10.23.15
TCM Reader Poll: Has A Health Problem Ever Led You To Live A Healthier Life?

Have you Ever looked around your life and thought, how did I end up here?? Even though we’re all about setting intentions and manifesting our own reality, as you know by now, life doesn’t always cooperate. The good news? When our lives veer wildly off the path we thought we were supposed to be on, sometimes those unexpected twists and turns can lead us straight into more meaning and more joy – even when those twisty turns seem like a major bummer.

Every day here at The Chalkboard, we’re lucky enough to meet all kinds of inspiring wellness gurus, many of whom found their calling through their own health challenges. Funny how life works that way. Last month, we asked you, our readers: Has a health problem ever lead you to a healthier life? We’re loving the encouraging stories you shared with us on Instagram

@kelly_marie219
Yup! I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic for 21 years and it was always out of control. I finally decided to get healthy , get my diet and exercise under control and it has changed my life completely. I’ve never been happier!

@corygoldstein
I was diagnosed with RA at 20. My lifetime dream was to be in the fashion industry. At 25, and in constant pain, I chose to go back to school and get a graduate degree in psychology. I currently work with cancer patients, doing both therapy and mindfulness activities. My ultimate goal is to have a private practice for those who suffer from chronic pain and other life changing health issues.

@broccolibetch
Yes! My years of anorexia and bulimia lead me to many digestive issues. Learning which foods I could tolerate and rebuild my digestion strength (mostly paleo, low fodmap) helped me tremendously in my recovery from not just my digestive issues but also my eating disorder!

@rachelsteenland
yes! I got diagnosed with pre-diabetes… I immediately started eating super healthy and stopped drinking. I worked really hard and was able to lose 80lbs within a year. I’m now no longer considered pre-diabetic!!

@tabbiij
yes! I have a seizures disorder, kidney disorder, hypothyroidism, crps, gastroparesis, and well, it continues: I didn’t want to live a life chronically ill and didn’t want to live a victim to a chronically ill life. I walked into a crossfit gym one day with a healing torn knee – after a seizure caused me to nearly die a month prior – and said I don’t want to live like this anymore. I found phenomenal support changed my diet and lifestyle and I feel so much better in general. I don’t let anything stop me. A lot of levels have improved so much.

@iris.edna.sc
They thought I had lymphoma. It was a horrible ordeal that I still have to have scans for months later. It taught me so much about life, what truly matters, and seeing your organs on a screen reminds you the damage or love you can show them.

@seechelci
Oh, yes! Diagnosed with endometriosis and the only options I was given was medication or surgery. I’ve instead pursued alternative methods including acupuncture, yoga, and a complete gluten-free diet change. I am now the lead program developer for an Integrative Health Program for community clinics throughout Orange County, CA. Through my experience and my ongoing journey to wellness, I have been given the opportunity to make integrative medicine more accessible to communities that may not otherwise have access to it! God has not let a moment of my pain be in vain!

@nirosha2310
Yes! My 5 year old was diagnosed with leukemia March this year and we have completed treatment now and she’s doing very well and cancer free, but yes our whole family has made huge lifestyle changes – plenty of family walks in the forest, healthier eating, organic produce, all natural chemical-free products and the list goes on! It’s a work in progress but what you said resonates so strongly with our family right now.

@jenrecchio
Yes! Graves disease. My autoimmune system is doing a number on my thyroid! I broke up with gluten and I feel so much better. Gluten-free, GMO free and organic. I miss pizza. ..the naughty-greasy pepperoni kind, but it is so worth it. Next stop is dairy-free and fake cream cheese is no fun.

Editor’s note: Oh, @jenrecchio, do we have a couple of resources for you! Dairy-free ideas here and the best vegan cheeses here

@zalatadressing
Yes! Severe food poisoning threw my entire system off. Through this, I went through a cycle of many many digestive complaints, it was on going, lots of ups and downs. I did a lot of my own research, learned a lot, and made many health/diet/lifestyle changes. It was bittersweet but very valuable. Grateful for it.

@ahealthyfeed
15 years of (cystic) acne and four rounds of accutane left me feeling depressed and hopeless, still battling acne. Luckily this lead me to a plant-based lifestyle where I thrive with more energy than ever, feel happy and my skin is finally clearing naturally.

@caramleduc
Anxiety, depression and migraines. I hated the suffering and didn’t want to taken a bunch of medications so I tried cleaner eating. Sure enough after getting into a steady green smoothie routine and less processed foods, my anxiety started to decrease. My depressive episodes nearly subsided and, well, my migraines… we are working on that. I completely believe that adding so many fruits and vegetables into my daily diet, as well as lots of water can totally change my mood and help me be stabilized without the boat load of medication.

@lisa_vipond
Yes, when my son was born with autism I immediately turned towards an organic, whole foods + holistic lifestyle. We eliminated gluten, implemented the GAPS protocol and I became a nutritionist. It’s been a fascinating journey!

@clean_cuisine
Yes! I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998 and adopted an anti-inflammatory diet right away (at suggestion of my neurologist). I have been symptom-free for over 15 years and feel way healthier now approaching 40 yrs old than I did when I turned 20! Have raised my 14 yr old son to eat same way and have written five books with my husband, Andy Larson, MD.

