1 year Cancer free.

It has been exactly 1 year since I got the all clear and what an amazing year it has been. I completed my coaching diploma, started my yoga teacher training course and most importantly I completely transformed in so many ways.

It’s amazing how when you get a life changing diagnosis every other worry you had becomes obsolete. That person in work who annoys you. That project your behind on. Any conflict with your significant other. Money worries. Self limiting beliefs. Everything else just disappears and you suddenly realise how it wasn’t really important in the first place. Suddenly you realise that the only thing that ever mattered was your health.

This is something that has really changed my perspective on the world. In the years leading up to this I suffered with auto-immunity and arthritis so I already knew that if your suffering with a chronic condition and with chronic pain it takes over completely and can be so hard to get into the right headspace to break free from the cage of being trapped within your condition. Being diagnosed with cancer allowed me to break free from that cycle.

From the date of my first surgery, through my diagnosis, getting the all clear, getting the ‘not actually all clear’, to a second surgery and the final all clear it all happened so fast and was such a whirlwind experience. I can’t even begin to put in to words the pain and deep soul felt sobs that happened during that time. Every single second of every day I was praying to God to heal me of this and visualising the outcome that I wanted and thanking him for all of the blessings in my life so far. I realised during this time of uncertainty that the things that would usually bother me suddenly didn’t bother me any more. In work, at home, in general – if something happened that would usually cause me to get stressed out, I just accepted it and moved on, it didn’t matter.

After getting the all clear this shift in perspective really stayed with me and because of this I began a complete transformation into a happier, healthier and more free version of myself. I realised the things that truly matter and let the things go that didn’t. Of course i’m only human and slip back in to worry and anxious thoughts from time to time, don’t we all? But i’m very quick to recognise it now and bring myself back in to a more positive and uplifting mindset. This change in mindset not only helped me achieve freedom from anxiety and my self limiting beliefs, but on a physical level I feel better than I have done in years. I actually forget some days that I have an autoimmune disease at all, i’m too busy loving every minute of life and thanking God that I am healthy enough to live it. I still suffer with chronic pain but I am no longer consumed by it. I still have an autoimmune disease but the autoimmune disease no longer has me.

This past year has been amazing for me and I know that this is just the beginning. I have always wanted to help people become better versions of themselves and help them to improve their mental, physical & spiritual wellbeing. After living and breathing such a transformation myself I now know that the rest of my life will be devoted to helping others achieve the same kind of freedom in any way that they need it. I am here to serve.

Life after diagnosis.

In 2018 I was diagnosed with autoimmunity (PsA), neuropathy & skin cancer.

I went through months of harsh medications that destroyed my immune system & left me weak & fatigued. I lay awake through endless nights of chronic physical & emotional pain. I watched my strength disappear, I watched my health deteriorate. I went from squatting 100kgs to being unable to hold a cup in one hand, unable to hold a pen, crying because I couldn’t hold my key properly to open the door. I’d get off the train from work and run home so I could climb in to bed and cry, my head and neck (aside from everything else) were in so much pain I couldn’t do anything else. I went on holiday weekends and spent the full time locked in the bathroom of the hotel coughing & crying.

I went from being the healthiest person I knew, to being the unhealthiest. How dare my body betray me like this? After all of the clean eating, workouts, yoga, years of no alcohol. Why me?

I stopped writing my blog… who wants to read a ‘health & fitness blog’ from a girl who can’t walk to the end of the street without feeling like she was going to collapse?

But guess what?

In 2018 I empowered myself by learning about my disease. I read books, I read peer reviewed scientific studies, I listened to podcasts, I changed my mindset. I came off my medications & started taking only herbal & natural supplements. I got my arthritis under control, I made progress with my neuropathy, and most importantly.. I beat cancer !

Whilst dealing with all this I was promoted to customer support team leader, and passed my probation with flying colours. I got back in to a regular gym routine & started practicing yoga again. I started to build my strength back up. I studied to become a personal trainer, passed my exams & got my qualifications ! I moved house.. and then I moved house again.. into a beautiful little apartment with my caring & supportive boyfriend. I didn’t just survive, I thrived.

