Wellness from Within: my wellness journey

When I began this little series of weekly posts, I mentioned that I’d share my own personal journey to wellness and how that story initiated these posts.

I was raised with a fairly healthy approach to eating.  My Mum is a fabulous cook who has learned the art of cooking through shared generations and the passing down of family recipes.  I gained my own love of cooking through watching her in the kitchen and tasting her yummy meals when I was younger.

When I left home to go to Uni, I knew how to cook, but I didn’t necessarily know or understand the benefits and importance of healthy, balanced eating.  One example of this was I really hated handling raw meats and as a result stopped eating them when I left home.  Unfortunately I didn’t understand how to substitute with other foods though for the lack of iron in my diet and ended up anemic as a result.

During my earlier uni years I was also eating way more sugar than I’d previously eaten and this would also have been contributing to my fatigue, lack of energy, and sudden bouts of depression.  After a few years of eating poorly since leaving home I was also beginning to experience changes in my digestion and was often feeling bloated, which was accompanied by stomach pains and irregular bowel movements.  I’m sure the stress in my life during my 20’s was also a big contributor, but along with my poor diet my wellness and wellbeing had gone out the door.

In my late 20’s I stumbled upon a fabulous GP, who was very down to earth, to the point and knew a lot about natural therapies and their benefits.  He diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and spoke to me about changing my diet, reducing the stress in my life, and also seeking the help of natural therapies.  A key point that he made at the time and that I remember so clearly was to keep trying new things until I found what suited me specifically and the same with natural therapies.  He said IBS is just a diagnosis for not really knowing the cause of my symptoms, so it was up to me to take the time to research and test different things.  At the same time I also came across a wonderful Chinese Dr.  Through his sessions and also with a Naturopath at the time I gained a passion for nutrition and energy healing.  I was suddenly fascinated by health, nutrition, wellbeing and healing the body and soul.  This lead me to studying Kinesiology and energy healing.

During my late 20’s and into my early 30’s I had experimented and made many changes to my everyday diet.  I was also exercising almost every day and eating a good wholesome balanced diet, where much of my food was prepared from scratch by myself.  I was however still suffering from some IBS symptoms.  Things were still not quite right.

Interestingly, I discovered on a trip overseas that my problems were not completely food related.  We were away for 3.5 weeks traveling through France, Spain and Morocco and I ate whatever I felt like.  I didn’t over indulge, but there were mornings for instance in Paris where we’d have a short black and a Pain au Chocolat for breaky, followed by a baguette for lunch and a cream laden meat based meal for dinner (also not so good for someone like me who is also lactose intolerant).  Interesting though I didn’t suffer as I normally would.  My bowels weren’t so regular, but I wasn’t suffering from the terrible bloating, stomach pains, and moodiness that I normally did.  I was living very carefree and happily while we were away.  So I discovered that stress, lack of down time and rest, and the day-to-day demands were definitely taking their toll on my health and wellbeing.

1 week before Flynn arrived

Move on to my late 30s and starting a family.  I never felt better than when I was pregnant in regards to my IBS troubles.  All of those symptoms subsided.  My GP had actually said years earlier “I highly recommend falling pregnant to ease and possibly eliminate your symptoms”.  I was bemused at the time and thought he was just hinting that I should start thinking about Motherhood!

It was feeling pretty good for a few years until breastfeeding ended and things were back to normal for my body in a way.  Gradually everything started to seep back to the way it was previously regarding my IBS.  Through the land of blogs and also through studying my Cert IV and Diploma of Kinesiology I was learning more and more about various health issues including IBS, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune diseases and how to treat them and live happily with them.  I began to tweak my diet further and made changes to my daily ways of living.  I decided to move away from Architecture for good.  I’d become very restless in my career, was feeling the pressures of Architecture and the effort required to make a decent income, and I was also hungry for more freedom creatively.  Architecture can actually be very restrictive creatively.  Personally for me I also felt it was not going to work with a young family.  It was all or nothing, none of this trying to do it part time in between lil ones.

This brings me to now.  I’m very happy, creatively fulfilled by my art and more in tune with my body than I’ve ever been before.  I’ve learnt so much over the years about food, nutrition, wellbeing and more, and most importantly I have learnt how to listen to my body.  It’s been 12-14 years since I discovered that my diet and lifestyle were affecting my health and wellbeing.  I have gained a whole lot of knowledge over this time through my own experiences, research, learning and experimentation and am often asked about all aspects of health and wellbeing regularly by friends and acquaintances.  This is what made me start to think about how l could share that information with more people and what prompted me to start this weekly post called Wellness from Within.  

This has been a long post, so I hope it reads ok and makes sense, as it’s quite hard to write about so many years in such a small space, and with interruptions   Anyway, I hope it’s given you an insight into my experience and I look forward to sharing more wholesome posts on everything healthy for mind body and soul.

Cheers to good health,

Liza xxx

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8 thoughts on “Wellness from Within: my wellness journey

  1. Hi Liza !
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I have IBS too (I was diagnosed a few years back, after more than a decade with it), I still have not found what diet to adopt to help easing it and would love to know more about your discoveries, if you don’t mind sharing of course (you can still email me if you don’t want to talk about it on your blog).
    Stress is definately a huge trigger…

    Take care,
    Nolwenn

    • Hi Nolwenn another IBS diagnosis, it is so so very common honey. Stress is definitely the biggest trigger that I’ve found. It’s the first thing you should start with. How to keep your stress levels in check. Your creativity is a wonderful way to do that. Also try regular walks, music, meditation and laughter amongst loved ones. With your diet it’s tricky and takes a lot of trial and error. You’ll get to know what triggers your IBS and what keeps you feeling comfortable. I know for example that I can eat white canelini beans but chickpeas I can’t. I will definitely share more over time here on my blog and any questions you happen to have feel free to email me and I will try and answer them for you x

  2. Thanks for sharing your story Liza. I am lactose and gluten intolerant and have been diagnosed as IBS so have made some significant changes to my diet but find that it sometimes comes back even if I haven’t changed what I have eaten. I do believe that stress plays a big part but realising that rest does too. I also found that when I went overseas a month ago I ate gluten and dairy and didn’t feel the effects either. Almost made me want to move there 🙂 Have been trying to figure out why but the way we were so relaxed over there makes so much sense that that was the difference. Now, incorporating that into reality back here is the hard thing isn’t it but meditation and art help me a lot and I certainly know when I have neglected them. Funny enough that is how I am feeling this week. Your post came along at the perfect time for me to stop and take notice

    • My pleasure Lee, I look forward to sharing more on this topic with you all in time. Ahhh that’s so interesting that you had the same experience as me with an overseas trip and eating freely. Yes, lets just live life on holidays I say!! LOL(o: If only it were that easy. I think the key for us is to rebuild our gutt strength and good bacteria and keep all things diet and lifestyle related in check. Sounds like you are doing all the right things and very aware of what your body is telling you xxx

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