In light of the summer season coming, and this article I felt compelled to share this post that I wrote over four years ago. At times it seems so distant, yet I still remember that phone call like it was yesterday. What the weather was like, where I was, my reaction, the feeling of relief, everything... it would go on to shape every single day since then. A gift I was bestowed, instead of an illness that lead me to defeat. In life we have two options, to choose defeat, or to choose rising up above it all, and choosing greatness. I don't believe life is meant to be lived in the middle. Here I share some insights and peeks into this wild ride. Watch out for my ebook though (launching early May!!!), it shares every single intimate detail, and ultimately how you can heal your body and lay the foundation for your healthiest, happiest and most glowiest life. 

Let's begin...

On Dec.10th of 2012 I received news which was a long time coming.... I know I've shared a bits and pieces with you of me being 'sick' or referring to a 'mysterious illness I've alluded to. I feel like it's time to share with you what's been happening.

My plan was to write a big post on January, 1st, about what has been going on, but to be honest I don't want to give it that much power and I didn't want to start of the new year with that! Why wait. Go with the flow and don't hold back. Also instead of waiting until January 01, to make changes, goals, resolutions I've started Dec.1st, which I will get to in Part two which will be released tomorrow...

For now I want to share with you, and then release it...as that's been how I'm healing. It doesn't consume me nor do I give it any power. The point of my post is more so to inspire and help. Inspire you to believe that you can do anything you want, the body heals itself, and the mind is one of the almighty healers. I further want to support and guide others who are possibly suffering with this, or something else which they can't quite pinpoint.

So after many, many years of being sick last December. 10th I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. If you're unsure of what Lymes is, you can find a very well written article in the New York times regarding what we like to call, Chronic Lymes hereIn a very brief explanation - it's considered an autoimmune illness what attacks every. single. system of your body. That is why it's so, so hard to diagnose. The symptoms are +100 deep... and let me tell you I had over 100 of those symptoms. Hard to really believe, but it's why I was ill for over six years before even being diagnosed!

This is going to be a very abbreviated timeline, as it's been one heck of a journey and one that I rather not account every detail of (note: Oh I do in my ebook!) . I had been sick for over six years, and no doctor, not one. Ever seen the TV show house? Well I was considered one of those patients! No one could figure out what was wrong with me.

Countless MRI's, Cat Scans, too many viles of blood to count, and a gauntlet of appointments that never seemed to end, with with every specialist under the sun. Finally I was just considered "crazy" and a hypochondriac and was prescribed anti-depressents and anti-anxiety meds. Along with one MD telling me I possibly had MS and because I was young we just had to wait for the lesions to show in my brain. . . . what?

I could, and would not  accept that this would be my reality. It couldn't be. 

Time went on I moved away from South Africa, went to NYC, and back to Canada and throughout all of this my symptoms were coming, going, flaring quite severely, but I stayed strong, I preserved and just did the best I could. I really had no other options. None. Every Doctor or person I turned to told me nothing was wrong with me. 

I was quite alone on this journey as I think people just started to believe that I actually was crazy and that there was nothing wrong with me - they would tell me I'm fine and that it's all in my head. Some even said, I looked so healthy, that I couldn't be sick.

I knew this wasn't true. I knew something was wrong, but I still couldn't pin point exactly what.

My gut and intuition were telling me otherwise.

I  had to figure out what was wrong with me, because if no one else was. What choice did I have. By nature I'm a very determined soul, and I have what you could call, Ukrainian stubbornness, Ha, it's in my genes.

 If no one was going to listen to me, I had to fight for it. So I did. I did all the research, for days on end, and even sent my own blood via Fed Ex to California, where there was a tick born illness lab, as Canada continually produced inconclusive results.

Sure enough, insert angels singing, it was confirmed two weeks later that I had the disease and had, had it for many, many years. I was officially diagnosed with Chronic Late Stage Lyme Disease, that had ravaged my body for six years. 

My Doctor at the time, a beautiful Naturopathic Doctor, who lived in Calgary, luckily specialized in Lyme, and was an actual angel. She actually said that 80% of her practice was comprised of Lyme patients, which is a lot. This is very scary, as no one really talks about the chronic and devastating effects of this mysterious illness.

