If you pay attention to the news, you’ll likely hear story after story about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Just open a news website and you’ll notice that about eighty percent of the headlines are negative. But if you zoom in and look at real people, living real lives, you’ll find that a lot of people are living in abundance. They’re taking small steps each day to grow healthier and wealthier.
That’s the message I want to share with you today. A story about how one reader went from declining health to abundance in all areas of her life. I hope it’s an inspiration to you.
Before we dive into Mary’s story, let me fill you in on what’s been going on.
Last December I launched an ebook that walks readers through a 30-day journey to a better life. The journey begins by understanding why we fail to follow through on resolutions and what we can do about it. The next step focuses on figuring out who you are, why you’re here, and what you really want. Readers are then guided through the creation of attainable and actionable goals. The journey wraps up with tips to make the changes stick long-term.
The foundation of this book and my coaching is based on four areas that create a whole life. First, we must feel healthy enough to have the energy to focus on the changes we’re trying to make. Good health includes our bodies, minds, and spirits. Next, as social beings, we need to have healthy and supportive relationships. When we surround ourselves with quality people, we can grow to become our best selves more quickly. Financial freedom is next. This doesn’t mean you have to become a billionaire. It means creating a foundation that prevents money worries from controlling you. This provides the freedom to create a career and life that are authentic to you and filled with abundance. The final part of the foundation is personal growth and lifelong learning which is tied to all of the other areas.
As a bonus to my first customers, I offered an online Bootcamp that gave us the opportunity to walk through the 30-day journey together. Mary was one of the most active members in Bootcamp. I immediately noticed she had a high level of insightfulness, drive, and accountability. I could tell that she was going to have great results.
Halfway through Bootcamp, Mary sent me an update on the progress she had made with her health. I love getting these emails and the opportunity to celebrate my friends and readers big wins. I was excited to hear how much Mary had to celebrate.
At the end of February, I received another email from Mary. Not only was her health continuing to improve, but success was beginning to flow into other areas of her life. She shared some amazing achievements she had with her finances and career. I was overjoyed with her progress.
The more I thought about Mary’s success, the more I wanted to share her story. The positive changes she was experiencing were exceptional. Yet the small steps she was taking can be accomplished by anyone. A few days later, asked Mary if I could feature her story.
I’m grateful she agreed. My hope is that Mary’s success will be an inspiration to you or someone you know.
Enjoy our conversation below.
How Mary Went from Chronic Illness to Freedom and Abundance
Holly: What made you decide to begin making changes with your health?
Mary: Over the last year I noticed a rapid decline in my overall health. I was experiencing extreme fatigue, migraines that were increasing in frequency and pain level, and my stomach was always cramped and bloated. In December of 2017, I needed emergency surgery. The surgery was minor, but my recovery was slow and painful.
It was a wakeup call to get my health under control. I wanted to be able to enjoy life again. I was stressed, anxious, and quickly becoming depressed.
In mid-December, I purchased Resolution Reboot. I went into the process thinking I was going to work on my financial fitness. I’m good with my finances but who couldn’t use a boost? As I was reading the book I realized my health was in dire need of a reboot.
Holly: How did you decide where to begin and what steps to take?
Mary: I wasn’t quite sure where to begin so I started with the obvious, cutting soda. I removed soda from the house and began to carry water with me to curb the urge to grab a Mountain Dew from the gas station. I replaced my daily soda with a serving of kombucha.
The next concern I addressed was coffee. I knew caffeine was having a negative effect on me so, coffee had to go. That was a slower process. I suffered from migraines due to caffeine withdrawals. But after six weeks, I was coffee free.
Exercise was more difficult to figure out. Eliminating soda and coffee made me feel great. But 30 minutes of cardio made me feel like I was hit by a bus. I baby-stepped my way into exercise and stumbled along the way.
I bought an elliptical machine that moved around the house until we found a room with a comfortable temperature. When I started I could only do 15 minutes. But I’ve worked my way up to 45 minutes in just a few short months.
I found a walking buddy at work and we’ve committed to walking every day during our lunch break. We also walk during our two 15-minute breaks most days. If we make it out for all three breaks, that adds up to three miles per day. I have an app on my phone that increases my accountability by donating to my favorite animal rescue group based on my miles.
I also signed up for a spin class at the local gym. The financial obligation ensures I show up. I also like having something to look forward to and a change in routine. I’ve already noticed an increase in endurance and strength. Plus I’m sleeping like a rock!
Holly: How long did it take before you began to notice significant changes to your health?
Mary: A wise person once told me to “eat real food.” Within a week of eliminating processed foods, sugary drinks, and coffee I noticed less inflammation in my body and my stomach wasn’t as swollen. After two weeks, I noticed my pants fit more loosely and my daily tension headaches were gone. By mid-February, I noticed an improvement in my memory at work. I haven’t had a migraine in more than three months. This is the longest I have gone in several years. It’s like I have new-found freedom and focus that I’ve been missing the last several years.
I had been so bogged down by my health issues over the last year I became disorganized. Things that I used to enjoy, like budgeting, paying bills, and organizing our records, fell by the wayside. I felt like I was becoming the “before” from those anti-depressant drug commercials.
Now, I have the energy I need to get back on track. I wake up at six in the morning and can keep going until my nine pm bedtime. I no longer need an afternoon nap like I once did. And while I’m at work, I can easily focus on what’s in front of me.
Holly: How did the success you had with your health carry over into other parts of your life?
Mary: Once I began to notice improvements in my body and mind, I decided to give myself a reboot at work. I recently celebrated one year in my position and felt as though I was doing well, but not great. In previous jobs, I had always been considered an overachiever. I wanted to become known as an overachiever again.
Now that the fog had been lifted and I was more focused at work, I asked my manager what I could do to be better at my job. I wanted to show my manager that I was serious about improving and that I appreciated constructive feedback. I wanted to progress and who better to hold me accountable than my manager.
I implemented his suggestions and by the end of that month, I received my biggest commission check to date. Fifteen times more than I usually earn. I feel more confident each day and I enjoy work knowing my manager is supporting my success.
Had I not set goals and improved my health, I don’t believe I would have had the courage to ask my manager “what more can I do?” By setting health goals, not only did I see improvements in my health, but my relationships, finances, and personal growth also improved.
Holly: What three pieces of advice would you like to share with readers who are feeling frustrated with some aspect of their life right now?
1 – Start! Somewhere. Anywhere.
For me, it was picking up a book, reading it, and taking action. For you, it might be finding one thing to get rid of, like coffee, soda, candy, or smoking. Or simply take the stairs instead of the elevator. Just choose one small thing and start TODAY!
2 – Make it fun!
Find a buddy and commit to making changes together, like I did with my walking partner. Find fun ways to learn about the change you’re trying to make. Pinterest has lots of great information on wellness, personal finance, and more.
If you don’t enjoy the healthy habit, it’s not going to remain a habit. For example, I don’t like broccoli so I don’t eat it. There are plenty of other vegetables I enjoy.
3 – On my journey, I realized, the greatest wealth is health.
THANK YOU MARY!
Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am so grateful to know you and to have had you participate in Resolution Reboot. Most of all, I am grateful you shared your successes with me and agreed to share openly with all of my readers. I appreciate you having the courage and confidence to share your inspiring story.
It’s easy to look at someone who’s doing well with something and assume it’s always been that way for them. We assume that they’ve always been fit, came from money, or were born with the world’s best social skills. But as I’ve come to know more and more high achievers, I’ve found that’s never the case. They all started where Mary was, four short months ago. They all started by taking one tiny step. I know because that’s how I started too.