How would true healing change your life? What is your tipping point?
So it’s roughly a week into the new year… let’s do a check-in. How do you feel in your body right now?
Go on: take a breath, focus inward, check in with yourself.
How do you feel?
Do you feel energized? Strong? Beautiful? Healthy?
Or do you feel a little sluggish? Tired? Less-than-fabulous? Maybe that chronic what’s-it-called is acting up and driving you a little nuts.
Let me ask you another question – a more important question:
Are you doing what you need to do to shift that? To get to a place where you feel amazing in your body? Where your answer to my first question is a resounding “I feel AWESOME!”
For a lot of us, the answer is a sheepish “no”. We know what we should be doing (although, granted, there can be a lot of confusion there) but we don’t DO it. This is the fate of most new year’s resolutions, no matter how well-intentioned they may be. (How they going by the way?)
Why is this?
Why don’t we do the work? Why do so many resolutions fail when truly – when we check in at a profound level – we’d really LOVE to feel fantastic in our bodies?
There are lots of theories on this, but my opinion is this:
Change of any kind doesn’t stick unless it is rooted in things that we REALLY, CONSCIOULSY, LOUDLY want.
And sometimes we don’t realize how much we want something until a life event happens that really highlights that – our own personal tipping point.
So often we set trivial goals that are surface and trite – not tangibly connected to our deepest desires. What is a weight loss goal other than a want to feel comfortable and sexy in our own skin? What is a goal around hitting the gym 4 times a week other than a desire to feel strong and capable in our body?
In my experience – both personally and professionally having worked with hundreds of people on making life change – the biggest factors in success are:
1) true and clear alignment with your deepest desires
2) a plan
3) the tools to make it happen
Today I want to talk about #1. Because that’s where so many people get stuck without realizing it.
Let me share my own personal tipping point. That moment when health and self-care truly became THE THING I would put above all else.
Health has always been a priority for me – having grown up in a house with a chronically ill mother, a father with mysterious health complaints we rarely discussed, and a sense that “you’re not as strong as the other kids” as my mother used to tell me (why, I’m still not sure).
And yet, taking my self-care REALLY seriously is actually a recent phenomenon for me. (I know… surprising since this is my livelihood!) I mean, yeah, I’ve always been into the healthy living thing, but TRUE DEEP SELF-CARE is actually quite new for me. And still challenging.
But I have now had two experiences that have rooted this desire profoundly – and that has made all the difference in my resolve (read: resolution) to take exceptional care of myself.
I won’t bore you with my long and sordid health history, but the Coles Notes version is this:
For many years I struggled with debilitating vomit-inducing migraines, chronic eczema, and digestive issues that would have me lie down after meals from the pain in my gut. (A little funny side-note on the digestive stuff: I can still remember once in University, on a romantic walk in the park with a date after dinner, struggling to stand up straight despite crippling pain in my stomach. I finally asked that we sit down on a park bench and I lay with my head in his lap “looking at the stars”… romantic, right? Little did he know I was really just trying to relieve the pain in my belly from dinner!!)
All of this started in high school and escalated as I got older.
My first major awareness of food’s role in these issues was in my mid-20s when a massive change in diet ended the eczema I had struggled with for over a decade. This was a powerful eye-opener for me, and ultimately led to me pursuing nutrition as a career years later. But despite the cleared skin, both my digestive issues and migraines persisted.
When I went back to school for nutrition 10 years later, I switched my diet again, this time away from a mostly vegetarian (read: carbivore) diet to a more paleo style of eating. With that dietary change plus a little supplementation to support the process, my digestive issues resolved. My migraines also reduced down to 2-3 per year, rather than 2-3 per month. A huge success!
And then I got pregnant.
My migraines returned with a vengeance. Old digestive issues cropped up along with new ones I’d never experienced before. I even had a little eczema creep in on one hand. I blamed it on pregnancy – you can write off a lot to pregnancy hormones – and hey, none of my symptoms were that outside the norm for a pregnancy. For the most part I had a really healthy and easy pregnancy, but these issues troubled me.
Then the birth of our amazing daughter brought its own set of issues. We planned a beautiful, intimate home-birth, but plans went awry and the process ended with antibiotics in those last few hours and ultimately a C-section after 44hr hours of trying to do things naturally. To add insult to injury, 10 days after her birth I fell and broke my foot, hitting my all-time physical low. (do you think the Universe could whisper: “SLOW THE HELL DOWN, GIRL!!!” any louder??)
