Take Control! Become Your Own Health Champion

Over the course of the 13 years (between ages 30 and 43) that I suffered with chronic myofascial pain syndrome, there were times when I began accepting my fate as someone who wished she could be active and athletic, but who was trapped in a stiff, chronically injured and painful body.

Thankfully, a few lucky breaks, some curiosity and perseverance finally led me to uncover some of the secrets to overcoming and managing this condition. With a self-reliant mindset, the recruitment of the right health team members, and the relentless pursuit and implementation of holistic solutions, I found myself training for an IRONMAN triathlon within 4 years of unraveling the underlying causes of my chronic pain. I crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Mont Tremblant on August 18th, 2013 at age 47. In looking back, I felt the need to share my story in order to potentially save others from years of suffering.

There were 3 key principles that led to my successfully conquering and managing my condition, allowing me to live the life I wanted:

Mindset

This consists of:

a. Examining some of the assumptions and beliefs that are keeping you “stuck” in your current health state.

b. Determining your WHY – your life purpose, that will drive you toward taking action and improving your health condition.

c. Setting progressive goals that are aligned with your WHY.

Building and leveraging your health team

a. Maximizing time spent with a few key supporters among your closest social connections, and sharing your health challenges with your broader social network. Give them the opportunity to share their knowledge. You’d be surprised what they might know!

b. Identify health professionals who are not only experts in their field, but who are team players, problem solvers, and aren’t afraid to suggest involving other professionals with different points of view. Come prepared to appointments and ask a lot of questions.

c. Budget for your healthcare. Many effective solutions are not covered by public or private health plans.

Perseverance

a. If you haven’t determined your WHY, perseverance will be elusive. You must have that vision of how your healthiest self will contribute to a worthy cause, beyond yourself.

b. Be sure to understand how and why recommended treatments and exercises can help you, and how long you need to implement before seeing a difference. When you know why, how and for how long, you’re much more likely to persevere with a potential solution.

c. View your quest to becoming as healthy as you can be as a journey. Every new challenge or obstacle presents an opportunity for growth and improvement. There is always more to learn, and there is always the potential for a healthier you.

In the end, there was no single “magic bullet” or pill that came to my rescue. It was a combination of multiple approaches, with the most important ones being:

  • A healthy, anti-inflammatory diet that excludes processed and gluten-containing carbohydrates;
  • Key supplements that help optimize soft tissue function, including magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids among several others;
  • Much more protein than I had ever eaten in my life (key for optimal muscle function);
  • A progressive strength training program led by a highly qualified exercise physiologist, who educated me on the importance of a holistic approach. She connected me with a holistic nutritionist and a chiropractor who also played key roles in my recovery.

I wish you all the best on your Health Champion journey! If you’re interested in learning more about my journey, you can visit my website at: www.carolestaveley.com


Carole Staveley is President of Inner Victory Coaching, an organization she founded to empower others to reach their full potential by overcoming the barriers holding them back.

Carol hosted a Thursday Evening Lecture at The Big Carrot on Thursday January 29, 2015