News Flash! Health coach gets the flu! How and why? Is she doing something wrong? Is she secretly going to McDonald's or closet eating Oreos every night? Is she partying until 4am at the hottest nightclubs in the city? Just like we enjoy the celebrity gossip, we enjoy seeing when our health gurus have conflict in the news. It validates that they didn't know what they were doing after all, and we can continue with our less than healthy choices in eating and exercise, rest and mindfulness practices. Dr. Atkins had a heart attack, Bob Harper had a heart attack, famous marathoners die while in mile 23...
Well, my friends, I had the flu for 10 days and I am still recovering from it now. My eating is good, still grain free and sugar free for the most part. I work out with yoga, hiking, running, lifting weights, and meditate daily. I sleep about 10 hours a night (thanks to my husband taking the kids' morning duties). So, as my body ached all over, the fever raging, and the breathing became more and more difficult, I asked myself why this occurred to me. I am the health coach. I am the one people come to for answers when they are sick. Am I a failure when I could not prevent this for myself? Am I wrong? Is my research on essential oils, foods, hormones, epigenetics and movement all for nothing?
No. I am not wrong. I am human. Every year the flu viruses around the world change. The smart viruses adapt to the environment and to the people. As we eat more and more fake foods, we are weakening our immune systems. As we stress out more over the little things and sleep less and less we are inviting in the viruses into our homes, our bodies, our sanctuaries. When we wash our hands so often and then use anti-bacteria gels and lotions, we don't allow our own immune system to strengthen. No matter what we do for ourselves in terms of personal responsibility in our prevention health care, sometimes we will fall ill. As my mother used to say, "Shit happens." When she was sick with this malady or that, she would finish every phone conversation with positive words, "I'm going to be okay. I'm going to be fine." I wasn't sure if she was saying those words for her comfort or for mine, but to hear them aloud was a proclamation, a form of positive psychology. I write about the I AM statements in other blogs and in my books, but Momma Jane had them down in the 1970s and 1980s and 1990s, even before positive psychology was a science!
So, as I was laying down in my bed hallucinating with fever and bronchitis, I was at first thinking I was a failure. Then slowly as I slept and dreamed, I realized I was not. My body had told me to rest before I got sick. I went to work with a terrible sore throat. I was having a headache and still went to work as a server at night. (For the record, I don't get headaches.) I didn't listen to those clues. My body was talking to me and I ignored it. Yes, I was eating my veggies, drinking a gallon of water a day, and exercising, but I tuned out my inner instinct of listening, really listening to my body's signals. No wonder we tune out others we love! We don't even listen to ourselves sometimes! The revelation I had was wonderful, a gift. Listen. Slow down and listen to my own heart beat. Imagine how ill I would have been if I didn't have a healthy lifestyle! My condition would have been worse and for much longer. I see that now that I'm climbing my way back to normalcy. Lesson learned. I'm grateful for every breath.
I am not a failure. I am human, and that connects me to every one of you.
Thank you for allowing me to share my heart today. I want to hear from you.