You are the holder of the key!
For years I had a hard time understanding why I never felt great. I was fairly healthy (…or so I thought), worked out regularly, played tons of sports, stayed away from fast and fried food; basically, I worked hard and I played hard. I even thought of myself as quite knowledgeable in terms of food, health and exercise because I didn’t drink soda or eat fried food, and I worked out like a mad man lifting weights that were clearly too much for me.
I went from doctor to doctor looking for an answer to my pains; some said lose a few pounds (ok, sure, I was a few pounds overweight, but I thought my muscle mass helped me to pull it off ), many said there was nothing wrong with me. Some tried to diagnose me with a generic autoimmune disease and would proceed to write me a prescription. But I didn’t buy into it so I pressed on.
In the meantime, I opened a restaurant and had an amazing time getting featured on the Food Network. But then we lost the lease and the business and I felt stuck. Stuck in my job options and my happiness which just lead to a lot of stress, probably a bit of depression (if I am being honest) and ultimately stuck in my digestion.
Then I was struck with major chronic back pain. Unable to work out for years, I was devastated and in pain. During one of my therapy sessions, still unable to perform the simplest of exercises even though I was going to therapy up to four times a week, was the turning point. This is the conversation that changed my life:
Me to my Physical Therapist: “I’m getting so chubby and fat not being able to work out, this is so awful.”
Therapist: “Do you know how many times a day I hear that?”
Cue the crickets sound here.
I was unhappy to say the least. There was no advice, no comforting conversation, no suggestions, nothing. I had two therapists, a chiropractor and a back doctor all managing my recovery and I wasn’t getting better and nobody knew how to help me. And on top of that, not one person had talked to me about inflammation nor the incredibly important role that food plays during injuries.
After I got over being really mad about the conversation, or lack of conversation, at therapy that day, I came to the realization that I was truly the only one in charge of my own recovery. It’s almost shocking how many times I’ve hear the phrase ‘You are in charge of your own health’… but seriously, it never really set in. I didn’t get it until I was down and out. Really down and really out.
My research started with anti-inflammatory foods which I began to incorporate into my diet. Week by week I was able to do more in therapy, which led me to look even closer at my diet. I started to remove toxic foods and saw changes… REAL changes. The pain lessened, sleep began returning and my weight begin to slowly come down. As I continued to heal I learned that food is only one pillar. All of our choices come into play, from self care to our community to our beliefs.
Through that experience I found this passion to help others, to help you, find your way too.