My Story of Healing from Eating Disorders (Podcast)

This will be part 1 of my story because there has been healing in so many areas of my life that each would require a separate talk. So I’m sure there will be more parts that I share on this topic in the future. But for now, I wanted to post the story I shared at church here in Berlin recently and my hope, as always, is that something I said might give hope and encouragement to someone listening.

There were moments of technical difficulty during my sharing…and a bit of nervousness…and a bit of crying. Our stories can be messy, so it’s no surprise that the telling of them can be too.

Click here to hear it.

It tells a bit about how I went from this:

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To this:

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I hope that if you, or someone you know, struggles with an eating disorder, or any kind of self-destructive behavior, that hearing my story will help you to not give up and to keep praying, keep hoping and keep knowing that God loves you no matter what’s going on and that healing and good things are possible.

Your life matters and you are needed here on this planet.

Blessings & peace,

Monique

p.s. If you need coaching and/or spiritual guidance, please click here to schedule an appointment for an introductory call with me.

 

 

WHAT I DID (& DO) ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA & CHRONIC FATIGUE SYMPTOMS

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About 8 years ago, after years of various trials that had left me worn out, and a tornado that was blowing through my life at that time, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia Syndrome. There was a point where, for nearly a year, I was rarely capable of leaving the house for something as simple as getting groceries. Extenuating circumstances were not helping (more on that another time). I was weak, in constant pain, unable to get a good night’s sleep, and feeling like someone who was dying…only there didn’t seem to be any end in sight. I thought a lot about the word “chronic” and, at one point, I decided that I simply refused to assign that word to my life in any capacity that implied endless illness or futility.

I may have been sick, but I was also blessed by God to be chronically hopeful and chronically determined to survive. And not only survive, but to thrive. Against all odds, I kept believing that somehow, a better day would come for me. But I had an inkling that it would require some effort on my part. God helps us, but most of the time, we need to take a step in the direction of that help and put feet to our faith.

We also need to take ourselves out of victim mentality because that is a dangerous place to get stuck. And all it requires is a mindset shift, a renewing of the mind. We need to stop telling ourselves a debilitating story and start telling ourselves a new story. The story you tell yourself again and again is the story you will believe…and live.

There came a point in that particular year where I absolutely refused to believe that this was my lot in life and I truly believed that with divine help, I could and would overcome this debilitating illness. At the time, anything that involved much effort in meal preparation was not something I was interested in. But I prayed for guidance to find a way to get better.

That day, a hope rose up in me beyond anything I can explain. It was the kind of hope and faith that bubbles up when you know you’re on the verge of a turning point or a breakthrough.

I got out a couple of my natural health books which I often used and started poring over them, searching for answers. I came across something about the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies, learning that disease breeds in a body that is too acidic and it cannot thrive in an environment that is alkaline. I had already been vegetarian for about 20 years and vegan for nearly as long, but it’s possible to be vegetarian and/or vegan and still not be as healthy as we can be.

I got online and spent the next 6+ hours researching, determined to learn more about acid/alkaline balance. I followed the advice by Linda Rector-Page in her book Healthy Healing and fasted for a few days, taking in only a potassium broth and a green drink. Within those days, I started to feel some relief. I found charts online listing the foods that are high alkaline, pH neutral and high acid and determined to get all the foods I could get my hands on that were high alkaline. I started eating this way immediately…eating all raw foods—loads of dark leafy green vegetables, celery, avocadoes, bananas, apples, watermelon, fresh dates and more. I started squeezing half a lemon into some warm water every morning when I first got up. I ate handfuls of raw almonds. I had a green superfood drink every day. That was the food part.

I continued with my spiritual practice of daily prayer, scripture reading and meditation.

I continued with stress relieving yoga regularly, at least three to four times a week. This eventually progressed to never, ever missing my daily morning yoga practice, as well as adding poses throughout my day as needed.

I limited time and contact with people who I felt drained by and spent time with people who lifted my spirit and who I felt enlivened by being around.

I continued my habit of voracious reading on everything from faith and spiritual topics to personal growth, creative development, literature, health, raw food and alkaline cookbooks…anything that added to my health of mind, body and spirit.

And what happened? Within weeks, I went from being so weak I could hardly leave the house to living again, and what’s more, to thriving! It was clear that each day toxicity was leaving my body and health and vigor were entering in. I felt more alive than I had in years…possibly than I had ever felt!

