Yes, you can end up with diabetes. Yes, you can end up with cancer. Yes, you can end up with coronary heart disease. There are literally hundreds of versions of this sentence, but these are the most common. You are not invincible!
When young, we see older people struggling with a multitude of diseases, but we think “Not me, I will never have that, I am healthy”.
I am here to tell you that you are healthy – until you are not! Your body is amazing at keeping you in homeostasis. The human body can make the necessary adjustments for as long as 10 years before symptoms begin to show.
Homeostasis is the capacity to maintain internal stability in a being to compensate for environmental changes.
In my previous career in the retail specialty food business and event catering, I worked long and hard hours. I pushed myself to achieve greatness in myself and the divisions I was heading. I could do it all! The 6-day work weeks, the 10 to 12-hour days, many of them back to back. Whatever I needed to do I would do. I never expected my staff to work as much as I did, as this was my family’s business. Oh, and there were labor laws against it!
In 2008, at 48 years old, I was in the peak of my business, my weight was good due to the additional hours I spent riding horses and barrel racing, I was in pretty good shape. But I noticed that my heart was racing after I ate certain foods. Pasta was the worst. After a delicious bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese one night, I could feel my heart pounding out my chest and my back. This went on for about 30 minutes or so. I wasn’t sure if I needed to go to the hospital, then it subsided. Scary but I just filed that detail in my brain for later use. I also noticed this when I ate bread. I finally went to the doctor and he took glucose tolerance test to see if I was diabetic, nope, all good. So, I went back to my duties as if nothing happened.
In 2009, my stress levels were so high, I started having full blown panic attacks. If you have never had one, I cannot articulate enough how out of control you feel. From your belly, out of literally nowhere you can feel the tension rising into your chest and neck and head and you have a hard time catching your breath. You feel like you are having a heart attack. This continued for years, so my doctor put me on anxiety medication. Well that helped the stress a little, but the panic attacks kept coming more frequently. Hellooooo Xanex! So, I was popping these little buggers up to 3 times a day. The last one of the day was typically taken with a bottle of wine. Then the sleeping pill came several hours later. Scary, right? During this time, I had incredible weight gain of 60# over about a 3-year period. Now I was also struggling with depression and serious brain fog. I was embarrassed talking to clients because I could not remember the next word to say. I could see it in a bubble over my head, but I could not grasp it!
Right about that time, my good friend Dr. Kat Peterson, a Naturopathic Physician moved back to Colorado. While visiting with her one day she said, “Miss Avie, you are not the same as when I left, what is going on?”. It was all I could do to not burst into tears, I thought I was holding it all together. I started seeing her professionally shortly thereafter and she tested me for things I had never heard of, starting with testing my cortisol levels, where she found my levels were the highest she had seen and my adrenals were all but shut down from being in a constant state of fight or flight. She discovered I was insulin resistant and running head first into the prediabeteic phase of type 2 diabetes. My female hormones were completely out of whack. Long story short, we began my 10-year journey to reclaim my health.
Still not ready to face the facts that my business was perhaps the driving force behind my health, I pushed on. One of the blood tests I took was to measure C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker in your blood that measures body wide silent inflammation. Silent because there were no physical symptoms like swollen joints and such. This marker came back so high and it was at the top of the bad range. I still didn’t slow down because I said to myself “I can’t”, until one day, my doctor said, “You are close to a heart related event or stroke”. Boy, that got my attention! My mom had suffered from strokes and I saw the damage. I slowly delegated more duties to trusted staff, and they did amazing! Thank you Lindsey and Ryan! I whipped my diet into shape as best as I could. I was taking control of my life and not just getting tossed around in the rapids.
Within 30 days, I felt better. I was still taking the medications prescribed by my conventional medicine doctor, still using wine to help with anxiety, but I was feeling better and taking far less Xanex, drinking less wine. My life was slowly returned to me by a new way of looking at my health and listening to what my body is telling me. Over time, I stopped the Xanex and wine and then as a few more years went by, I was able to stop the Lexapro. It was not a one-day fix all, but a process well worth going through. I am not sure I could have just stopped everything and hit the ground running with a perfect diet….I could not even go there….but baby steps to improvement daily.
In 2015, I decided I needed to go to school to understand my body. I enrolled in the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver and began my journey to learn what I needed to know about my most valuable asset, my body and brain. I fell in love with the knowledge and new doors were opened in my mind. I am within months of completing my master’s in nutrition therapy certification. After 10 years, I am free of anxiety, zero symptoms of diabetes, panic attack free, alcohol free, gluten free, Lexapro and Xanex free, 30# lighter and metabolically in harmony. Dr. Kat and I together, literally saved my life!
So, how can I spread the news about what I see now happening to many of my friends in my age group and some younger? How can I help those other women like myself stop the madness before it’s too late? You can still be successful without giving up your health. Chronic multitasking is no way to live! How do we live with “Simplicity and Focus”?
I did not go to school to start a business…I went to school to understand my body and save my life. In the process, I found a field I am absolutely passionate about. Now I have two things I love, business and nutrition. How do I merge both? Sounds crazy, right?
What I have learned through this process is your body and your brain are the most important leadership assets in your business. After all, when you aren’t functioning optimally, neither is your business. I teach what I call Care-Centric Leadership, which allows your business to thrive without sacrificing your health, your sanity, or your priorities. Isn’t that what you want?
How do you become a care-centric leader? Are you getting the training and advice you need to keep your business, and your health, operating at peak performance?
In 2019, I started Better Me at 5280, where I teach business and nutrition. I believe in teaching you rock-solid business practices to achieve your business goals while making sure you know what you need to keep your body running properly. Being an entrepreneur or high-achiever is hard – I get it. I’ve been there. I can help!
I want to hear your story!
Call me at 303-875-1603 or e-mail me.
100% stress free 30-minute free consultation!