Childhood Dreams Coming Full Circle
A couple weeks ago I was about to make my first delivery to Vita Health Winnipeg for distribution to its six locations. As I loaded the van, I was suddenly struck by what a HUGE this event was in my life – both in the business sense as well as the personal sense. I was rather overwhelmed with gratitude.
Back in my elementary school years, I was already into the health food scene; every Saturday after bowling at the local lanes, I would drop in at a little health food store downtown and see what was new. More often than not, I would try some interesting bar containing carob or other bar containing nuts and seeds. The items I’d buy weren’t cheap, but they were special, and I liked them.
It was in my elementary school years that I dreamed of one day becoming a doctor. As I approached junior high, I realized that because I also wanted to be a wife and mother one day, I might not be able to make the huge sacrifices that being a doctor would require. So then I decided that maybe I should become a nurse. Upon the suggestion of my mother, I began candy striping at a local hospital to get an idea of what being a nurse entailed. Turns out that I didn’t like being stuck in a hospital. My mother then suggested that maybe I’d like to become a lab technologist or a pharmacist. After one semester of University, I decided that perhaps I wasn’t cut out for those things, either, since I couldn’t stand the precision involved in chemistry lab experiments – wouldn’t bode so well if I was doling out prescriptions, would it?! The second semester I took more of a business focus, and although I enjoyed it, I didn’t have a clear direction of what I wanted to do (and my funds were depleted), so I took some time off of studies to work.
Before long, I began working as a furniture salesperson and then married a young man I’d began dating since my university days. A year into our marriage, I enrolled in the CGA program. I loved working with numbers and had aspirations of one day becoming an accountant and having a great income. But alas, when our first baby arrived and happened to be one of those children that didn’t realize that she was supposed to nap more than 15 minutes at a time, I had to shut the textbooks and focus on her. The next ten years I lived in survival mode – grabbing what sleep I could, eating lots of bread, muffins, and cookies, and very little in the way of fresh fruits and vegetables. It took a toll on me.
While expecting our sixth child, I decided to see a naturopath; I’d been experiencing host of problems that I realized could be setting me up for some HUGE health issues. Now, I wasn’t technically “sick”, but I had allergies galore, a thick white coating on my tongue that never went away, random rashes, and no energy. Every day after lunch I would get so drowsy that I’d often fall asleep, and I felt sluggish. I’d experienced positive improvements in my health by switching to whole grains from white flour, but it just wasn’t enough. Well, that one appointment with the naturopath was the catalyst I needed to regain my health. After intense questioning about my health and symptoms, he gave me a plan of action, and I literally walked out of his office and did everything he said. Within three weeks, I’d dropped twenty pounds, had quit using all of my allergy meds (nothing short of miraculous – they’d been severe), and, BEST OF ALL, my energy level literally SKYROCKETED!! I felt like the Rawnata butterfly, soaring to new heights! It took about 18 months for all my symptoms to disappear.
It was during this journey that I finally came to the realization that what we put into our bodies MATTERS! What we eat and drink makes a difference!! And it can literally be a matter of life and death.
We make choices every day of what we’re going to put into our bodies; so many times we eat based on things that don’t give us what our bodies need to properly function. No, instead so many times we have the attitude that we’re going to LIVE TO EAT – and we end up eating to please our palates. The sensory takes precedence over the functionality. But if we want to LIVE and enjoy life, maybe we should put some deliberate thought into how we treat these amazing machines that we live in, so that they function better! And if our bodies function better, it stands to reason that we’ll also feel better, be more productive, and maybe even live a little longer 🙂 Why live your life waiting to become a victim of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, or other diet-related conditions/diseases, when you can take a proactive attitude towards your health? Seriously.
We don’t have to sacrifice the sensory aspect of eating – because that’s also a vital part of the whole eating experience – but we do need to make some deliberate choices, such as looking at nutrient density rather than counting calories. Realizing that true salt is actually an essential component for a number of crucial chemical reactions in our bodies, and that certain fats are to be embraced rather than avoided. Fats and salt have been given a bad rap; they are not enemies, but actually are vital components of a host of important body functions (just eat the right types and don’t go overboard).
Anyhow… as I prepared to make my delivery to Vita Health, I realized that even though I never became a doctor, nurse, lab technologist, pharmacist or accountant, I still am doing what I’ve always wanted to do ever since I can remember – and that is to help people become healthier, to make a positive difference in the world, and to be a mom!! This isn’t the way that I planned on doing it, but I feel like my childhood aspirations have come full circle in a unique way, being reborn through changes I made to my eating ten short years ago.
Do you have your own story to share of how changing your eating habits made a positive (or negative) difference in the quality of your life?
(For a great read, read the Introduction to Sally Fallon’s book “Nourishing Traditions” – it’s about 70 pages of some of the most fascinating information about the chemical reactions that take place in our bodies that I’ve ever read!)