Desperation, curiosity & persistence – finding health & joy.

One day a French girl arrived to stay with us in New Zealand, she was a friend of a friend. As she stepped out of her car her long legs stretched forever, she was glowing, and she looked like the type of girl for whom everything was perfect, on whom the sun always shined. She gave me a kiss and a hug and became a friend for life. After time spent together, I begged her let me put her story online, for I know so many girls, and women that need to hear and understand that they too, can become radiant, and possess a glowing smile that is so full of love and giving and positive energy. All it takes is desperation, curiosity, and persistence.

“I grew up in a middle-class family where French culture was very present, we mainly ate cereals, vegetables and meat, just like everyone else. From my birth it was difficult for my mother as I cried incessantly.

According to our doctor, like many other children my problem was ‘intestinal fragility’ – what many doctors refer to as colic. Nothing very disturbing (as doctors see this problem frequently!), “it will pass,” he said.

A few years later, perhaps when I was eight or ten years old, towards the end of each meal, my stomach would start to get more and more ballooned, or swollen, and it would cramp up. I would be constipated. If I was fed a flavoured dairy dessert, I would vomit involuntarily. But it was insisted that I could not leave the table until I had finished my dessert.

I could not tolerate dairy very well, but at that time the media would discuss the benefits regarding the health of children, to consume at least one serving dairy per meal, so our family thought it was healthy.

My mother often had to massage my stomach so that I could sleep, it was horribly uncomfortable. Many times I have had such a huge stomach and painful cramps and we had to go to the hospital.

The doctors certified to my mother that it was appendicitis. However she refused the operation and demanded an ultrasound to know what was happening inside my belly. In reality my belly was filled with gas that could not escape. The ultrasound showed millions of compressed bubbles in the colon.

The doctors, not knowing what to do, simply advised us to wait, and when the cramping was happening take anti-pain medicines. Apparently, all this was due to stress. Now I know it was much more than that.

Roughly one year later at school, I was unhappy at school and extremely stressed, finding school a nightmare. The stress and my degraded immune system resulted in a shingles outbreak in the lower back, a terribly painful mycosis fungal infection in the mouth and throat, which prevented me from eating. As my immune system could not cope, I also became infected with acute paronychia on the edges of my nails.

I couldn’t sleep because of the pain of the shingles, and the horrible feeling of the shingles infection. I couldn’t eat because the fungal infection hurt my mouth, and it was horrible breathing because it badly affected my throat.

Throughout my childhood I had many courses of antibiotics. For perhaps ten years I would have tonsillitis twice a year, at the beginning and end of winter. Each time I would be prescribed antibiotics.

I was completely flat and dejected. My mother took me to a specialised hospital for the children, because otherwise they did not know what to do despite the medical analysis.

The doctors thought of a defect in the immune system but could not conclude anything without further analysis and prescribed antibiotics. Of course, when I was sick, the doctor was prescribing antibiotics, and my vaccines were all up to date.
I was constantly plagued by migraines.

Fortunately for a few years, we had been mainly eating fruits and vegetables. My mother was very interested in health and always did a lot of research. As years went on we were eating more and more BIO / Organic and we were constantly looking for new food supplements.

As I got older, in my teenage years I refused to take my vaccines and take antibiotics. My mother inquired about alternatives like the power of medicinal plants or even homeopathy and treated me with that.

At the age of 21, I left home. My diet changed dramatically. As I was working it was simpler to eat out and buy pre-prepared meals from the supermarket. I was studying as a commercial engineer, working every second week in an office. All meals for lunches were prepared dishes … I ate very little fresh produce and very rarely fruits and vegetables.

I was getting more and more tired, depressed, my memory and concentration was getting worse and worse, I was losing my balance and I was also doing less and less sports for lack of time (but I was also very fatigued, so it was hard to find the energy). As a child I had learnt ballet for 6 years – but now I found I could not even synchronise my limbs together.

I was very subject to the stress between Parisian life, my studies and my work. I was more and more exhausted and everything was appearing to be overwhelming and complicated. I felt like I was living like a robot that reverts to the same thing every day. I was not able to go to the bathroom for 7 days, constipation was part of my daily life. I also had gynaecological problems. I was seeing my health deteriorate day by day but I was unable to find the strength to change.

