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Wellness Journey | History + Q&A, Part 1

For over thirteen years I've been advocating intentional living through the lens of memory keeping - via this blog, my classes, my projects, my products and the general way in which I've tried to live my life. Embracing imperfection, going with the flow, stories matter, living the length and the width, progress not perfection - these have all been phrases that have been a part of my own personal story as well as what I've incorporated into the work that I do. 

They have most often been the messages I personally needed to hear. 

Memory keeping is a very big part of how I've tried to live an intentional life. Now I'm taking that same passion I've had towards memory keeping and putting some of that energy and intention into taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally

This post is the first of a two part series (part two can be found here) which will go deeper into some of my health history, document where I'm at in my wellness journey right now, and answer questions asked on my Instagram  @ae_wellness account

A couple disclaimers before I dive into sharing and responding to questions:

  • I am not a doctor or a health care provider or a nutritionist. I wholeheartedly encourage you to have a conversation with your health team (this might include a traditional doctor, a functional medicine practitioner, naturopath, etc) about your own health before embarking on any changes since each of our stories are so different.
  • I am just beginning this journey. I’m not an expert – I’m traveling this wellness road right along with everyone else. I’m learning as I go and what I’m sharing here is my own personal experience with food, exercise, and mental wellness.
  • As you read this I’d love for you to just imagine we are two friends chatting about what’s working and not working for us on our wellness journey.

PS // If you don't see your question below it's likely I combined it with another one or someone else already asked something similar. I'm happy to address follow-up questions in the comments. 

HISTORY

rebecca_farmer4 // What made you take your first steps towards wellness? Why did it stick this time kind of thing? I love to hear stories of how people started their wellness journey.
smultringunn // I would love to hear more about what made it click for you this time (if you even know - sometimes things just fall into place).

Aaron and I have been chatting about this quite a bit in an attempt to pinpoint why this time just feels different. I think it's totally possible that it's partly because I started taking Prozac earlier this year. 

Before I tell you more about that I need to go back in time a bit: 

A few years ago I found myself experiencing a dramatic increase in really intense mood swings that seemed to be following my monthly cycle. I had a conversation with my doctor about it (after Katie and I, and also Aaron and I, had multiple conversations about it where I was telling her that I felt like I was going crazy) and she changed my birth control prescription to one that other's had found to stop the intensity of those mood swings (Zarah was what was prescribed for me). Technically what she was treating is called PMDD: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. PMDD is essentially when you have really extreme premenstrual symptoms which can include mood swings, depression, intense anger, fatigue, feeling out of control, anxiety, etc. Growing up and throughout my 20's and early-mid 30's I didn't experience this high level of intensity at all - I had some PMS symptoms but nothing at all like this. Changing my prescription made a major difference in my mood. 

Fast forward a year or so to last fall when I ended up in the hospital with blood clots ( story about that here). Immediately upon being diagnosed with both a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in my leg) and a pulmonary embolism (blood clots in my lungs) I was told to stop taking birth control pills and that I wouldn't be able to take them again due to having the blood clots. I quit the pills immediately and decided to "wait and see" if the mood swings would come back (because I still, from time to time, carry the fear that I'm making these things up) before talking to my doctor again. 

A week after being in the hospital I had an appointment with my doctor for a follow-up and it was during that appointment that I learned that all these years I've actually had Hashimotos vs. just Hypothyroidism. There's a difference. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism after Simon was born and have been taking medication daily ever since. At the time I was diagnosed I was just told it was Hypothyroidism and to start taking medication and that was it. I have my levels checked regularly and adjusted as needed. But at this particular appointment I was actually seeing my regular doctor's partner and he was the one who was reviewing my chart and mentioned Hashimotos. The difference between Hashimotos and Hypothyroidism is this: 

  • Hashimotos (Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis) is an autoimmune disease where the body's defense system is somehow tricked into thinking that healthy tissue is a threat (in this case the thyroid) and turns against it - essentially destroying it. Some people, like me, develop a goiter - which is when the thyroid is enlarged to the point that you can see it (makes your neck look swollen - this was actually how I originally even went to the doctor was because someone mentioned it to me at the store). Hashimotos is a disease. Common symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, depression, anxiety, hair loss/thinning, constipation and insomnia. 
  • Hashimotos is the leading cause of Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when your body lacks sufficient thyroid hormones - the main purpose of those hormones is to regulate your body's metabolism. Hypothyroidism is a condition. It's most commonly caused by Hashimotos but the two terms are not interchangeable.

