My Health Journey and 9 important lessons I learnt along the way

Early summer 2008, it’s a very warm evening here in Madrid and I’m dancing on stage for Kylie.

….  yes Minogue (The original Kylie;-)). 

 

The crowd is going craaaaazy, the atmosphere is wild, as usual it’s a sold out show and her fans CANNOT get enough of her. Everybody is having the time of their lives…. 

 

…but half way through the show I experience (again) this crazy abdominal pain that sees me out of stage as I could hardly perform.

And so begins my health journey…

Between 2006 and 2016 I spent most of my time on the road as a professional dancer. I absolutely loved my job, even though I took it for granted many times. I had made so many sacrifices to get there, why the heck wasn’t I looking after myself? Because I honestly had no clue. I really didn’t realise how bad my diet was and how it was literally ruining my health.

Club sandwiches, daily alcohol, ZERO vegetables, the more sugar the better. Haribos was my life LOL. Like literally that was it. I didn’t have mental issues around food, and because I lived in a rather thin body I assumed I had nothing to worry about.

Lesson 1: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Thin doesn’t mean healthy.

But when I had to take a show off to go to the doctors I realised things could actually be very serious. 

Luckily they weren’t really, I happened to be FULL. Yes full of poop in my colon. I mean WTF? Really???

Taking a show off in that industry is never heard off, totally frowned upon. Unless you’re hanging by a thread or have a family emergency THE SHOW MUST GO ON. So imagine me having to tell my boss “ermm sorry I actually just have poo stuck in my colon..” I was MORTIFIED.

So from there, things started changing SLOWLY, VERY SLOWLY. On doctor recommendations, I started having more veggies, I did regular colonics to help clear the bowel and that was it really. Things went back to normal on that end but a few months later I experienced the biggest skin breakout ever. 

This one really hit me mentally because as a dancer and model, having a clear skin is paramount. As harsh as it sounds no director hires acne full models. And my confidence took a massive knockdown.


So I decided to head to the best dermatologists (In London Harley Street) and empty my bank account. One expensive cream after another nothing changed, things got worse and my skin got burnt because they didn’t know anything about black skin. I was DEVASTATED. Not only I worked in an industry that was UNFORGIVING, but I trusted skin care specialists who actually had no freaking clue.

Lesson 2: Don’t try quick fixes , understand where the problem is coming from and fix it from the roots….oh and PLEAAAASE go to someone who knows your skin type and colour.

Eventually a friend of mine suggested I go see this herborist in Paris on my next trip. I will never forget when I walked into the herboristerie and asked the lady that I needed herbs for my skin, the look she gave me AHAHAH she was mean. With a very french face, she said “ ouuuh there’s a lot going on there. Stop dairy, sugar, drink this tea. Bye. Next” You know how french people can be cut throats right? No gloves, no mercy. SAVAGE.

 

I did laugh though. I grew up in France so i’m not phased by it.

 

And I did what she said…well kinda. I stopped dairy, and cut A BIT of sugar down, drank her tea and my acne cleared by 50%. I was ecstatic and that moment was the catalyst for many things.

 

I started reading more about healing “everyday issues” like acne, constipation, and thrush with foods. And little by little my diet improved over the years.

Lesson 3: Educate yourself, read recent research, ask questions. No one will care as much as you do about your own health. You have to take responsibility for it.

Towards the end of my career, I experienced 2 major burnouts that would trigger me to look at all aspects of my life and not just the diet.


In 2015 I started experiencing dizziness, fainting, fatigue, low mood for what seems like out of nowhere. But in reality I forgot that I just finished touring with the Take That band, while working with their natural private chef (as a side hustle to learn), sleeping very little and drinking EVERYDAY #lifeontour. While my diet was OK, most things weren’t.

Lesson 4: Health is holistic. It’s about finding a balance in all aspects of your wellness. Your mental health, your sleep, your relationships and more….

Eventually I had to head to the doctor who did what seemed like a zillion blood tests but didn’t really find anything. That’s when I decided to see a naturopath for the first time and I was blown away. After doing her protocol for just a month I felt like a new person. She explained to me that my liver was overwhelmed and struggling to perform.( ps: My doc said my liver was OK). Back then I didn’t realise how important the Liver was and the key functions it had. But I started reading about it and found everything about nutrition and healing so powerful that I decided to study nutrition as soon as I could afford it.

Lesson 5: Doctors don’t have all the answers. Find a specialist that is right for you.

Things went better, until  2016 when I decided it was time to retire from dancing with no exact plan. I know time was up, I was no longer excited about my job, I was exhausted and the thought of travelling gave me the worst anxiety. My body was aching and my mind was screaming STOOOOP.

I was keen on pursuing something in Health and wellness but had no clue what.

The months that followed were some of the toughest one for me as I bottle all my feelings in and didn’t reach out to anyone.

Daily tears, anxiety, depression, comfort eating, mental exhaustion … What was I going to do after such a high life as a pro dancer? What could ever top these past 12 years? My ego was freaking out, I was so scared and ashamed as well, as I felt like I needed to have an amazing job straight away. Looking back, it was such an exaggerated reaction but one that really came from FEAR. I was totally paralyzed and wish I reached out to someone for HELP

Lesson 6: Reach out for help, chances are what you are going through many others are too. Don’t let shame, ego, self judgement get in the way. You are the one judging yourself, no one else is.

Eventually my body started showing PHYSICAL SIGNS OF THE NEGATIVE ENERGY brewing in my mind. Thrush, foul vagina smell, zero libido, bloating, constipation, body ache, migraines…I mean I remember thinking OMG I have a serious disease, WTF is happening??!! Still clueless not thinking well you are depressed, you don’t go out and your body is kindly asking you to wake up and get your shit together.

Things got so bad that I headed back to the doctor and begged for all possible tests. I remember telling her that one of my most concerning symptoms was the foul vagina smell, despite trying all possible creams and realising that it got worse when I ate sweet stuff. She answered physiologically there are no links between my vagina state and sugary foods. “You are stressed and burnt out, it has nothing to do with sugar” I felt confused, lonely and frustrated.

 

Lesson 7: Don’t forget the lessons you’ve learnt before. Trust your body and your gut feeling. Your body has wisdom.

We did some extensive blood tests which looking back now with my current  knowledge weren’t that complete, but results came back that I had Candida, H pylori, Bacterial Vaginosis. 


I felt so relieved to finally have a diagnosis and put a name on all my symptoms. Little did I know that the antibiotics she insisted I took would make everything 10x worse.

Lesson 8: Again…. Quick fixes don’t work. Ever. They just cover the problem. Understand where the issue is coming from and sort it out at the root.

I regret not seeing a Candida specialist sooner and really allowing time to heal. I regret doing hard core no sugar diets for 4/6 weeks only for it to come back. I regret not reading and researching more about it. I regret spending all this time and money on supplements only to understand that my body for any reason just DOESN’T WANT sugar at the moment. It needs time.

Lesson 9: Healing requires patience, self compassion and serious commitment. 

Your Health is the foundation of your life, invest in it. Don’t delay things, for them to only get worse. Find an expert that can help with your symptoms, listen to them and show up for yourself consistently. Show up the way you show up for your family, for your partner, your work, show up for yourself the same way and see your life transforms.

 

If you are struggling with your health and not sure what direction to take, and would love to have my support schedule a call with me. 

We can have tea and chit chat over on Zoom and see if we would be a great fit to work together.

 

Book the call.

Written by Welly

10/10/2020

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