In order to thrive with Graves Disease I’ve completely radicalized my life and created a healthy lifestyle that supported my well-being. I went from a junk food loving couch potato to a health foodie with an appreciation for meditation, yoga and fresh air. I’ve created a self care routine that would have baffled me pre-Graves as well as embraced everything from dry body brushing, to oil pulling, to essential oils and more. My healthy lifestyle revamp coupled with an awesome medical team has allowed me to regain my sense of well-being. I will never look back.
Everyone has the ability to create a healthy lifestyle that makes them feel awesome! But how exactly do you make it last? Here’s my little lifestyle sustainability secret:
Do You Want to Know How I make sure that my healthy lifestyle is sustainable?
Can a Healthy Lifestyle Truly be Sustainable?
When someone asks me if I believe that my healthy lifestyle could be sustainable, my honest answer is yes and no.
Yes, because my lifestyle has been built on a foundation of self-love and respect; I love myself enough to live in a way that allows me to be well. Feeling good and supporting my well-being are the two most important things, and achieving that allows me to have the energy and joy needed for all of the other wonders in my life. Those priorities will not change.
However, even though my priorities are set in stone, the answer is also no. Graves Disease has taught me many things, and a very big part of that lesson is to embrace change.
The state of your health will never be set in stone.
We must learn not to be too stubborn in our convictions and to continue to listen to our bodies. You will likely have to make adjustments as you go. A lifestyle that flexes and changes with you is one that’s truly healthy and sustainable.
What happens when we refuse to let our healthy lifestyles change with us?
When I first set out to do everything in my power to be well I was overjoyed at the improvements I experienced. An organic diet high in fruits and veggies (and free of over-processed junk), the discovery and elimination of problem foods like gluten and an awesome self-care routine complete with daily yoga, meditation, gratitude journaling and more all supported my health in such an incredible way.
I was amazed and I was hooked. Who could blame me? After experiencing over a year of poor health and feeling like crap things were finally starting to look up. Within 6 months I hit remission for the first time. In my mind’s eye, I had found the perfect lifestyle for me and it was set in stone. But that failed.
A year later I relapsed. My life had changed, but I made no lifestyle adjustments. I was stressed, I was taking on more than I could possibly handle at a new job, and yet I held on to the expectation that I had to achieve everything on my self-care list every day. It was exhausting.
I pushed myself and I cut myself no slack. I was doing all the “right” things, but I forgot to be gentle with myself and to reassess and address my needs.
When I crashed, I crashed hard and it was a HUGE wake up call. I was being way too stubborn and holding on to something because it had worked so well for me in the past… but I’ve come to realize that if I want this to work long term then I need to be flexible. Because life changes, I change and my health changes. There has to be plenty of room for adjustments.
Since then, the only thing constant in my world is change.
I’ve had to make plenty of adjustments. The building blocks of my lifestyle are in many ways very similar to Health-Esteem 1.0: I still eat a healthy, organic diet, but I’ve been listening to my digestive system and making adjustments as needed, I still do yoga, but if I need a day of rest I take it… I still believe in trying to accomplish what I can every day, but if I need a lazy day that is spent mostly in pajamas, huddled under blankets with a good book then I provide. The list goes on.
The only thing set in stone is the desire to support my well-being and the love required to make that happen. Everything else falls into place around those ideals.
And that’s exactly what you need as you venture to create or maintain a healthy lifestyle:
A foundation of self love and a desire to care for and protect you well-being (even if it means being flexible sometimes). If your intentions exist from a deep sense of love and respect for yourself, your actions and choices will come from a loving place. And your flexible healthy lifestyle will always have your best interests at heart, which is truly what it’s all about.
I’ll never claim to have discovered the perfect lifestyle; there’s no such thing. The next best thing is one that changes and grows with you. When we’re open to discovering new ways to thrive and making adjustments as needed then we’ve truly created a lifestyle built on self-love and respect – you really deserve that!
While I plan to never look back on the days when my health wasn’t a concern, I do plan on continuing to look forward; I am open to whatever changes tomorrow may bring. In that regard, my healthy lifestyle is sustainable, because I’ve built it to grow with me: Health-Esteem 2.0.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: Be patient and kind to yourself as you build a lifestyle that supports your well-being.
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