The reason I’m sharing is not to get sympathy.. I don’t need it. The reason I’m sharing is to give others hope that there is life after diagnosis & to teach others about the battles of chronic disease. To show others that your mindset is absolutely everything.

I accomplished so much last year while simultaneously wondering if I was going to die. I believed in mind over matter anyway, but last year reinforced my beliefs beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Last year completely broke me… physically.. but nothing can break me mentally. Not anymore, that ship has sailed.

I am living proof that when life fucks you over, you CAN come back stronger.

I prayed to God every day to make me strong. Oh boy did he deliver. A few years ago he gave me panic attacks, anxiety disorder & disassociation. I overcame them all & became very mentally strong through that process. Then last year he gave me arthritis, autoimmunity, neuropathy & cancer.. I became even stronger.

This will be my first post of my ‘new but old’ blog. I want to share my journey & show that with the right mindset, YOU can do anything. I’ll share details of my health struggles, how they effect me daily, things I have tried & tested that have helped with the pain. Things that lesson my symptoms, things that make them worse. Yoga practices, workouts, recipes. Some of the old stuff, and some of the new stuff, some of the good stuff, and some of the bad stuff. Hopefully this will also be a place that will ease the suffering of others with autoimmunity by reminding them that they are not alone & allow others to come along on our journey learning more about it themselves.

2018 was a sucky year but sure as hell did I kick it’s ass. Here’s to 2019 !

 

download

Eternal Optimist.

So after taking a 2 month hiatus from my blog, I finally re discovered my passion for writing and remembered why I started this thing in the first place.

Last year was so tough for me. I found out that I’m not superwoman. I had to admit that i am only human (i know, shocker) and that maybe i had taken on to much at once. But hey, God loves a trier right?

Anyhow, after a midyear mental break down, lots of sleepless nights, millions of tears, countless panic attacks, months of being in denial and pretending i was fine, depression and anxiety, I finally admitted I wasn’t ok. I took some time off from work, time off from the gym, time off from writing my blog. At the time this seemed to me like my absolute worst nightmare, I didn’t want to slow down or stop doing all of these things but it was important for my health, mental & physical.

It’s weird because everybody else could see it at the time, everybody was telling me Kirsty your way to hard on yourself, your taking on to much, stop trying to please everybody, you need to rest. But of course I didn’t listen.

We all make mistakes, Christ I’ve made some whopper ones, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make plenty more. But you know what? To be old and wise you first have to be young and stupid. Good judgement comes from experience, and experience.. well that comes from bad judgement. So here’s to many more mistakes. Making mistakes doesn’t matter, what matters is if you don’t learn from them and you keep on making the same mistakes.

Sounds grim I know, not my usually positivity. But actually, after being forced to confront all of the ways I was holding myself back, after being forced to admit that I needed help after struggling in silence, somewhere in that dark dark place… I found myself.

So this past few months have been a journey of self-discovery for me. The biggest thing has been learning to not be so hard on myself and to stop being a people pleaser and to just do things for me. I’m learning a lot about the real me, and within that I rediscovered my passion for writing. So I’m back to writing my blog, but it’s going to be a little different this time. Still based on fitness / spirituality, but this time I’m going to be more honest and write about what is really going on. The highs and the lows.

If you look back in my blog posts from last year you won’t see any mention of how much I was suffering, I wasn’t intentionally hiding it but like I said I was in denial. I’ve never been one to ask for help, or even admit when I need it. I am fiercely independent. I had so many people asking me why I hadn’t wrote for my blog in a few weeks, if everything was ok, I just didn’t know what to tell people. So I finally decided you don’t need to tell people anything, just be honest. So that’s what this is.

It’s weird because even after the hardest year of my life, having days where I couldn’t leave the house or go to work, days when I thought I just can’t do this anymore, days where i wondered if I maybe wasn’t strong enough. Now I’m actually better than I ever have been. Never in my life have I been so honest and true to myself, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

Rock bottom is a pretty good place to build a solid foundation. So that’s exactly what I did. And now I’m working on building myself back up, brick by brick, stronger than I was before. I remind myself every day – I got this.

Whilst suffering with a list of mental health issues along with over all a really challenging year, I still managed to keep my optimism no matter what. That’s one thing that will never be taken away from me.