For six years I could not explain what I had. The doctors could not explain it either.

I came to the end of my studies, I had more than my last year of Master and I could not imagine continuing my life in this way. I felt as if I were travelling through life asleep. Each day became a nightmare, always the same rhythm (subway, work, sleep) and I felt increasingly sad and trapped inside myself and my life.

This permanent fog in my head kept me from thinking and finding a way out. How did this happen? Is this my life or is there another alternative? How can I change? What should be done? What is the priority? And the energy to take the first steps….. So many questions that remain without answers, until one day…

Three years ago my mother sent me videos about a man talking about the body and its functioning. I did not really pay attention to it, until I came across a video that described something I felt: “chronic fatigue”.

After more than an hour watching and listening to this gentleman speaking, I collapsed into tears … All the symptoms they discussed, I knew them so well. I lived them every day and I had suffered so much … I wept with joy, and I was so frightened. Change is hard, and because I was so foggy in my brain, it felt so daunting.

But I knew I had to change. I couldn’t ‘unlearn’ this knowledge. I had heard a truth.

How could I have lived this nightmare so long … why had I not seen this information before? It was powerful to understand that my symptoms were the same as other people. This problem was not just ‘in my head’. The video also talked about solutions and how to make changes. I knew it would take time but I had no choice. It was now that I had to act.

At the end of the video, I decided it was time to get out of fog and live my life. I had pretended I was fine for so long, to everyone around me. No-one wants a boring, sad friend.

But now, I just realized that my body was exhausted. The video explained the main causes and especially the fundamental relationship of the body this modern wheat, that ingest we so much of, every day. I decided to stop everything, gluten, milk, meat, sugar, processed food, table salt … immediately.

This was a very radical decision for my body, however I felt like I had found the key and knew that this was the path I had to follow to regain my health.

Because I even eating was hard when I started this journey, I was only 55kilograms. Then I lost 7 kilograms when I suddenly changed my diet. My family and friends were very worried, it was a radical change and I looked shocking. I was gaunt, my bones were sticking out, my skin was pale, I had no strength yet I ate better and better. My body was too weak to assimilate what it was receiving. The change had been too brutal, in hindsight I now realize the importance of taking time to allow time for the body to regenerate. I now know my immediate overnight change wasn’t a wise choice and I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody. But I had been desperate.

I could not stand for long. It became impossible for me to go shopping or go out alone. For three months, after work and on weekends I would stay in my apartment and simply rest and prepare all my meals. I learned to cook healthily, finding ideas on the internet and lessons on YouTube. My meals consisted mainly of fruits and vegetables. Every night I drank a glass of fresh vegetable juice – it also helped with toileting and if I didn’t drink the juice I felt dehydrated.

I was always constipated and saw YouTube videos to understand about enemas. I started to use an enema each day to ensure the proper evacuation of the waste. If I didn’t do it, I would spend hours on the toilet. So many articles and papers discuss that when people are constipated the toxicity goes back into their system, it is reabsorbed. Now I could clean out my system.

My stomach would be so swollen, so tight, the waste was stuck in my descending colon. I would try to massage it down to help it get through, but it wouldn’t move. I would sit on the toilet and try and try, and would just end up bleeding from the pressure of trying.
How long had some of the blockage been there? I was so toxic. Life was so hard.

After 8 months of completely altering my lifestyle, the changes appeared. I found energy again.

I’m not just talking about the change from my diet. It goes beyond that, I’m talking about a change in lifestyle and thoughts. My diet became mainly organic, I only drank water filtered with clay, I no longer use industrial beauty products. I learnt to make everything myself using simple and natural products – deodorant, makeup remover, moisturiser, toothpaste (though I now buy fluoride free toothpaste and shampoo as chemical free as possible from organic/health shops). Vinegar for cleaning the bathroom, vinegar, lavender oil and black soap for house cleaning.

