Happy Birthday to Me! :)

Was recently watching Marie Forleo's interview with Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild, Touch, Brave Enough and Tiny Beautiful Things) and one of Cheryl’s quotes really resonated with me

 “Nobody’s going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what is unjust, sad, sucky things have befallen you. Self-pity is a dead end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there of turn around and drive out.”

Cheryl’s quote really reminded me that truly nobody’s going to do this life for you. You truly have to do it for yourself, no matter what your circumstance are. We have all had good times, beautiful moments, tough times, bad times and some downright ugly moments in our lives. 

It’s what you chose to focus on, I believe that determines whether or not you pick yourself up by your bootstraps, dust yourself off and you get back in there and pledge to do better and be better.

If I’m being honest, my health in this last decade has brought me down roads that I never had even knew existed. Previously I had never thought about my health and had pushed my mind and body wayyyyy past what was good for anyone and my health broke - so to speak. 

My health suddenly demanded my attention as I got sicker and sicker and had doctors appointment after appointment, test after test. I was diagnosed with IBS, then Crohn’s, then chronic fatigue, then rheumatoid arthritis, then thyroid issues and yet I continued to feel worse and worse with no real answers.

I’ll admit for a while there I got stuck…. thinking that sick was my new normal. That sick, pain and exhaustion was how my everyday was going to be. 

What did Cheryl say:  

I couldn’t agree more. 

I wouldn’t say I actively drove down that road more like my crappy health dragged me down roads that I never knew existed… because that was not the kind of person I am, one who ever quits yet my body felt like it was quitting on me and I didn’t know where to turn.

I opted to think outside the box, hell I thew out the traditional playbook out the window. 

 

And I had to learn to stop and listen to what my body was actually saying. I had to learn what the pain, bloating, diarrhea, exhaustion, brain fog, migraines, weight gain, skin rashes, irritability, depression, tingling down my legs, terrible menstrual cramps, and nutritional deficiencies meant.

Lots of people ask me how did I do this? or how did I know what I was doing was really the best thing for my health?

It took lots of trial and error. It took slowing down my life and truly understanding what clues what my body was sending me meant. It took me changing my lifestyle completely. It took believing in myself even though most of my family and friends thought I was crazy. And, it took hundreds of hours learning from experts in the fields of health, in gluten sensitivity, celiac disease and autoimmune diseases to put the pieces together.

Progress was slow but steady and I could feel my body starting to rebound and have more energy and finally get some real rest when I slept. My never-ending list of symptoms and ailments finally started to dwindle down as I started to heal. 

So as my birthday approaches and I look at how incredibly far I have come, I am truly grateful that I am still here and am honored that I now have the amazing opportunity to help people who are where I was a few years ago. These are the peeps who are searching for answers, who are desperate to feel better and who are ready to make some real changes in their life and health. I can honestly say, I’ve lived it and I live this every single day.

Can’t tell you how many people I know, who think life begins and ends with gluten and they would rather die than give up their favorite foods. I’m here to tell you, I caught a glimpse of what that might look like when I was laying on the bathroom floor, too tired and too weak to move and this happened for several weeks that felt like decades when it was happening. No piece of pizza (my favorite food) could ever be worth going back there. 

My will to live was stronger than any food could ever be. How about you? Have you ever met your will to live? 

There are plenty of celiacs and those who know they shouldn’t eat gluten but still continue to do so and as Cheryl reminded us sometimes "we park ourselves" in places and we all have the choice to turn around and drive down another road.

I’m certainly so incredibly grateful that my life sure has changed for the better in the last few years and in truth it keeps getting better and better. 

Hope you all have a fabulous day too!