Here's the deal - most likely my doctor didn't talk more about it being Hashimotos because from her perspective in terms of what she was going to prescribe it didn't make a difference. Either way she was going to prescribe thyroid medication because my thyroid was damaged enough to need the medication. But for me personally, finding out that I actually had an autoimmune disease vs. just a condition sprang me to action initially last fall. I came home from that appointment and started googling Hashimotos and found  Autoimmune Wellness and The Paleo Mom. Both sites encourage a more wholistic approach to dealing with autoimmune diseases, including dietary interventions. I ordered their cookbooks (The Autoimmune Paleo CookbookThe Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Paleo Approach) and decided to jump into the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) cold turkey. I highly recommend checking them out if you want to learn more about AIP (a fairly strict elimination diet to help you actually figure out how you react to different kinds of foods). 

I followed a fairly strict AIP for most of September and October last year before stopping and going back to my normal eating habits around the holidays. I felt great eating that way (some of my earliest posts on my  @ae_wellness account are from this time period - I started it initially just as a private account sharing with a few friends) and was doing some walking and yoga during that time but nothing consistent. Even after stopping AIP I still listened to their podcasts and read blog posts and followed them on Instagram but was back to my regular ways of not moving my body and eating whatever and whenever I wanted. 

Back to the PMDD. 

After the blood clot experience I went for a couple months and the PMDD didn't got back to the same intensity as it was previously, but my anxiety seemed to definitely be amping up. I take Xanax from time to time - most often for airplane travel - but what started happening was I felt like I needed it more in my everyday life to do some everyday things. That wasn't normal. 

During my yearly physical with my doctor in the spring the conversation about not taking birth control came up again and I reminded her that I had mainly been taking it for the PMDD (that was actually originally prescribed by my OBGYN vs. my internal medicine doctor). She asked how things were going and I told her about the increasing anxiety and she said there were definitely other options for dealing with my symptoms (both the PMDD and the anxiety) and recommended I try taking Prozac. I was willing to try. 

Fast foward to today. I've been taking it for a few months now and I am significantly more calm and more clear and more even. 

I think it's totally possible that part of the reason I'm sticking with the journey this time is because the chemicals in my brain are actually level. 

I am also about 10-15 pounds heavier. 

I knew that weight gain was a side effect of antidepressants (I've taken others during the course of my life) but I was willing to try it because there have definitely been times when I wondered if the chemicals in my brain are simply not working how they are supposed to. Maybe it was really as simple as I needed more serotonin. 

My hope in sharing my recent health history is to give you an understanding of where I'm coming from.

Here are a few other things that have happened in the last few months that are also likely contributing to my commitment to this wellness journey:

  1. I reached a weight I didn’t want to be at - a number on the scale that I didn't and don't want to see. Some of that is definitely due to the Prozac but it's also due to my own personal unwillingness to take care of myself in an more intentional way (and probably Hashimotos).
  2. I came across the book Body Love and I was ready to learn and the information made sense to me. It has given me a path forward and a foundation to build my meals around. More about this below. 
  3. At the beginning of the year I empowered Katie to take charge of some work responsibilities. This is probably a big piece of this whole conversation about why this time is different. I'll talk more about this below. It has taken me years and years to let go of some of those pieces. Aaron called this "Katie relieving you of your unrelenting sense of work responsibility." I call it letting go of control.  
  4. Making my wellness IG account public for accountability and simply to share my story. I'm so glad I made that choice
  5. It's summer. The summer schedule in my house is a lot more flexible which has enabled me to have quite a few more choices for times of day to exercise. 
  6. My home-life has stabilized. Aaron brought that one up too. 
  7. Making this whole journey about a wellness lifestyle vs. fitness and/or diet. I want to be how I live my life. I want to include moving my body each day. I want to eat foods that fuel me. Learning more about how foods impact our overall wellbeing and beginning to learn how that works in my own body is making a difference. 
  8. Both places where I take classes - Hard Core Yoga and Barre3 use an app called MINDBODY which makes registering for classes (and cancelling them - because it happens) super easy. They also both offer a variety of classes throughout the day so I can mix it up based on what I've got going on during my day. You can use this app to discover new places in your own town as well - they have sections for "places to try" and "deals near me" for fitness, wellness, and beauty. 

