25 Awesome Goodness Changes I've Made in My Life This Past Year!
Change can be hard. I've found it takes the right motivation. Willingness. Choice. And I've found that positive change for the good brightens your life through wellness, ... be it mental, physical, emotional, or all of the above.
Today I share with you some of my story that led me to the MANY positive changes I have made in my life over the past year.
All have been worth my effort.
All have changed my life.
For the better. Good. Positive!
I can honestly say that in many ways I'm not the same person today I was a year ago. Not that I was a bad person, or even a super unhappy person. I just wasn't where I needed and wanted to be.
And now I'm growing these AWESOME POSITIVE CHANGES in my life, every day. And I feel better. I AM better. Way better than before, and growing better, more and more.
I have many positive reaffirmations in my life these days, and one of them goes like this:
I am healthy, getting healthier. Strong, getting stronger. I AM HEALING!
And really, that's what I've come to realize is the big challenge in life ... healing. Healing from the mental, emotional, and physical damage we encounter on a daily basis.
Be it the relationships in our life, or even lack thereof. The shiz coming outta the TV or in the news. Our addiction to our phones and toxic social media. In the food we eat; the air we breathe; the chemical toxins that surround us everywhere ... our bright, beautiful bodies need help.
Our bright, beautiful bodies need our love and our attention. Our care and kindness. Our beautiful bodies need the nurturing, nourishing, replenishing opportunity to heal. And it's up to us to give it to our bodies ... to ourselves. With love!
Last year was … well, you know. It came with a big suck. The pandemic. But right before all that stressy chaos hit, my health tanked. Something big changed in my body, and it scared me … like Super Bad scared me. Super Huge.
My birthday is in the summer, and back in February/March 2020, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to my birthday.
At that time, I’d been suffering from worsening chronic fatigue for about 7 years. I went from a few bad days a month, to only getting maybe a few good days a month, … maybe. I spent most of my time in bed, with times of being so weak and achy, Pauli would have to assist me outta bed just to go to the bathroom. It was monumentally unfun, and a substantial loss of lifetime.
And maybe in another post sometime, I’ll talk about chronic fatigue in more detail to help encourage others who suffer (there’s an increased rate of suicide amongst CF sufferers … as modern medicine doesn’t understand it yet, and as a result, very little help or encouragement is offered.)
But for now, this post is about the 25 AWESOME GOODNESS changes I made in my life and what happened last February/March to motivate me to make those changes.
So … let’s start with motivation!
Without motivation, change is hard.
Find your motivation. Be willing. Make the choice.
When the pandemic hit, I was terrified … having chronic fatigue … how would I ever be able to fight off this horrible virus if I didn’t even have the strength and energy to get out of bed?
I was a bit directionless from the lack of help from my doctors (I’d seen many.). So I dug into research on my own and found 2 important things:
- It’s almost nearly impossible for vegetarians to get enough iron in their diets. I learned this on my own by my keeping a food journal to calculate my daily intake. I definitely was not getting enough. This self-discovery, about vegetarians unable to get sufficient iron (along with vegans), is now being taught for diagnostic purposes in naturopathic medical school … iron deficiency causes CF in women.
- Iodine deficiency can occur in peeps drinking organic milk. BTW, milk is our big source of iodine. With conventional milk, cows are fed diets with iodine, and the equipment used to get the milk is cleaned with iodine solutions … so iodine is sourced into conventional milk, and peeps drinking it, get their iodine. (But they also get all the ugh that comes with non-organic milk.) However, organic milk is iodine deficient. The cows are fed organic diets not supplemented with iodine, and the milk gathering equipment is cleaned differently, so … iodine deficiency. I again food journaled and calculated I wasn’t getting enough.
These 2 nutrients became my huge focus as deficiencies in my diet. Low iron = low energy. Low iodine = understimulated/supported thyroid = low energy.
I should quickly note: at this point in my life, I’d been a vegetarian, progressively eating a more and more organic diet for over about 15 years. I’ve been fully organic for about 5-7 years. And I had cut gluten out of my diet about 3 years ago from research linking gluten to decreased thyroid and gut health. Also, I’ve been a supplement taking human for the better part of my adult years. … Okay, back to the my story …
My doc ran some blood tests confirming I was iron deficient and my inflammation marker (c-reactive protein) was elevated. We just did the math for the iodine deficiency … it was a straight up “not getting enough in my diet” kind of thing. But for iron, I’d been tested over and over and over again throughout my adult years with me always coming back normal.
