Not Listening to the 'Experts' and Finding Your Own Way | leslie-woodward


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April 27, 2017

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Not Listening to the 'Experts' and Finding Your Own Way

November 3, 2015

Back in May, I was diagnosed with the early stages of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is


when your immune system begins attacking (and eventually destroying) the thyroid. 


I was devastated. And embarrassed. How could someone as healthy as me have this disease? And especially as a health practitioner— what were people going to say? 


I went into a tail spin. I cried, I sulked for days. And then, I hit action mode. I read every book, listened to every lecture, scoured the internet for every bit of information on Hashimoto’s and autoimmune disease I could find. I was determined to reverse it (in hind sight, an enormous ambition to have) and rigorously studied the cases I came across where women had successfully done so. 


At the recommendation of my naturopath, I underwent a serious elimination diet to heal my gut, which can often be linked to the onset of Hashimoto’s. I jumped into it with much vigor and enthusiasm, on a determined mission to save my beloved body. 


I came across another wellness practitioner who specifically worked with what I was going through. She was a bit harsh on me for not being a meat-eater, and recommended a diet of just vegetables and fish three times a day for at least a month. I cried after the session in complete overwhelm. How could a diet that sounded terrible and overloading on foods I don’t want to eat be the solution to my problem? 


As the weeks went by, I wasn’t feeling better. Still low energy, still feeling bloated after every meal, and just not well. After 2 months on the diet, I bailed. I thought, “SCREW this. If my body is giving absolutely no signal of some relief, I’m out.” 


In the following months, I ate what I wanted. I felt a little better from being out of the stressful restrictive diet. I even tried eating meat, and it made me feel worse. I played and listened, and listened and played, and found my body sending clear signals of what it wanted. I also began using a line of nutrition products that felt like they brought my body back to life. 


I had my blood retested last week. I was terrified. I almost canceled the appointment 5 times. I was about to do it and called my friend Kristin instead, and told her how I was feeling. That I was scared that it was going to be worse. That I would need to be medicated (which is the beginning of the process of shutting your thyroid down). That I hadn’t wanted to get it retested until it was completely gone. That maybe no matter how hard I tried, my health was failing. She told me to just do it, and that it would be helpful to know the results good or bad, so that I knew where to go from here: relax and celebrate being healthy, or reformulate the game plan for Take 2 of my reversal mission.


The day of my test came. I didn’t tell my husband I was nervous at all, and he forced a very loving pep talk on me before letting me leave. “How did you know I was nervous?” He said, “I know you.” Yes, he’s incredible.


Today, I went in for the results. I was scared, but knew that no matter the results, I could handle it and, as my husband told me at least 20 times, it was all going to be okay. 


Well, I did it. Or am doing it. 


My immune system is lowering its attack on my thyroid, and my thyroid is in full healthy, functioning effect. I almost cried but my doctor is really cool so I shook it off and just smiled. (If you’re in the Seattle area and need an internist, hit me up. She’s the best.)


After months of doubting myself, of doubting whether I should be listening to these people telling me what I should and shouldn’t eat, doubting the 20 supplements a day they recommended, doubting their recommendation to not engage in vigorous exercise—  I listened to my own damn body and healed her. 



With the excessive information we have at our fingertips, it is such a crucial lesson that your body is the only one who knows best. Not your mom, not some renowned expert, and sometimes not even your doctor. When you can cultivate a strong mind-body relationship, your body will tell you. Always. 


During this whole process, I have been so angry and frustrated. And I now see how incredibly important it was for me to learn this lesson, and to support my clients in doing so (in a more streamlined, less exhausting way). I am so grateful, as usual, for the twists and turns life brings to me and for how it uses our health as a messenger for its wisdom. In light and in darkness, it is always for divine reason. 




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