SO WHAT AM I DOING RIGHT NOW

A couple months ago now I began this journey (you can read more in my first post here) and I've been consistently and regularly moving my body and changing my diet. I just decided it was time. Here are a few things I'm focusing on right now: 

  • Moving my body. I'm doing a combination of yoga classes, Barre3 classes and walking. Aiming for one activity per day. 
  • Daily smoothie for breakfast using recipes from Body Love. This has been awesome and I highly recommend this - I've never been much of a breakfast fan but drinking these really set me up for success because I'm managing my hunger hormones by having a combination of fat, protein, greens and fiber (the book is awesome and goes into detail). 
  • Gluten free/dairy free and eating a whole lot more plants. This has significantly reduced the bloating I was experiencing and is likely most contributing to the way I'm feeling better overall. 
  • Prioritizing rest. I've long been fairly protective of my sleep and generally go to bed fairly early in order to get close to 8 hours a night. 
  • Learning. Reading a lot about wellness (resources will be included in the next Q&A post) and generally soaking up information - and then re-reading it again in an attempt to really learn it. 
  • Self care. Taking things off my list vs. adding things on. Being kind to myself. Putting myself first when possible to make sure that I'm actually taking care of myself vs. waiting until the end of the day and being too tired to care. 
  • Simplifying. Letting go of literal stuff and figurative stuff. 

It seems like a long list when I type it up here. My main focus right now is on diet, movement, and self care. 

MENTAL WELLNESS

smwy.86 // For me it has always been about the physical side but as I grow older I am more aware that mental health is just as important. Was there a certain time or event that it clicked with you that the mental is as important or did they come hand in hand for you?

I have struggled for a long time with low-medium levels of depression and anxiety so mental health has always been a part of my story. I think I'm one of those people who has lived with it for so long that it feels more "normal" than it necessarily should. One of the reasons I absolutely love going to yoga is because it feeds me mentally as well as working my body physically. The yoga studio I go to here is awesome particularly because all of the teachers incorporate words into their practices - the words are about letting go, surrendering, strength, setting intentions, etc. I go as much for the mental piece as the physical piece. 

I also think that I learned a lot about myself through the process of getting a divorce (wanting to live the length and width and not stuff my feelings away - giving myself permission when I wanted/needed to be sad or angry or happy) and then meeting Aaron and having totally different conversations about my mental health with him. Things that had felt "normal" for a long time to me weren't normal for him. Having a new person to "check in with" impacted the story I was telling myself about my own mental health in really positive ways. 

tamihackbarth // What's been the hardest part of learning to advocate for yourself?

It has been super hard for me to let go of some of my work responsibilities. If you know anything about enneagram, I'm a 1 and I take my responsibilities very seriously and tend towards being perfectionist (I've been working on that for years). It has taken me years to give myself permission to work out during work hours and to let go of some of my responsibilites. Aaron has encouraged me, Katie has encouraged me, but I had to finally encourage myself. Once I did I learned that the world didn't end if I wasn't sitting at my desk for an hour a day when I could be moving my body if that was the best time for that day. It has literally taken me years to get to this point. That gives me that much more flexibility for making it happen. 

ajcphotos01 // What is motivating you to keep on keeping on. The challenges and wins.
mbradtke // How do you keep motivated, especially with all the other things going on in your life?

Feeling good overall is definitely motivating me. I feel lighter, happier, and more mentally clear and calm ( some of that might absolutely be the Prozac - whatever it is, I'll take it). I really like this version of myself and I really want to take care of myself. I am a better mom, boss, partner, lover, friend, etc when I am taking care of myself. 

