Hello, my name is Crystal and I am so happy to be a part of the RawDivas family. I always ‘knew’ that eating well was better for me and the ‘proper’ thing to do, but we don’t always do what is best for us and practice what we preach. My journey has brought me full circle and I live a much different existence now, happily.
I am married to my high school sweetheart and he is a wonderful man. We have two amazing, funny children and I consider myself to be a very ‘lucky lady’. My life could have turned out much differently. I am a self professed survivor of much more than loads of laundry, stacks of dishes and a multi-tasking queen.
The website that changed my life is www.greensmoothiequeen.com and I honestly believe it was sent to me on angel wings. A lot of things were going on in my life and I needed divine intervention. Who knew that my angel had gorgeous green wings? :o)
During my first pregnancy, I got very sick at 7 months, was put on complete bed rest and there was even talk of them taking the baby at 7 months. I was terrified and this was not the way I had envisioned spending my pregnancy. Suddenly, one of the happiest times of my life became increasingly stressful and really frightening. I spent the next 2 months resting and praying, praying and resting. I am happy to report we were blessed with an amazing baby on a beautiful Spring day in April.
My health issues continued. I somehow ended up with a blood clot in my leg and just days after the baby was born I was back in the hospital, getting treatment for that with blood thinners. I was exhausted, in pain and had a newborn baby to tend to. I literally felt like I was falling apart. Things continued to get worse in terms of my health. To make a very long story short, after months and months of excessive ”woman’s issues,” I was diagnosed with the onset of cervical cancer. In my late 20′s, early 30′s there is word in the world that can stop you dead in your tracks more than the “C” word. Your mind starts to run away with itself and suddenly your messy house, what’s for dinner and the stack of unpaid bills on the desk really don’t matter at all.
This is where my “green angel” came in. I sat at my computer one day in tears just praying for an easy solution that “I” could do because I was busy, I was a new mom, I was scared and I just felt very, very unwell. I popped a phrase into a search engine and up popped “green smoothie queen.” I literally remember sitting there thinking well, “Who am I to argue with a Queen?”
I read EVERYTHING and took notes, dusted off my blender and started blending. It IS one of the smartest things I have EVER done for myself. When I started, I was sick, exhausted, sad, emotional and 222lbs and a size 20 ((and I was quickly on my way into a size 22)).
I was scheduled for a couple of procedures and although I didn’t think I was going to ever get through them, I did and successfully. For a year, I had to go to the hospital for constant check ups, treatment options, discussions and everything else under the sun. I can honestly say it was one of the most turmoil filled times in my life. To be blessed with a newborn baby and then, to deal with your health falling apart at the same time, well, let’s just say, it was hard.
Just when I thought I was going to get through all of this, I was thrown another blow. My health issues were still persisting and my doctor suggested that I have a complete hysterectomy. I was defeated. Everyone tried to tell me I “had” to do this, it was the smart thing to do and a doctor wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t ‘need’ it. I agreed and the doctor said he would be in touch with a surgery date.
Time is an amazing thing. It gives you the opportunity to think things out, to find some answers and to pray for a miracle, once again.
I would like to think that I am a smart, modern day woman and as I sat at my desk, looking at a very young child wondering, “How on earth did my life get like this?”
Well, I needed something, but I had NO idea what that something was … I just knew it had to be a miracle. In steps fitness guru Teresa Tapp, who is an amazing woman and who was kind enough to let me talk to her on the phone for over an hour. That phone call changed everything for me. She told me some things to do, some things to stop doing and that surgery wasn’t necessary in my case. But, I had some work to do and no one else could do it but me.
I think in a sense, she made me realize that “I” had the power to change my health situation and any other situation life could throw at me. This is where working out came in. Teresa told me in a nutshell “that I was in charge of MY health and if I ever wanted to be truly well and happy I had to find within myself the determination to just do it.” I started doing her workouts and some other workouts, in the quest to get healthier, once and for all.
