Today, as I sit here to write this, I’m thriving. I feel alive. I feel like Amie Jo Valpone back when I was 16 years old and I’m full of energy and perfect health. No more belly aches, no more night sweats, no more migraines, no more doctors, no more hospitals, no more drugs, no more supplements, no more muscle pain, no more PCOS, no more SIBO, no more Lyme disease, no more Heavy Metals, no more hair loss, no more saunas, no more water weight, no more PMS, no more joint pain, (I could go on forever here with my symptoms)…but I no longer have any of them! I feel free as a bird….and it’s quite perfect timing as I’ll be revealing my NEW COOKBOOK very, very, very soon on January 2nd and I can’t wait for all of you to see it.
One year ago today my doctor accidentally overdosed me on Progesterone cream (something I was doing topically on my skin to help regulate my PCOS) and my entire endocrine system shut down. Literally SHUT DOWN and I went into a menopausal state. It was beyond anything I can even describe and how I ended up alive I’m really not sure. I honestly can’t get into the details because it’s way too much trauma to type it all out but it was by far worse than my two bone marrow biopsies, a muscle biopsy and a trillion other procedures I had in the last 10 years. Let’s just say that this set-back was the biggest blessing in disguise. The progesterone overdose kicked up the Candida in my gut and all hell broke loose this time last year. It was bad. I mean really, really, really bad. But, it led me to find that my candida was the cause of my seasonal sinus pressure, that candida was the cause of my (GET THISSSSS!!!!) hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia symptoms, and elevated liver enzymes for over 10 years!
I was in such bad shape that I didn’t see anyone for months. I didn’t leave my apartment and I felt like a hermit. My days were spent in bed then in an infrared sauna then trying to detox my body from the progesterone in any way that I could. I put on 70 pounds of FLUID in 5 days. Yes 70 pounds. I went from my weight of 100 pounds to 170 in 5 days. Hence, the reason there aren’t any pictures of me anywhere recently…now I’m starting to look more like myself as the fluid releases!
I didn’t talk to my family for weeks at a time and I just wanted to lay in bed and sleep.
I felt lost. Scared. Freaked out. Amazed at what the HECK our bodies can do. And most of all in awe of how HORMONES control every.single. thing. This, my friends, was worse than C-diff colitis and anything else I’d been through in the past.
How did I get through it?
I’m not really sure but I did and as I mentioned it was the biggest blessing in disguise because it allowed me to FINALLY get to the root causes of my health issues as well as start to get quiet with myself, put on my thinking cap and heal for the VERY LAST TIME. So, as I say good-bye to 2015, I say good-bye to chronic illness and hello to my beautiful new life full of abundance and perfect health. My new life will not be talking about illness- I will be talking about thriving and how to thrive and feel joy and happiness because those are the keys to wellness and without those- I wouldn’t have healed. They are the building blocks that our cells need each and everyday along with clean food and a clean environment (all of which I talk about in my book).
I kid you not- this all happened in 12 months and I’m living proof that if you’ve got something going on in your body and you feel lost, don’t lose hope. Your answer is out there- sometimes you just need to pull back from life, get real with yourself, find a LOT of quiet and alone time and listen. You know your body better than ANYONE. Better than any doctor, than any family member…. than ANYONE. If I could give myself advice 10 years ago it would be to STOP looking outside of yourself for your answers and for your happiness and start looking within. We have all the answers inside of ourselves but we’re too bombarded by everything and everyone else to be able to see the answers we hold.
This was where my healing began 12 months ago.
And so as this wild yet magical year comes to an end, there’s a few things I want to share with you from the hardest year of my life.
This time last year I honestly didn’t think I was going to survive.