Another thing that's motivating me is that I have so far to go in yoga. I don't see that as a negative at all - I'm super excited about learning more and growing into my own personal practice and simply being able to do more advanced poses (so not even close to being there yet). I love that I have that journey ahead of me. That one is both a challenge and a win for sure.  

Another thing that's motivating me is being in my 40's. I'm tired of feeling tired and fatigued and I don't want that to be the story for the rest of my life. I have questions about whether my fatigue is related to Hashimotos or general life or diet. I'm also simply curious about how good I can actually feel. 

lohersh // My struggle is that I have adult ADHD so it is a constant daily battle to not just do "what I feel like doing" and to stick to goals consistently. It's hard with food, tiredness, time spent, self-discipline...honestly it's like Groundhog Day, every day needing to wake up (after staying up too late yet again) and remind myself what I really care about and what my goals are. I have a lot of strategies that don't often work. Now I'm in the post-menopausal stage too where hormones and metabolism aren't what they used to be. Any guidance here? The struggle is real.

The struggle is totally real. Absolutely. I would suggest starting with one piece of the puzzle. Pick one thing to focus on for the next month and just work on that vs. feeling like you have to change everything all at once. Just one thing. Start small. Choose one meal to focus on or one habit to tackle. 

Remember, there is no rule that says we have to do everything at once - most often that's probably a recipe for failure. 

One thing that really helped me in the beginning was simply stating that I love myself enough to take better care of myself and then making choices that are in alignment with those values. Saying no in order to rest. Doing the things I like to do vs. what everyone else might be doing. Putting myself first. This is hard - especially for Mom's - but it's also so, so important. We can all come up with a bunch of reasons for why we aren't taking care of ourselves - start by loving yourself enough to make one change. 

stephavela // I would like to know what your daily healthy minimums are? What is the least you have to accomplish daily on your wellness journey to feel like you are realizing your goals?

I thought about this one a little bit and decided that I tend to view things more from a weekly vs. a daily perspective for my "wins." I want to include movement (right now it's walking or  Barre3 or yoga) more days than not. By having a weekly view I'm able to have a little more space for flexibility. I'm also looking at things from the perspective that I "get" to do something awesome for myself today: I get to eat foods that fuel me, I get to move my body in a variety of ways that makes my mind + heart + spirit super happy, I get to take a bath, etc. 

I think I'm most satisfied at the end of the if I've moved my body. 

yolandalockharthowe // I'm interested in how this evolved into something you were willing to share so much of (daily videos, non-private Instagram, etc). There can be a lot of shame surrounding having an imperfect relationship with food, wellness, and exercise. I'm interested in how you have navigated all those feels in order to invite us along to share the journey.

I basically decided that I needed a different kind of accountability. I know, through my years of memory keeping and sharing my stories, that it's one of the best ways for me to make sense of my life (and I've always advocating sharing and celebrating the imperfect parts of our lives). Also, as the topic of wellness started becoming more important to me I simply wanted to be able to talk about it publicly but didn't want to post all the photos of my food on my main Instagram account. Having a separate account has been awesome not only because it has given me a home to tell those stories but also because I'm only following health, wellness, yoga, and inspirational people on that account and simply scrolling through the people I'm following can get me out of bed and out the door. The community ( #aewellnesstribe) has also been awesome in supporting and sharing. 

Also, I love being imperfect and have already shared so many of my imperfect stories over the years. I want people to know they are not alone and I would love to empower women to stop the shame cycle related to our imperfections. 

I simply got to a point where I needed/wanted to talk about it vs. keeping it to myself.   

kelsterjean // Okay I have another question, or rather request. Can you share some tips on working towards finding a healthy balance of it all? Like mental happiness + exercising and moving + eating well. Just finding a balance you are happy with. 

Ah, balance. I have no idea. Ha. 

Actually, what I've been working on is being in the season I'm in vs. some unattainable idea of "balance" or wishing it all away for the next one. Acceptance of "what is" is huge for me. When I gracefully accept and give myself love for the season I'm in I'm better able to see it for what it is and make adjustments within it based on what parts feel like they are working or not working. 

