Today’s guest post is by Dr. Michelle Robin.
I have the privilege of working with many of my clients over a span of many years. It is a far different experience than some medical practitioners have and I am grateful for it. I had the opportunity to interview Rachel Cooksey, a client for the past seven years, about how changing her health lead to getting unstuck in her life.
When I first met Rachel, she had been treated for Crohn’s Disease for several years. Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause a variety of digestive issues, but also other complications in other body systems. It’s one of two named inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and the complications can be severe. Currently, medical literature indicates that there is no cure for Crohn’s Disease, but it can be managed through medication. New research is finding other possibilities, and we are learning that treatment through lifestyle changes can be effective. But seven years ago, that information wasn’t available to Rachel. She was stuck in the cycle of prescription medications with no cure.
Rachel was taking 50 – 60 pills each day when we met, but they weren’t making her symptom-free. She remembered, “I was on all of these medications and nothing was working. It just kept me feeling terrible. I had no energy, I was always in pain, I couldn’t eat anything. I couldn’t function. I was in my mid- to late-twenties, and it was supposed to be the time of my life. I was supposed to be full of energy, and doing, and achieving, but I was stuck.”
I started working with Rachel from a Quadrant’s perspective, considering her Mechanical, Chemical, Energetical, and Psychospiritual wellbeing. One of the first things that we began to change was the food she ate. She started by cutting out fast food and processed food and by eating less gluten. As she cleaned up her diet, she added more vegetables, fruits, and healthy foods.
As Rachel made the changes, she noticed three big results: she lost weight, she had more energy, and she had fewer symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. She realized that food was the biggest thing that made her sick, so changing her diet was a key piece of her wellness.
But changing the food wasn’t the only change that Rachel made; she also began listening to her body. She said that our work together and starting to think about her health from a Quadrants of Wellbeing perspective lead her to be able to listen to her body and understand what it needs.
Giving her body what it needs lead to Rachel getting unstuck. She got tired of being sick and tired and began thinking about her dreams and what kind of future she could have. Now, seven years later, she has not only changed her health and gotten off all of the medications she was taking, but her new energy lead her to a new life in nursing school and now a career practicing as a nurse.
As I told that story, could I have been talking about you? Are you stuck? Are you still sick and tired of feeling sick and tired?
When we make one small change in our life, we can set off a domino effect. It can be a domino effect of good things, or of not so good things. Maybe there’s a new Halloween candy jar at your office. Every time you walk past, you think, “oh it’s just one.” But by the end of the day, you realize you’ve eaten 5 candy bars. You think, “there goes my healthy day!” so you stop by a fast food drive-thru on the way home. After all, you didn’t feel like cooking anyway, so you’ll start again tomorrow. But how does tomorrow go?
We can get stuck in that cycle and stuck feeling that we don’t know how to change it.
But one small positive change can also set off the domino effect. You carried your water bottle with you and drank all of the recommended amount of water today. You realize it’s the first afternoon you haven’t had a 3pm headache, so you get home and have the energy to make a healthy meal. How will that change your life for today, tomorrow, and next week?
As Rachel’s story shows, when we have a healthy body and make changes in wellness for our whole being, we can do much more in our lives. Rachel turned her new positive energy into passion for a career. What would you do with the energy if you had it? What do you dream for your future?
Small changes to the food we eat and learning to listen to our bodies can lead to big shifts in our health and wellbeing, and that can change our lives forever. Let me know what your dreams for your future are in the comments.