Meet Vanessa, my second client! Vanessa approached me in late August through my blog. She commented that she would love the help that a health coach could offer, but found her options very limited, because she lived in YUKON TERRITORY, Canada. Holy Moly! I was impressed with Vanessa from the start, because anyone working to get her health on track from such a remote corner of our planet is already showing remarkable dedication. Having one client under my belt I knew that the people I wanted to work with needed that level of motivation, so I contacted Vanessa and we started her new journey on September 1.
Vanessa is in her early 40's and at the time we began working with each other, she had a diagnosis of Psoriasis. She had already been utilizing AIP to help heal her skin with alot of success, but she wanted to see further improvements and dig into specifically what foods or other factors were causing her symptoms. Since Vanessa was already dialed in with diet, we spent the first part of her program focused on finding new resources to help her, like podcasts, products, books, and blogs. We also talked about other potential conditions that could be affecting her. For instance, Vanessa suffered alot with extremely cold extremities and the frigid temps of the Yukon were not helping. I explained Raynaud's Disease to Vanessa and encouraged her to talk with her doctor about whether or not that could be the problem. Later we did get a confirmation for Vanessa, so she is no longer in the dark about why she was experiencing such cold fingers and toes.
In the middle of our work together, Vanessa and her family made a major move, which was in large part up to her to organize, as her husband has a demanding work life that often takes him away from home. We redirected our energies and worked on stress management and practical diet tips to help stay AIP during such an enormous transition. In that process we discovered that stress is a major factor in Psoriasis flares for her, so we began making weekly goals for implementing new stress management techniques. She has completely turned around her sleep, getting much more and much deeper rest, in addition to adding journaling, walking, and meditation to her routine.
In late December we began planning for Vanessa to see new doc's (her move meant that she could better access practitioners from many fields) and get some deeper testing conducted. Although she had made lots of progress, we knew that something was keeping the journey from progressing. We talked about questions to ask and possible tests to pursue, especially in relation to Vanessa's professional background. It turned out our hunch was correct and recently we found out she is positive for Lyme Disease. Now we are learning together what that means and what to expect from the treatment process, which is going much faster for her because so many of the diet and lifestyle adjustments required are already in Vanessa's arsenal thanks to her hard work since September.
Here are Vanessa's thoughts on the program:
Angie was able to help me work toward my goals by speaking the same “language,” of AIP and eating for your healing and health. This is not an easy endeavor, nor one that garners a ton of support from friends, colleagues or even close family members. It can end up being a very lonely place and leave you second-guessing yourself many times. Having Angie on my team gives me my “community of support.” The biggest tangible change I have noticed since beginning the program has been that I don’t live in fear every single day of my life anymore. I now have an understanding that I do have the ability to make a profound change in my health. The most significant overall change I have noticed has been that everyday isn’t just a blur of various symptoms overlapping themselves leading to an inability to differentiate one thing from another. Many of my symptoms have been relieved altogether. In addition, now I can easily explain some symptoms that before would just leave me feeling bewildered and not knowing what to do about them. I would describe Angie as 100% understanding. When you are sick, especially with diseases that might not yet have a name, to have someone truly understand what you are going through is everything. I would also describe her as brave, compassionate, intelligent, highly motivating and possessing a wicked sense of humor. Everything you’d want in a health coach!
I was very scared of reaching a place where I had gone as far as I could go based on what I knew, and not know what my next move should be. Sure enough, during our months working together, I did reach a place in my journey where it became obvious that something was holding me back from further healing. Had Angie not been working along with me, I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to truly trust those suspicions and take the next logical step to dig a little deeper (and to continue to keep doing so). I’m still in the middle of my journey and have a long way to go, but for the first time ever, I finally feel like I could actually reach my goal and I know I owe the motivation to keep working towards this goal to Angie. She has helped make this sustainable for me.
It has honestly been a privilege to work with Vanessa and I consider myself a very lucky health coach that she chose me as her guide on the journey. Her tenacity for this entire process is inspiring. Even during a major move, with two little boys and the holidays to manage, she did not throw in the towel. I am so excited to be with her as we finally reach the roots of her health struggle and appreciative of the learning opportunity that she has given me by allowing me to support her through this next phase of her walk to wellness.