The Health Discovery Which Has Changed My Life

This-Health-Discovery.gif

During this recent Summer, I was quite surprised, (and naturally, delighted) to receive a number of compliments from different people on how healthy and Happy I look - and people have even been asking me what my secret is!

I’ve never shared a post like this before - but the truth is, last year I made a discovery about a health condition I have had my entire life, which has deeply inspired me to change up some habits, take a new perspective on how I’m treating myself, and in turn, it has changed everything for the positive - from the way I live day-to-day, the way I eat, rest, listen to my body, to the way my body looks and feels.

Within this, (and knowing my gift for understanding the structure underneath a result so it can be repeated), there have been some mind-blowingly-simple discoveries that were so obvious as keystones to health they seemed too simple. But applying them has been the difference that makes the difference for me. I’d like to share them with you here, as well as how you can apply them in your daily life and make them stick, in the hope that you too will take the lead role in your health.

To give you a bit of back-story, back in 2008 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and didn’t get out of bed for almost 3 years. (OK - That’s the short version. It was pretty rough.) But - I am a firm believer that health conditions don’t come out of nowhere. And even once they are there, you can reverse many of them through changes in lifestyle, and releasing trauma and emotions from the body.

So I set on my way and learnt some serious stuff about the power of the mind/body connection, healing, and I gained a deep understanding of just how responsive our bodies are to the right things. I studied Integrative Nutrition, NLP, read countless books and used myself as a guinea-pig for healing and living. 8 years later, here I am.

IT’S AMAZING YOU WERE EVER AN ATHLETE. WITH THE SEROTONIN THE EXERCISE PRODUCED, YOU CAN MASK SYMPTOMS, BUT MOST PEOPLE WITH THIS CONDITION JUST HAVE TO LAY AROUND ALL DAY. THEY CAN’T EXERCISE IN THE FIRST PLACE. WITH YOUR LIFE-COACHING SKILLS , YOU’D HAVE THE TOOLS TO PUSH THROUGH ANYTHING. BUT I’M TELLING YOU, YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN REALLY HARD UP UNTIL NOW.

The words my environmental doctor said to me when he gave me the diagnosis for what was going on. It’s a blood disorder called Pyrrole Disorder. Not recognised by the medical world because it’s a condition that deals only with vitamins and minerals (not medicine), and is a cellular issue which renders me with consistently depleted levels of zinc and B6, which means my brain doesn’t work - at best. There are tonnes of symptoms, all seemingly disconnected, and it’s really a miracle I found this bloke who diagnosed me. I’m not going to go into the illness here, because what I want to share with you is what it has inspired me to do which has completely revolutionised my lifestyle - and I know, are the things that will make a difference to anyone who tries them.

In other words, this is really basic, fundamental stuff that I never bothered to apply, and it’s changing my life. I hope it changes your life too.

 


7 EASY-TO-APPLY ADJUSTMENTS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR HEALTH IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS.


1. Prioritising Rest & Learning to say NO.

I told you these were simple.

But Prioritising rest and learning to say no has been impossible for me (a highly ambitious over achiever) since I was young. Truth is, I had no idea how to do it. My belief was, if you want something, you make it happen. You work for it. You don’t stop until it’s done. (Probably has something to do with 15 years as a martial artist!). In order to to prioritise rest, you literally have to think about it (something new for me) and then actively add it in to your schedule.

So heres how I did it:

On an all-round front:

I re-organised my working schedule so I have micro-bursts of rest through the day. You can go as extreme as you want with this, and make it work for you - but instead of going hard for a few hours at a time, I pulse 90 minutes on, and 30 minutes off, and during those 90 minutes, I work for 25 minutes on, and 5 minutes rest. (Here’s a great app to help you do that last bit - the first bit was simply adding the pulses of time that work for me to my calendar, and fitting my projects into those slots of time).

For my Corporate Friends - this is easier than you think. I am still getting 7.5 hours of high quality work in every day, 9 if I do an extra pulse. Coffee-runs, water cooler chats, bathroom breaks and lunch hours are opportunities to precise resting instead, and the best thing about this, is when you do work, you’re really “on”, and truly productive.

Counter to this however, are the days I work for 3 hours as one big pulse, and then I stop work and rest for a number of hours throughout the middle of the day. These are often on the days I don’t see clients, and I love working in this way too. It makes it essential to schedule like a pro,{link to time hacks } but the same amount of work usually gets done.

