Eat well. Love well. Live well.
It’s my philosophy because it literally saved my life! At 26 years old I was loving life as the wife of my high school sweetheart. He was building a successful career in the oil industry while I was enjoying my role at home taking care of our three children – all age 7 and under. It seems like overnight, I was hit hard with severe depression. I didn’t sleep well, experienced extreme panic attacks and had horrible and repetitive thoughts of suicide. I saw a therapist. I was put on antidepressants. I gained almost 50 pounds. I was miserable and angry at myself for being miserable when I was living the life I’d always wanted.
Then, I was diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions within six months of each other – Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hashimoto’s disease. So on top of the added weight, the depression and the panic attacks, I was waking up feeling like I never really slept. I was in such severe pain that I couldn’t open a water bottle, squeeze my own shampoo out, put my daughter’s hair in a ponytail, tie any of the kids’ shoes or turn the key in my car’s ignition. I had mood swings, my hair started falling out, more weight gain. My brain felt “foggy” and just going to the grocery store wiped me out for the day.
Enter more meds:
I literally felt like I was going to die. I had a list of all the drugs I was taking on the refrigerator along with instructions for my 7 year old on who to call “just in case”. My husband was working out of town often and I was so afraid that one day I might not wake up! After all, my doctor had said to me on inspection of my lab results, “I don’t know how you aren’t in a coma right now. These numbers say you should be.”
It took six long years of pain, fatigue, missing out on life and hoping that one day it would just “get better” for me to wake up and decide that if I was ever going to feel better, I was going to have to figure it out myself.
I began to devour books, websites and blogs about nutrition and autoimmune disease. I learned everything I could about how our bodies function. I talked to people who had done away with traditional forms of treatment and ended up feeling so much better than they ever had.
I changed the way I ate.
I got serious about my sleep schedule.
I started making sure that date nights and weekend getaways became a regular thing for my husband and I.
I prayed and I took a lot of other steps that wisdom led me to take.
I woke up one day and realized . . . the pain was gone!
I had slowly weaned myself off of every medication so at first, I couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking the pain would come back. I was afraid the debilitating fatigue, mood swings or panic attacks might return. But that morning realization happened six long years ago. I haven’t had a single symptom of rheumatoid arthritis since! I haven’t felt depressed, anxious or on the verge of a panic attack in 10 years. My thyroid hormone levels are normal – no more antibodies making doctors say I should be in a coma!
I wake up every morning feeling like I’m experiencing a new miracle. No pain in my hands, feet or other joints.
No panic attacks or thoughts of suicide.
No scary medication list.
I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day. I can cook, clean, homeschool, meet with clients, teach a class, write a blog, run a business, have fun with my husband and kids, go out with friends . . . get the idea?
I FEEL ALIVE!
I think everyone deserves to feel this good. That’s why I love to share my story and teach people what it takes to . . .
It all started with food. I didn’t go into our pantry and fridge and change everything overnight. I did do some pretty drastic things with my OWN eating, but I didn’t force my family to follow, and I don’t teach my clients to do that, either. Change should happen slowly and gradually over time if it’s going to become a life-long habit. I’m passionate about teaching others how to create this sustainable change in their eating and watch as it transforms their lives.
I had to learn not only how to love myself, but how to forgive myself and others. Only then was I able to create solid boundaries and build relationships with people who understand, love and support me. This is crucial to the health of every person. Teaching people what real love looks like (love for ourselves as well as others) is one of my favorite things to do because it opens the doors to unimaginable healing – body, mind and soul.
When we are fueling our bodies properly, staying physically active, continually seeking to grow spiritually, creating meaningful relationships and expressing our gifts through our work, it is then that we finally feel that we are living the life for which we were designed. After beating the odds against two autoimmune diseases, I’ve made it my mission to help women impacted by autoimmune disease find hope, healing and happiness. This isn’t just for me, it’s for you, too.
Dafne Wiswell is a Holistic Health + Life Coach passionate about helping women impacted by autoimmune disease find hope, healing and happiness. After dedicating thousands of hours in the last decade to her personal study of nutrition and wellness, and a journey that led to healing her own two autoimmune diseases, she earned her certification as a Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She helps clients conquer the overwhelm when it comes to living an abundantly healthy lifestyle because it’s not just about what goes on your plate, rather, it’s about putting together all the pieces of the puzzle that create a healthy life – food, movement, relationships, career and spirituality. Dafne’s superpower is supporting women as they work to put those pieces together so they can achieve the picture of abundantly healthy living they’ve been dreaming of.