My recovery was slow and painful. The “pregnancy” issues of migraines and digestion got worse, not better. My only consolation was that the eczema abated.
I was confused at what was going on in my body. I was doing everything “right”, and still I felt worse than I ever had. I looked at people who had their health and strength with deep envy. I would get mad at my husband if he didn’t workout enough (by my standards) because he COULD. And if he had the ability, how dare he NOT?
This was truly my lowest point physically. Some days I felt barely capable of caring for our precious daughter, and overall life felt too hard much of the time. Given my line of work, it was doubly challenging for me – what a fraud I felt! If I couldn’t get my sh*t together, how could I in any way help others do the same?
And so: this was my tipping point.
Thus began my true and real commitment to my health and wellbeing with a level of resolve (there’s that RESOLUTION again) that I’d never before known:
- I pulled back on my work massively to create space for healing and being with my baby (this was HUGE and extremely difficult for a work-aholic like me)
- I went into therapy to heal old emotional wounds
- I ended toxic and draining relationships
- I dove deeper into my physical healing than I ever had previously, doing a whole new level of testing and information gathering to understand what was really at the root of my continued struggles. (This work was so powerful and effective for me that I have added it to my own practice repertoire and now use it extensively with clients, with exceptional results)
The net result?
At age 40, two years after hitting my all-time physical low, I can truly say that I have never felt healthier or stronger in my body.
Do I still get sick? Sure! I’m human. (In fact, the week after writing the first draft of this post I caught a nasty cold from my daughter and had to put everything aside for a few days. That still messed with my head, but I’m still strong and recovering well.) But overall I feel better than I ever have.
How has this renewed commitment changed my life? Profoundly…
- I am able to be fully present with my daughter.
- I am a better practitioner and business owner.
- I am much clearer on priorities, and am honing things down regularly to only do what truly matters and has the impact that I want to make in the world.
- I don’t live in fear of another migraine.
- I put my self-care first – even if it feels “selfish” – because I have more to give that way (and yes, this is radical for me as it is for most moms – here’s a great article that explains why self-care is actually the most generous thing you can do for those you love).
- I am able to do more in physical endeavors.
- I have a whole new relationship to “working out” – it’s a privilege that I GET to move my body, I never feel like I HAVE to. It’s what I want to do at the deepest level.
- I listen to my body – and sometimes that means going to bed at 8pm with my daughter. Sometimes that means eating differently. Sometimes it means a mid-day nap rather than more work. Sometimes it means just shutting things down and letting my body heal when it needs to.
- I can occasionally eat truly indulgent foods and be okay. (I emphasize occasional – this is not my norm and I noticed over the holidays that even a little excess more than occasional doesn’t feel good. There’s that listening to my body again!)
Overall, I’m more effective in everything I do because I feel better in my body and my head is clearer.
My question to you is:
What will it take for you to commit to your healing journey and take that next step? What is your personal tipping point?
What is the deep desire that is underlying your goals? How can you bring that to the forefront, anchor it into your daily actions, and have it drive decisions regarding your health?
Because I’d hate to leave you without help, here are some resources if you’re looking for a place to start:
- If you haven’t read it yet, my book is a great crash course on real-food eating and living.
- There is an outstanding class just beginning in a few weeks by my colleague Melanie Christner. It’s the GAPS Class and has launched many families on the path of true healing. Here is Melanie’s powerful story. And here’s what one of her former participants had to say: “I have a much deeper understanding of the primacy of food – its role as both villain (when we eat modern processed food) and the hero (when we eat real, nutrient dense, healing food) of our health. I have learned that my health, and how I feel on a day to day basis, is 100% about what I eat. I honestly – no exaggeration – feel better than I have felt in decades. I have lost 10 lbs (was not overweight before) and have so much more energy and a more
clear (less fuzzy) brain.” – Skotti F.
- If you’ve been doing this work for a while and are doing everything “right” but not resolving chronic issues, then some one-on-one work might be the thing for you. I am only seeing a small handful of clients currently, and focusing my energies on those who are struggling – like I was – with chronic issues that just don’t seem to budge no matter what you do. If this sounds like you, write to me at info (at) eatnakednow (dot) com with a little bit of your story and we’ll see if it’s a fit. If it’s not, I have some excellent practitioners I can refer you to.
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