1. My embarrassing skin condition cleared up
After the birth of my bubs 14 years ago, I developed Psoriasis- not uncommon after stressful childbirth and hormonal changes. No creams and medication worked for the dry patches around my neck area. I even tried hypnotherapy – healing the body from within. My skin did clear up after a few days, but it came back a few months later. I noticed a pattern- the rash never cleared up completely, but some months were better than others – it was stress induced. Every time I struggled through a stressful time, it was ten times worst. I don’t know what was worse- the unbearable, stinging itch or the embarrassment when people notice my neck that looks like I have never washed it my entire life.
4 weeks into my diet, I was sort of disappointed that no one really noticed my small progress, even though my mom hasn’t seen me in months, but she was very quick to point out “Omw, it’s gone” and I was like “what’s gone?” and she pointed to my neck. I ran to the bathroom and noticed my skin…my beautiful baby soft skin around my neck for the very first time. I am not sure when it cleared up, because I stopped obsessing about it and never paid any attention to my neck anymore because it just made me feel bad. That’s when I had my first AHA moment… “it was the food I ate!”
2. I can remember
Memory-loss has become my ‘normal’ and I assumed that it was just the way I was wired. Both my short-term and long-term memory was affected. My family always joked when I paused in the middle of a sentence because I’d hit a complete blank…yes, in the middle of my sentence I would not know how the sentence was supposed to end.
That same day, sitting at my sister’s dining room table, I paused, and they smiled saying “she forgot what she wanted to say” and for the first time in years, I said “I actually do know. I cannot remember the last time I forgot what I wanted to say or do” – another AHA moment…”it was the food I ate!”
Although I still have trouble remembering my childhood and teen years, at least I can finish my sentence without any frustration of what others found funny but to me it was an embarrassing annoyance.
3. Bye-Bye Brainfog
There was a time when it felt like my head was covered with a wet blanket…a blanket that was draining out all my creative juices. I was very much a creative, out-of-the-box thinking soul. It was like there was a numbness inside my mind. I couldn’t focus on anything for longer than 2 minutes, not even my favourite movie. I was in a constant state of confusion -most of the time I was confused over WHY I was confused. I feel like I owe those who tried to have a conversation with me an apology because it was impossible for me to listen and pay attention while I was trying to figure out why I was even there. Yes, depression, chronic fatigue and hormonal imbalance caused contributed but the biggest problem was poor diet, lifestyle choices and lack of exercise…if only I knew this sooner.
4. The end of moon-face
Momma noticed something else right away too… “you’re face got smaller- the cheeks are getting smaller”. Thank God, she noticed something-a massive thing for me, btw. I was not a fan of my cheeks and double chin. It might seem petty, but I was always conscious of my double chin, keeping my neck up trying to avoid the optic illusion that my face was attached directly to my chest. I felt pretty chuffed with myself and thought- I should stick it out, I am on to something here.
5. The nasty voices in my head were silent
On this very day, a lot of things became apparent to me…I realised that I could actually place my focus on one thing at a time. I could hear my own thoughts. I could control my own thoughts. I didn’t feel the need to speak out of turn or loudly. I could hear…and more importantly, listen while having a conversation. My initial thoughts were that the voices in my head just took a little vacation, but it has been more that year now, so I believe that they have left the building for good. “AHA! It was the food that I ate!
*6. **No more out of breath while climbing stairs*
I had only been working out for a month, but I felt fitter than I did in a long time and noticed that I was climbing stairs without grasping for my breath, my heart wasn’t beating in my ears and I felt like I could easily climb another flight. This has really boosted my confidence into a different dimension. I never want this feeling to end! I was hooked!
7. I had peace in my heart
I have always considered myself a mindful, conscious being, but I remember it taking a lot more effort as the voices in my head and scattered mind had my chakras and my psyche completely out of balance. After a few weeks of healthy eating and exercising, I seemed to have found a calmness in my body…something very new to me as I have been suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Depression for many years. I feel a sense of peace and gratitude that I used to feel guilty about. I felt bad feeling so good, because there are so many people out there who should be experiencing this but aren’t…one of the reasons why it has become my life mission to share my story and help someone who might be in that place that I have been in for the last decade and say “you don’t have to stay there- just a few simple changes can change it all”
8. I was no longer sad and hopeless
I knew I was no longer depressed when something had happened one day that made me extremely sad. I cried and cried but realised that I was crying over this isolated event and as I stopped crying, I felt a sense of relief, like I knew that everything would be okay.
This was unlike my previous cries, where I’d cry about everything, for everything, about everyone, for everyone and feeling like it would never end and that there was really no way out of this misery. It felt like I was in quicksand…the more I moved and dug, the deeper I sank.
It’s great living life with so much hope and excitement. I am truly ecstatic for what lies ahead. Of course, it does not come without hurt, disappointment and bad things happening to us or around us, but I notice my blessings more and more. FAITH was my anti-depressant without the side-effects and timeframes.
9. A hop in my step
I was just 7 kilos lighter, but I felt lighter! I felt a hop in my step…literally! My posture improved because I started walking up straight…without even realising it. I felt like Alice in Wonderland while walking in Canal Walk. That feeling of not getting tired while walking and not getting pins and needles in my feet after standing for 20 minutes was definitely my motivation to keep going.
10. Clothes actually fit
I must be honest, I had very little faith in the process when I started because of all the previous failed attempts and didn’t have much hope of losing more than 3 kilos, so when my workout tights started slipping off while doing jumping jacks and goblets, I was pretty annoyed and frustrated with my weirdly shaped body. My trainer had to point it out to me that my clothes were falling off because they were too big…I bought it one size too small- then it hit me-AHA…it’s a good thing…ain’t no turning back now.
11. Lost 7 kilos
I have kind of given up on getting lower that 70 kilos. I mean I was at a dietician, a trainer, medical professionals and managed to get my hormones slightly under control but could never get to tip the scale past 70. This became my limiting belief and after the umpteenth weigh-in at the dietician following her diet to a tee and exercising 5 days a week without any success, it became my truth. So, seeing that number 69 on the scale this time…I (could almost) swear I heard a church choir singing…no…it wasn’t the voices…I promise!
Noticing all of the physiological and psychological changes within such a shorth period of time, the weight-loss became a consolation prize. The big surprise prize was my new lease on life. I have always been a bubbly, outgoing, fearless, risk-taking adventurous soul, and seeing this old me re-immerging was the best gift ever. I became more determined to reach my goal because I had a taste of the life to come. I wanted more. I still want more.
To think two years ago, thoughts of ending my life was haunting me…today I am obsessed with life.
All it took were a few simple changes…to change it all.
I am really hoping that this will inspire someone today.