I guess if one person reads this and can relate, or one person feels motivated by it, or one person who is suffering with mental health takes anything at all away from me blogging about this, then it was worth writing. I just want to do me and hopefully inspire and empower some people along the way, the reason i started my blog in the first place.

Love and Light.

****

tumblr_n41zwn156P1rkm4r8o1_500

The mask.

It just hurts so much.

Oh the shame of being you.

& so you detached and you wore a mask every day.

You wore it so well that you even believed it yourself.

It was the only way to survive, the only way you knew how.

 

So what happens now?

What happens now you know?

 

Do you choose authenticity?

Or do you pick up another mask?

 

You do have a choice.

& you start by being honest with yourself.

 

But if i take off the mask…. who am i? How do i know who i was before the world told me who i should be?

 

Your a survivor. Start there.

survivor 5_0

Do not fear failure.

You know, I keep seeing these quotes everywhere trying to inspire and motivate people saying things like ‘failure is not an option’. I know they are coming from a good place but things like this make me realise why people have such unrealistic expectations of themselves and of others. Of course failure is not an OPTION, if we had a choice to fail at something or to succeed, obviously we would choose success. But you know what, failure happens! Does it make you any less of a success? Absolutely not. Does it make you not good enough? Not even a tiny bit. Does it mean that you won’t succeed in the future? Of course not, relax, take a deep breath, pick yourself back up and try again!

The society we are living in puts so much pressure on us, taking tests in school, going to college, going on to university, getting the perfect job, finding a partner & settling down. How can anybody make a decision about what they want to do for the rest of their life at such a young age? I personally will fully admit that the course I done at college I have absolutely zero interest in pursuing as a career. That’s ok, I was 16 years old when I chose it and I made a mistake, I still had an absolute ball of a time at college. I’m only human & I’m sure in another 7 years’ time when I’m 30 I’ll be looking back on decisions that I’m making now and laughing thinking the same thing. Hopefully by that time I will be somewhere on the boarders of the Amazon working on an eco-farm, but who knows? What I want changes so often, what I thought I wanted 7 years ago, is very different from what I want now, maybe in 7 years what I want then will be totally different again! There’s a reason for that, it’s called growth.

My own example was of college, but it really does go for anything – relationships, work, friendships, college, sports, hobbies and really anything you do in life. The only time you will truly fail, is if you let your past failures consume you. Each time you make a mistake or you’ve failed at something, think to yourself ok then so what can I learn from this experience so that I come closer to succeeding next time? Life will keep on sending you the same lesson to relive over and over until you learn what you were supposed to. Accept the situation for what is, realise your lesson, put it into practice and move on.

I personally am grateful for every time I have failed, and for my failures yet to come. Each time I fail or make a mistake and am able to take responsibility and move on from it, I get stronger and wiser than I was before. You’re never going to have everyone’s approval, you’re never going to be perfect at everything. You’ll have shitty jobs, people will tell you you’re not good enough, you’ll date shitty people or even worse you will date amazing people and yet it still won’t work. That’s life, shit happens, you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea & even though sometimes we would like to think we can do everything, we can’t – that’s what makes us different, what makes us unique.

It doesn’t matter if other people don’t have faith in you, or if other people don’t think your worthy or that you can do it, people will always try to bring you down weather they do it intentionally or not. It breaks my heart to think that some people absorb the hurtful words of others and this becomes their reality. All that matters is that YOU continue to have faith in yourself, believe in yourself, and love yourself unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

& whatever it was that came in to your head when you read this.. If it was something that happened in the past that you’ve been tearing yourself up over, just let it go. If it was something that you’ve not done yet because you’re afraid? Just do it, I for one have complete faith in you.

That thing that scares you the most is a clear indication of what you must do next. You should always go with the choices that scare you the most, as even though they require the most from you, they also have the greatest rewards.

The most difficult roads lead to the most beautiful destinations.  

Unfortunately we can never know what comes next, whether it be good or bad, but what we can do is be brave in who we are and face whatever is coming with alacrity.

edit.jpg

b3f71b46c6eb5721c39818d62b484b80.jpg

669386f0a077b2e2034baed473d25d96.jpg

failing.jpg