If you have been following me for awhile, you may have noticed that I have not been as frequent with my posting....especially on my Facebook page www.FB.com/journeymelissablair. I am really trying to focus on ME. Sometimes, you just have to shut out the rest of the world and focus on healing your body and your mind. This past year has taken a toll on me, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. In my line of work, I am always positive, and encouraging to others. I KNOW that half the battle of reaching your goals is all in your mindset. I have been struggling with my mindset, and therefore, I struggle to find the motivation to help others find their mindset. Recently, social media in general has me burnt out. I think a lot of it has to do with this election year. I am not going to get into politics on here, but seriously, reading other's posts (especially when you disagree with their point of view) can be mentally exhausting. I have used that 'Hide' button in my Facebook news feed, much more than I care to count. While I am totally on board with everyone having their own opinion, and being able to express it, I am just not equipped right now to handle the negativity that it is bringing to my life. So, I have been staying off social media.
What AM I doing?
I have been focusing on detoxing my liver and re-balancing my hormones. I have been doing A LOT of reading on how food affects our bodies. We don't often think about it, but there are MANY chemicals that are used in and around our foods, and in our environment, and those things can often affect us negatively, and we don't even realize it. I'll be honest, I have never really completely bought into the whole all organic, and non GMO eating. I LOVE the idea that going organic and GMO free because it really is so much healthier. On the other hand, I have a family of 6, and it can be EXTREMELY costly to eat all organic and non GMO. This year, I have made an effort to try and purchase more organic fruits and veggies, and cut out chemicals in our foods and other places in our house (cleaners, lotions, etc.). It is a slow process. However, after all of the reading I have been doing, I really think it is necessary to move toward better choices for my family.
I am currently studying how the liver functions in the body. One thing that is sticking out to me is that with all of the added chemicals in our food (even the pesticides used during the growing of fresh produce), are not digestible by our body. The liver serves as filter for the whole body. It filters out all of the toxins. With all of the chemicals we ingest in our foods, put on our bodies (make-up, lotion, soap, shampoo), or breathe in from our environment, the liver is working overtime. I am 38 years old. My liver has been trying to process all of these hidden chemicals for so long that it is getting "stuck". Just like when you need a vacation to break away from reality, and relax and regroup, your liver needs a break from all those chemicals. Did you know that a "dirty" liver can be a huge reason that a person is not able to lose weight? Since the body can't filter out the toxins properly, those toxins make their way into the rest of the digestive system, and into the bloodstream, and "pollute" the rest of your body...which affects the ability for your other organs to function as efficiently. Think of it like taking care of your car. Imagine your body is like a Rolls Royce. You want to keep this VERY expensive, luxury car running smoothly, and in tip top condition. You are going to make sure you buy premium gasoline, get the oil changed regularly, and tune ups on time. You are also going to make sure you drive it regularly, because that will keep all the parts running smoothly. Many of us don't have a Rolls Royce, but we still make sure our car gets a regular tune up, an oil changes, we will probably use regular gasoline, and we drive it regularly. Imagine premium vs. regular gasoline is like organic vs. non-organic food. Regular oil changes are like getting in the right amounts of nutrients. Driving your car is like getting regular exercise. Your car will still run with regular gasoline, less frequent oil changes, and even when you don't drive it often. You might have a bit of trouble getting the engine to start, and it might sound rough when it drives, but it will still get you from point A to point B. However, your car is going to run MUCH better, if you get the higher quality gasoline, oil changes at exactly 3 months or 3000 miles, and continue driving it on a daily basis. Your body works the same way. If you fuel it with premium fuel, and take really good care of it, you are going to FEEL the best, and your body will last longer. Now, even if you can't manage (or afford) to eat the "premium" fuel for your body all the time, try to do it for few weeks, every once in awhile. This will give your liver a "vacation", so that it can get back to better function, which will lead to better function throughout your body.
