My buddy Joel, who I met through the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Certification course I am doing, has a weekly podcast called Work in Progress. Initially, Joel was focusing on business, but as he too is engaging more in health and healing, so he recently gave the podcast a twist to focus on the healing journey. He asked me to be a guest on the show and talk about my own personal work in progress on my health. If you are interested you can take a listen here.
I wanted to highlight our talk here a bit further. Healing is a work in progress. It's like putting together a complex puzzle, you know the ones with 500 pieces and a very intricate design? Even though the diagnosis can come in a few short words - words that forever change your world - the path to healing does not happen overnight. Its a multi-factorial process where you collect the puzzle pieces and start putting them together. In the end you'll end up with a masterpiece!
Tips for navigating your own work in progress
1. Quit playing Whack-a-mole with your body - We live in western society where its so common to want to take a pill or a supplement to make things instantly better. We are conditioned to want to fix symptoms quickly. Too often, chasing symptoms just leads to a game of Whack-a-mole which leads to other whactastic™ symptoms as a result. Until you really start to address the root of the problem in the first place, you'll play Whack-a-mole for a long time! Through symptoms, your body is trying to tell you something: Find someone to work with that will help you identify root causes to those symptoms you might have.
2. Find a tribe - Unless all your social network has the same diagnosis as you, chances are you might feel a bit alone in the beginning. See if you can find support groups, or Facebook groups or something to introduce you to new people that also have the same thing. Often times you will feel that much better by making a connection with someone who just "gets you". Not to mention you can get tips and tricks on helping to manage your illness.
3. A little bit at a time - There are so many things that contribute to chronic illness, that when you start digging into the healing; the diet, lifestyle and protocol changes can be overwhelming! So break it up into smaller modules that you can adapt over time. Again, this doesn't happen overnight. Pick one thing, implement it over the next few days, and then pick another. Before you know it, you will have completely adopted a new routine that fosters healing.
4. Don't settle for single opinions - In the beginning of my learning about Hashimoto's and what doctors could do for me, I got some pretty drastic advice. "have your thyroid removed surgically" or better yet, "take irradiated iodine and burn it out". These are options that seem drastic to me and I opted to seek out alternatives. Don't just take a single opinion face value, make sure to get a few perspectives. Then choose what feels most right to you.
5. Let your bad days be okay - Whether my insatiable perfectionism helped get me here or not, it can sometimes be my down fall. I had to really learn how to re-define success when it came to healing. A bad day would stress me out that I wasn't healing enough or that I was not doing enough to get better. That kind of stress is completely counterproductive and only hindered my healing. Finally when I learned to be okay with having a bad day, then I could really let my body rest and do its job, without all the added unreasonable expectation. So let the bad days be just as okay as the good ones!