It’s easy to assume that people around you are perfect.
That they have all those things that you (secretly) wish you had, too, such as better health, more creative diets, more money, a nicer home, more friends, more inspiration, endless laughs, nicer families or better technology.
These people are very seldom real, however. Most of these qualities only exist in our brains, created by our ever-frightful ego in order to keep you in your comfort zone and keep you from sticking your head out.
I’ll give you an example from my own life. Being a nutrition coach focused on chronic conditions and health, people easily assume that my own health is great, and that I always have super creative meals with all the necessary food groups, vitamins and minerals on my table.
While this is exactly what I’m striving to achieve, every day, this is sadly not always the truth. At all.
Knocking furiously on wood, I often manage to fight off the common colds, stomach bugs and other quite minor issues. Thank you, my dear immune system for that!
At the same time, that immune system I’m often so thankful for is also attacking things in my own body that it should really steer clear of. Like my insulin-producing beta cells in my pancreas. Or my thyroid. Or my skin. And there’s nothing I can do about it, apart from treating the conditions accordingly.
Being diagnosed with at least 3 auto-immune diseases is no walk in the park. There are many things I have to take into consideration that many others can just blissfully ignore. Food, exercise, stress, sleep, medication, medical equipment and even weather all play a role in my well-being. Relying your life on a small piece of medical equipment is no easy task to overcome, but what choice do I have?
But at the same time, it is so incredibly important not to see myself as a victim. I have gotten these conditions because I can handle them somehow, although I’m still unsure where they’ve come from originally. They are my life-long companions that I’m even unsure of how to live without by this point. I can achieve whatever I put my mind to, despite my diseases, but the road there is not always straight-forward.
It’s so easy saying “just do it”, but when your whole body is protesting against it, you just need to take a break, re-assess what is important and what it means to you and get back on it again when you feel better.
Having said that, a lot of handling a chronic disease is in the mind and in you attitude. I’m still unsure if my mind can cure me of any of my companions, but I do know that my thoughts and emotions can either improve or decline my health. This is a recent discovery for me, and I’m working on developing it further.
Despite near-optimal nutrition, and super-high efforts regarding sleep, exercise, stress and mindfulness, there are still things that jeopardize everything from time to time. A new medication? No thanks, I’d rather not, there’s a chance I’ll make something else worse while making something better. Weather’s turned cold? Ok, let’s see what reaction that has on my numbers. Sudden traffic-jam on the way to the airport? Just keep breathing, it’ll be ok. Just. Don’t. Stress.
I’m sure some of you can relate to my reflections here.
It’s extremely easy to see the people around you as amazing, perfect human beings that have it all. But this is just not the case – nobody’s perfect. Not even people like Oprah, duchess Kate of Cambridge or Gisele Bündchen.
They all need to work on something, believe me. And they need their support network too, just like everybody else.
Now. I’d like to hear from you. Do you have a chronic condition? Or do you have anything else you’re battling on a regular basis? Please tell me in the comments below!
Ps. I’ll tell you the story of my imperfect food choices another time. Those meals that definitely don’t end up on my Instagram feed. But only if you’d like me to, of course?