I am a firm believer in natural healing. Don't get me wrong, I think modern medicine is fantastic! However, I don't think it is always the answer. I think healing starts from within the body...not from a pill or by treating symptoms. While I am the first person to pop an Ibuprofen at the sign of a sinus headache, I also believe that there are things I can do to prevent that headache from occurring to begin with. I use a neti pot on a regular basis. I avoid dairy (which can lead to more nasal congestion, causing more pressure). If I had more patience, there are probably other ways that I could get rid of a sinus headache after it hits, but sinus headaches are my weakness. I can't function when my head throbs. I take my allergy meds regularly, during allergy season. I know, I said I prefer natural methods to combating illness, but my seasonal allergies are really bad. I used to have to take allergy meds year round. Now I drink apple cider vinegar regularly and I use LOCAL, raw honey (local because it contains local pollen, which cause my allergies) to combat my allergies in the "off season", but I still need the modern medicine during my peak season. I think there is a fine line between finding things that work with in harmony with the body to make it function better, and adding in additional chemicals that will alter the natural function of your body in order to lessen symptoms. Each individual is different. I always try the natural/alternative methods FIRST - unless is is something serious. You can't stop a heart attack on your own. Taking an aspirin might slow the process, but you will still need to get yourself to a hospital ASAP to clear the blockages that caused the attack to begin with. Personally, I don't like to let things get that far. I want to PREVENT illness in my body. That is why dealing with my health issues this past year has been so frustrating. I could go to the doctor to get meds that will help me feel better for a time, but in this case, it is just treating symptoms. It doesn't solve the issues. I don't want that. I want to get to the root of the problem, which will cause all those symptoms to go away. That is my struggle with modern medicine. It is hard to find doctors that will help you dig deep enough to find the root of a medical problem. I think many medical professionals are not educated enough in natural healing. I don't think they are misguided, they just are not aware that drugs and excessive testing are not always the answer.
So here's where I am. I have a hormone imbalance that was caused by the use of years of hormone birth control. That hormone imbalance is affecting my EBV levels, my thyroid function, my ability for my digestive system to properly absorb nutrients, and my mind to stay in a regular brain fog. It is causing me to feel fatigued, un-motivated, and to have mood swings. I don't want to mask the symptoms, I want to FIX the problem. My body needs a serious detox. I am starting with a liver detox. I am focusing on whole food nutrition, that is GMO free. I am slowly getting myself into this process, because I want to be able to stick with it for longer. I am not doing any heavy workouts. I am walking regularly, doing PiYo, and incorporating some simple stretches (designed to specifically bring qi to the liver and help it improve it's function). I am also learning about the benefits of bone broth and trying to add that into my daily routine.
I'll be honest, it is HARD trying to embrace such a strict eating plan. Mentally, I am tired of forcing myself to stay positive and try new ideas. I find it harder to say no to my favorite foods. My emotions are out of whack because of my hormones. My confidence is not as prominent. I find myself questioning my ability to coach others, since I can't seem to "coach" myself. I struggle to balance my world. Homeschooling AND coaching used to be easy for me to fit into my daily routine. Now I struggle with BOTH. I am not doing all of this alone. My husband has also been a huge support in all of this. Although he doesn't quite understand the complexity of the entire situation (he doesn't research like I do), he knows that I need his support and patience to stay focused and on a path to healing. Even my kids have been supportive. They don't understand much of what is going on, but they know that I need to take some time for myself, so that I can improve and be a better mom to them. I am so thankful for my own coach, Jen. She has been incredibly encouraging and patient with me. I have shared my story with her, and she understands that I need time to work all of this through in my own head. Yet, she still takes the time to reach out to me and check in.
I AM working through this. If you too feel like you need to make a change, please don't be afraid to read out to me and share your struggles and ask for advice. You don't have to fight your battle alone. Honestly, helping others is great therapy (and validation) for me and my coaching. It encourages me to continue on my own journey, and to know that I AM making a difference.