I had the happiest day in a long time just about two-three weeks ago. I can’t even put into words how blessed and grateful I felt on Wednesday, the 14th February. These feelings were not really connected with the fact that it was Valentine’s Day because I can happily say that my partner shows his love and support all year round.
When I went back home for Christmas last year I took some blood tests (as I regularly do when I go back home) and some of the results came back worrying. My family doctor said that the underlying causes could possibly be overexercise, stress and my diet (nutritional/vitamin deficiency). I got so concerned and I have never felt so much fear for my health or my life for that matter…All I wished was these causes to be true because that meant that my health as well as my overall wellbeing were therefore on my hands.
My doctor advised me to change a few things in my lifestyle, especially when it came to my diet and physical exercise, and told me that I should repeat the blood tests within roughly one month. So during 5-6 weeks, I tried to focus all my energy in getting better. Instead of thinking about how I was feeling, I tried to shift my attention and thoughts to how I ultimately wanted to feel. I knew what I had to do but let me tell you guys: Abstracting myself from the toxic and negative thoughts whilst remaining with a positive attitude proved to be much easier said than done. Some great things have happened since December but there was always these constant feelings of anxiety and fear playing on the back of my head. There were days when it was so daunting to have it all together at work and in front of other people. Anyway, I knew that I needed to be mentally strong and take action if I wanted to restore my physical balance and health. After all, our bodies and minds are like significant others.
I started by giving my body total rest from the gym for basically two weeks and used that time to enjoy the company of my caring boyfriend and friends; I went out to try some new restaurants in town and just indulged in great food without being constantly worried about what I ate or my working out routine. I have also incorporated yoga/meditation back into my lifestyle and made sure that I had enough sleep. I started taking some essential vitamins and minerals such as copper, zinc, vitamin A & B12 and, mostly important, I started not only to eat a greater quantity of food but also a more diverse diet. As a result, I saw myself starting to let go of the negative stigma that I have previously developed towards certain foods.
Due to having digestive issues (caused by my IBS), I tend to follow mostly a low FOD-mad diet which, in the long-term, turned out to be quite restrictive and made me develop fear and anxiety towards certain groups of food. As someone who loves to work out, who has a very active and stress-inducing lifestyle and who has gut issues, I should make sure that I do not overdo myself. However, I guess that I fell into a routine that even though fitted my lifestyle, was not adequate or good to my health. I ended up by overexercising and undereating during many months in a row(without being 100% conscious of it). All in all, I ended up by neglecting myself and my medical results showed exactly that: I did not give my cells the nutrition they needed to function properly.
Nevertheless, I now know how crucial it is to change my perception of food and of physical exercise. I now recognise that everything that is not done in moderation for a long period of time has its repercussions.
Fortunately, when I repeated the blood tests in the beginning of February, the results came back normal. I can’t even describe the happiness and relief that I felt. The waiting for the results was absolutely excruciating. It was like I was carrying the weight of the entire Planet on my shoulders.. but when I left the doctor’s office I heaved a huge sigh of relief. It was like I had gained my life back, you know?
If there is something that this experience taught me is that we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over gain and expect different results.This experience acted as a catalyst for changing my course of action and taking ownership of my health, which is something that I cannot take for granted. I am determined to listen to what my body needs; whether that means giving it more attention, respect, rest or food/nutrients. I am determined to listen to its needs so it can thrive and fully heal. Even though my health recovery is still a work in process, I am now in a better place where I am finally feeling myself healing. I am finally letting go of thoughts that do not serve me. I am finally freeing myself from what holds me back and there is NO better feeling than that one. I just need to make my health my number one priority going forward and I am aware that, knowing myself as I do, this will not always be an easy task. I get worked up easily and end up by putting too much focus on my work, physical exercise and on the million things that I want to get done. However, overdoing myself and destroying my health for that is just not worth. This “go go mentality” is no longer serving me. I need to be more mindful, slow down when my body asks to and let go of what I can’t simply control.
The other day I read this one quote that resonated so much with me and with this situation that I have just experienced. It was: You grow through what you go through. This is so true. Sometimes we need to undergo unfortunate events to see life through other lens. Toxic situations help us to put things in perspective and instigate much needed changes in our lives. We all want to leave a joyful and meaningful life but oftentimes we forget that our daily actions, which may be seemingly irrelevant, trivial and unimportant, are what is going to take us there.
That being said, I just want to add another thing as a final note: We must remember to be gentle with ourselves. At all times. In a world that sells dissatisfaction, we must choose to honour and respect our body. It is so silly how it is so much easier to bash it than to embrace and accept it. Our bodies deserve nothing more than awe, good care and admiration. So, let’s all appreciate them and make this one life that we have count, shall we? ♥