July 8, 2013. The day that would change my life forever. But first, let’s rewind a bit…
THE BREAKING POINT:
A few weeks earlier, I had just gotten out of the hospital for my 4th Crohn’s flare in 2 years. The medication I was currently on, Humira, seemed to be doing the trick (after its 3 predecessors failed to work) as it was 15 months since my last hospitalization. So, you can imagine my surprise & devastation when I was told I was having a severe flare, needed hospitalization, and had to explore yet another medication. Upon leaving the hospital, I knew I had to do something to change this vicious cycle of being sick and hospitalized.
I sought the help of a nutritionist who came highly recommended and she said to me during our first call (I have never met her face-to-face..to this day) that I had to go gluten free. As in, it was a life-or-death situation and this is what I HAD to do. Turns out, it was not necessarily “life-or-death” however it was happiness vs. misery, staying in a hotel on vacation vs. staying in a hospital, going out with friends vs. laying on the couch at home, and barely making it through the day vs. thriving in my life. Of course, I chose the latter of all of those decisions and decided that I would go cold turkey and give up gluten if it meant that I got my life and health back.
…and I could not be happier that I did.
THE NEW LIFE:
As I navigated my new lifestyle–yes, that is what it was; not a diet, a lifestyle–I realized I had to make many changes to habits I had in place in order to be successful. I had to take control. I could no longer grab a bagel breakfast sandwich on the way to work, and eating wherever others suggested wasn’t always an option. I had to start making my own meals, packing my own breakfast, and learn how to do all of this while juggling a busy schedule. That in itself was scary, and was a huge learning curve.
I began the habit of showing up 20 minutes before my lunch meetings so that I could talk to the waiter and/or chef about what I could and couldn’t eat on the menu. When I went out with friends, I got in the habit of ordering my own appetizer since I couldn’t always share what the table ordered. Going on dates meant being assertive and picking the restaurant rather than saying “whatever you want”(which was well received by my would-be-future husband). And, going down the shore for the weekend meant packing a bunch of my own food and being the “designated Sangria girl” since beer was now off limits. This is just a small example of new habits I had to adapt to in order to live the life I wanted. Healthy, happy, thriving, energetic, and most importantly NOT SICK.
5 years later I am exactly where I have always wanted to be. I am healthy, happy, thriving, energetic (most days) and have been in remission with my Crohn’s Disease since August 2016. All of these habit changes were worth it.
So, the point of my whole story is that once you master a new habit and lifestyle change is when you truly see a change in your life. It is so much more than just saying “eat this and not that”–it is truly committing to a pattern that works for you. Which is why I became a Health Coach. I took all that I had gone through in developing a healthy lifestyle for myself and combined it with what I learned through my training and now offer it to clients to help them create those lifestyle changes that lead to their own life-changing outcomes.
Being healthy is way more than dieting and killing yourself at the gym. It is implementing habits and lifestyle changes that fit into your routine which help you become the person you want to become. And that, my friends, is how I ended up here today as the founder of Best Whole Self, LLC and how I am in the best shape–emotionally and physically–I have ever been. And I want the same for you.