Monday, August 11, 2008

The Master Plan

Where was I?

Oh yes, lying in the sick bed, formulating the tactics. I had that broad mandate, of course:

  • Restoring balance: mind
  • Restoring balance: body
  • Restoring balance: ego
And I knew - don't we all? - that it all worked interdependently. I knew I wasn't going to get gorgeous before getting healthy. I knew I wasn't going to feel calm until I sorted out my physical health. I realized that the problem stemmed from my loss of equilibrium. The homeostasis that had formerly kept me well was no longer operational. How would I rediscover it?

First off, I determined which of my current lifestyle habits might be useful to retain:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Curiosity (The urge to learn and change)
  • Acupuncture (which I've done intermittently since my teens)
Moreover, I knew, intuitively, what resource I required immediately. I needed an adviser. For me, this would take the form of a naturopath. Not only do I buy into the idea of intelligent natural medicine, but I wanted someone who would be an ally in my push toward health by a) determining what kind of systemic imbalances I might be working with b) reviewing my diet with an eye to improving it c) nutritionally supplementing that diet and those imbalances to correct them and d) educating me about viable holistic methods I might not have considered. Oh, and I wanted a practioner who worked specifically with women.

So, from my bed, I researched and found my naturopath, a doctor whom I've recommended a thousand times since, and got the ball rolling. I'll spare you the details - is that possible at this point??? - save mentioning that she (via 2 hour-long intake interviews and numerous blood and other tests) corroborated that I had nutritional and hormonal imbalances (including thyroid), a virtually non-existent immune system, a crappy diet and a seriously stressed out body.

To combat these, she recommended, based on my preferred activities and resources:

Balanced Mind Tactics:

  • About a zillion vitamins and supplements, to be discussed
  • Yoga (about which I already knew quite a bit, happily)
  • Acupuncture (Ditto)
  • Walking (Ditto)
(Hey, that I had 3 of the 4 down was pretty good for starters!)

Balanced Body Tactics:

  • All of the above PLUS:
  • Actual healthful diet, one major premise of which was...
  • ...Cutting out sugar and refined foods(what a nightmare)
  • Maintaining a food diary
  • Getting more sleep
Note: I'd already kept a food diary on and off for years and - while I wasn't eating well - I knew what eating well is. Of course, more insanely exciting info about this to come...

Reader, please note: When I go for something I don't fuck around. I followed every recommendation the good doc suggested, to the letter of the law, and I slowly noticed measurable improvement.

It was not a quick fix, but over the next few months, not only did I feel much less anxious, I stopped being sick all the time, became more svelte, my skin and hair improved, my energy levels increased. All of which went miles to improve my sense of self!

See, all you need to do is have a huge psycho emotional transformation, research an improvement methodology, take tons of tests, change your diet, sleep patterns and exercise habits, swill vitamins up the yin-yang, spend a reasonable wad of cash, wait out the transformation and it's easy as 123! :-)

Oh, and you can never really let up on the tactics. Did I mention that?


  1. Hi beautiful girl, you received a diamond award from me. More information at my blog.

  2. Well, this is an encouragingly small list. I was afraid I'd have to DO something!


    I'm happy to hear you're doing better, and I hope the lifestyle changes stick.

    I admire you.

  3. F: You are so delightful! Thank you so much, I'll check it out.

    E: I know, I like to keep it simple :-) Stay tuned for fun about diet coming up today...

  4. Smart, smart, smart to talk to a naturopath one-on-one instead of forcing yourself to do some mass-produced diet/exercise plan. So many people don't realize how PERSONAL our weight, health, energy, and anxiety woes are. You, on the other hand, saw that immediately. Wise lady, you.

    My hubs can do food diaries, but I feel so much SHAME when I keep them myself. And since I know that's not the point, I need to take other routes myself. But I see the scientific value, and know that they are a great tool for many folks.

  5. I can't thank you enough for this timely post. I'm there right now, and trying to work out how I might start to feel better. It's a very thoughtful (and witty) entry. May I also recommend to you Michael Pollan's 'In Defence of Food'? (My insomniac reading).

  6. For me, Sal, the naturopath has been a great resource - as has the food diary - but we're all unique, right? I don't think you need to have a diary to keep on track, it's just one tool. But on the topic of feeling bad about what you write down, for years, while I was eating utter crap, I still wrote it down and it desensitized me to feeling bad!

    Isabella: I'm so glad if this post helps contextualize things for you in any way!! I've been toying with buying that book - I've heard some great things about it. Thank you for the recommendation...