@adrianbillot
Yes! I was diagnosed with MS as well, in February of this year, I already was living healthfully, but now I’m on a 100% plant-based diet that has worked wonders for me and I’m running my 2nd marathon a year to date that I was diagnosed!

Editor’s note: @adrianbillot you’ve got to learn more about vegan athlete, Rich Roll

@skookumk
I had zombie skin my whole life. Absolutely covered in eczema. People thought I had chicken pox or flesh-eating disease. Asthma, constant coughing and sneezing., Clean green eating changed all that. Now I get compliments on my skin and spends my days being active, outside. Picture of health.

@sproutandpour
I fell ill (severe fatigue, GI issues,etc) over a year ago. Dr couldn’t find one thing wrong… so he dumped prescriptions of antidepressants. Instead of following that route my older sister turned me towards juicing and probiotics and integration super foods and supplements into my diet. Later I was so improved and inspired, we started a juice business at the farmer’s market. Now we have 2 locations, less than a year later.

@greenleanbean
Diagnosed with Crohns at age two. Lived almost 30 years with pain, being heavily medicated, and having numerous surgeries being told I would never get better. Diagnosed with Lyme, Candida, arthritis, asthma, optic neuritis, melanoma… I finally became my own health advocate after realizing allopathy wasn’t working and only making me sicker. After giving up meat, dairy, processed foods, detoxing, fasting, cleansing with herbal medicine and eating raw foods, I can say I am now med-free and completely symptom free! Took 30 years but I’ve learned so many lessons along the way! I am now helping others get well and teaching people they have the power to self-heal.

@briahaudra
I recently found out that the root to my severely weakened immune system, constant fatigue, joint pain, GI issues, etc was caused by numerous food allergies I had been battling for years. After simply changing my diet and taking probiotics, I have gained my life back! The change in my lifestyle has inspired me to live a healthier life and help others. I’ve decided to leave my successful job in advertising behind, and pursue a career in health and fitness in the Boston area. I’m excited to see where this new journey takes me!

We love hearing from you! Share your stories of healing and transformation below and let the rest of our wellness community
know how your health crisis became a positive turning point…


From our friends

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  1. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. I was a clean eater, organic since 1986, no drugs no alcohol and never truly overweight but I always had a lousy immune system–colds every other month sinus issues etc–not any more–I have been determined to regain and improve my immune system and I have. I no longer get everything my kids bring home. I can talk to someone wiith a cold and not catch it and I have energy. It is a new life. I do yoga, work with a complementary medicine doctor and work out but need to get more serious about the last one. Now to get into the best cardiovascular shape –that’s the goal for this year. I am turning 52 in a couple of months and I am determined to have an amazing rest of my life.

  2. I have had daily chronic abdominal and pelvic pain for over 7 years. It took 4 years for any doctor to discover what was the cause of my pain. 3 years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis with adhesions that connected my left ovary to my large intestine. I have had 5 surgeries (3 of them being exploratory to discover what was causing my pain and 2 specifically for endometriosis) After 3 years of continual pain, I realized that the only person who really cared or was in charge of my health is myself. I began eating only organic foods and cutting sugar, wheat and gluten completely out of my diet. I have experimented with a bunch of different eliminations to see what really felt good for me and my body. I started twice a week acupuncture treatments and got off of daily narcotic pain medications within 6 months and was able to start treatments once a week. After seeing how much I was improving from acupuncture treatments alone, I enrolled in school and am now one year away from getting my doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, which I never thought was a possibility before, both due to lack of knowledge and being physically incapable prior to getting treatments myself. I now continue with abdominal massage, yoga, guided and imagery meditation and deep breathing. All of these things have saved my life and allowed me to continue through life. For me, medications were just a bandaid that brought along their own slew of symptoms and problems. This is the best life I could ever create for myself and I feel healthier now then I did before my diagnosis.

    Jess | 01.07.2016 | Reply
  3. big changes this year for me – I was at least 100 pounds overweight as of June 2015 and ate whatever junk I wanted, no exercise, had high bp and cholesterol being medically managed. I had a stroke in June, at age 49, and since then I have totally rehabbed my diet, and am adding exercise to the mix. 50lbs down, 50 to go. Lifestyle changes., healthy eating, meditation…. When God hands you a wake up call, you need to listen.

    sheila | 01.11.2016 | Reply
  4. I was diagnosed with IBS after having a traumatic year 4 years ago, I turned to eating healthier and getting in shape focusing mainly on cutting out dairy. Last year was my first year in the work force and I drank alot, ate food which made me sick, and wasnt listening to my body. I ended up getting a 2 month flare up where I couldnt absorb my food properly and ended up deficient in nutrients. Since then I work out every day, have gone completely dairy free, meat free and low fodmap and feel amazing!

    Lauren | 01.29.2016 | Reply
  5. I was diagnosed with M.S. in 2009, thankfully with regular exercise, a diet managed life style (that is totally sugar free except for fruits, fat free and very limited gluten intake and no red meats}, regular Yoga and mindfulness.
    I also began a path of finding healing systems which led me to traditional Chinese medicine t and the practice of acupuncture/acupressure/auricular.

    thankfully I am so well.
    My mantra thus this is a a small price to pay for good health.
    Interested in meeting other like mind mates no part of the word is out of reach excepting outer space I do not fancy going to space so no marchen need to make contact.
    Cheers,

    Breda

    bredamerity | 05.14.2016 | Reply


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