CARVING OUT TIME TO CARE FOR MYSELF my story
MY FIRST TEN YEARS
Growing up, I first wanted to be a nun, that was, until I found out they couldn't have kids. So, I quickly thought I wanted to be an artist instead, but then I decided to keep my artistic side as something just for fun. Eventually, I realized I had this deep desire to either become a teacher or a Dental Hygienist. Secretly though, I wanted to become a Jazz Dancer, dancing wildly up on stage, under those bright lights!
MY SECOND TEN YEARS
Instead at 16, with my two left feet, I started working summers in a machine factory and I started volunteering. First, I volunteered in the hospital, as a candy-striper, where I actually spent more time finding my way around the hospital than I did being helpful. Next, I volunteered for my orthodontist, where I fell in love with Dentistry and the rest was history.
At first, I played it safe and went to college and became a Certified Dental Assistant. I loved it, but I quickly found that I wanted more. I wanted to be independent, and I wanted to have my own patients that I could spend more time with . . .
MY TUMULTUOUS TWENTIES
So, I returned back to college and became a Registered Licensed Dental Hygienist. I worked for amazing dentists. I loved working closely with my patients. I could honestly say that I loved what I was doing and was doing what I loved. I treasured teaching and supporting my patients. I was literally shining! My two left feet were high up, off the ground!
I felt fabulous. I was surrounded with great family and friends, and I had lots of fun. I bought myself a charming little fixer upper and life was simply grand.
But truthfully, I confess that there were a lot of bumps in my road and mistakes that I made along the way. My grandmother told me that when one door closes, another door opens. Thank God she was right! (Fast forward….)
MY TERRIFIC THIRTIES
My life rocked! I was happily married. I moved to an island. I had a loving and supportive husband, and we were raising five beautiful children. I had a house that I had made a home and a career that I loved. I had ironed out all the wrinkles in road and rode easy in my saddle. I looked great and felt great, and my once forgotten, artistic side was on fire! My thirties seemingly flew by. Somehow, before I knew it, I turned 40!
Forty was the absolute best year of my life! I felt empowered and accomplished. I felt sexy. It was truly amazing! I was old enough to be wise and young enough to enjoy exactly who I was and where I was in life. The world was mine! It was fabulous to turn forty! (Fast forward again...)
SOMEWHERE IN MY LATE FORTIES
I am not exactly sure when things slowly started to change. I remember laying in bed, feeling hopeless, riddled with brain fog, covered with aches and pains, and my life seemed to blur. It was implied that "it was all in my head", and I had been given diagnoses of depression, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, along with a bleak future and prescriptions if I wanted. I remember feeling so exhausted that I envisioned laying down on every single floor that I spied. Eventually, even filthy, public bathroom floors began to look really inviting, and all I wanted to do was to lay down and be left alone.
I remember wishing that I had someone to hold my arms up to the steering wheel when I had to shuttle my children around. I remember wishing that I had someone to come by my bedside to be there for me and tuck me in and make me feel good the way my mother used to. I just wished that I had someone who would listen to me and love me up. I wished I had someone who would understand me and how I was feeling and not judge me. I wished that there was someone who would help me to get well again. I knew I had nothing to feel depressed about because I was so blessed in life, but I simply felt like sh*t.
Over time, I went from multitasking and feeling like a supermom at the top of my game, to waiting for the day to end, so I could quickly crawl back into bed. I remember ignoring what my body was saying to me, just to get through my days. Days turned to nights, and nights turned into restless sleep. I did not know what to do. I did not know where to turn or who to trust anymore. I actually felt very alone. I felt so alone and so inadequate. Feelings of guilt and blame and shame settled in. I didn't know what was wrong with me or how to fix it. I started going to doctor after doctor. I would feel a little better, but then I would slide back to where I started. And so it was.