What's been working for me in this season ( let's say the summer season of the last few months) is making time for moving my body + being flexible with when that happens (and then actually walking out the door through the process of giving myself permission to do it), filling my fridge with lots of vegetables and actually eating them, and really approaching all of it from the place of self-love. Some seasons are going to allow me to focus on all that stuff at the same time and other seasons are going to require me to adjust in order to make room for the other stuff of life (like way more kids activities when they go back to school which will create a completely different schedule and I will need to transition again). My hope is that the foundation I've laid this summer will be a solid jumping off point for me as we move into the fall. 

Remember, balance isn't a solid state - it's actually fluid. It requires adjusting one end to level out another end - meaning it's almost always in flux and moving.  

kpeveryday // Two questions- what non-scale victories are you noticing? Has your wellness routine improved other parts of your life bedside your mental/physical being?

I am really happy right now and that is one of the best victories for me personally. I honestly can not remember a time in many, many years where I've felt like this. I feel stronger and know that I am getting stronger simply by monitoring myself in the classes. I can hold a plank longer. I can make it through most of a Barre3 class with much less rest compared to when I started a few months ago. 

Has my wellness routine improved other parts of my life? I'm not sure. My stress level feels manageable (ask me this one again in a few months and we'll see how I'm doing at that point) and I feel like I know what I need to do generally to stay on track. Those are definitely positives. 

MOVING MY BODY

misererenobis // I've never done yoga - why is it hard; how is it a workout; why do you sweat? Isn't it just stretching?

Yoga is so, so much more than just stretching. It’s a workout because you are working on a variety of things: strength, balance, flexibility, breathing and mental fitness. The poses are physically demanding as is the mental willpower to keep breathing and stay in the poses (the intensity varies from class to class and style of yoga). Aaron thinks it’s the mental part of it that actually makes it hard. The studio I go to ( Hard Core Yoga) offers a variety of classes from restorative (slower paced, more stretching based) to Level One to Level Two to Power Flow (quicker movements back to back into a “flow” vs. holding the poses longer). There’s a wide range of abilities and body types and ages all practicing together. I love it because it totally grounds me in my body - so much goodness comes from just connecting with our own bodies in this way. 

phug1 // Tips to get to bed early so I can get up and out early! I'm such a night owl as it's the only ME time! I'm a high school teacher and start early and after school, prep, planning, copies etc, get kids from daycare, kids sports. I have kids in soccer every night sept-march and to meal plan, dinner, marking etc., I just don't have time after work to get it in. I know us working moms are all stretched beyond and I think AM is only time to fit it in. I try to power walk around turf while kids practice but just not the same. How to turn my sleep click around and motivate in rainy fall mornings here in Vancouver BC!

You are in a very busy season. 

I sometimes have a hard time with an "all or nothing" mentality - I have a picture in my head of what exercise should look like which then results in me doing nothing because I can't make time for what that looks like in my head. If you are a night owl, what about taking 30 mins at night to move your body? Make that "me" time and really make it "you" time. Break it down into smaller chunks of time that add up over the course of the day.

Also, maybe consider what little changes you could make? Maybe it's more food-related right now vs. exercise. Or maybe it's doing 15 mins of yoga before you get in bed. Or maybe it's meditating for 10 mins in the morning. 

There might be some ideas for you here:  17 Tips from Fit Moms on Finding Time for Exercise

wholesomefamilykitchen// When you head out for an early-morning workout, do you eat breakfast first, or some sort of snack, or do you wait until after? When I head out for my morning walks (2-3 miles), I've been experimenting with either eating a small snack, or eating nothing; but I always have my full breakfast after my walk. I have been struggling to lose weight & I don't need the extra calories, but I don't know if it's better to work out/walk on an empty stomach or not. Just curious if you fuel up before your morning workout & how it has worked for you. Trying to figure out my routine....

For those early morning classes (5:45am and 6am) I generally have 1/2 cup of coffee and maybe a banana (depending on how hungry I feel and how early I got up). Then when I get home I have a #fabfour smoothie. Here are some suggestions:  Eating Before A Morning Workout

shannonkruger // Your workouts are all gentle in nature (walking, barre and yoga.) Is that related to your Hashimoto or ??? I'm having to adopt a more gentle approach and some days feel it's not enough in this extreme world.

