#TBT What to do when sh*t happens…

If you’ve been following my Instagram at all you know I’ve had a really rough couple of weeks with my fur/child, Cliff, being in and out of the emergency room and having repeated surgeries.  

We still don’t know exactly what’s wrong with him and some of what is happening to him is completely out of my control. 

These past few weeks have been physically and emotionally exhausting. 

But this is life; sh*t still happens no matter how healthy or safe you try to be.  The events of these last weeks have been a great reminder for me on how far I’ve come in my health journey and what to do when sh*t happens. 

So this week’s #throwbackthursday blog is full of lessons I’ve learned about what to do when sh*t happens, so you’ll know what to do too when sh*t happens in order to feel your best. 

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Let’s face it, sh*t happens and you can’t always avoid it.  There will always be traffic, an angry boss, deadlines that won’t get met no matter how hard you try, the loss of loved ones, stumbles and falls.

Last week I was stuck in a sh*t storm…

I was on my way home from Peru and everything was smooth sailing on my flight from Lima to Miami. So good, in fact, that we actually landed 45 minutes early.  After being away from home for 11 days, I was giddy to get home, so I decided to jump my flight.  

I paid $250 to catch an earlier flight at 3:45pm instead of waiting around until 7:45pm so I could get home 2 hours early and slide into bed before my 10pm bedtime.

Sounded like a great idea, right?  I thought so, until things went all wrong.

My new flight connected through Dallas.  The plane boarded on time. “So far so good” is what I texted my husband about 5 minutes too early.  Just after I hit “send,” the pilot announced there was a hold up on the runway and we would be taking off as soon as possible… 40 minute later we finally took flight.

This is when the sh*t started to hit the fan.

I nervously watched the time go by, hoping, praying, wishing and thinking all the positive thoughts possible that we would make up time in the air and I would make my tight connection in Dallas.

Just as we landed in Dallas, there was a glimmer of hope!  A woman next to me said her husband had just messaged her that all flights in Dallas had been grounded until 7:30pm for some reason, meaning my connection was still on the ground.

I grabbed my bag and ran across the airport with about 20 other people trying to catch the connection to San Diego.  We got to the gate to see the flight had been delayed and a representative was still at the counter – I felt relieved!

To our disappointment, the plane had already closed up boarding and no one else was getting on.

In that moment I had two choices. I could…

#1- Raise hell, scream, yell and demand for the plane to let us on as most of my passenger peers did around me.

#2- Evaluate what was in my control, what wasn’t, and make sure my wellbeing was the priority.

I opted for option number two.  

Having been in a similar situation a few years ago, I knew I had no control over opening up the plane again.  The old me, back then, argued with the airline representative which did nothing for me except raise my stress levels, drain my energy and leave me feeling fatigued and hopeless.

This time I chose differently. I chose my health.

In this week’s video and blog, I share more about how to navigate life when sh*t happens to better support your health.

Just because I’m a health-minded person doesn’t mean I’m immune to sh*t happening in my life.  I’ve had my fair share and I still get dished some from time-to-time.

How we choose to navigate the sh*t is what makes all the difference in the world to our health.

The choices we make around food, lifestyle and behavior all influence our genetic makeup and therefore our health.  We might have been given a set of genes, but we have the ability to turn them on or off based on how we choose to live our life. We know this based on the study of epigenetics. 

As shown in this study, mice raised by stressed mothers are more likely to be stressed themselves.  Stress causes changes in DNA that affect the receptors for cortisol, our major stress hormone.  The way we handle stress not only impacts our genes but also the genes of our offspring.

It’s funny sometimes how we actually create more stress in our lives than necessary.  We wait until the last minute to do something (procrastination!) like filling up our gas tank as my friend Molly Hamill just posted about.  We take on more than we can handle (too much on our plate).  We think we can save everyone or change them for the better (martyr or healer mentality).  We argue our point of view to death just to prove ourselves right even if we might be wrong. 

And all for what exactly?  To feel exhausted, fat, tired and sick more than we would like to.  

It’s time to put all of that into perspective and realize that each action you take can either help or hinder your health.  Which do you choose?

This became so clear to me after the first time my mom had a near death experience over 7 years ago.  I ran myself ragged trying to save her, arguing with the doctors, trying to control everything and putting too much responsibility for work, home and her on my plate.

She lived, but I barely did.  I was a shadow of health that I used to know, and it took quite some time for me to recover from all of that.  And not one thing that I did changed the outcome of what happened. It was all fate.

Through all of that, I realized the only control I had was over myself and my health.

Since then, part of improving and maintaining my health has been learning how to let go of the things I can’t control and controlling the things I can.  This can be tough when it means making myself a priority over even my loved ones, but I know it’s necessary for my own survival.

Being able to identify the burden of stress on the body at any point in time and knowing how to take action to reduce it, is the main message I teach all of my health-coaching clients and one that I practice personally.

Whether that’s by taking action to:

  • Eat in alignment with what your body needs
  • Get adequate sleep and rest over all else
  • Turn down the exercise intensity, even when your ego says “no”
  • Support the body with proper supplements until it can support itself
  • Notice when a situation is causing emotional or mental stress and changing course
  • Reduce toxic exposures as much as possible and enhance the body’s natural detox capacity

Back to that moment when I missed my flight connection…

There was nothing I could do about that, but I was able to assess my situation and recognize the possible burdens of stress my body was about to face: not being home on time for a healthy meal, not being in bed at a reasonable hour plus the mental/emotional aspects of being stuck waiting for another plane.

And that wasn’t even the end of it.  My rescheduled flight for 10:30pm was cancelled, the airport hotel was sold out so I had to stay somewhere 10 miles away, I woke up at 5:10am to a voicemail about my rescheduled 6:55am flight being cancelled to finally make it on a 7:10am flight home through LAX to San Diego.

And I didn’t lose my sh*t. Not even once.

So after 36+ hours traveling, one missed connection, two cancelled flights and 5 hours of sleep in a last-minute hotel, how did I stay sane and healthy this time?  My priorities were:

  1. Sleep
  2. Clean food
  3. Meditation

Those were the 3 things I could control and that would have the greatest positive impact on my well-being.

I knew eating clean food would keep my mind clear and my body nourished.  Sure, it would have been easy to eat anything in my immediate sight but the downside would have been brain fog, bloating and inflammation.

When I’m sleep deprived I become irritable and susceptible to getting sick, so getting sleep was a must. Not standing around arguing about a missed or cancelled flight.

And to keep myself grounded, emotionally stable (minus the few tired tears I shed on the phone telling my husband I wouldn’t be home), and rational to make quick decisions about my next move, I knew I needed to decompress with some deep breathing in the moment and some meditation before bed.

All-in-all I made it home in one piece without an ounce of jet lag or regret.

Good health is the relationship that we have with our mind and body, and the actions that we take based upon that.

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As a Functional Health Practitioner and coach, I not only use lab testing, diet, rest, exercise, supplements and stress reduction techniques to help my clients achieve their results, but I also infuse transformational coaching methods to change their behaviors and help them embrace health as a way of being.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to improve your health and you’re ready to invest in your health and yourself, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session here today!

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