Category Archives: General

Think of Illness as a Friend

I know what some of you might be thinking. Are you crazy????? Maybe I am. Maybe it’s my medication affecting my brain but what if there is something to this idea? I’ve spent the last seven years fighting the lung disease Cystic Fibrosis. I’ve had it all my life but just didn’t know it. As the years have gone by my health has progressively deteriorated despite all my efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle and an optimistic attitude. Fighting illness has been exhausting so I decided I needed to find another way. Last year during my 10 week unplanned sabbatical on the couch with a virus I felt needed to change. A well meaning friend  once said to me maybe the reason I wasn’t getting any better was because I didn’t have the right mindset. At the time I was deeply offended, and didn’t want to have a bar of it but in hindsight I can see that maybe there was something to what he was saying. Now to take on a mindset of being positive 100% of the time when living with a chronic illness in my opinion is totally unrealistic. Sometimes it’s tough to feel positive, especially when in the middle of a health flare up facing some major challenges. In these circumstances I always allow myself to feel the negative emotions, but put a bit of a time frame on them so they don’t consume me. One of the best ways I’ve found to get myself back into a positive frame of mind is to give myself a perspective check. I simply think of someone else worse off than me and that snaps me out of a flat spot every time.

attention-2019460__340I arrived at this idea of thinking of  illness as a  friend after a  session with an awesome life coach. During the session the life coach asked me to think about the illness as something that entered my life to teach me something. What an interesting way of looking at it. I’ve often reflected on all the amazing lessons I’ve had over the years but hadn’t really viewed it in a positive light in relation to illness, probably because I was too busy battling the illness to really stop and think about it. If the truth be known my greatest lessons have come with my experience of illness and this is a huge positive. I think I am a better hopefully wiser person for having these life lessons. Like most people I’m still a work in progress and have a lot to learn.  So I’m going to go with this idea of illness not as my enemy but a friend here to teach me things  and see what happens. I’d much prefer a healthy friend to teach me lessons so this is something I plan to work on in my future life coaching sessions.

On another note, but still related, If you haven’t looked into the field of neuroplasticity i.e. the brains ability to use new environments and experiences to create structural changes I’d thoroughly recommend it. It’s mind boggling.

I wrote a post about one of my first experiences of the power of the mind in illness. Here’s the link if you’re interested in having a read. https://janeslightbulbmoments.com/2016/12/24/belief-really-is-a-powerful-thing/

For a snapshot of my journey so far go to: https://www.facebook.com/janeslightbulbmoments/

 

 

Good Nutrition is the Mission

While the goal is to have a balanced diet it may not be achievable for everyone. Add to that the ever changing guidelines about what you need to eat for health and it can feel quite overwhelming. Have you heard the latest? Apparently you need to increase your fruit and vegetable intake to ten serves per day. Wow! That means every meal and snack needs to feature a fruit and or vegetable. Now while  I’m a huge advocate for the foundation of our diet being fruit and vegetables, I don’t know how realistic and achievable this guideline is for the masses. Call me a bit sceptical, but I can’t help but wonder if we are getting the same nutrient value from foods that we once did due to changes in food production. Having said that if you are growing your own produce in your back yard then you’re doing yourself a big favour. Unfortunately, there seems to be a long lag time from the farm to your plate that could ultimately be impacting the nutrient value of the foods you eat.

Recently I had a blood test done and was surprised to find out I had some deficiencies. I thought I had a balanced diet but realised I was falling short. I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming you have a balanced diet or that you need to take a vitamin supplement. For this reason I am a big fan of a regular / semi regular health check depending on what you and your health care professional decide. Just as you put your car in for a service I think it’s a good idea to also get your body serviced. A full blood examination is a good way to find out if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. If you are deficient then you can look at what you need to do to address it.

nutrition

If you decide to go down the path of taking a vitamin supplement don’t just go for the product that is being actively marketed in the media. You need to do your research. Unfortunately, as things stand the vitamin supplement industry isn’t as well regulated as the one for prescription medications. While the products on the market have passed the safety tests they may not deliver on all the promoted benefits. Ultimately you want a vitamin that is derived from real food and you need to check out the research behind the product. Also you need to check if the product been independently tested. When you contact a company, they should be transparent about everything relating to the product otherwise this should be considered a red flag. If you don’t have the time to research yourself then seek advice from a trusted health professional. I spent years researching so many products on the market and I now have a couple of preferred suppliers for my products.  As you know it’s a maze of products out there, but with a little effort and perhaps trial and error you’ll find the right products for you.