This is definitely a conscious choice on my part but I think it's more that I like doing all three of those things. Yoga and Barre3 can both be super challenging. It really depends on the classes you are going to and how hard you are working and your personal goals. I'm also all for throwing out the version of what we think we "should" be doing in terms of taking care of ourselves (based on what other people have said or stories you've been telling yourself about what constitutes a "good" workout) and doing what works best for each individual person. Everyone is going to have different experiences with different types of exercise. 

But yes, I'm down with more "gentle" mind-body styles of movement because that's what's feeling really good for my body, mind and spirit right now. It might look different next month or next year and I'm okay with that too. As we move into the winter things will likely adjust for me and I might add swimming (indoors) and or something else. My main goal is to not get bored and to keep doing something vs. falling back into my old habits of being too tired to do anything at all.  

Part Two is available here

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28 thoughts

  1. Mbcyoga says…
    08/28/2017

    I understand the twists and turns of dealing with a chronic disease. I have secondary progressive MS. I do and teach yoga as part of my wellness journey. My practice helps me stay mindful about what my body needs but also to let go of judgement when I miss the mark a bit. Meditation is a significant pary of my journey...I breathe and take time each day to sit with myself and let my thoughts pass through without attaching or going into "story". I feel as if my practice saves me....hugs to you for sharing your journey...

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. mtercha says…
    08/28/2017

    I'm really interested in yoga, and know it would be super beneficial tho me. But I have tubes, and I know certain poses would be off limits. Maybe I'll look into somehow getting a private lesson to learn how to modify things. That would be expensive, but it would be worth it. I'm also interested in the Barre, I'd like to know more about what that is.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your story here. I appreciate that and I am rooting for you. Michelle t

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Chelle128 says…
      08/29/2017

      Michelle - I am a nurse who works in an integrative primary care practice in Maryland. We have yoga classes AND we have a yoga THERAPIST who has special additional training. She has worked with all kinds of folks - in wheelchairs, with tubes, with chronic illness, severe mobility issues, etc. She can find ways to help ANYONE do yoga. Try searching for a yoga therapist near you. Our therapist offers very small group sessions, as well as one-on-one sessions. You can do this!!

  3. lma1800 says…
    08/28/2017

    I too have Hashimotos and am looking to change my diet. How did you do an elimination diet will such a large family and with picky eaters?

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. kellyandkelly says…
      08/28/2017

      I'm curious about this too. I was just diagnosed with hashimotos and have five kids and some are quite picky. I don't want to cook something different for myself every night.

      Thank you for this post - looking forward to more!

    2. AliEdwards says…
      08/28/2017

      There are quite a few different ways you can approach it. When I was doing full AIP I often made something for myself that was a variation of what we were feeding anyone who was here (like taco night - I ate whatever protein we had + vegetables and left out the things I was eliminating) but sometimes I just made something for myself. You can also start slow and build up to the full elimination portion - removing gluten first or dairy or soy or something else and just seeing if that makes a difference in how you feel. I didn't force the way I was eating onto my family members (when it was just me and Aaron here I would make something and he would add more of something else if he wanted). All that said, we have been transitioning the majority of what we all eat to a more whole foods based diet vs. processed foods. That said last night the kids ate take-out pizza and Aaron and I had steak + broccoli + avocado.

      It's not easy but neither is living when you are super fatigued, brain foggy, etc. It's definitely possible and it might just mean slow changes - for yourself or for your family overall. With five kids here on and off we have a lot of different "preferences" but our goal is generally to have a protein + a vegetable (or two) + a fruit at a bare minimum for our dinners.

      Look for simple meals that you can cook that most of your crew will eat and remember that it's all a process. Simple to me right now is something like chicken breasts + broccoli (from Costco that can be microwaved in 6 mins) + rice. Everyone here will eat that - I skip the rice and add avocado. Simon had a fairly limited diet for a number of years and as he's gotten older he has expanded the number of things he'll eat - so much of that is simple repetition on our part.

