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Authenticity and health are both very near and dear to my heart, so what I want to share with you is my story and what health means to me, as authentically as I possibly can. Authentic is literally my favorite word (just ask my besties, they’ll tell ya!)
I was to be married in August of 2009. It was your typical ultra-romantic military proposal from afar, swoon. But, it was such a stressful time, just like every girl experiences. My love was away for another deployment as I planned our wedding stateside, and alone. I had always exercised, but nothing crazy. My motto has always been “doing something is better than nothing”. Meaning a twenty minute walk or a few push-ups, crunches and squats are better than checking in on Facebook again. Well, I decided I should jump on the bandwagon and start doing boot camp and lots of it as a stress release and way to get it tip top bridal shape. Well, I will say, it worked, but I was uber stressed and being woke up in the middle of the night by my blue eyed darling’s phone calls leading to lack of shut eye or at least extremely screwed up sleep cycles. I wasn’t aware at the time, but this was breaking y system down, fast. I had also started to realize that flour wasn’t agreeing with me and kind of half cut it out. Well, fast forward to my sweet pea coming home and a whole new set of stressors. Military wives, you know what I am talking about!!
Next, we moved across the country away from my So Cal paradise….eek!!! More stress. And some family stuff began to hit the wall, as often happens during weddings. But as you can see, we’re developing a repetitious and ugly pattern here and its name is stress!! Slowly, I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I kept getting sinus infections and became intolerant to my beloved pinot, grrr. I also could not stand the smell of cologne, perfume and smoke. All of the sudden recurrent UTI’s kicked in, which also really put a damper on the newlywed fun. Within a few months of the wedding, I was knockdown; drag out sick three weeks out of four each month. My skin had always been fantastic, but not anymore. I was also always cold, intolerant to heat, would kill if my next meal didn’t come in time, I was achy everywhere constantly, was sick if I did a real booty busting workout and to top it off, I now had acne that would not let up. Oh and I forgot to mention, my hair wouldn’t grow and about half of it fell out ….holy heck!! I was constantly on this antibiotic, taking this spray, popping that over the counter reliever, scheduling with this specialist, writing another check my ass couldn’t cover for that Doc. I was sick, depressed and beginning to feel pretty hopeless. I was doing everything the MD’s told me and getting worse. I even told my husband I understood if it was all too much for him to take. This was certainly no newlywed fairytale! I was honestly waiting for a diagnosis of the worst kind. Mrs. Schollaert….you have “X” amount of time left on this earth because of this cancer (or insert any other crazy syndrome/disease/condition you can imagine!) I know that sound dramatic, but I was barely thirty, this was craziness!!!
A bit of time goes by, I’m fighting the fight, and then I get the news. You have to have surgery. Your right ear drum has been eaten away. It’s gone. We “simply” have to cut open your head, take bone out of your skull and make a new ear drum. And all at the bargain price of about $30k!! This was all under my stellar medical care and prescription meds!! WTF, I mean seriously! So that was it. After much prayer and searching, and being down right pissed off at my shotty situation, I began working with a terrific Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor. Turns out I had severe vitamin deficiencies, a low thyroid, candida, and heavy metal toxicity, hormones in the trash, several food allergies, severe adrenal fatigue, and loads of inflammation. We began the long process of slowly healing. But, I tell you in just 3 days on the upgraded organic and natural route, I was feeling a noticeably better.
Health became defined differently to me after my experience. Health was no longer skinny, the new cool detox, workout class, or newsstand advice. Health became organic eating, a clean and chemical free home, stress reduction and management, meditation and spirituality on a new level. Health is loving myself and others honestly and authentically. Health is learning to say no to others, yes to green juice and way higher grocery bills. Health now includes seeing things as I never did before. Meals are sacred and slow, and if an animal is involved, I know where it came from, how it was treated and it is honored before entering my body. Yoga is now regular and boot camp extremely rare. Supplements get my shoe money now and packaged foods have no place in my home. There is literally a sign on our front door with a big X through the word stress.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned was to be highly selective about anyone involved in my health. If it isn’t covered by insurance, but feels right, it’ll work itself out. Our family lives on far less financially than we once did, we spend more on self-care and top quality food and supplement’s, and somehow it feels like we have more. The universe honors us when we honor ourselves.
My experience was horrible; I am in fact still recovering. I have taken my recovery time to learn everything I can and whole heartedly believe I went through this process to help others. I have dedicated my life to helping others achieve their happiest, healthiest life possible.
I would love to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. My hope is that some part of it spoke to you and you have learned something from my awful experience.
Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.