I spent years struggling with my weight and I was on a constant diet.
I would beat myself to a pulp with exercise for a few months, followed by months of no activity until I’d decide to go back to punishing my body again with grueling workouts….
And the rollercoaster ride would continue. Nothing worked.
The battle with my weight kept me from living the life I wanted to be living. I somehow believed I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do or be who I wanted to be until I was in perfect shape. Finally, I achieved that “ideal” body on the outside.
Nobody knew the struggles I was going through on the inside. I thought I was doing all the right things, but really, I was in an abusive relationship with myself.
Fast-forward to my late 30’s. Marriage, a baby, career-change… life started speeding up, but the real stress was soon to follow. The year leading up to my 40th birthday was jam-packed with adversity.
My business was failing, my husband and I were stressed over money, there was a chance that my almost 2-year old son was on the autism-spectrum, my dog (and best friend of 13 years) was diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time, but this time it was inoperable, and I was still struggling Big-Time to get my “pre baby” body back.
I was drowning in a sea of stress, unable to come up for air.
I felt hopeless and depressed. This was not the person I wanted to be.
This was not the life I had always imagined living.
Little did I know, all the toxic stress that I was allowing to eat me alive was doing serious damage to my health. Damage that would turn out to be irreversible.
Right after my 40th birthday I started feeling physically sick. I was tired all the time, dizzy, and I felt like I was walking around in a haze. I was eventually diagnosed with having pre-cancerous cells in my uterus.
My doctor thought this was why I had been feeling so horrible.
Over the next five months, my symptoms got worse and I could barely function. I looked like a shell of my former self. At a doctor’s visit with my son, his doctor looked at me with shock and asked, “Are you okay?!” Yeah, apparently I looked that sickly. She ran some tests and the next day I got the call….
“Alicia, this crazy, I don’t understand it, but you have diabetes!”
At first I told her she was wrong. “No way, I’m super healthy!” But her diagnosis was confirmed after I was admitted into Intensive Care a few short hours later.
At 40 years old, I had developed Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.
This is an autoimmune disease…one that you’re usually born with or develop as a child. What I’ve learned since my diagnosis is that in most cases, toxic stress is one of the components in developing an autoimmune disease. I’ve spent the last two years learning how to tame that toxic stress and in doing so I have taken my health to a whole new level.