for better, and for worse. I went from being someone who was medicated to the bejeezuz for asthma and allergies - taking a Claritin D, two Benadryl and an asthma pill daily, and STILL feeling like crap - to someone who changed her diet and got off all of those medications within days of the dietary change. I just woke up a few days later, and didn't have the symptoms anymore that required the medications!
On May 13th of this year, I went to see a friend who was doing with her diet what I knew I needed to do with mine. As I sat with her, looking at her glowing, vibrant skin and observing her boundless energy, I clutched my Kleenex, repeatedly wiped my nose and wheezed. "That's it," I said to myself. "This has gotten ridiculous. I'm just doing it!" Three days later, I realized that what I had done was open a new chapter in my life.
Within a month, I felt so good that I decided to see how I felt going off the hormone medication I had been prescribed to treat the PCOS that I had been diagnosed with at age 35. I had gone off that medication once to see how I had felt, and all of my very painful symptoms came flooding back. But now I was 49, and had dramatically cleaned up my diet. It was time to test the waters again, and see how I felt. Apprehensive, but realizing that the medication was still there for me to resume if those awful symptoms returned, I went off the hormones. And I felt great! My surprise and my elation were immeasurable!
Since my big hormone imbalance had set itself right after cleaning up my dietary act, I wanted to give my body its biggest test of all. I had suffered from depression since about the age of 5, but only finally got medicated for my depression around age 31. The meds were tremendously helpful, and really transformed my life. I'm also not one to look down on anyone for needing to take antidepressants, or for taking anything else to tend to their mental health - no more than I would look down on someone for medicating any other kind of health condition in need of treatment. With that said, I was also thinking about certain dietary habits I had had most of my life that had paralleled my depression. It's common knowledge that hormones can dramatically effect mood - and mine seemed to finally be in balance! So, once again, knowing that my medications were still there for me if this turned out to be a bad idea, I went off of them. I slowly weaned myself off my antidepressant over the course of two weeks for safety's sake. (Call me unreasonable, but the thought of potentially going into seizure from an abrupt withdrawal just wasn't so appealing.) And after the slow wean-off...I felt FINE. It was so incredibly liberating! I had gone off once, just five years after getting medicated. It was an unmitigated disaster, and I went back after asking myself honestly what I was trying to prove to myself by suffering unmedicated. But this time, I wasn't depressed at all! I had an oddly flat affect for a few weeks as the medication worked its way out of my body, but that has gone away now that I have been off for three months now. (And I still feel fine!)
Moreover, with each passing month, I feel better. I may (?) always be a highly sensitive person, but I have every reason to believe that I will continue to feel better with the passage of time as my body continues to detox what was (and I'm sure, still is) stored in my fat cells from the things I was eating and all of the medications I was taking. It has also become quite clearly apparent that my immune system is strengthening with the new whole, highly nutritious foods that have been added in to my diet. To illustrate, I have twice caught a head cold which has strangely but pleasingly worked its way through my body in a little over a day. Part of being human is being susceptible to germs and viruses. But the body's ability to respond to attack and heal itself is a true measure of health. These days, I'm bouncing back better than ever!
My current challenge is to continue to rehab the arthritis in my hip and shoulder with exercise, since I know that movement is the enemy of stiffness and stagnation, and I refuse to get immobile from arthritis as I age.
As my 50th birthday nears in May 2014, my goal is to feel and look my best ever to enable me to live out the rest of my days as fully as possible!
Join me on my journey, watch me go, and let me help you with yours! My in-person holistic health coaching practice is here on Long Island, but I can work with anyone who can Skype! I'd love to help you find your path to fabulous energy, great digestion, strong immunity, peaceful sleep and a balanced life. You can learn more about my coaching programs that help you take back your health and your life at www.BeNourishedNow.com, and contact me there for more information.
Be well! :)