This is where I have been.
Hello! I’ve been off the social radar for quite some time. Sorry I have not been in touch although I have thought of you often. I want to thank you for being a part of my world and for placing your trust in me by following me and perusing information I have shared with you over time. You deserve to know what has been going on with me over the past year or so, as I begin the process of reconnecting with you. Here are some outlines – it’s not all pretty but it is the truth:
SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX:
I took myself off social media two years ago, coinciding with moving from Sydney to Brisbane. My obsession with social media was affecting my relationship with my young family as well my confidence and the ability to think for myself. I became overwhelmed with what other health professionals were doing on social media and started believing I wasn’t good enough. Standards and expectations of myself became too high and too broad. I used to religiously scroll Facebook during moments that I should have been connecting with my family, and when my husband confronted me I used to snap at him in denial. At other times my husband would be talking to me and I would be so buried in Facebook that I learned to engage in conversation with him without realising we were even having one. Later when he would refer to the conversation I would have no recollection of even having had it! I am embarrassed thinking about it now.
Finally I acknowledged I was addicted and needed a social media detox. I realised I was living more in an online world than my real one. I had to stop looking at what everyone else was doing and place more focus on my own journey. I needed to be present again and ultimately practice more of what I preached…
Two years later I am still apprehensive about going back on social media, however I feel it is time as I miss connecting with you! I have so many new perspectives to share as during the past couple of years I have continued challenging myself with my businesses, ongoing education and self-development. I have become more realistic. I have more questions than answers, I am more humbled by what I learn and I’m more empathetic toward others.
I have been quite ill the past year, which was brought on by trying a new therapy to ‘reprogram’ my immune system that backfired, instead bringing a dormant and damaged immune system into a full state of overwhelm and overstimulation. In hindsight I am glad it happened as I wonder how much worse I might have become over time if I hadn’t have been confronted now with issues that were evidently embedded deeply into my system. I developed intolerances and hypersensitivities to so many substances and stimuli that it got to a point where I felt I would flare up from just looking at food. I have been diagnosed with asthma, pyrroles, adrenal fatigue, gastritis and an inflamed lower bowel.
My immune system had been damaged in so many ways in the past and I used to keep pushing myself through the need to recover after suffering various traumas. I believed I was invincible. My body reached a point where it could no longer cope. A flare would put me into a state of extreme and debilitating pain more intense and unrelenting than labour. Each flare had a cumulative weakening effect so over time it became worse, longer lasting and activated by smaller stimulus. A spec of chilli in a meal could bring on a full state of flare. This affected my ability to function, focus and connect. I had nothing to give at those times and couldn’t look after my kids. Trips were cancelled, funerals missed and I struggled through social events. If there was a time of being truly present I suppose it was then, as nothing else could be focused on at those times.
CONFRONTING MYSELF AND OWNING IT:
My weight training and bodybuilding took a back seat as it became non-existent. On a good day if I as much as looked at weights I risked wiping myself out. I lost the muscular look I took so much pride in building and realised my strong-looking body and the emphasis I placed on ‘walking the talk’ to promote my business of being healthy formed the majority of my professional identity as an inspiring health and fitness mentor; so losing both of these elements at the same time made me feel like I was failing myself and misleading my peers.
I had to confront the insecurities I developed from losing my physique and general wellness. Some of my greatest strengths have risen from these weaknesses, over and above any strength I could gain during a training session. The first lesson in bouncing back from my depleted identity was acknowledging that I am only human – for someone who has always been extreme, this has been most humbling! I learned to surrender to being out of control, and that freedom and strength can be built from being able to roll with these punches and to keep going with your head up.
GETTING OFF MY HIGH HORSE:
I started meditating on a mantra that being fit doesn’t always mean being healthy. From having been such a high energy ‘all or nothing’ person I have become much less of an elite fitness freak and my approach to coaching has grown alongside this transition. I have become more supportive of a broader range of situations and solutions. I have enabled myself to see further into clients’ personal situations so I am better equipped to help them as they are and not just as I am.
NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF, QUESTION EVERYTHING:
I did lots of research to try to piece my confusing health puzzle together, unfortunately no thanks to various doctors I had seen up until about a month ago when I met one who offered understanding, wisdom and open mindedness. He verified my research and did assessments of his own to form more suggestions and solutions. Since meeting him I’ve not experienced a single hint of a flare and I’ve been able to resume a normal quality of life, which is probably why I feel strong enough to reconnect with you, share my experience and move on. I still have a distance to travel with sorting out my health but I’m glad I never gave up on searching for solutions and I’m feeling positive about the future.
I learned to never give up, never stop asking questions and never stop doubting your own instincts – don’t settle for the first answer if it doesn’t make sense. Any information you are exposed to deserves to be questioned, as nothing is absolutely certain.
I was forced to refine my life priorities into two words: Happiness & Health.
Everything else is just a practicality. All the practicalities are much more effective when you have happiness and health. It’s in your best interest to focus on these two priorities in the context of your own life, in your own time and space. Moving forward my coaching is now shaped around these two words and I am more focused now than ever to help people facilitate their own version of health and happiness.
OTHER THINGS KEEPING ME BUSY:
OVERALL I HAVE LEARNED:
Now that I have updated you on myself, I can focus on YOU in my upcoming blogs! Thank you for your time to read this. Looking forward to being in touch again soon.