My Health Journey, by Kylie Bevan
Today, I am a fit, active, happy, healthy 41-year old. More so than at any other time in the last 15 years. Sure, I have an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – my body is confused, and attacking itself. But, with dietary and lifestyle changes, it is improving. I have hopes to send it packing altogether in time.
My health journey
I always thought I was living healthily. My 20s and 30s were typical of many other driven, professional, active women. I enjoyed eating out. I worked long hours. I exercised hard. I drank too much on occasion. I had a sweet tooth for homemade goodies, ice-cream and chocolate. I was highly social. I thrived on busyness.
And, like many others, I didn’t listen to my body, to the ‘whispers’ to make changes so it could recover and operate at its best.
It took an abrupt yell for it to catch my attention. And to ensure it wasn’t ignored any longer, my body chose to make its point at a most inconvenient time.
Just before my 40th birthday, on the morning my husband and I were to begin the popular 4-day Milford Track in New Zealand – our first holiday without our kids, booked six months before – I was struck by an abdominal pain so severe I was sprawled on the bathroom floor – I’ll spare you the details. Not wanting to give up on this yearned-for adventure, I somehow convinced my husband to help me to the boat, assuring him I’d be fine by the time we got to the start of the trail.
I spent the next four days alternating between curling into the fetal position in the mud at the side of the track, refusing offers to be evacuated by helicopter, and snapping photos so I could enjoy it later. In my defence, a fellow walker with medical experience cautiously suggested it was unlikely to be life threatening.
My body was certainly ensuring it was not being ignored this time. Diagnosis – a burst dermoid ovarian cyst requiring surgical removal, otherwise it would continue to grow, potentially strangling my blood supply.
I am so very grateful it was something solvable.
Most importantly, it led me to yet again seek medical advice for the fatigue and migraines I had been suffering for most of my adult life. Until this point, I had accepted, time and time again, health practitioners saying ‘nothing in your blood tests looks unusual, these symptoms could be from a multitude of causes, it would be impossible for me to figure out what’.
I had a series of standard blood tests. My GP said they were good.
Over the next few months I read everything I could find about hormone imbalance, blood tests indicators, autoimmune conditions, low-grade inflammation, dietary factors and more.
And I became just a little angry.
The possibility of Hashimoto’s wasn’t to be brushed off without any recommendations, just because I wasn’t yet obese or unable to get out of bed with fatigue.
While still within the ‘normal’ range, my vitamin D levels were low enough to warrant support.
Even though not Celiac, it wasn’t possible to discover from a blood test if I was gluten intolerant.
And my hormone levels weren’t typical for that stage of my monthly cycle.
I decided to seek a more holistic GP, through ACNEM, which offers nutritional and environmental medicine courses for GPs.
She discovered I have adrenal fatigue, which can be supported by dietary and lifestyle changes.
She agreed Hashimoto’s is a serious condition and requested further tests. I am very lucky to have discovered it early enough to make changes that may, with purposeful attention, stop further attack on my thyroid, before needing lifelong medication and potential thyroid removal.
I finally have a health practitioner on my side.
Future of Health & Wellness
The gap in our health care system has become glaringly obvious. It should really be called sick care. Few GPs are able to offer time to those who are relatively well – they are so busy treating those who are not. Our society is getting sicker – from the food we eat, the stress we expose ourselves to, the toxins in our environment, and the lack of movement in our everyday lives.
There is a revolution taking place in the health and wellness industry.
No longer is it solely a GP you might choose to approach. Of course they are invaluable if you are sick, in an accident and for checkups.
If you’re not at optimal health, not wonderfully well, you can also choose from chiropractors, physiotherapists, naturopaths and a wide range of other practitioners.
And newer to the scene in Australia, but more established internationally, are Health Coaches.
This is my calling.
It is my goal to inspire others to optimal health by assisting them experience satisfaction in all aspects of their life – nutrition, exercise, relationships, career, finances, passion for life, stress, hormones.
Everything that feeds your body as a whole.
It is only by seeing which of these elements are unbalanced at any one time that you can truly aspire to optimal health.
With certification as a health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (currently mid-course), plus many years of personal interest in health and wellness, I now help others reach optimal health – before their body has to yell.
As a married mum with two young girls, a Bachelor of Economics degree and 12 years experience leading teams in travel consultancies, having completed four marathons and half-ironmans, with a backyard veggie garden and five chickens, and a strong community spirit, I am juggling life just like you are.
I know how important it is to step back every so often and assess just how well I am looking after myself. Am I exercising? Eating healthily? Enjoying quality time with my family? My friends? Excited about the new day when I wake in the morning? Allowing my mind quiet time? Looking forward to the year ahead?
I even have my own health coach, to support me in reaching my goals – he’s my accountability buddy.
Are you ready to make realistic and achievable changes to your current lifestyle to become healthier and happier?
Would you like to know more?
I would be delighted to offer you a complimentary 30-minute health consultation, obligation free. During this time we would get to know each other, see what I might be able to offer you, ensure we would be a good fit. I’ll ask you various questions about where your health is now, and where you would like it to be. You would of course also be welcome to ask questions of me.
Email me now at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your discovery session, which can be conducted in person, by phone or via Skype.
Why not, you’ve got nothing to lose – and so much to gain.
Just survive or join those who thrive!
So that’s about me, I’d love to hear your story, just comment below or contact me here.