The hard part was that I was SO happy with all that I had. It was just that I always felt so awful. My joy and my spirit slowly escaped. Life didn't stop for me, so I had to keep going. I had to keep pushing, pushing, pushing, past all my thoughts and all my feelings. I had to keep pushing past my exhaustion. My body was no longer whispering to me, but instead, it was shouting out with signs and symptoms. I kept closing my eyes and covering my ears.
Looking back, over the last ten or so years, I had battled Lyme disease three times, was the victim in three car accidents and had an almost fatal case of food poisoning. I had developed thyroid disease and was literally freezing all the time, and my hair was falling out. I had suffered from overtaxed adrenals, which eventually led to adrenal collapse. I had blood sugar imbalances that I did not even know existed. I suffered from a range of hormonal issues, including mood swings, severe hot flashes and heavy periods and pain. I developed Autoimmune Diseases (Hashimoto's and Vitiligo). I suffered from numerous digestive disorders (nausea, burping, gas, bloating and embarrassing gurgling noises. I also had suffered from constipation, diverticulitis and acid reflux). I had memory loss, brain fog and forgetfulness, and of course, that feeling of endless fatigue. I was exhausted, overwhelmed and 50+ pounds overweight. My blood tests and lab results were totally out of whack. I suffered from Heavy Metal Toxicity and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, urinary incontinence, squamous cell carcinoma, osteopenia, foot fungus, IBS, and hemorrhoids that really hurt.
Having these health issues was not the hardest part for me. The hardest part of all was that I had to say goodbye to my little sister, Patricia, after her long and brave battle with cancer. This left me paralyzed for a long time. I tried to hold it together, but I was sure that if I let go, and felt my feelings, I would come completely unraveled and that they would have to come to take me away (in little white coats) or sedate me with heavy medication. So instead, I stifled my feelings, and I suffered in silence with heavy pain, deep regret and so much sadness.
By now, I felt overly fat, very sick and totally frumpy. The flame inside of me had gone out. As much as I tried to smile on the outside, on the inside, all I could do was wonder what was the matter with me. After all, no one had any answers for me. I felt a deep sense of isolation and desperation. I was alone. And it was dark in there.
THE NOT SO NIFTY FIFTIES
I turned 50. It wasn't miraculous at all, like turning 40 had been. As a matter of fact, it was a complete letdown and total disappointment. I was still trying to hold it in and hold it together, and even more so when my dad died. I finally had to let go of my job as a Dental Hygienist, and leave Dentistry after thirty plus years. The passion that I once had for Dentistry had left me alongside of my health. I was too exhausted to give it my all.
Suddenly, I became an empty nester. Now becoming an empty nester was a time that I always secretly, imagined would bring me tears of joy! Instead, my life flashed in front of me, and it brought me tears of sadness. I remember thinking, (actually I remember sobbing hysterically), "This is it? I'm done?" After all of that hard work and time spent raising our children, our home was empty... and so was my soul.
And then, it happened. I woke up one morning, while in someone else's home, and I caught my reflection, out of the corner of my eye, in this huge wraparound mirror. I quickly turned back around, to face myself in the mirror. I did not even recognize that woman that I saw standing there; that same person who was once so passionate, that I had somehow turned my back on years ago. But there she was, standing there, looking back at me. I literally gasped at whose reflection I saw.
I actually spent the next hour, locked in the bathroom. First I sobbed in a hot shower, and then I slowly slathered lotion onto my body, as an act of self love and a feeble attempt to reconnect to myself again. I stood naked, looking in that mirror for a long time until I took it all in. It was a feeble start. After that, I did not know what to do. I was simply exhausted from this very uncomfortable, realization. And so as quickly as this revelation came, I let it slip away.
Yet, somehow later, there appeared another voice inside my head. This time, it was not my own voice, but it was that of my little sister, Patricia. I could still hear her last words to me. It was a question that she had asked me, repeatedly, that kept echoing in my mind. She would say, "Are you taking care of yourself?" Of course I was not taking care of myself! I did not even know who "myself" was anymore. I did not know what to do or where to begin to take care of myself. I did not know who to turn to or who to trust. So, I had simply struggled to get by on my own. But now, for some reason, her question kept coming back at me and demanding more attention and an answer, as well. Again and again, I would hear her say, "Are you taking care of yourself?" Obviously, the answer had been a flat our "no"!
