Published On: Mon, Jan 28th, 2013

Take Heed with your Health…it belongs to you!

FearTake Heed with your Health…it belongs to you!

Wendi Vaughn

“Beware of advice that just doesn’t fit the bill…remember some folks just want to do things the most-convenient way for them. You know your body. If a physician advises something that “just doesn’t sound right to you”, go with your gut instinct and get second and third opinions before becoming the cow in a slaughtering house. Do the same with certain people who may surround you. If they are toxic to your health and emotional healing, and simply act as more baggage to have to deal with…well, you know what to do.”

-Dr. Bob Berger, MS, MVSc, PhD

Hello New Year; good-bye old year! It’s not that it was a bad year, but simply out with the old and in with the new. You know, that is exactly what is in my spirit to share with you this issue. Some of you may remember I started contributing to Nutricula by sharing my story with Crohn’s Disease (CD). For those of you who don’t know, CD is part of the inflammatory bowel disease family and can possible affect the entire digestive track. Yep! That’s everything from the mouth to the anus.

When I came stumbling into doctors’ offices in 2008, I was told my condition was aggressive and that I’d be on intense bio-meds the rest of my life. I can still hear the echoing phrase she spoke as if it were a death sentence. This ruling was unfair, completely uncalled for. I was young, healthy, never had chickenpox, nor had even been to a doctor since birth outside of yearly feminine check-ups. I ran 4-miles, 6 days a week just because I loved it, and I ate pretty healthily.

I thought my life was ending. But now when I look back, I know it was simply a new chapter. Today I sit writing this article with no pain. I have been off the bio-meds for over 7 months now, I’m maintaining healthy weight, running again, and living a vibrant life. This is almost a miracle to some when just a year ago my surgeon suggested I get my entire colon removed in exchange for an ostomy bag. I cried… I couldn’t picture my life that way, especially when I’d made so much progress.

I decided to take complete control of my health. This took strength and courage because I basically was telling my Harvard and UCLA trained physicians, “Ok, I hear ya, but I know there’s a better way.”

My better way was ushering myself into true healing with a more holistic approach. Diet, exercise and rapid lifestyle change were extremely important and effective. I teamed up with an amazing chiropractor physician who believes in the body’s ability to heal itself. I started taking herbal teas, eating special meals that wouldn’t irritate my colon, and getting at least 4 miles of cardio in a week. As I started to feel better, my tolerance for regular meal flows increased and I could also go harder on the cardio.

One of the more difficult aspects to change has been my lifestyle. That is the mental baggage, the emotional stress that we ALL to one extent or another begrudgingly carry around day after day. When situations show us this baggage is no longer healthy, we sometimes set it on the curb, but depending on what it is (say a boy/girlfriend or toxic job), we make excuses as to why we keep it around. This change is totally and completely uncomfortable… it requires us to dig deep and poke at sensitive areas of our character.

The change hurts, but it is oh so necessary and oh so vital for true healing.

Look at it this way, if your thinking or lifestyle is toxic, eating the best foods and exercising everyday will never completely CURE the problem created by those lifestyle practices! Studies show that negative thinking actually lowers I.Q. and impacts brain functioning… Ummm… if the BRAIN is not functioning at its best, what else may be off in the physical body?

Making lifestyle changes may be difficult because you may not realize there is anything wrong to begin with. I recommend teaming up with a therapist or someone trained in holistic medicine to help you flush out your mind, body, and spirit connection.

After digging deep, I found that I suffer from the Dis- EASE to please. This is basically being so darn nice that I lost my ability to say NO and preserve my energy for things that were important to me! When I did say NO, I felt guilty and selfish. Now I gladly say no and don’t allow my mind to play tricks on me. Most people understand that I need time to myself anyway. So the battle of guilt was all self generated and a total waste of valuable time that destroyed my health.

Lastly, I recently had to get out of a toxic relationship with a truly amazing man. Talk about oxymoronic! He is a great person, but he is NOT the person I need to be with at this time in my life. When various hurts and pains arose that made this blatant and clear, I’d rationalize it by saying, “Well, no one is perfect. I can’t be too picky.” However, I could never escape that voice in the pit of my gut that said, “Let him go!” It wasn’t until I caught him up in lies and adultery that I had the strength to say good-bye, even though my gut revealed he wasn’t the one for me months before.

When your gut speaks to you, do not ignore it. In my life, more times than not, my gut revealed truths to me that my eyes would only come to learn later.

Healing is a 360-degree process. If there is one lesson to take from this article, it is simply that your thoughts and lifestyle have just as much to do with your health and well being as diet, exercise, or medicine. Today I sit pain free, without heavy medications, and an optimistic future because I chose to change ME first- not the doctors, not family, not the boyfriend… Just ME.





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