Hey! I'm Chantal. I'm from the gorgeous city of Ottawa, Canada. I'm going to tell you a bit about my health history here, and if you have any more questions about me feel free to send me an email or comment on one of the posts.
I have always been active and loved to eat healthy. I thought my physical health to be good, but never really considered the bigger picture or the way stress or food really affected me. Then, like so may people in our society these days, my body started to fail me.
I was diagnosed with a 'good' type of cancer that affected my thyroid on St. Patrick's Day 2010, at 26 years old. The effects of the cancer were little to none; apparently it could have grown in me for years without me ever knowing. So I had surgery and half of my thyroid was removed. Within a couple of weeks I was back at work, though I'm sure many of the customers at the restaurant I worked at balked at the angry red scar across my neck.
I felt really good for a while but everything seemed to catch up with me very quickly again. Ironically, it was in the two years after I recovered from cancer that I started to get really sick. I was trying to keep up the lifestyle I was used to, which meant drinking heavily with friends, over-working myself at two or three jobs, working out vigorously, trying to manage unsettled romantic relationships, and struggling with waves of emotional highs and lows. Every four to five months, like clockwork, I began to have fungul, viral, or bacterial infection (sometimes a combination of them) that would leave me really, really sick with a very high fever. I often ended up in the hospital.
I was exhausted in every way, and started to sense that this was something more than a physical problem. I was also uncertain about how I wanted to live and didn't feel completely comfortable with the way my life was headed. I knew that a mortgage, car, and 9 to 5 job weren't for me. They seem from my point of view only to propagate the consumerist lifestyle that has so many ill effects on our society and the natural environment.
I decided to take more control of my health and my life, and began on a journey that's brought me so far in so many ways.
I started adding to my base of knowledge about natural health, wellness and emotional balance. I read a lot about nutrition, stress, yoga, food preparation, and the way our nervous systems operate. I also saw a nutritionist who diagnosed me with a number of food intolerances.
I left Ottawa in October of 2012 to explore Western Canada, and was feeling good about my progress at that point. I had researched and began to address specific health issues, like a systemic Candida overgrowth, an addiction to tobacco and a number of draining and harmful behavioural patterns.I had worked hard on my health and had my last major infection (and major it was) just after I arrived in Calgary.
In February 2013 I moved to Australia to pursue a Master's of Social Change and Development. My health was still precarious, though much better. I struggled emotionally for a while as, in my enthusiasm for a 'new beginning', I once again took on far too much. I reached my emotional limit about halfway through the first of two semesters of study, and made the difficult decsision not to complete my Master's degree. I graduated instead with a Graduate Certificate in Social Change and Development, and am proud of my accomplishment and my decision.
I knew at that point that I had to truly commit myself to taking care of my well-being, and I haven't looked back.
I picked up my reading again and had healing treatments. I made more changes to my diet, and committed to a more regular yoga and meditation practice. I also took steps to drastically reduce my stress levels and changed a lot of my negative thought patterns. I took some incredible trips that really opened me up to the world of wellness that exists out there and an amazing community of people that really care about life.
Today, I'm Melbourne Australia and I'm feeling better than ever. My health continues to improve as my awareness of my physical, mental and emotional states increases. I'm able to make better decisions that are leading to opportunities and new adventures. I'm also really excited about the decision I've made to travel on a more permanent basis.
I'm not sure where I'll go, or what surprises life may bring, but I do know that I have the tools to keep myself healthy and balanced wherever I am. I'm excited to share those with you as I keep exploring more of this incredible world.