I am now much more selective regarding the information that I receive by different media. I no longer watch television endlessly at night.
I learnt to meditate, sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes one hour. Repeating a phrase helped me empty my brain for this time, keep thoughts and busy-ness away.

I read lots of books about personal development. I found the writings of Lise Bourbeau, Shakti Gawain, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and Don Miguel Ruiz helped me. I learnt about, and applied myself to the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono. Everyone has their own path, their own way.

Over this time everything changed. I really couldn’t believe it. My nails became stronger and stopped flaking. My embarrassing body odours and menstrual pain had almost completely disappeared. My skin recovered to a beautiful colour. My pimples disappeared. My migraines stopped. My sleeping improved. I now wake up refreshed as I used to wake up exhausted.

What was exciting for me (and others out there will understand this), is that I was now going to the toilet frequently and normally. After years of anxiety, of knowing that when I ate food, it would have nowhere to go, of knowing that I would be sitting on the toilet for endless hours in quiet desperation.

I didn’t realise that this change had occurred – sometimes change is so subtle -until I went camping and couldn’t take my enema. Then it happened, I could toilet normally, without stress, like ‘everbody else.’ I was a revelation! It was unbelievable!
Years later, I still don’t take this for granted. There is a simple happiness as well as a health benefit from going to the toilet every day.

This huge part of my day, of my life, was now more. The relief.

My weight slowly returned to normal. Now I am 60 kilograms, the happiest and healthiest I have ever been.

Resuming sport and exercise helped my lymphatic system to evacuate the waste. I now have energy and resilience. Each week I happily go on a three hour walk, bounce on my favourite ‘Belicon’ trampoline – and I love it.

My lifestyle was radically different, I was more and more interested in health, I could spend hours researching, understanding, and testing on me. I learned a lot about my body and its acidity.

The most mind-blowing thing for me though, was that I now had clarity of mind. From living in a fog each day in my shrinking world, to now being able to process thoughts, plan ahead, and amazingly, to feel joy and happiness

I am awake.

I am not a spectator any more. I am an active participant in life. I can create my future.

At the end of a year after these changes I had finally regained a normal life. But I was a different person. How can you explain the joy and the liberation one can feel after all these years of suffering, to see my body functioning like it was meant to.
So now, what is normal, when I know so many other people out there are sick like I was?

It has been three years now since I have made all these changes in my life. My vision of life seems so different, I am now twenty six and feel alive as I have not been for a very long time.

The body is complex and yet it is so simple to allow it to regenerate and be in full health. Let’s go back to basic things.

This is my new normal.

Be happy, be free.

My recipe for my free, happy life:

Dairy and gluten free.
Eat mainly raw and green fruits and vegetables (lot of colours in your plate).
Fresh pressed vegetables juice each day (not a smoothie as at the start it had too much fibre) – carrots beetroot orange lemon ginger / Green vegetables (Spinach, fennel) lemon apple garlic.
Cook with organic products.
Mainly vegetarian with just a little naturally sourced (not farm raised) fish.
No red meat, pork or poultry.
Try to buy organic eggs, at a minimum free range.
Use good organic oil – coconut oil (for cooking), olive oil (as a dressing for raw salads) and good apple vinegar.
Lots of cooked onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and other spices in meals.
Drink good water – filtered with clay to avoid chemicals, medications in water.
Reduce sugar and try to only source sweet ingredients as organic honey.
Fermented food – sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha.
Research the sport and exercise that suits you – try to find a forest to walk in.
Positive thoughts, reading, meditation to help you on your journey.

Just begin – step by step – choose the best steps that are best for you

Note: This is my own journey, this is just advice. It is important to consult your doctor if you have any medical problems

About Jodie

It is only by questioning and discussing and attempting to view the world our childrens children will live in, that we start to understand that life isn't a linear process - it is a room of dominoes falling. Our world has a lot of special interests and stakeholders that by default, keep science undone, and economics hooked in the 1920's - resulting in governments that don't address the complexity that is challenging our world. From pollution to mental health (and the cost of food) to the health of our freshwater - it's complex and dynamic. What equilibrium do we want to reach - a healthy vital one or a suffering one?
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