I had been through years and years of pain, medical trauma, emotionally trauma and candida had attacked every muscle in my body. I was on an anti-fungal that was $800 a week and I was on it for 4 months. My tongue was pure cotton white for about 3 months and I literally didn’t leave my bed from January-March. I’m honestly not sure how I made it. I laid in bed day after day listening to meditation music, podcasts, reading mind-body books and learning how the power of the mind has the power to heal us. I started to return to my true self. I stripped away all the BS in my life and got real with myself. I started opening my eyes to the magic in every day and listening to things, trying new healing practices and learned how to LET GO.
I moved downtown to the greatest neighborhood in the world and I’m as happy as a clam. I feel ALIVE. I’m going on dates. I’m meeting friends for tea. I’m going for walks in the morning by the water and watching the sailboats pass by. I have the energy to go back out for a lovely little walk at night on my cute cobblestone streets and so much more….
I’ve learned to stop PUSHING everything in my life and I’ve learned to release FEAR and instead to pull in TRUST and FAITH and know that my path has been one that no other has been down and somehow I ended up surviving and here I am thriving. It’s been a long time coming and I’m ready to live my life. I’m ready to taste more foods, to feel new feelings, to enjoy every moment and to love everyone and everything- even those who have hurt me in the past because at the root of it all-those people were once hurt and they don’t realize it and they’re taking out their anger and frustration on you. And it’s sad and I spent many, many years being upset over things like this until a movie Frozen came out last year and the song LET IT GO became my new go-to song on replay. And once I listened to the lyrics and got real with myself I started to realize that illness is about not letting it go. It’s about having all of these mixed emotions from past experiences in our childhood, etc that get pushed down and suppress our bodies and our immune systems and our cells. I’m becoming fascinated on this topic so more to come on this soon.
So, here are a few things 2015 taught me and I hope you take a few minutes to really think about each one…
I judge my wellness and my happiness by how joyful I feel every day.
What you focus on grows.
You don’t always have to be brave. You can cry. I think I cried more this year than I ever have in my entire life. No one knew it. No one needed to know. I needed it for my own healing. To release all the trauma that was in my mind and my body. And boy o’ boy did it feel good.
I stopped looking for validation from others and found love for myself inside of me.
I learned how to stop ‘trying to figure it all out’ and learned how to feel every experience and just ‘be’ instead of ‘do, do, do’ and stopped feeling guilty about not ‘doing’ what I was supposed to be doing for work or something else such as a friend’s birthday party.
Forgiveness is the key to feeling free. This year with the help of four different energy healers I learned how to finally forgive painful memories of people who have hurt me in my past—anyone from teachers to sports coaches to my loving father, my ex-boyfriends and anyone else that hurt me in ways that they probably just thought they were doing their best to help me.
I’m a highly sensitive person. I pick up on other people’s energy very easily so I’ve learned how to let people with negative energy (complaining, fear, harping on illness, etc) keep their energy away from me and to protect myself by changing the subject or pulling them out of my life so that I can be free of that negativity.
I learned how to put myself first.
I truly learned how to love myself and o’ it feels so good. Self love is not bubble baths and massages. That’s self care, folks. Self love is having unconditional love for yourself so that NO ONE and NOTHING outside of you can shake you down from your high flying disk. No teacher, doctor, parent, sibling, boyfriend, friend, crazy homeless man on the street can make you feel like crap because when you have unconditional self love for yourself you stay true to yourself and keep your vibration high and learn to just let those things go…..
Trauma doesn’t only happen from car accidents and other situations. I learned I had an intense amount of trauma in my body from my childhood. From never feeling good enough. From never feeling like I was worthy. From many other things. For the last 10 years every time I closed my eyes I saw terrible things happening and I never realized that was trauma. I found a few energy healers in Manhattan and started working with them and instantly felt like a new person–like a huge weight was released from my body. I’m not really sure how to describe it because I never believed in energy work before but after experiencing this and no longer having bad thoughts or trauma, I’m a believer.
