Overweight + Malnourished to Holistic Doctor: My Path to Healing
I had spent thirty-seven years in prison. Most of the time, I didn’t even realize I was there. I had become comfortable with being uncomfortable. As the years went on, my health faded. I was sick, tired, and dreaming of the day that I would be free.
August 29, 2015 was the day I walked out of prison.
Of course this wasn’t a prison with real walls, guards, and barbed wire fences. This was much worse. This was a prison of food, and I was finally free.
My story is probably like most of yours to some degree. I grew up “healthy” and enjoyed the Standard America Diet (S.A.D.) for the majority of my life. I struggled with food for as long as I can remember. My father likes to remind me that on my third birthday I could eat anywhere I wanted. I could choose whatever I wanted to eat and what did I choose? KFC. Yep, if that is not how deeply I was enriched in the S.A.D., I don’t know what else would serve as better testament. I was on my first diet at age ten. By thirteen, I was forty pounds overweight and had done the gamut of fad diets and weight loss clinics. I remember feeling ashamed. Not so much for myself, but for my parents. I felt like I was a failure, and they had to be embarrassed having a fat daughter.
As time went on, the prison walls grew bigger, and I no longer could see the outside world. As age fifteen approached, I began starving myself to get the results that I thought were needed in order for me to become a complete and successful human being. Pay no mind to the fact that I was kind, caring, charismatic, and funny. Nope. I needed to be thin, and so the prison grew darker.
I finally came to terms with my eating disorder after getting married and learning I was pregnant with our first child. I knew that little person needed me to not think about myself, but her. She was born so beautiful and perfect. For a while I managed my weight, but slowly over the course of ten years, two little boys, and countless diets, I was at my worst.
I was 80 pounds overweight and malnourished. How does that happen? Only in America. I was losing my hair and had severe hormonal imbalances that led to two devastating miscarriages. My health was failing and I was only 35 years old.
One day in July of 2015, I could see the light of day again. It was not at all like I thought it would be. It was a cornfield in Iowa.
I spent a month working with the USDA on the Avian Flu Epidemic (bird flu for us normal people). I walked the yards of the bird barns that housed upwards of 80,000 birds in one barn! I learned that the reason the flu spread so fast was partially due to the poor hygiene of the farms. In fact, some of them had not been cleaned in twenty years. The birds are all stacked six high, each in their own little cage. No sunlight, no happiness, no freedom. They existed on a diet of GMO corn and soybeans.
Speaking of GMO corn and soybeans, I was surrounded by them. Everywhere you looked was a cornfield or soybean field. All sprayed weekly with pesticides.
One day in particular was the worst. I was out in the front of the farm and the crop dusters flew overhead spraying the fields across from me. All the chemicals were blown through the air straight into my face. My throat swelled up and I felt sick. It was in that very moment that I could taste my freedom. Through the haze of chemicals, poisons, and lies, I saw the door to the prison open.
August 29, 2015–I walked through those doors of despair straight into complete and total health and wellness.
The path to this freedom was clear. No wheat, no soy, no dairy, no GMOs, and no conventionally raised animal products.
As soon as I made up my mind, the real joy set in. As I began to nourish my body, for the first time in my life, my body began to do what it was created to do–heal.
Sometimes when people have spent so much time in a prison, they can’t function when they get out. They end up going right back in. But, this hasn’t been the case for me. The outside world is too sweet to ever find myself on a path back to the past.
As a matter of fact, I can’t even see the prison anymore from where I am now.
For the first nine months, I was on a quest for total healing. Cutting out the GMOs, wheat, soy, and dairy had profound effects on my health. Within the first four months, I had lost almost forty pounds. As time went on, the pounds kept coming off and all without sacrificing the types of foods I love.
After a year and half I’ve completely reversed all the health issues, the chronic illness, and of course as a side effect, I lost all that weight.
The ripple effect didn’t end there. My family changed their lives with me and enjoy great health now. My friends got on board and I started my own wellness and health practice outside of Atlanta. Don’t doubt the effects that your healthy changes will have, because you have no idea how many people you can help.
Keep pressing forward and I wish you all health and healing.
Photos: Felix Russell-Saw via Unsplash + author’s own