      Definitely check out http://autoimmune-paleo.com and http://www.realfoodwholelife.com (lots of good family recipes).

  4. mimifatspagetti says…
    08/28/2017

    Ali, that was such a very thorough post. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You always manage to spell it out to where my brain goes "wow I get it". Keep up the joyful wellness.. and I can't wait to read part 2.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. kalibetsy says…
    08/28/2017

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing as always it is super inspiring. I remember years and years ago you mentioned depression (it may have been in a class or scrapbook page or something) and it was a game changer for my family. I decided that we shouldn't hide it anymore so I have been very open about the people in my family with depression and you know what? That is the story for many of our families. It makes a difference when one tells our story. Also I think I will check out a yoga class this week. I need something new and that may be the next part to my wellness journey. Thank you so much!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. deborah1958 says…
    08/28/2017

    Hi Ali, Thanks for sharing your wellness journey with us - lots of strands to this story but can I offer a little suggestion.

    Please watch - THAT VITAMIN MOVIE - (its on Amazon) talks all about the benifits of Vitamins obviously, but the importance of Niacin or Nicinamide for mental health issues - anxiety & depression.

    There is a very good book called Niacin the real story - by Hoffer & Saul that would make good reading and may lead you to to get rid of prescription medication.

    I am on the paleo journey too - perfect way to perfect health and enjoying this lifestyle tremendously.

    We may just need to few extra vitamins to help too!

    Deb x

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. kcpooh22 says…
    08/28/2017

    Thank you.
    Thank you for being so open and honest and for posting this.
    The part about how some of your anxiety/depression felt more "normal" than it should. And being in your 40's and being tired of feeling tired. And just about everything else you said.
    Holy cow, thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. marysara says…
    08/28/2017

    Hi Ali, I am so impressed and inspired by your journey and willingness to share it as to help others who struggle with this as well. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto in my 20's along with Hypothyroidism. I too was told at the time, there wasn't really a difference and I would still take the thyroid medicine daily for the rest of my life. I have also found that doctors who I have seen over the years, really don't know what Hashimoto's is. I often wondered why I was still gaining weight, feeling tired and lacking in energy if my thyroid levels were coming back normal, especially the last few years. I am thinking Hashimoto actually could be playing more of a role in my overall health and wellbeing, especially as I am aging than I thought or my doctor thought before. Or maybe it's just trying to do better self-care?

    This is encouraging me to have more of a frank talk with my doctor next month at my appointment and see if we can dig deeper and get me more of an answer. Next I need to tackle the diet and see if eliminating certain foods will make me feel better. Thank you again for sharing your story and journey. You are awesome. xo

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring as it's inspiring me to look at and take better self-care. xo

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  9. kellyish says…
    08/28/2017

    you are inspiration in so many ways. thank you for sharing your life and your story so courageously.

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  10. pierek14 says…
    08/28/2017

    Ali, thank you for sharing such an enlightening post. I have been on my weight loss journey about 2 years and moving my body more so I totally get where you are coming from. I am totally going to purchase Body Love, thanks for the recommendation, now I just need to work on more me time and mental rejuvenation. Looking forward to part two tomorrow.

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  11. swimfin says…
    08/28/2017

    Your willingness to be vulnerable about the past/history and how it led to the now/present and your acceptance of 'in this season,' are very encouraging and speak of journey. Such a great reminder this moment, this day, this week this month are all part of life. We change, we grow and are not stagnant. Thank you. I, personally, need to read stories that remind me of this.

    Also, there is so much here to digest (links) and thoughts triggered by what you have shared! Thanks for that.

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  12. kellycactus says…
    08/28/2017

    what a beautifully raw and honest post, ali. so much of what you said resonated with me. thank you for sharing.

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  13. JuliMJ06 says…
    08/28/2017

    Thank you for sharing your journey! I'm looking forward to following!! I too am hypothyroid and discovered hashimotos a number of years later...also have had my own journey to find the right provider for me. Do you take hypothyroid medication? After doing a lot of reading I have discovered NDT and am so glad I made the switch from synthetic medication (levothyroxine and Levoxyl). It has helped in so many ways but one thing is the decrease in my anxiety. So glad I pushed for this change and found a great provider!!