Taylor Swift’s song Fearless inspired me to heal (and dance in my apartment like a 22 year old gal). I listened to it day after day for about 5 months until it subconsciously made me realize that I needed to take a different approach to my life if I was going to heal. I became Fearless and I conquered illness and that is now behind me.
Warm full-fat coconut milk simmered on the stove top with a cinnamon stick is my new winter go-to ‘eggnog’. Fancy, right?
Music makes my world go around and around and around and around…..it’s been such an incredible piece of my healing. (I hope you find peace in these songs—as much as I love to dance to Beyonce and Taylor, my mind and body need healing music and now I crave it from these songs).
This song has helped me heal.
And this one too.
And this one.
And one more. (This is my favorite one.)
Eating organic has helped my gut health tremendously and has helped heal my Leaky Gut. I’ll never go back to conventional food- no matter how expensive organic is to buy–my medical bills were SO much higher.
Life is supposed to be FUN. Somewhere along the line we got fearful, thought we had to compete with other people and had to out-do everyone else. That we have to make more money, be more popular, be prettier, be more successful, etc….when did we forget to have fun and find happiness within? What happened to us? It’s so sad.
Stop being a ‘nice-aholic’ to everyone as Dr. Mark Hyman says in this video.
I learned eye contact. Everyone is obsessed with their phones and I see couples at dinner both on their phones, everyone on the bus is on their phone and everyone on the subway is on their phone. We are bombarded by constant contact with our phones and social media and no one connects face to face anymore. You know what I crave? Hugs, smiles, eye contact, genuine conversations, loving people, real friendships and those are the people in my life that I make time for because I honestly don’t have time to go on a date with a guy who is on his iPhone or a business meeting with someone barely listening while typing away. I just don’t. That’s just not me.
This year I went 6 months sleeping 14 hours every night from a menopause-like situation with my hormone imbalance when my entire endocrine system shut down. I learned the beauty of the light and the darkness of each day. We take for granted that our bodies fall asleep around 10 pm and naturally wake up around 7 am and it’s our hormones that control that rest and awake period of our day. For way too many months I dealt with insomnia and then waking up at noon and somehow figured out how to function and feed myself. Laying in bed when it’s 3 am and you have insomnia and you’ve been laying there for 6 hours, you start to realize how half the world is really asleep and you just lay there and watch the sun rise and realize how magical the whole process of a day is from dusk to dawn and how it starts all over again every single day. Crazy when you think about it and see it from this perspective.
I started to realize how much our minds control so much of our bodies and the real secret to healing is to learn how to teach your body to wash away all the pain and negative thoughts and learn to bring in more love to our lives. You can start slowly with things that make you feel good and bring more of them into your life on a daily basis.
I meditate for 30 minutes every morning with a candle in darkness and silence. Now, it’s taken me about 3 years to do this—I hated meditation and never enjoyed it until this year when my body FORCED me to slow down and stop and I CRAVED alone, quiet time with my eyes closed. Meditation has opened my life to so many beautiful miracles, it’s beyond words.
And for those of you who are probably going to ask about my treatments and how I healed, I will for sure be sharing my tips and my story when the time is right. My book–which I will be announcing on Saturday will have step-by-step what I did to heal and detox my entire body to remove all the candida, lyme, toxins and everything else that I was filled with. Thank you for your patience- I will be sure to share more of my healing story when I am ready so that I can help those of you who may be suffering.
And last but not least….as I sit here 2 days before I release my first book to the world, I think my next book will be a memoir because- well, somehow I got through the last 10 years and still made it out incredibly normal and positive and optimistic and happy and loving and joyful and I want to share so much with the world from my darkest days to my abundant days….so stay tuned for that, ha.
Wishing you the most beautiful New Year filled with an abundance of love.
Bye bye 2015-thank you for a year of bringing me back to my true self, the woman I was meant to be. I’m eager for my life to start and for the magic to happen. Here we go!
p.s. My cookbook announcement is coming on Saturday….I can’t wait to share it with you!