A Surprising Start

Hiya! I’m Sara, the person behind mshealthesteem.com. And I’ve been living with Graves Disease for more than 8 years. But I’m incredibly glad to be able to call myself a Graves Disease Thriver. This Autoimmune Disease has taught me so much about loving myself, feeding my body with kindness and making self-care a priority.

In April of 2012, after months of testing, I finally had a diagnosis. “You have Graves Disease”. These four words changed my life (as any chronic illness diagnosis inevitably would).

But despite the anger and devastation I felt initially, today I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the journey Graves Disease has allowed me to experience.

Weird, I know. But let me explain…

I definitely didn’t go from sick to grateful right away. That’s impossible! I had so many emotions to work through and took my sweet time (which is totally ok!)

But one day I woke up and realized that I wanted to do everything in my power to be well. I And I started on a pretty wonderful adventure, trying my best to learn how to thrive with an autoimmune disease.

I learned how to eat a more balanced diet. Which meant cozying up to green things I never would have eaten before. But also finding a way to make healthy eating fulfilling, fun and, ultimately, intuitive. Because there has to be room for dessert, am I right?

More importantly, I started to listen to the messages my body was trying so hard to tell me, and to treat my body with unconditional love and forgiveness.

And I learned something incredibly valuable from this experience…

  • I deserve to be one of my top priorities.
  • I deserve my own unconditional love and forgiveness.
  • And it is totally possible to feed myself with kindness, thought and devotion and still love dessert. Balance is important.

(Fun fact – you deserve all of this goodness too!)

Sara Flanagan Ms. Health-Esteem Profile Picture

My disease might be incurable but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be well.

I will always have Graves Disease. But I’m well, I’m in remission, and I’ve joyfully created mshealthesteem.com, a little health haven where we can work together on self-care, acceptance, wellness and nutrition.

Everyday I feel incredibly passionate and grateful for my journey (a journey that couldn’t have been possible without Graves Disease). See – I told you the gratitude part would make sense in the end. 😉

If I can take such a negative circumstance do that with it, imagine what you can do!

A Healthy Lifestyle AND Modern Medicine 

My Graves Disease may be in remission, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t rely on modern medicine to help keep me well. I work with an endocrinologist that I adore, who monitors my condition and takes incredible care of me.

If my illness were to become aggressive again I would definitely take the needed medications and even consider other treatment methods if necessary.

I believe that it’s super important to take a balanced approach when it comes to wellness.

Yes, we need to participate in our healing and create a lifestyle that support our health and unique needs. But that doesn’t mean that doctors and modern medicine aren’t an integral part of our well-being. My lifestyle may be the reason that I thrive but my doctors are the reason I survive.

I urge everyone to seek the aid of a doctor when they need it. And work together to create a treatment plan that works best for you and your prognosis. Lifestyle changes aren’t going to be overly helpful if you’re not receiving the treatments that you need to be well.

A Little About Me In a Nutshell

I believe that:

  • Wellness is a beautiful journey, not a destination
  • It is imperative that our relationships with our amazing bodies be built on the foundations of kindness, patience, forgiveness and love and that our actions reflect those ideals
  • Our struggles do not have to be our downfalls
  • Modern medicine is an important part of our health journey and we must also be active patients and participate in our healing
  • We are all capable of magic and deserving of joy

I choose to:

  • Accept and love myself as I am, incurable illness and all
  • Cherish my body and treat it with devotion and respect
  • Lovingly support my well being
  • Accept that change is a necessary part of the journey
  • Find joy in the light and the darkness

I’d Love To Connect with You

I adore hearing from you! The best places for you to get in touch with me are in the comments on this site, by e-mail at sara(at)mshealthesteem.com or on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. I highly recommend connecting with me on Instagram. That’s where I love to share my adoration for self-love, self-care and food. I hang out there a ton!

And, my favourite way to keep in touch, you can sign up for my e-mail group! I’ll send you a free self-care planner. And on top of that goodness, I’ll send new goodness your way once a week, including self care ideas, recipes, inspiration, freebies and more. Sign up right here.

I’m so happy to meet you. Welcome to mshealthesteem.com!

Health and love,


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  1. Sara

    October 20, 2016

    Thank you so much for your kindness! I’m so grateful. I will definitely look into this. And congratulations for your award. You are truly marvelous and deserve so much goodness. I’m always excited to see what you share next. 🙂

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