Lots of people get bloodwork done.  It happens thousands of times a day, I’m sure.  But, for me, blood work is call for a stop-the-presses announcement.  I have a long history of panic attacks when it comes to needles, and it stems from childhood.  An allergist once thought it would be effective to strap me to the medical table to experiment with allergy shots.  Don’t give him the Nobel Prize.  And, I may or may not have been rewarded with Boston-creme donuts from the Food Lion pastry case after making it out of any shot or finger prick alive.  Cue the saga of anxiety, eating disorder, and maladaptive coping mechanism!

It’s been decades since those days, and thankfully, God and I have unraveled a lot of that pathology!  Through it all, I have grown quite convicted that our body is our spiritual home while we live on this earth.  Therefore, what we put in our body and what it tells us are paramount when it comes to the experience we have- mental, emotional, behavioral and physical! We cannot leave the body out of any growth work!  We can heal emotional wounds, but if we don’t address nutrition, we’ll only achieve temporary success.  We can manage weight through nutrition, but if we don’t identify core values and spiritual identity and align our lives to them, our victories will be short-lived.  

We need all the pieces.  Starting the work, where you are with what you have is step one.  Literally, just start asking yourself how you feel every day, listing out what you’re eating and thinking.  This is a great place to begin the experiment of YOU.  Making a committed decision to dig deeper and deeper and trust that the answers are all INSIDE of you and can be revealed through trusted partnerships with coaches/mentors/therapists/and professionals, is step two!

I’ve been after information about my body for decades, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get that information within the limits of our current system.  Because our regular doctors won’t order this lab work for us.  Our insurance companies rarely pay for this blood work.  So, who would take the time or money to get it done?  Better yet, WHY would anyone want this blood work if it’s so inconvenient!?  Because, I know that anxiety, depression, skin issues, negative thoughts, gut drama, fatigue, hair loss, anger, self-esteem, weight fluctuations, inflammation, and more are all related to the PHYSICAL way our body is operating.  (Stay mindful, though, these symptoms are not EXCLUSIVE to gut health, or mental health…it is a combined effort of how our system selves {mind, body, spirit} are working together or not-together that creates these symptoms).  This is why I’ve sought nutrition and fitness certifications over the years in addition to my counseling license.  It’s all connected and not mutually exclusive.

This post is to share that I am finally taking the steps in seeking discomfort for the sake of more accurate information about the workings of my body at a very deep level.  I connected with a qualified professional with the credentials to order such lab work, who was invested in me achieving the answers and information I desire.  The test I am doing is called the NutrEval and it will provide us a window to view things like:

–  heavy metal & environmental toxicity,

– amino acid balance,

– gut dysbiosis & malabsorption markers,

– vitamin & mineral deficiencies,

– yeast & fungal markers,

– cellular energy & mitochondrial function,

– neurotransmitter biomarkers.

These answers will fill in the blanks and fit many of the missing pieces that I’ve illuminated in both myself and my clients over the years.  The accessible (cost-effective, easy to get, DIY, or easy programs) options give us SOME of the puzzle, but there are many missing links to help us full-out answer our questions.  For example, over the past 5 years, I’ve identified that filling my diet with healthy fats, clean proteins and primarily choosing veggies for my carbohydrate choices has significantly improved my weight maintenance, energy levels, fitness performance, physique, and mood.  In recent years, I’ve been able to use surface level genetics testing to identify some mutations that help me choose supplements that are more aligned with my needs and gain more insight into why I struggle with certain things that others don’t seem to struggle with.  Further, I’ve used calendar tracking to figure out some of the patterns related to my hormonal fluctuations and my body’s seeming difficulty in managing those fluctuations, and therefore have been able to adjust things like rest, exercise, and diet during certain parts of the month to achieve more desired results (like NOT biting everyone’s head off for breathing and NOT crying when my feelings get hurt).

But this test will take me even closer to the source of some of the less-than-desired health outcomes I’m experiencing.  For instance, through all of the experiential improvements I’ve had – like becoming a faster, leaner runner, developing clearer skin, clearer thoughts and attention span, reducing aches and pains – I do still struggle with some gut health indicators, as well as a very pesky autoimmune response that shows itself through a disease called Granuloma Annulare.  If you’ve ever been in person with me, you’ve seen this disease, as it manifests in raised patches of darkened skin.  I had these patches as a child, they went away for about a decade in early adulthood, and they have come back over the last 10 years or so.  It’s a clear indication to me that something is amiss “in there” as the patches are a result of t-cells stacking up on one another without the ability to release/detoxify.  It’s one of several “my body is attacking itself” indicators I experience in my autoimmune journey.  Medical professionals like dermatologists, allergists, pediatricians, and more have all been confounded by this disease for years, and have declared it incurable with no known cause.  I refuse to accept this information after living in and exploring this body the way I have over the years.  This blood test is an autoimmune-sufferers light at the end of the tunnel.  And although I am not putting ALL of my eggs in the NutrEval basket, I am expecting a lot more clarity on the other side of these results.

I share this with you, here on the blog, because I want to be transparent about my journey and share a little bit of HOW I get the insight I have into our bodies, minds and spirits.  I was born with the gift of SEEING people… our potential, our true hearts, the things we’re struggling with.  But it is not enough to JUST SEE.  So, I’m seeking ways to understand myself with the expectations that I can then continue to help YOU see and accept and support YOU.  Collaborations are necessary; strength meeting strength for a stronger combination.  The individuals I serve through group and individual coaching will benefit from my efforts first hand, either through simple vicarious-learning, or because I am able to gain access to such opportunities for them.

Although I am NOT looking forward to that needle, the pinch, or the almost unbearable discomfort of feeling out-of-control for as long as that thing is in my vein, I am looking VERY forward to the results I will have in two weeks!!  And afterward, because I will reward myself in a healthy way after putting my big girl pants on and hopefully not peeing in them… I will go treat myself to a new pair of jeans.  Because I love jeans.

**UPDATE** Since this post was written, I must inform us, I did NOT get new jeans.  I was disappointed that ALL of the jean brands, even ones I’ve loved in the past, are adhering to the high-waisted trend that my body pretty much outright rejects!  And an even better update; I’ve received results and a new post will release in the near future to make some sense of this crazy complicated, although amazing body that I live in.  We really are the ultimate adaptation machines.  To get that update before a new blog releases, make sure you’re signed up for my emails by clicking here.



Awarding Life