Since that time, I have continued to eat a high alkaline, 70% raw food vegan diet most of the time and it has made all the difference.

Do I ever have flare-ups? Yes. Extremes of weather are still a challenge for me (especially cold, damp, windy weather) and can cause muscle and joint pain and stiffness as well as fatigue, but the most important thing I have learned in the last decade is how to take care of myself. Self-care is crucial to wellness and I hope you’ll read my other posts on this important topic.

For now, I hope that if you’re reading this and you struggle with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue, that you will believe there is hope for you. While I am not a physician, I can share with you what has helped me…in the hopes that some of these things will help you too.

I will be sharing more about things I do and don’t do, eat and don’t eat to maximize my health in upcoming posts, so stay tuned. Perhaps you’ll implement some of those things yourself and start seeing amazing results too.

If you’d like to schedule a free 30-minute exploratory coaching call with me, please click here and book yourself an appointment. I’d be happy to talk with you!

Until then…blessings and renewed health to you.

Monique

* Photo credit: Take Me Home by d’pegasus ( through flickr & pinterest)

FEAR VS. LOVE

          

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Some people think that the opposite of love is hate. Some have said the opposite of love is apathy. While there may be some truth to both of those, the opposite of love is actually fear.

It’s interesting that when Jesus cast demons out of certain people or healed them of ongoing illnesses, he didn’t spend hours analyzing how they got into that condition. In Mark 5, he didn’t ask if the demon-possessed man had had an abusive childhood. They didn’t have psychiatric labels then (that we know of) like we have nowadays. Jesus simply met people where they were at and he moved them forward, often by healing, freeing, and delivering them from what was causing their suffering.

I once had a pastor who said, “God never does something just for you. What he does for you is also meant to bless and affect others.” Jesus didn’t just deliver this man for the man’s sake; an entire town had been affected by his “issues” and the entire town would later be affected by his healing. One of the most marvelous passages in the Gospels is Mark 5: “Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind.” This wasn’t after years of extensive therapy. This was after moments in the presence of Perfect Love.

Christ’s love is so powerful and his power so loving that all he needs to do is speak words of healing, or touch someone, or be touched, and oppression of body, mind or soul must cease and leave. This begs the question: what if we were able to love from such a place of being so grounded in God and his love that our mere presence, our mere words, our mere touch could bring healing to others? There’s nothing “mere” about any of these things.

There are people in our lives, around whom we may feel rejected, criticized, and like nothing we ever do is good enough for them. Around these, we may feel anxious, bound-up, irritated, and uneasy. We want to remove ourselves from their presence. On the other hand, there are people we are drawn toward because they exude love, acceptance, and a deep-seated joy that’s not dependent on circumstances. Their acceptance of us is not based on what we do, it’s based on who we are to them. In their presence, we feel freer, more able to be ourselves, at ease, and at home. No human can love us perfectly, but these people give us a glimpse of that perfect love that everyone longs for.

God is the only one who can love us perfectly for the simple, yet profound, reason that he is love. It is the very essence of his character and of his being. He cannot be, or do, otherwise. This is why Jesus was a magnet for the downtrodden, the discouraged, those heavy-laden with care (and he still is). These are the ones who are often most open to the slightest kindness, the gentlest touch, because when a person is wounded, the last thing they need is harshness. They need tenderness.

The man in Mark 5, prior to his deliverance, was much like the guy on the train who most people avoid—the one who is dirty, smells bad, and mumbles to himself or shouts obscenities. It is very likely fear that makes people look away—fear of being reminded of one’s own inner poverty when in the presence of outward poverty. But Jesus was afraid of no one because Jesus was the embodiment of perfect love and perfect love casts out all fear.

It is dazzling that in Mark 5:6-7 the man ran to Jesus and worshipped him before he was ever healed. The man wanted God. The demons were afraid of God. So the man was in a state of push/pull—drawn to Jesus, yet at the same time repelled by him. But once he was free, he begged to be allowed to stay with Jesus. Instead, Jesus sent the man back to his town (the very town that had alienated him) and told him to tell everyone what God had done for him, making him the first bearer of the Good News of God’s healing, freeing love in that vicinity. The man’s life was his testimony. The people had seen him before, and they saw him now, and there was no denying that the man was changed, transformed, and free due to encountering God’s perfect fear-evicting love in his Son, Jesus Christ.

 

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