I began researching supplements for iron … and I also started looking into quality, pharmaceutical grade supplements. With my inflammation marker elevated, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t unintentionally adding toxins into my system.
I found the supplements I wanted to try, ran them by my doc for approval, and started taking them. And no freaking lie … within a few days I started feeling more energy … like a SHOCKING amount of energy.
I hadn’t felt this much energy in YEARS! And to jump to currently … I’ve essentially knocked chronic fatigue to the curb. I’ve had a few spells of low energy, but I’ve been able to pinpoint these events to when I’ve forgotten to take my iron … so guess what I take religiously now?!!!!!
So … great, MK, right?!!! CF kicked to the curb, so what’s all this health trouble you’re talking about? What motivated you?
Well, I’m very perimenopausal … like I’ve got symptoms from hell … and actually CF is part of it, as originally, when it first happened, my doc at the time suggested my flagging progesterone levels, and I started using bioidentical progesterone cream, which helped, but did not fix the problem.
So here I am, finally feeling energy, but my body went nuts.
- I suddenly lost a shiz ton of weight … a dangerous amount, and I wasn’t trying to lose weight.
- My lungs became painfully inflamed and asthmatic.
- I developed horrendous, cracking, blistering, angry, angry, angry red eczema.
- I was a withering, coughing, lung spasming, rashing, in-debilitating-pain human. It suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.
- My inflammation markers were elevated without explanation.
- I’m a bit of a germaphobe, so on top of this, when Covid hit, while my lungs are being all weird, I kinda freaked … ok … I really freaked out!
- My anxiety went off the damn charts.
This was not an easy time for me. It took ice, lots of bandages, pain meds, Benadryl at night (to knock me out so I could sleep while in so much pain), … and more … but you get the picture. I cried a lot. And then, my rash … the eczema … it got really, really bad. It started spreading. My doc thought I had a systemic bacterial infection (that can kill you without immediate treatment, and even with).
So here we are in the high freak out panic at the beginning of the pandemic. No visitors allowed in hospitals, etc. And I had to go to the ER with this horrible sensation I might die. Pauli and I were scared. We cried in the car outside the ER. I sobbed walking away from him, afraid it might be the last time I saw him.
Now you have an idea of my mind set … where I was in my life, mentally, physically, emotionally.
So … there it is … motivation. After 7 years of CF, a near death potential ER visit, new lung issues, new skin challenges, new weight challenges, new anxiety challenges, continuing perimenopausal health challenges … I knew I couldn’t live like this anymore.
My 25 AWESOME GOODNESS LIFE CHANGES!
I love them all. I feel so much better. I still have health struggles … I’m still perimenopausing like a hormone deficient monster … but I’m truly better. I’m in such a better place mentally, emotionally, and even physically!
OK … so let’s see this list of goodness! To be honest, it mostly comes down to living through anti-inflammation efforts as much as possible.
The overview is to eat well, hydrate, sleep restfully, get movement in to my body, and calm the hell down (in every way … my body was on a physical, emotional, and mental stress meltdown). Rest, rejuvenate, … heal.
So here we go:
- Seemingly solving my chronic fatigue problem through nutritional deficiencies (iron and iodine) … if you are a chick with CF, check your nutrition through food journaling! For years, the docs tested my iron and always said it was fine. But turns out it wasn’t, and it took me adding it up and doing the math. (Plus, the honesty of it is, the research for CF and women’s health is woefully underrepresented.)
- Yoga with Adriene! EVERY DAY! OMG, this angel on earth is a life saver!!! I started with her beginner’s videos and have grown and grown and am still growing. She is the calming soundtrack in my life. And if I had time, I would do yoga for hours and hours and hours a day. (Side note: when I first got started, I had bandages all over my hands and wrists from the blistered and broken eczema … I was a sight. But I did it anyway. Starting slow and easy and growing.
- Journaling for wellbeing, Positive Thinking, Reaffirmations … Goodness!!!
- Prayerful Intentioning: thinking, speaking, feeling healthy, supportive, happy goodness (this one is actually a newer change, and I LOOOOOOOOOOVE it … it’s a mindset thing, and it’s so juicy and positive … DO IT!!!!
