Sandy Bullard 
Holistic Health Nurse
Consultant~Educator~Author
 
About Sandy
 
I am sharing my journey so that it could possibly help you.            
     As a kid growing up, I was active, always outside playing and I never had a thought about anything related to health. I was a kid with no physical illness other than a few colds or flu. Oh, and that case of the mumps.  It wasn't until I had my first child at age 20, that I was made keenly aware of my body. Of course, the pain of a changing body was first, then the pain of healing. Food became important to me in order to have enough milk for breastfeeding. I focused on getting my pre-baby weight back. It was hard work. I had post-partum depression, anxiety and the stress that goes with new motherhood. I was living in Germany at the time. I made several late night trips to the emergency room only to find nothing "physically" was wrong with me. (When the medical community is stumped, we are in trouble.) I was labeled a hypochondriac. I was frustrated and not on board with being mentally ill, but I wanted to get to the bottom of it, so onward to the psychologist.  Two sessions in, it was clear that I was having a normal reaction to my life circumstances and things went back to routine. 
     Except that no matter what physical ailment I went to the doctor for after that "diagnosis" of hypochondria was met with eyes of judgment. Not good. So, be careful what they write in your medical record. Make them tell you and make sure that you correct anything you feel needs to be changed. 
     My second child arrived at age 22 and returning to my pre-baby weight became an even bigger struggle. On top of that I was smoking. I didn't know back then what an impact it had on my health and that of my family. All those toxic chemicals...Don't worry, I did quit. So, back to the journey... Stress was something I wasn't accustomed to. My parents took care of things when I was growing up, so I didn't have to even think about them. Boomer parents didn't talk about things like we do today. If you have seen the old tv show "Leave it to Beaver" you would get an idea of how it was. I had no idea about so many things it's not even funny. Why don't they teach life skills in school? Anyway, not knowing those things sure caused stress and stress caused dis-ease/illness that was silent. It was always there, lurking under the surface. What I didn't know until much later is that it was totally something I could have changed. Every ache, pain, stressful thought, craving, struggle with weight and more was avoidable. I never knew that. We moved from Germany to Virginia for 3 more years and then back to New York where I grew up.
     At 31 I  went back to school for nursing,graduated and got a job . After a few years, I changed jobs to get a pension. The children were healthy and I had a tussle with pneumonia and got insomnia for years after that. I forgot how to fall asleep. Funny thing, no one could tell me how they did fall asleep. Insomnia robbed me of my energy.
     The kids grew up, our marriage grew apart, stress mounted with our divorce and I started smoking again. After 18 years I found myself single and alone. No real friendships because I didn't take the time while I was raising my family to even think about what I needed. I was teary, depressed, drinking daily and blaming myself for everything that had gone wrong. I wasn't eating right, so exhausted that I collapsed in my coat on the bed when I got home from work and just wanted to escape. I was spending holidays alone, feeling sorry for myself and too many nights I cried myself to sleep. Life sucked and I didn't know how to move ahead. I couldn't seem to break the cycle.
     I finally met someone and eventually re-married.  Looking back, I can truly say, he was my gift from God. Life began to return to normal because going through the day to day motions was what got me out of my depression. It was one dark place and if you have ever been there you know what I mean. But what I learned will help you too.
     Several years went by, I had some major problems during menopause. It wasn't until I studied natural health intensely and healed myself that I felt good again. I retired at age 55 and started a holistic health practice. I continue to help others get their own health back using the natural methods that I learned from my own struggles. This is what I know now...(I sound like Oprah) my stress, depression, anxiety, addiction to smoking, drinking, sugar, fatty foods, heavy menses, cramps, bloating, exhaustion, joint pain, muscle aches, fog brain, insomnia, mood changes, overweight etc was all because of my imbalance. 
     My whole life was out of balance. That's right! My gut was out of wack, leaky gut had me tight in it's grip. The medical studies are abundant with regard to nutrition and the gut/brain connection. Medical doctors are not looking for the answers to these complaints. They are looking for a diagnosis they can prescribe a pill for and send you on your way. These quick fixes cause side effects that only increase the toxins in your body, which then it has to filter out. It causes a bad roller coaster ride!
     There is a connection between the gut and the brain. They communicate with each other.  I KNOW IT SOUNDS CRAZY...BUT IT'S TRUE!! I continue to focus on health and get my health back. It takes time to heal the gut. If you can relate to any of these symptoms at all and are tired of feeling the way you do, let's work on it together!
     The next thing that was out of balance was my heart. I had felt distanced from God because of the divorce. I saw God as angry at me for not staying married. Angry at me for disrupting the lives of my children, angry at me for not doing what I was supposed to do. When I looked at God for the first time in years, He looked at me and said" I know your heart. We talked before the divorce. You said that you were no good to anyone anymore, not ever me if you remained in the relationship. Remember what I said to you then?" I honestly didn't remember what God said to me. "I said, I forgive you, now go, but don't forget to return" 
     So it was years now, but I did return. Slowly I approached God again and He welcomed me with open arms. I felt like we had some catching up to do. I spent time with Him in order to do that. He taught me to trust again, to love again and I began to heal and grow. To find the courage to hold up my head in public and even speak to the pastor from my old church when I saw them. Little by little, I became myself again. 
    I took another portion of time away from church, but not from God. Being away from God was so dark, so lifeless. I never wanted to leave Him again. I was feeling the need for fellowship with other believers so my husband and I tried a couple of churches in our area and we both agreed the type of community we wanted to join would be gospel centered and full of real, not pretentious people. We found it shortly after. Now God is teaching me to make messy beautiful friendships and that His son Jesus Christ, died for sinners like me and I am forgiven. I am saved by faith, not by works. I am saved by the grace of God alone. 
     So if you can relate to any of this at all and are tired of feeling the way you do, let's work on it together! 
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 the Journey...
 
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It's not how long you live...it's how well you live for as long as you live. 
 
~ Sandy Bullard ~
 
Chapter 1: Every Little Bit Counts
 

Yes, for the last 20 years I have gained just a little bit of weight every year.  Let's see what that math looks like, I majored in math, you know, in high school, now let's see 3.5pounds per year x 20years = 70 pounds!!!

It really doesn't take a math genius to see what I discovered, does it? I am fat, obese, overweight, height challenged, and aware that I have a problem. But, this is where I was stuck. I was in that rut where I stayed for 20 years. A little at a time, like a thief, it silently stole my self-esteem, my confidence, even my health. I went past every mirror hoping to see a change, but none came. The rut got deeper and deeper.  One shovel (full of food) after another, I dug the rut deeper. I created it, now what?


 
Chapter 2: Start Now Not Never
 
One step at a time. That is what did it. It took making some lifestyle changes. I know what you are thinking, are you kidding me? I am so stressed out right now, I feel sick, tired, not sleeping, depressed, anxious, look ugly, and whatever else you say to yourself every day that is probably even worse. But this is the truth. Just one step is all it takes with a friend by your side. 

Diane and I became friends, then really good friends, then foodies together, going here and there, sharing new recipes, then finally reading the book that changed both of our lives and weights forever.

 We supported each other by being accountable. Oh, and by never letting each other on the scale for a whole30 days. To find out what we read, become a friend, get encouragement, get your life back on track,get started and supported  Subscribe To My List Below Now

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