Then, there was another voice, but this time it was from my daughter, who was home on Christmas break. She suggested that I consider going back to school to study something new, that I might love learning about. I thought "Hmmm, what an interesting idea!" Well that, my friends, was years ago, and my life has changed forever.
I am now certified from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a Holistic Health Coach, have earned a certificate in Full Body Systems with Holistic Nutrition Lab, and have earned an advanced certification as Functional Nutrition Coach. I love to teach my clients about the power of Functional Medicine, as a new way of healing our health!
I have learned first hand that "Self Care is the Secret" to my wellness. Now, I understand about choosing and practicing "Lifestyle Choices" that serve me and support me and keep me feeling safe and satisfied. I appreciate that these are the foods that feed me, but they are different from the foods on my plate. And, I have learned how to choose the correct "Nutritional Choices" or foods to put on my fork, based on my body's unique needs. I know that one man's food is another man's poison. I understand that its not just the foods that we eat, but it's what our bodies can do with what we eat.
I am passionate about understanding my body and how it functions on a deeply cellular level! I have applied all that I have learned on myself. Now, I understand how to look and feel oh-so-fabulous. People comment to me to all the time and ask me what my secret is. My lab reports have moved back into range. My energy is up, and my passion is back. My life is on fire! And, I can be finally be found dancing up on the stage under a bright spotlight! (Okay, so I confess, it was our Halloween party, and I was dressed up as Cat Woman, but boy, did I feel great!) I can honestly say that I "rocked" even with my two left feet!
But, as you know, I wasn't always like this. Like you, I have been in the trenches. Truthfully, sometimes, I still ride out of my bike lane and fall back into the poison ivy. But now I know how to get back up on my bike, and start peddling again, because I have learned how to care for my health. I am connected to my body. I no longer push past it, but instead I have gained a gentle awareness. I have learned how to listen carefully, to what my body is quietly whispering to me, before it starts to scream and shout! I have learned to do the dance. I consciously choose what I need to add in, and I purposefully look for what I need to crowd out. I am learning what to prioritize and how to set safer boundaries. I even have my own Health Coach to continuously support me as well! I feel like I have my life back again and all great things are happening for me now. I love learning and studying and will always stay in classes. I love connecting the dots and sharing what I know! I am passionate about teaching other women the tools of how to carve out time to care for themselves and to heal their health!
AND SHE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Once again, I love what I do, and I am doing what I love. I feel good in my body, and I look great in my clothes! (And, I look great out of my clothes as well!) I am free to be me. I am becoming the woman that I am meant to be because now I can step into my spotlight and stand in my power. I want you to get well and stay well and look and feel oh so fabulous, so you can stand in your power and live your life on purpose with passion! I am so excited and so honored to share with you what I have loved learning.
You don't have to take all of the classes that I have taken, or study hard for five years to learn all of the tools and tips and tricks that I have learned, because I have put them all together for you! I have created The "Seven Stepping Stones" Signature System! No matter who you are or what concerns you are currently facing, The "Seven Stepping Stones" will inspire you, instruct you and empower you because knowledge is power. I will teach you how to heal your health, balance yourself, and walk your way to wellness.
I AM HERE FOR YOU
You don't have to feel alone any more, because I am here... Let me be the person for you, that I wish I had there for me.
I work with women who wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and suddenly no longer recognize who they see standing there. That’s because they are overwhelmed, overweight and exhausted. They feel desperation and isolation, and they suffer in silence with their symptoms. I know, because I was once that woman. That is why I teach others how to get well, stay well, look good, feel good and live life on purpose with passion. I am an expert in Functional Nutrition. Are your ready to Nourish Your Needs?
Why not set up a Complimentary MEET & GREET Session with me today?