- Started a saving my gums oral hygiene plan … I lost a few months of flossing due to bandaged hands and not being able to wash them more than once a day … and my teeth and gums took a bit of a hit … I’m in the process of trying to undo that damage, or at least minimize it and heal as much as possible.
- I cut out all sugar for almost the whole year, but have since allowed minute amounts of coconut sugar or molasses back in for certain “sweet foods.” And when I say minute, I mean MI-NUTE! On average, I get zero to maybe half a gram of coconut sugar/molasses a day. By comparison, most Americans are eating about 80+ grams of added sugar a day. (Just to be clear, I still eat fruit … fruit is healthy and nutritious!)
- I eliminated gluten. I’d already begun this journey in my previous efforts to solve my chronic fatigue. In the past year, I just made sure to be exacting about it. BTW, if you have thyroid challenges, gluten really needs to go!
- Daily movement: yoga + walking/dancing (fancy walking, lol) + I got a rebounder!!! My goal is to do at least 25 minutes of yoga, 10-20 minutes of walk/dance, and currently up to 2.5 minutes of rebounding. (Rebounding 5 minutes a day can reduce your inflammation by up to 19%!!!!)
- I now practice paced breathing daily. I focus mostly on a 10 second inhale, 10 second hold, exhale slow and easy for as long as it takes … I’ve grown into this … it took starting with a 4, 6, 4 pattern.
- I meditate with my legs up wall, almost daily. I try for 20 minutes a day with my paced breathing.
- I have been in therapy this whole year … weekly … to help me cope with my health and my anxiety/OCD (living in the time of a pandemic for my germaphobic self … uh, not easy).
- Learned about and now consume lots and lots and lots of healthy fats (seriously, ladies … our hormones need our help!)
- Again, with thanks to Yoga With Adriene, I now take a more nurturing and nourishing approach to my body, mind, and soul … my wellness! I now give gratitude for my beautiful body and this journey we are on together!
- I incorporated melatonin and learned to sleep in the dark and red night lights (to eliminate melatonin interfering blue light) ... I've been kinda afraid of the dark since I was a kid ... so ... kinda tackled a fear.
- I’m creating a more regular sleep schedule.
- I drink bone broth almost daily.
- I joined a beautiful and supportive women's circle!
- I am growing my knowledge and learning to live more eco-friendly sustainably.
- I went paperless in my biz and in my life as much as possible!
- I changed my focus to: Focus on what is working + Every little bit I do is better than not doing anything at all!
- I create, digi doodle, and digi paint almost daily for awesomeness and the added benefit of stress relief.
- Changed the way I eat … I now eat for nutrition and anti inflammation … I want nutrient dense foods
- I started taking organic CBD oil for my anxiety and OCD.
- I switched as many supplements to pharmaceutical grade as possible, and changed my routine to targeted supplements with the help and care of a functional medicine doctor.
- I began eliminating or limiting toxic relationships in my life, and instead starting growing and building supportive, loving relationships in my life.
My bottom line … Be Kind to Me. Live to be healthy. Live to be kind. Live with gratitude. Live with POSitude. Live with love!
My life is a lot different now than it was year ago. For the first time in my life, I get movement daily. I eat so much better. I create the most happy art and goodness for me and my peeps. I feel joy! I feel peace and calm. I prioritize my self-care, and I feel the difference ... it's delightful and wonderful and ... the absolute bestest ... ever!
I’m still working on my health. But I keep in mind, every little bit I do is better than not doing anything at all. (Motivation. Willingness. Choice. Positive Change is entirely within our grasp and is entirely possible!)
I focus on what I can do, and do my best to let go of the rest.
I’m healthier, happier, and feeling the most love and squee in my heart I ever have!
Well, sweet peas! You are beautiful! Thank you for being here with me, as I share part of my story and journey towards making positive change with you! I hope it helps you. I hope it inspires you and grows you! I hope it loves you and gives you a giant PINK-Hearted hug from me!
Until our next bloggin chat, may you be surrounded by the brightest, most positive, most healing loving light from me!!!
And if you have any questions about this post, or if you would like me to dive into more detail about any of the things I mentioned here, feel free to contact me via my contact page. Just leave a happy message, and I'll get to writing back to you!