Here at Enhance Integrated Wellness, we are always talking about being well—think well, eat well, and move well. But how does that look in actuality? Recently, I had the opportunity to have an extended conversation with a special person. As we looked back over our several years of working together, I thought her story would be a perfect one to share with you.
Lisa first came to us with back and hip pain—a fairly common chiropractic complaint. Through a program of chiropractic care and exercise, we were able to get her stabilized and eventually discharged from care. Over a year later, Lisa returned. This time significantly overweight and feeling miserable. She was under a lot of stress from work, and had multiple physical symptoms.
She recalled, “I was so far gone. I was numb. I was working and caring for my family, but I was nowhere to be found. I was embarrassed about how I looked because of the choices I had made to get to that point.”
Following her consultation, Lisa was placed on a program of chiropractic care and significant nutrition modifications. She got on track with regular exercise. Soon people were noticing the changes and asking questions because she was looking and behaving so differently. For the first time ever, Lisa felt like she was in control of her health… but nothing lasts forever.
Soon, she allowed herself to slip back into old habits. This began a cycle, alternating between periods where she was on track, then off track, with respect to her lifestyle choices. Many of her slumps—which included poor eating, high stress, and no exercise—were related to the changing seasons.
Fall begins the holiday season, a time where we give ourselves permission to eat—everything. Then comes winter, where comfort foods rule our day and exercise is lost because it’s just “too cold.” Spring ends up being the time when we decide to fight our way back into swimsuit shape. After we go on a ridiculous regimen of stringent dieting and crazy exercise, summer hits. Summer is when we give ourselves permission to slack off again, hit the barbeques, and lose our way. “You end up on this year long cycle where you are just getting it wrong over and over again,” says Lisa.
When we get into these cycles, it’s easy to give up completely, but Lisa realized the importance of staying on track. “I need to stay on because there is no end to living well. Even if my numbers fall in line, I need to still keep going because my body and my life will continue to change. And I have to adapt and stay on track more than I am off track.”
Over time, Lisa noticed that her poor health choices were not only affecting her, but her family as well. “My cultural traditions center a lot around food, and over time, the Americanization of that Mediterranean menu lead more and more to carbohydrate-based eating. I saw it cause a downward slide in my family’s health, beginning with my grandmother and extending to the current generation.”
Lisa knew that she had to change in order to lead the change in her family. A major overhaul in the way she cooked, shopped, and ate, was in order. She began regularly exercising in one of our fitness programs and started regaining control of her health. Using her family as motivation helped her to stay on track.
Today, Lisa is able to see all of the positive changes that have come from her dedication. She is confident in herself, and is making better decisions all the time. “Yeah, I fall off. But I get back on track. I used to spend more time off than on. It used to take me weeks/months to get back on track. Now it’s a matter of days.” She knows that it takes more effort to do things right, but the effort is worth it.
Lisa attributes her success with being able to come to our practice and know that we’re all here to help her. She values our friendship, and says that an “ongoing relationship matters.” Even the way she interacts socially with her friends and family has changed.
“I understand that the investment that I’m making is priceless. But what is the cost of living with diabetes or chronic pain or heart disease? Not just the dollars, but the loss of your ability to really be you. You take this plan everywhere you go. This approach has helped me to help my family live well, too.”
Living well is continual. It doesn’t stop after the “before and after” photos have been taken. That’s why we love Lisa’s story so much—because it’s real. We hope it’s inspired you as much as it inspires us!
Think well. Eat well. Move well. Be well.
Dr. Scott & Dr. Carol