Dr. Taylor expressed to me that my numbers were very low, so low she couldn't put together what she saw in her office two weeks prior, and the paper she was holding right in front of her. Even she was taken aback.  She told me she usually sees these numbers on patients who are bed ridden or in wheel chairs! Yet at this stage as I was still working, exercising, and having a some what normal life....

This, this is the reason I do absolutely everything I do. No questions asked. I don't just eat greens because they are good for me, or I want to have a healthy complexion. I eat this way because food truly is medicine. 

I know that nutrition, your thoughts and your lifestyle can change your life, as I believe it saved mine. I shouldn't have been doing as well as I was, and the only thing we could trace it back to was the lifestyle I adopted back in South Africa in 2006, when my gut was telling me something was wrong. 

Looking back, and retracing the steps to when my Dr and I think I got sick in South Africa over 6 years ago I had gone vegan! For no apparent reason, but wanting to be healthier. I intuitively cut out a lot of inflammatory foods and processed junk over night.

This ignited my passion for nutrition, which continues to burn today, and will until the day I die.

 My hunger for knowledge on how to heal the body grew exponentially...I was this crazy 'health nut' living in Africa, the land of meat, and where vegetarianism was still quite unheard of.

But deep down I knew that if no one was going to help me, that one thing I could do is help myself. So I began to feed myself the most nutritious foods I could, and educate myself. I made the connection early on that if I was a cellular being, and food made up our cells, that to feel better I could change the way my cells and DNA presented itself.

I joke thatI became a mini doctor during this journey, as I read and researched until my eye balls fell out. During all of this I was further diagnosed with hypothyroidism and severe sex hormone imbalances which I'm still trying to navigate to this day!

There are sometimes days where I have no words to explain all of those years of feeling like a stranger in my own body. Feeling like I had no voice, because no one would listen to me. 

I continue more of this story in part two, but for now I say this.

You are what you eat. There is no way around it. We are made up of the foods we ingest. It nourishes our cells, brain, liver, kidneys, all of our bodily organs that make us who we are. We are so often concerned on how our outsides look, but what does the inside of your body look like? Believe me your body is working every single second to keep you healthy, vibrant and whole. It loves you so, so, so much. I promise, it does. It wants to keep you glowing, healthy and happy. That what it was designed to do! 

Unfortunately we can get lost along the way, but do you know what? Our body still loves us through it all.

So in a very small nut shell this is a piece of my story. It extends beyond that and has a million more details, but I feel like I would have to write a book ( note: IT'S COMING NEXT MONTH!) I just have to get the balls to do it (note: I grew some, and kicked fear to the curb).

It has taught me to listen to my gut, and I mean truly listen.

What do you want in life, what are you feeling, how are your thoughts making you feel, who are you surrounding yourself with, do you love yourself, are you kind to others.... If no one will listen to you, keep going, keep fighting until you get the answers that you need. Don't let anyone tell you you're wrong, it's in your head, you can't do it, because you can, and only you can do it for yourself. You have to be your own doctor, your own advocate, because no one else is inside your body and knows how it's feeling.

I don't regret a single step along my journey as this is exactly how it was supposed to unfold. I see it as a blessing and it's only made me a stronger person, and with all that I've experienced, my hope is to inspire and help others in their life, wherever they are.

That is my only goal in life.

Spread joy and to help others who are suffering in whatever capacity. Whether its nutrition, healing, self-confidence, hormones, lifestyle, diet, diet, etc...

LIFEBYLEESE was birthed last year amidst all of this, and its been such a big blessing to me. Every client, and every story, I treasure with my true heart and soul. It's not just a job for me, I truly value each and every person and client, and all I want is to help them find their passion in life, while obtaining true health and happiness.

So stay strong, positive, and nourished - body, mind and soul.

Don't take no for a answer and please, please, please follow your dreams! If you don't, how can we revel in the greatness of your gifts? There is no one like you on this planet. So please do us a favor and spread your wings.

Oh and speaking of wings - I had a special Angel (my mama) up in heaven shining down upon me throughout all of this, and on Sept.30th of last year the day of the CIBC Run for the Cure for Breast Cancer, which she passed away from over eleven years ago. I had awoken that morning not even feeling like I could walk it, as I was in so much pain - I walked it alone, through my mom's strength, came home immediately after and the 'LIGHTBULB' had flickered on to what it might be, and all signs continued to point to it. Miracles are all around, just be open to them and believe they exist.

love & light

xo Lisa