My Healthiest Trip Yet!
I just spent the last two weeks touring Thailand and Hong Kong, and I feel healthier than I have in years! I don’t say that because I took a well-deserved vacation from work and the stress of life, but because I noticed a significant improvement in my health compared to past trips.
This time last year I spent 3 weeks traveling all over Europe. I went to Croatia, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands. While I certainly enjoyed all of the beautiful sites and cities I explored, there was a nagging sense of fatigue, bloating, brain fog and weight gain running the in background.
I did my best to make the most of my Europe trip but honestly I was exhausted most of the time. My face felt puffy every morning, my clothes fit a little too tight and the second I sat down on a train, plane or in a car I was dozing off to sleep.
Most would chalk up these feelings to being jet lagged, and a part of me wanted to also, but I knew this tired, swollen and less than excited version of me wasn’t the real me.
At the time, I didn’t know that what I was feeling was all a part of my soon to be diagnosed Hashimoto’s and mold illness. About a week after my return from Europe, I received my diagnosis and just a few weeks later, a test revealed toxic mold in my home.
I spent the better part of 2-3 years leading up to those two moments of revelation feeling as if I was trying to dig myself out of some poor-health-hole I wasn’t really sure how I had landed in. All I wanted was to feel like my best self again. The same fit and energetic version of me from 2013 when I felt at the peak of optimal health.
Looking back, I can now see exactly what led to my demise over time…
- Working a stressful job for a struggling start up company as the VP of Strategic Wellness Planning
- Adding extra work hours on the side as a personal trainer to start my business
- Mysterious mold in my house that I had no idea about
- Eating “healthy” but not consciously and not always right for my body
- Not making time for myself, then binging on self-care in short spurts
- Searching for purpose in social scenes and having one too many drinks
- Running long distances after late nights and hitting the weights way too hard at the gym
Mind you, a lot of these actions held true for me most of my life. For a long time my body was able to adapt and recover, but at some point it reached its threshold and couldn’t handle it anymore .
Adaptation, or lack thereof, is tricky to explain to clients. They want to know “but why was I able to eat this or do that my whole life and all of a sudden now it’s a problem?”
The truth is, it’s always been a problem.
Your body is amazing at adapting to its situation. It’s always looking for the most efficient way to accomplish a task whether it’s something that you consciously embark on, such as hitting baseball, or some physiological function running in the background.
However, there’s one flaw – you only have so much vital reserve to run on before your body starts to break down.
Each of us has a different threshold for our vital reserve (aka our ability to adapt and how much stress our body can handle) based on our genetics and where our weak links are placed. Think of the old theory or saying, “survival of the fittest,” it points out what we know evolutionarily – the strongest survive and the weakest don’t.
But in these modern times we’re able to bypass the typical evolutionary process. We can outsmart disease with what we know about the body. We can easily identify what’s contributing to disease and take action to reduce it, enhance our vital reserve and improve our chances for survival.
This is exactly what I started doing even more intensely a year ago to achieve the way I feel today.
The accumulation of stress on my body intensified when I started working from home full time in a toxic mold-infested place. My body’s vital reserve and ability to adapt to the stress of my lifestyle and environment drastically decreased, I hit my threshold and as a result an autoimmune process flourished.
In this week’s video and blog I share with you what I’ve done to enhance my vital reserve, to reverse the autoimmune process, to feel the healthiest I’ve been in years and how you can too!
Now my energy surprises me. At the end of the day, I’m astonished at how much I have accomplished and how much energy I still have left. Sometimes I underestimate my energy availability as if I have PTSD from being so fatigued before.
This recent trip to Thailand really brought to light how much healthier I am!
I had zero jet lag even after only sleeping for 4 hours during a 30+ hour travel day
I felt at home in my body, slim and trim the whole time!
I could have a cocktail without it kicking my ass the next day or destroying my sleep
I woke up feeling rested every single morning with the sunrise
I was able to think clearly, stay focused and maintain a joyful mood
I didn’t need (or even want) a nap after long days of hiking, snorkeling, walking or sightseeing
I am so grateful for the way I feel in my body today, and it makes every ounce of effort I have put into healing myself this past year more than worth it.
