Tuesday, January 8, 2013

{Guest Post} From Pain to Purpose: How Fibromyalgia Revealed My Passion in Life

Today I am excited to have my first guest blogger ever on Fibro, Fit and Fab!,
Christy Pooschke!
Christy Pooschke is a Real Foods Enthusiast and author of “Eating Additive-Free: Natural Cookbook & Grocery Shopping Guide.” She resides in Omaha, NE with her husband Chad and her dog Jackson; and she enjoys spending time in nature, taking pictures of wildlife, gardening, hanging out with her nieces and nephews…and laughing! Christy earned a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology, but her life took an unexpected twist when she found herself face to face with a chronic illness. She developed a passion for inspiring others to take control of their own health; and she created CompletelyNourished.com to help others maintain a balanced, natural lifestyle. Follow along on her website, so you don’t miss any of her upcoming recipes, shopping tips and informational videos!
Please join me in welcoming Christy, and please don't forget to leave her some comment love below!  Thanks!
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Fibromyalgia stole several years of my life. In 2002, at the age of 25, my health began to deteriorate. Life, as I had known it, was over! I was extremely weak and fatigued, and I was in so much pain that some days it was all I could do to get out of bed. Among other symptoms, I suffered from digestive distress, sleep disturbances, chest pain, and an intermittent racing heart beat. I was in constant pain; many days it was too painful even to hug my own husband. On good days, I felt 90 years old; on bad days, I felt like I should be in the hospital. I was in pure misery, suffering from an “invisible illness” for which there was no treatment, no cure and no known cause.
After more than 15 different prescription medications, never-ending appointments with various specialists and more than a handful of diagnostic procedures, I was eventually diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had just completed graduate school and was beginning my career when the rug was pulled out from under me. A few years later, after much consideration, I resigned – I resigned from a career that I adored, and I resigned myself to the medical “fact” that I would suffer with chronic, untreatable pain for the rest of my life.
  
Returning to Health
Fortunately, in 2007, I stumbled upon the book, Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About (by Kevin Trudeau), and the course of my life was forever changed. While I did not adopt many of the suggestions in this book, I did learn from this book that there are ingredients in processed foods (e.g., MSG, artificial sweeteners, etc.) that are making people sick – and even causing cancer! I had never in my life given any thought to the ingredients in food. All I had ever paid attention to on food labels was the amount of calories, fat and carbs. And if I wasn’t overweight, then I really had no idea there was anything in food for me to be worried about. Boy was I wrong!
After learning about the health effects of all of the additives that are allowed in our food supply, my husband and I were outraged! We were especially outraged about the food additive MSG because it is allowed to be hidden on food labels; and it over-stimulates the nervous system, causing and exacerbating anything from migraines and insomnia to Fibromyalgia and seizures! So we immediately purged our kitchen of convenience foods and mystery ingredients – we threw food away, gave food away, and even sold some at our garage sale! We said good-bye forever to things like Lean Cuisine meals, Slim Fast bars, soda, chewing gum, and fast food. We began making all of our food at home from scratch, so we could be certain what was in it.
We began scrutinizing the ingredients label on everything we bought. If it contained even one word that we didn’t fully recognize as having come from nature, we didn’t put it in our cart. Within just a few months of eating this way, ALL of my Fibromyalgia symptoms resolved – completely! In fact, I now feel better and have more energy than most people I know – as long as I stick to an additive-free diet! But don’t worry…I’m still able to enjoy most of the foods that I have always loved - I just make my own homemade versions using pure ingredients. (Click here to read my entire return-to-health journey).
Spreading the Word
Over the years, I continued reading every book I could get my hands on (and I still haven’t stopped educating myself about natural foods). It didn’t take long for me to realize that most of what I had always assumed about the safety and healthfulness of our food supply was completely wrong! When I read about the array of health problems that are associated with many of these food additives, I became very angry. It broke my heart to think about how many other folks were suffering needlessly because they would never suspect that food additives were causing or exacerbating their conditions.
It absolutely fascinates me that we have gotten to this point where most of the “food” that many of us are eating really has very little actual food in it. It’s comprised primarily of chemical food additives! Look around - most people are sick, tired or overweight. At the same time, our culture has lost sight of the importance of paying attention to how we fuel our bodies. Something has got to give!
Since regaining my own health in 2007, I have witnessed first-hand the havoc that these ingredients wreak in others’ lives, as well. Now I feel a moral obligation to share what I have learned with as many people as possible and to inspire them to take an active role in maximizing their own health. I work tirelessly to spread the word about these food additives and to help support people in their transition toward a more natural lifestyle.
In 2007, I got the “wake-up call” I needed to help me start making conscious decisions about what I was putting into my body. It definitely made intuitive sense to me that we’d all be better off if we stop eating FAKE food and return to eating things that are grown in nature rather than invented in a lab. I truly believe that the Standard American Diet is destroying our health! The way I see it, healthy eating falls along a continuum – fast food and donuts are at one end…and whole, raw foods in their natural (unprocessed) state are at the other end. Naturally, the closer we come to the whole foods end, the better off we will be.
Don’t worry; perfection is not necessarily required to reap the benefits of a natural foods lifestyle. Eating really well even 80% of the time, can make a huge difference in many cases!
And please find comfort in knowing that it wasn’t that long ago that I was sustaining myself on fast food, candy, diet pop and frozen dinners. If I can make these changes, anyone can. There is nothing special about me that somehow makes it easier or more natural for me to live this way – I hate making dinner at the end of a long day (or tackling the dirty dishes) just as much as the next person. But it’s SO worth it for the way I feel – a very small price to pay for having my life back, don’t you think?
I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I am not a chef. I am just a person Рa person who was blessed to discover some very simple, yet profound, health information that changed my life forever. This may sound clich̩, but I know that everything happens for a reason. While suffering with Fibromyalgia, it was really hard to see any purpose in the pain. Now, I realize that I suffered for those years so that I could educate and inspire others to take charge of their health. Up until that point, I was so apathetic about what I put into my body. I realize that many others out there are the same way, and I spend most of my free time doing what I can to change that!
Although my particular symptoms were diagnosed as “Fibromyalgia,” you could insert countless other health conditions and get this same story and solution; and I’ve witnessed the transformation in many other people with a variety of ailments and diagnoses throughout the years. So if you’re still eating processed foods filled with mysterious ingredients and chemical additives, I truly hope that you will begin doing your own research and consider making changes in your own life, as well. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine what my life would be like today if I hadn’t done so!
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You can connect with Christy at:




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Thanks again for joining us, Christy!
Here's a badge for you if you'd like to use it:



10 comments:

  1. Thanks, Christy!! I suffer from fibro (although, mildly) and have several friends that do, too. I'm sending them all a link to your blog. Thanks for this post, I enjoyed reading it and thank you, too, for the time you took to research. Awesome post!! I'm from Baked Lava www.bakedlava.com

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  2. Laurrie,

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for forwarding. I hope it brings relief to others out there!

    Thanks SO much for posting a link to YOUR blog! You just “sealed the deal” for a change of course in my life  The hubby and I are looking to sell our home and all of our stuff and hit the road full-time in an RV. We know NOTHING about doing so, but we feel that’s where we are being “led” in our lives. Exciting…but also panic-inducing at times. When I clicked on your site and found out your blog is about cooking in an RV….well, what are the odds of THAT!? Needless to say, it’s a sign from the Universe that blessed me with an overwhelming sense of calm. Crazy how things can work out, huh?!

    I will be following YOUR blog with eyes wide open!! Woohoo!!!

    Blessings to YOU!
    Christy

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    1. I can't wait to see you over there, Christy!! LOL! My younger sister and her husband snowbird from here in WA to AZ...my husband and I are stationary. We're either looking to get into a bigger trailer or a motorhome VERY soon or a cabin in the woods or SOMETHING!! LOL! We outgrew our little trailer very quickly and we have growing pains in here. It's 21-feet of CRAMPED...LOL! Add 2 adults, 2 big dogs and 2 cats...that's why I have taught myself to cook...it occupies my mind and I enjoy doing it. I'll see you soon!

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  3. thanks.I am a fibro fighter and I use all Natural LIMU. I am no longer on any meds and I feel great. If I have any pain it is very little, my energy level has increased so much and not a headache since starting LIMU.LIMU has changed my life

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  4. My sister lives with fibro: I had to share this post with her and her twin. This is some AMAZING information, and really pertains to EVERYONE, not just those living with fibro. MSG especially can cause so many health issues!

    Stopping by from SITS - have a wonderful day!

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    1. So sorry to hear about your sister. I hope she finds relief soon. Thanks for sharing this post. Yes, the info definitely pertains to EVERYONE, and it's so crazy this stuff is allowed in our food supply.
      Blessings to you,
      Christy Pooschke

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  5. My mom was allergic to any gums, especially xanthan gum, and so I've been a label reader for a long time! I tried to stay away from soy for health reasons, too, but it has been hard. Soy is in everything! Eating food made from scratch just makes so much sense! Thanks for your guest post!

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    1. You're welcome, Ginny Marie! So glad you enjoyed! Yes, label reading and special diets are definitely a chore, but soooooooo worth it!

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  6. Thank you all for leaving Christy some comment love! She did an amazing job on her post! I am so glad she shared this with us!

    Thanks again, Christy!

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