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  14. Elizabeth_Heinz says…
    08/28/2017

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I love that you are genuine and honest. I plan to continue to follow (and join) you on this journey. I just ordered the Body Love book yesterday:)

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  15. kalibetsy says…
    08/28/2017

    A few people have mentioned that they don't want to cook something different for themselves especially with a large family. I took the plunge and did cook differently for myself-and over time it has become a meal for my husband and myself. The one child who still lives at home cooks her own meals but will occasionally choose to eat what we do. My approach was right for me and my family-no judgement if someone takes another approach. I know for us my kids really wanted a super limited diet and now they are very interested in trying new things. Super bonus: my cooking improved! We eat more flavorful food now because I was looking for things that I would like to eat and that has now improved everyone's choices in our house.

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  16. Jeannew says…
    08/28/2017

    Thank you for sharing all of this. I also have an autoimmune disease-celiac. What I put in my body also really affects how I feel, but I dont always pay attention. I'm trying to be more intentional and move every day as well. Lots of great tips. I also have struggled my adult life with depression and anxiety. Prozac changed my life. It took the edge off so I was clear and could function - and allow myself to feel happy. I'm so glad you are happy. It shows!

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  17. teri0604 says…
    08/28/2017

    Very thoughtful and encouraging post. As I am walking the path with a child dealing with some hard issues I find this very positive to finding help and being there for him as he walks through life. Thank you

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  18. jamiebarba says…
    08/28/2017

    Thank you for sharing your journey. It's so easy to think we're the only ones going through "stuff" and reading stories like yours help us remember that we've all got "stuff" going on. Last year, my husband and I switched to a Ketogenic way of eating, and I've read a lot about people with Hashimoto's having good results on it. If you're interested in looking into it, the Ketovangelist website is a great place to start. Also, I love your leggings!!

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  19. Madeline says…
    08/28/2017

    WOW Ali thanks so much for this and for your honesty, you are motivateing me. Can't wait to read the rest

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  20. jvpartlo says…
    08/28/2017

    As a yoga instructor, it makes me so happy to hear how you are discovering all the wonderful benefits both inside and out. I always tell my students that it make everything else you do better, too. Excited to see you continue to share your journey!

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  21. JenHart says…
    08/29/2017

    Hi Ali, I loved your post and i'm just going to read over it again and I very much look forward to the next post. Thank you so much for sharing this aspect of your journey. I have been following along on Instagram and it has chimed so much with what I have been doing in my own life, (different battles, same war, :-) although I no longer see it as a war, I did it at the beginning but now I am enjoying the process and yes, what you said about curiosity of how much better I can feel) on the way to wellness. Mental health is the one part of it that has only been talked about more recently on so many formats by so many people and that has been a game changer for me and thank you for adding your voice to that. I have been inspired by the way you relate to us for many years and this has just added to it. I wish you all the very best with healing yourself and feeling well.

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  22. HRsassyscrapper says…
    08/29/2017

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Your honesty is helping me get past the perfection hurdles to start my own wellness journey. Looking forward to reading more

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  23. legal_memories says…
    08/29/2017

    Thank you for this wonderful post! I have also hit a point of being over 40, having a busy work schedule, bad habits, and taking anti-depressants causing me to gain 9 pounds in less than a year - that sucks! And not knowing what to do about it since it seems that all of the stuff that once worked seems to not work now. And like you I was always tall and thin and was athletic in high school and college and so struggles with my weight have never been a part of my health story until now. Sigh! But as I am coming out of my pity party, I am also working through a new normal for my health and wellness. I will check out Body Love.

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  24. jeanmanis says…
    08/31/2017

    Thank you for sharing your journey - inspiring and informational!

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  25. schurmanchard says…
    09/01/2017

    this is an amazing story, and it is great for people to read this. I think that people especially women tend to not talk about their own wellness and sacrifice themselves and their own well being for others needs. I am 39 and its has just been in the last 2.5 years that I have talked to anyone (friends, family, therapists, doctors) about how I really feel or what needs I may have. you are so very inspirational!

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