When I received my Hashimoto’s diagnosis and found the toxic mold in my home last fall, I made a promise to myself to not let these situations get the better of me. I hunkered down, got to business taking even better care of myself to coach up my body’s vital reserve and started the slow road to a full recovery.
What I did was actually really simple. I didn’t take any magic pills, try any elaborate or expensive therapies and I didn’t rely on prescription medications to mask my symptoms.
I simply focused on the general principles of health and creating consistency with them.
As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, focusing on the general principles of health is the backbone to the training I have received and the work that I do.
The general principles of health have worked for thousands of years and have proven to outperform specific treatments for disease. They are simple yet impactful. Before we had modern medicine all we had were the general principles of health; eat healthy, sleep, move our body, de-stress at the end of the each day, and the use of herbs or vitamins to support bodily functions.
The body wants to be in balance, it doesn’t want to be out of balance. And given the right resources the body is able to build up its vital reserve and it will always return to its preferred state of balance.
The body thrives on consistency.
Just think, the more consistently you do something, the better you become at it. This holds true in anything we do in life, such as riding a bike, hitting a baseball, our job, being a parent, cooking, etc. Practice makes perfect.
Consistency paves the way for our body to adapt, to become more efficient. If we are consistently immersed in activities that don’t support our health, our body will adapt, utilize its resources until there are no more and eventually give way to sickness. Or if we are consistently engaged in activities that support our health, our bodies will adapt, become even more efficient, use fewer resources and promote greater health.
And if we are consistently somewhere in between, bouncing back and forth creating a roller coaster of highs and lows, then our bodies will struggle to adapt, drain its resources in doing so, and eventually reach its threshold. You can think of this similarly to the wear and tear on your car; driving in the city with the constant stop and go produces more wear and tear on your car versus just hopping on the freeway and driving at one speed for a period of time without stopping. Most modern cars even kick into a “fuel efficient” state when you drive at a constant speed for a period of time.
Consistency has carried me back to a place of feeling like myself.
In order to restore my vital reserve and return my body to balance, I focused on creating consistency this past year.
I more consistently…
- Went to bed within a few hours after sunset 6 nights a week
- Made self care part of my daily routine instead of binging on the weekends or once a month
- Created and engaged in a meditation practice promoting positive thoughts and healing
- Set healthy boundaries around work and anything else that drained my energy
- Ate 100% grain, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol free for 3+ months and still do 90% of the time
- Worked on being present and making empowered choices with me in mind
- Took my supplements religiously to nourish and heal my body
- Tested, and tested again to monitor my progress and make adjustments to my healing plan when needed
All of my efforts have paid off in order to feel as healthy and more like myself on this trip than I have in a long time.
By all means, I haven’t been perfect in my commitment to restore balance to my body and create consistency. I have stared temptation in the face, had lengthy conversations in my head about giving in and giving up, and at times have felt very alone on this journey and in some of the choices I’ve had to make for me.
Each time I felt challenged on my journey I reconnected with what really matters – my health and feeling like myself again, and it always helped me get back to creating consistency for my body to thrive on.
If you feel stuck when it comes to your health or struggle with getting back to feeling like yourself, consider how consistent or not you have been…
Do you find yourself doing healthy things all week and binging on the weekends in unhealthy activities? Are you super healthy at home but let loose too much when you travel for work or pleasure? Or maybe you run a tight and healthy ship for extended periods of time, end up feeling deprived and then throw in the towel to fill the void?
Healthy is a way of being not of doing.
You can do all the healthy things in the world, but if you don’t embrace it as a lifestyle and create consistency you’ll constantly be swimming upstream. And when you do embrace it as a lifestyle, it will significantly get easier. You’ll find yourself riding with the current and the wind in your sails.
P.S. If you’re ready to break the roller coaster ride cycle and create consistency to promote your health, then let’s chat! Schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here.