So, I wasn’t always concerned with my health. I wasn’t always intentionally conscious about what I put in and on my body. I didn’t always even care or know about holistic medicine.
I also had zero energy then. And my skin was terrible. I ate way too much sugar, and would just trust whatever a doctor would tell me. (Doctors are awesome and soooo necessary, but they are also human and bad ones give you bad advice)
My health has really changed since I became intentional to just care enough about myself to be as healthy as I can be.
I say “as healthy” because I have a chronic illness called POT Syndrome. It’s an autonomic nervous system dysfunction, and it will make it so I can never be 100% healthy.
But that’s actually the root of my motivation.
I was officially diagnosed when I was 14 in 2010. I had terrible symptoms. I would sleep 14 hours a day and still be exhausted and felt like I needed more sleep, I was nauseous 24/7, I had migraines more than 4 times a month, my periods were a mess and I would get ovarian cysts that would burst (they hurt like hell), and I would pass out if I walked too fast, walked to long, or didn’t lie down for long enough.
I still have most of those symptoms, but at the worst of the worst, I was in a wheelchair, in bed, or on the couch. It was terrible. My Mom didn’t know if I was dying or just being tortured by life.
This was so very lonely because I am an achiever. I like to do things. I am introverted so I need rest afterwards, but I still enjoy life.
I wasn’t able to play hockey anymore, non of my friends at 16 understood how sick I actually was so they didn’t bother sticking around, and I couldn’t do my favorite activity for more than 30 minutes even in a wheelchair. Shopping.
It was seriously isolating and I hated it. I would look at people who ate terribly or had terrible habits and get angry with them. “You have your health and you are wasting it!” I would think to myself.
I’m not exactly the type of person to just sit in pity for myself. I am a doer and a problem solver. When I got old enough to actually take my health into my own hands and make my own health choices (my Mom was amazing about letting me make my own health choices and standing by me with them. It really taught me how to make good choices and be responsible), I saw it as a problem that needed fixing.
So, I did research like crazy. Anytime a doctor would suggest a treatment plan, test, diagnosis, or medication, I immediately researched. I wanted to know the ins and outs in order to make a good choice.
Through this, I learned a lot. I learned that I have bad side effects and reactions to almost all medication because it’s synthetic. I learned that it is in no way the answer to everything. I learned what other people were using for POT Syndrome. I learned how to advocate for myself. How to suggest my own treatment plan to my doctors. I learned that diet is so very important in any health issue. I learned that emotional health, though rarely even mentioned or acknowledged, plays a huge part in your overall health.
So with years of researching everything, I really understood that, even though POT Syndrome can’t be cured physically, I can still do a lot to improve my overall health.
I wanted to be as healthy as I possibly could! I didn’t want to be bed ridden and in a wheelchair. I didn’t want to pass out daily. I didn’t want to be dependent financially on my family forever. I didn’t want any of it.
So, I accepted that I would never be 100% healthy, but determined to make as much progress as I could. And I couldn’t know the extent of that until I started working at it.
So that’s what I did. I went to work on improving my health.
I started with my diet. I went gluten free, not because I thought I was allergic to gluten or glysophate, but because it’s an easier diet to digest. Although, the gluten reaction I had a few days ago assures me that my body in no way wants it!
That helped a bit, especially with my skin. My digestion wasn’t the best still, but it definitely improved.
Then I decided to switch to lactose free milk. I knew that milk was an issue for me, but wasn’t ready to give it up all together. Again, this helped a little, but things still weren’t great.
Then I really took my water seriously. It’s actually really hard for me to get enough water in each day, but I am at least tracking it and getting close. This definitely helps a lot! My skin is great, I get more energy, and I pass out less.
I also took a look at my lifestyle. When doTERRA came along for me, it really made me look at overall health and wellness and also toxin load. Boy I had a lot of that! I was using soap, lotion, makeup, face wash, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, tooth paste, laundry soap, dryer sheets, air fresheners, and synthetic essential oils that ALL were filled with toxins!
So I slowly changed everything over to non-toxic products either from doTERRA or Crunchi. I couldn’t believe the difference that made! My skin cleared up even more (my skin was incredibly bad), I felt less fatigued, less foggy, and less nauseous.
The last thing that I addressed was my diet. Hard Core this time. I cut out processed foods, focused on balanced meals, and really reduced my sugar and dairy! I basically eat fruit, veggies, and meat.
This also made a huge difference. My skin is almost perfect now, I definitely have the most energy that I ever have (still have bad chronic fatigue but I will take any improvement I can), my mood is much different, my digestion has improved, and I actually enjoy eating healthy!
I will always always be learning and changing and tweaking my lifestyle, but I have definitely made progress as I am not in a wheelchair anymore and can work my own business with doTERRA. I really don’t have migraines anymore, I am so confident in my skin that I don’t wear makeup often, I don’t pass out daily (still often but it’s better than daily), my digestion has improved, and I don’t feel isolated anymore. I still can’t exercise other than light yoga, but that is a work in progress.
Health isn’t something that you can achieve and then do whatever you want though. Once you have it, you have to keep at it and maintain it.
I never want to be bed ridden or use my wheelchair again though. I never want to be so lonely and isolated again. I still look at people and get upset that they waste their health because I have to work so hard for mine, but I am okay with that. I would rather have to work hard for something than never be able to have it at all.
POTs sucks. There is no way around it. But it keeps me motivated. Motivated to be healthy. Motivated to be strong. And Motivated to work hard for something I want.
It has taught me so much already. I will always have to work hard for things because of it. I will always have to be extremely intentional with my health. I will never be able to be 100% again. But that’s what keeps me motivated to be healthy.