Hi, friends! Welcome to my blog! I thought it’d be helpful to chronicle my journey to wellness in the hopes that what I’m learning and doing can help others.
So I’ll start out bluntly by writing that 2016 was the hardest year of my life to date. It started out amazing – with a wonderful wedding and getting to marry my best friend. My younger sister had her wedding set for the fall and my older sister was about to be engaged. But then things went downhill.
We got pregnant last summer and lost our baby after finding out the pregnancy was ectopic. Weeks later, my family found out that my dad had liver cancer. He passed away at the beginning of the year after I spent a month with my mom taking care of him and learning how to be an in-home nurse. My husband and I tried to get pregnant again, but it wasn’t happening. And throughout all this, the weight piled on… and on… and on… And I grew to my heaviest weight of all time. (See picture of me at my sister’s wedding, a few lbs. shy of my heaviest weight.)
I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t loving myself. I was going through a lot and I was a hot mess.
When I returned home to Maryland after my dad’s funeral, I had a really tough time emotionally and I was really sick. My immune system completely crashed and I got the first ear infection I think I’ve had since I was a little kid. The ridiculous antibiotic I was prescribed put the final touches on my stomach which I was already having issues from lack of exercise, poor diet, and stress.
Even as my ear infection cleared up over the month of January, my stomach was constantly upset and I was waking up in the middle of the night with a sour stomach. Young Living DiGize essential oil blend was my new best friend, but even DiGize wasn’t fully cutting it. And unfortunately, neither was Deep Relief for my upper back, neck, and shoulders. And, of course, this all took an emotional toll, too. God bless my husband for dealing with me!
Fast forward to about a month ago when I decided it was time to take charge of my wellness. I went to the doctor to chat about all my issues. I started eating smaller meals – I can’t believe the portion sizes I’d been eating! And I worked on eliminating the junk. My doctor helped me to pinpoint some specific foods and beverages to avoid – she had a longer list than I would have liked, but I needed to feel better. Weird that eating better WITH essential oils would produce a better outcome, right?!
I cut out cheese and other high-fat foods, fatty and fried foods, sugar, chocolate, carbonated beverages, alcohol, spicy foods, acidic foods, highly processed foods… basically everything I’d been eating and that had been tasting good to me. While what was left was initially depressing – pretty much just water, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, low-fat dairy, fish (I’m a pescatarian) – you know, the healthy stuff. I found that my food preferences and cravings began to change as my clothes began to fit better. So that was good! There was definitely a detox going on!
And even the days when I tried to just have a little bit of something bad, my stomach reminded me to keep at the healthy eating.
I also started getting more active – walking more and dabbling with Zumba since I love to dance. Just watch me at a wedding if you don’t believe that! And I reached out to a friend who’s a Beachbody coach to get some additional workout options since I’m not a fan of the gym and the weather has been all over the place.
While I’ve noticed my face has slimmed down a bit, the biggest change I’ve noticed is in my stomach. I had a pretty good gut going and jeans were my worst enemy. But without all the bad foods adding inflammation and bloating, my clothes were more flattering even before I started to lose much weight. It’s incredible how much inflammation you get in your body from being overweight and eating poorly. And no amount of anything – healthy or not – is going to take care of that without proper nutrition and physical activity.
Up to this point, counting down from my worst day, I’ve lost going on 20 pounds. And while I have a way to go I’m feeling better and more positive about my future and ability to handle the day to day. My mind is clearer. I’m sleeping better. I’m having less pain. All good stuff.
This weekend, I attended a Young Living conference and a big theme was holistic wellness. God knew I needed a bigger nudge! The event totally renewed my spirit and passion to live a healthier life. I learned more about how this amazing company that I’m already a part of can help me on my wellness journey. While I’ve been reading about nutrition more since I cut out meat nearly a decade ago, I learned more about how toxic processed foods can be as well as about other products I use that are loaded with chemicals and why that’s bad. I swapped out my toxic makeup for natural, mineral makeup (even though I don’t wear makeup quite as often as I used to). And I’m looking more and more at how I can continue to swap out personal care and home products for natural DIY or Young Living options. Hopefully my skin will clear up as I continue to make positive changes. And I’ll have more energy, a happier mood, and a more upbeat attitude.
So get ready for updates on how things are going!
And in case you’re wondering… Young Living products I used today to support my wellbeing: Thieves (diffused in my home office to perk me up and support my immune system with all the weather changes); Super B supplement (to ensure I’m getting my B vitamins since I’m a pescatarian); Digest & Cleanse supplement (support digestion); NingXia Red juice (lots of antioxidants, prebiotics, and more goodness); AlkaLime supplement (to help my body be more alkaline and to combat excess acid in my body)… and the day’s not over yet! I’m looking at making an “apple crisp” type recipe tonight with apples (washed with the YL Thieves Fruit & Veggie Spray), Young Living Einkorn granola, and YL Cinnamon Bark essential oil. Mmm… 🙂