• Karen Murray Heffron

Don’t be a salmon

Starting on this health journey 5 years ago was rough. I did it the hard way. A Naturopath recommended I go on an elimination diet and cut out at least 10 foods, most of which were my favorite foods. It didn’t help I wasn’t the best cook as I grew up on Hamburger Helper and Spam and Pineapple! I spent a month eating Turkey burgers and sweet potatoes feeling very sorry for myself. The hardest part was being surrounded by delicious processed food. Work rewards us with pizza parties, doughnuts and cupcakes. Most of the sales in grocery stores are on processed food full of the ingredients I couldn’t eat. My family at the time was still eating like I used to, and I had to make separate meals for each of us. I felt like a salmon swimming upstream, and it was exhausting. This was before I knew about Facebook groups and the importance of community.

Social support means having people to turn to in time of need to give you a broader focus and positive self-image. There are several support groups offered in hospitals for amputees and Stroke/Cancer survivors because it helps to share experiences and ideas with like-minded people. Those who have close personal relationships cope better with various stressors.

There are easier ways to start a health journey than my path. If I had it to do all over again, I would take easier first baby steps at a slower pace to allow long lasting change and engage more with a Facebook community that could support and inspire me to keep going. If you’re looking to empower your health, don’t be a lone salmon – find your community and work the current together!

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