Then, on a moment-to-moment front:

I made a list of the things I can do to rest, so I didn’t have to think about it when the time came, or if I got a random moment during the day. (Reading, closing my eyes and deep breathing, simply sitting still, laying down flat, stretching.) I created a night-time ritual (including no technology half an hour before sleep) to help me feel restful and fall asleep with ease at night.I stopped drinking caffeine after 3pm

And on a lifestyle front:

I also made my bed time work around my sleep - not my schedule. So, 9 hours in bed means I’m in bed by 9, and reading, to fall asleep at 9:30 or 10. Yes, this makes my weeks night-time social activities a little less available. But the benefits of doing this so far are outweighing missing out on whatever I was doing out at this time of night. I haven’t felt guilty or regretted it once since.

I also set a new boundary that I wouldn’t attend meetings or start work in the early am every day, as a general rule.

2. Water + Hydration

Most of the time when you’re hungry, or craving sugar, or coffee, or you’re tired - you’re actually severely dehydrated. Dehydration is also linked to alzhymers in later life.

Do you think that stopped me? No. I didn’t care. I simply do not like carrying a water bottle with me everywhere I went, and found it a hassle to hydrate. Lately though…

Here’s how I did it:

I fill up a jug and take it with a fresh glass to my desk every day. I know how much water this jug contains and I simply have to finish it before the day is through. I know the water in the jug is super high quality, and I can literally feel the difference in my brain function if I am not hydrated.

Upon rising I activate my thirsty-muscles with a drink of warm water and lemon or apple cider vinegar. If I know I’m going out, I finish the jug before I go. (It’s not that big) I order mineral water with dinners and lunches if I don’t feel like water. And I like to add fruit if I’m feeling fancy. My rule is, just get it in.

3. Meditation

Back when I had Chronic fatigue Syndrome, I learned Transcendental meditation - my uncle is teacher, and it is one of the things I can credit to saving my life. Meditation is like unwinding the rubix cube of your mind, and getting it back to having all the colours in their right places each time you practise. It’s better than sleep, and it’s better than coffee. Do you think that made me sit my ass down every day and do it twice? No. Not always.

Here’s how I make it happen:

With the combination of making my schedule work around my rest, I have free’d up extra time in the morning and evening to fit in some meditation. I do it first thing in the morning, and again in the afternoon - If I am having an extra busy day, I do the opposite of what you might be expecting, and instead o doing less meditation, I do more meditation. (There is always time for meditation)

Sometimes I take a few minutes on the loo, or in the bath as well.

Sometimes I take a few minutes before I get out of my car at a destination. (Traffic, you see!)

I have a “meeting” booked every day at 4pm that involves myself and a cushion, and I know what a difference it makes to my afternoon if I have taken this time - I am clear, calm, focused, creative and happy. I have alarms that remind me the time is coming up.

In other words, it became a non-negotiable, and because of this, I can see the difference it makes to my life day to day. Everyone suffers if I’m not taken care of.

4. Reduce Inflammation.

The kick-off to my health discovery was actually a wonderful Masseus who was recommended to me in the local area. I was talking to him about my symptoms, and he told me he thinks I have Pyrroles. It started everything. His massages are helping to drain the extra fluid out of my body, and I lose puffiness every time I wake up the day after a massage with him. They hurt, because my body is often really inflamed, but he has also given me some inflammation reducing herbs which I take every day, and I can visibly notice the difference.

My diet also, which is probably the main thing here - did not support the detoxification process and the elimination of inflammation. Going on juice cleanses is a little too extreme for me most of the time, so I started by working on healing my gut. If you’d like a great resource for this, check out Donna Gate’s book: The Body Ecology Diet. More on diet in just a moment.

Further to this, I stopped exercising the way I had always known: Go hard or go home. Instead I did the most uncomfortable thing EVER, and started doing gentle things, like walking, yin yoga, and yoga massage (read: rolling around on little massage balls and then having a nap on the floor)… and I have fallen in love with them all. I also go surfing regularly in small waves, on my longboard, and contrary to my old habits, when I’m feeling tired, I stop.

I want to point something out here.

Sometimes the reason things aren’t working in your life are because you’re doing them the way you always did. Maybe it worked at one point, but also, maybe it never worked. I trained for 15 years in Martial arts, until fail. I would literally train until my legs gave way, I’d fall on the floor, I’d be at the point of passing out, exhaustion, or even an injury… and then I’d go just a little bit longer. Please know, sometimes this is necessary. When I stepped into the ring at this stage of my life, I was ready, tough, and knew I could outlast anyone in front of me. This way of doing things served a great purpose in my life — then. Today? No. This was a very uncomfortable realisation at the time, and even felt weird and fidgety to implement, but I know with every fibre of my being it’s time for a new way to live. I am grateful for the skills I gained from train at that time, knowing ho wear I can push myself, and also now, grateful to know it’s not necessary.

