Get inspired to stay motivated with your health goals.
I stared out at my withered looking plant in the backyard, contemplating whether to dig it out and toss it. I specifically bought this plant because it could withstand heat and low water conditions, perfect for the hot summers in California. It had adequate water, sunshine, nutrient dense soil – everything a plant needs (I even begged it to grow back). So why wasn’t that enough?
I made up my mind to dig up the plant and toss it out. As I walked over and bent down, I noticed some weeds growing in the center of the plant. I hadn’t noticed them before. The weeds had taken over the water supply, stifling my poor little plant. So I pulled the weeds instead and decided to give my plant a second chance, fingers crossed it would revive itself. And then I waited.
After a few weeks I noticed my plant wasn’t so little anymore. I totally forgot all about it until that evening. It was standing tall and green, as if to say “thank you” for bringing it back to life. In that moment, I felt overwhelmed with emotions. I couldn’t help but think how this plant reminded me of my own journey managing Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroid.
Coming Back To Life
I had felt like that plant, tired and withered. Except it wasn’t a few weeks, it was close to 15 years! That plant brought me hope that day; that what I once thought was broken was really just waiting to bloom. I just needed to remove the weeds.
I had already drastically changed my diet, exercised consistently, drank plenty of water, got sunshine daily, and worked on managing my stress levels and sleep – everything that helps heal autoimmune disease (and most illnesses). It wasn’t enough, something was still off and I could feel it. My hope for feeling better was renewed by this little plant, inspiring me to continue digging for answers to my symptoms. After all, my main goal and motto I had created for my healing journey was to continually improve my diet and lifestyle so that I was “Coming Back to Life”. I later learned I had SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth) and Candida overgrowth; my “weeds” that needed to be removed.
One recurring lesson I learned over the course of my Hashimoto’s journey is to get inspired! Dealing with an autoimmune disease is not easy. It’s draining on your body, mind and spirit. You may modify one part of your life with some success, but not feel entirely better. That’s because it isn’t just one thing you need to fix (like just taking thyroid replacement hormones). It’s a combination of repairing your gut so that you can absorb nutrients, balancing your gut bacteria, removing toxins, eating and cooking nutrient dense food and replenishing nutrient deficiencies (all of the things that led to autoimmunity in the first place). That requires a lot of changes and probably a complete different direction from how you were living your life before. That can feel messy, scary, frustrating, difficult and even unobtainable at times.
When those feelings creep in (and inevitably they will when you make lifestyle changes), look for inspiration that brings you hope. Hope for change. Hope for growth. Hope for healing.
- Get inspired through uplifting music
- Read others’ success stories
- Find things that bring you joy
- Practice positive affirmations
- Practice gratitude
- Place uplifting quotes or messages where you'll see them daily
- Surround yourself with positive vibes (especially if you don’t think of yourself as a naturally positive person)
Inspiration Breeds Hope. With Hope, Comes Change.
When you feel hopeful that you can feel better (and you can feel better!) you’re more likely to align your actions towards your goal, whether it’s cooking your meals or exercising 4 days a week. If you don’t feel hopeful that your health can change, you’re not going to put forth the same effort, or much effort at all, to commit to making new habits.
Whenever I made a lifestyle modification and didn’t get the miraculous change I wanted, I would lose a little hope. I’d stay in that negative space sometimes months feeling frustrated, upset, angry and hopeless – until I just didn’t want to feel that way anymore. The turning point in your journey is when you decide that instead of losing hope, you’re going to find inspiration!
Your body is a complex machine and your mind a web of emotions, so it may take time, patience and trial and error to see how all the pieces of your puzzle fit together. When things got difficult, I searched for inspiration anywhere I could find it. For me that meant learning as much as I could about the body, thyroid, nutrition and microbiome and the amazing power our bodies have to heal themselves. That gave me hope because I could decide what to eat and how I would bring balance back to my body. I also surrounded myself with positive images and quotes daily. This helped tremendously to keep me moving forward, making positive lifestyle changes and working on healing all aspects of my body.
Kristina Cegla, INHC
Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach