Coming out of high school and all through college, I was all about “healthy living” — except I had no idea what healthy was. I exercised excessively and ate low-fat vegetarian. I lived by and obsessed over an unhealthy desire to be stick thin. I chased after accolades and accomplishments.
The cost was high. Chronic headaches, living under self-imposed stress, loss of menstruation, hair falling out, seasonal allergies — to name a few.
A wake up call of sorts came with marriage and my first pregnancy. I realized that my own body was critically nourishing another being, and that was my most important job. (Though I still had a lot to learn; here are our birth stories.)
This began our slow road on the path of healthy living, which eventually led to the nutrient-dense, traditionally prepared foods my family eats today — the same ones we share here and in our membership daily. (Plus other aspects of healthy living like alternative healing methods, a simple lifestyle, enjoying life more, and non-toxic cleaning, to name a few.)
Ups and Downs
Along the way, though — ups and downs:
Down: Ever-increasing and debilitating seasonal allergies.
Up: Complete reversal of those allergies due to gut-healing diet. (I’ve been allergy-free for 3 years now.)
Down: Seeing our children suffer with food allergies and eczema.
Up: Reversal of food allergies and eczema through gut-healing, traditionally prepared whole foods. Experiencing the truth that God’s foods heal.
Down: For me, too much work and too little exercise. Gaining weight. Losing mobility. Still having headaches.
Up: Working less, exercising regularly. Losing weight. Gaining mobility. Few headaches.
Big up: Redefining beauty for myself as strong and healthy and happy and looking good inside and out — rather than needing to be stick thin. Seeing it happen in my life and loving it. For real, no regrets, just before I turn 40.
When I look back on how our downs were turned upside, I see three things at play:
First, a Great God who cares very much and wants the best for us. A God who listens to our prayers and leads us down the Right path. Oh, how thankful I am for His Goodness and His Care!
Second, the importance of putting yourself, your family, and your health at the top of your list. If we don’t prioritize taking care of ourselves through the big and small choices we make every day — how much we work or stress out, to what we eat, to what chemicals we allow in our homes or environment, to how much we move our bodies, to how we handle setbacks and challenges — we pay the price through disease or poor health. It's the difference between thriving or just surviving.
(I'm not saying to disregard the needs of others or not to serve others. What I am saying is: don't neglect your health or your family.)
Third, great teachers. Besides knowledgeable friends and family, or even a really good alternative healthcare provider, the internet offers a wealth of information… all at our fingertips.
Even the library is better than it used to be! eBooks are free or inexpensive, and easy to read and store on a computer or eReader. Talk radio is like ten times better when you consider all the podcasts on health topics that give daily inspiration, encouragement, and information for your journey. I listen to at least one podcast each day while doing dishes, gardening, folding laundry, or cooking.
(When I was growing up, we just had the library. If the library didn’t have it, we couldn’t get the info. Not only were we too poor to buy many books, my family culture was frugal anyway. We borrowed or bought used rather than bought new. It’s a good way to grow up, but information was harder to find.)
Almost everything I’ve learned about allergies, traditional cooking, essential oils, fitness, gut-healing — came from an eBook, blog, or podcast. Or my husband's wisdom. (I put that in here just for him, and it's true. He's a wise man.)
Is it too cliche to say this? I think I'll say it anyway. My heart is full of hope and thanksgiving! I'm grateful for the journey, what we've learned, how far we've progressed… and I'm excited about the future.
It’s a great time to be alive — and to feel the hope of getting better, progressing, and moving forward!
Do you agree with me… or not?
Where are you struggling? What are you working on?
Are you making progress or losing ground?
Do you feel hopeful about the future or do you wonder if it’s even worth it?
Are you getting better or feeling worse?
What's your story? Please share — I really want to hear!
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