How I made it happen:

I have a regular massage scheduled every three weeks, at the same time, all the way into the next 6 months. It’s easy to make this one happen - if I don’t do it, I feel like crap. I used to think I couldn’t afford this - and it was too extravagant to be doing on such a regular basis - but since starting, it feels like a new normal, and naturally my life has come to fit around the extra cost and time. Plus, the benefits in terms of my energy, clarity and ability to work more effectively well cover the costs of the massages, and the negatives of missing out.

I also locked myself in to my yoga classes, by purchasing a monthly ticket and scheduling in this time to my calendar.

5. Change your Beliefs + Release Trauma & Emotions.

Prior to really finding out there was something legitimately up with my body, I had to learn how to deal with life as it was. Up until then, I thought I was lazy, I thought I needed to sort out everything on my own, and I found ways to cope with how I felt by getting more done in less time, and managing my state when I was foggy and forgetful.

Much of the energy we drain ourselves of, is not from all the hard work we’re doing, but the other script running in the back our mind, maybe that something is wrong wit you, or you’re running out of time, or you’ll never be good enough and this will definitely fail.

Draining.

How I made this happen.

Ever single Sunday evening I sit down by myself and ask what I want. I then notice what comes up around not being able to have it, and I promptly remove it with a quick process I often do in my Fierce Salon. It frees up so much energy, and keeps me clear and in the present moment - instead of seeing things through filtered glasses.

6. Saying Yes To The Hell Yes’s.

Part of learning what to say no to, means opening up some space to be able to say yes to things which do feel nourishing from now on. At first this can feel super uncomfortable. We are, after all, used to filling our days and glorifying “busy”. But when you nail the first part, getting better at gracefully, and consistently saying no, you start to recognise invitations and opportunities which rate your energy, and you are keen to say yes to.

How I made this happen:

To make it easier in the moment, I set myself some new rules. I decided I would stop and start work at a certain time, and then I locked in “bookend” activities to make sure I really did it. Things like taking a yoga class, going for a walk on the beach, or going for a glass of wine after work with some girlfriends at nice cafe or restaurant. If It’s sunny, getting out for some Vitamin D, a swim in the ocean, or even just a cuppa and a great book.

I also learned to get back in touch with my gut instincts, and my intuition, and have devoted myself to trusting in it. So when something feels like a yes, I roll with it - until it’s done, or I figure it’s not a yes any more.

7. Finally, Changing my Diet to one that suits my personal needs.

The way we eat determines so much about our experience of life. For me, nothing is more clearly influencing my energy and the way my body feels. My diet has been switched over to super high quality, nutrient-dense foods since getting ill all those years ago, but more recently I took t to another level - which seemed scary and impossible at the time. I had to completely cut out grains, what, gluten, sugar, and dairy.

Now, not knowing how to cook, not owning any kitchen utensils, but thankfully living in a house with a baker and having the kind support of friends who laughed at me while they encouraged me to keep going, this has been a pleasurable experience - and, it has taken time.

When you find the right way of eating for you, and you implement it slowly enough to replace your old vices with new, it feels so damn good. I won’t look back. I had no idea how great my body was supposed to feel. Since completely cutting out the grains, I can think clearer, see clearer, and even hear better. Please don’t go and change your diet because of this, I’m explaining what is working for me.

How I made it work.

My message here is simple. Find your why. This is what I had to do. I had to make doing the uncomfortable thing non-negotiably, absolutely way more exciting than the comfortable thing. It required me to connect to a larger why which was based on a health concern, but also to direct my focus how I want dot feel instead. And knowing it was possible.

Don’t wait for a doctor to give it to you, or for you or a loved one to have a scare. Find it, or choose it as your driving why today. Then go for it. Find a way of eating that feels wonderful in your body. If cutting out un natural foods is part of your thing, I can also recommend exactly who helped me learn to switch things out and get cooking again - because she’s my best friend, and she’s exactly the reason it stuck for me. Jules Galloway - and Shiny Healthy You.

(Right now she’s running her signature program, which you can get here, and you can also find out more about Jules, and my story with this in an interview we did together late last year - find it right here).

Now, over to you. What is the biggest, yet easiest and most ignored change you think you need to make to your own way of living? Or, perhaps you’ve experienced something similar and know some super helpful tips you’d like to share there. I’m all ears.

Stay Curious,

Love, Hayley xo

P.S - Do you know someone on a path to healing? Pass this article on to them, I hope it helps.