My doctor was less than impressed with me when I told him I wanted to delay my surgery 6 months. I was told that it wasn’t going to change anything and that I was delaying the inevitable. I told him that I wanted the 6 months to see if I can make some changes first that would help me. He said, “No” and that in his opinion, I needed the surgery and the sooner the better. I told him that “This was my body and that whether he liked it or not, he couldn’t do the surgery without me.” Apparently, this is NOT the way to get on the good side of a medical doctor.
I know he didn’t want to agree, but he did, and I had 6 months to get my act together. I also had the added motivation of really wanting to prove to him (and myself) that I was right and I didn’t care how much paper he had on his wall, he was wrong.
I scheduled workouts everyday, I tried to move my body as much as possible, smoothies were slowly becoming a daily thing ((much to the utter shock of my blender)) and with every passing day, I put a sticker on my calendar to remind me I had done ‘good’ for myself that day.
Was it easy? Not in the least. I started working out only 15 minutes a day because honestly that was all I could do at 222lbs and feeling sick and worn out all the time. I remember, very vividly, crying a lot, being in pain, my face getting lobster red when I was working out, but I just ‘had’ to keep going. If I missed a day, I paid for it. My body was starting to expect the movement, the extra oxygen and just sweating out all the ‘bad stuff’ that was going on within.
I made a deal with myself that if I missed a workout I would have to double it the next day. I became very good at not missing a day. My young family learned to cope with my ‘workout’ time and knew that my workout time was my time and it was no good trying to interrupt me. I needed this time and solitude for me and for my health. I wasn’t my best me at all, but I wanted to be, and that ‘had’ to count for something.
Workouts jumped from 15 minutes, to 30, to 40, to 45 and to a full hour. My blender, bless it’s heart, burnt out and I had to get another one. Smoothies went from one a day to two or three times a day, from a wee cup to literally a jug.
You would be surprised how quickly 6 months flies when you are so consumed with something. In 6 months time, I lost 30 lbs. My doctor didn’t seem as impressed as I was and told me surgery was still scheduled. I told him that I wanted another 6 months. Have you ever had someone peer at you over a desk? I felt very small. He again, disagreed. I told him “Ok, what is the worst that is going to happen? If I’m wrong, in 6 months time, you can sit at your desk with a big smile on your face and tell me, ‘I told you so.’” I think he liked that idea and granted me another six months.
Diet changes, smoothies and workouts were all at the forefront of my life, as was baby, husband, business and everything else on my plate. I learned to live with mounds of unfolded laundry, dishes and uncut grass and I learned to accept dandelions as one of the ‘prettiest flowers I had ever seen and my lawn had the privilege of being covered in them.
Then things got a bit more difficult. My baby was getting sick, seemingly all the time. First with constant ear infections, viral infections, rashes, then raging infections, immune issues, reactions to all kinds of things.
On top of me being constantly in a doctors office for myself, I was now, constantly in a doctors office with my child. As difficult as my situation was, having a sick child was a million times worse.
Constant courses of antibiotics, medicines, needles did nothing to fix the situation and honestly, it just made it worse. It is heart wrenching to see your children be sick and suffering. We have done everything from emergency hospital visits, rushing to the doctors office, and we’ve even gone through the suspicion of having a brain tumor.
I sit here now, having much water passed under this bridge, the mother of two amazing children that have pages of allergies and sensitivities to seemingly everything under the sun and yet I remain the happiest mother in the world because there is no brain tumor.
Like before, another 6 months had slipped by really quickly and I sat before my doctor once again. I had lost another 30lbs. He seemed a little more impressed with me this time. I thought “perhaps I am winning him over.” My symptoms were starting to lessen more and more. My surgery paperwork was still in front of him and he knew I was going to ask for yet another extension. Hey, the third time is the charm right? He said nothing this time ((much to my surprise)) and agreed to another month.
To make a long story short, in 30 days I had dropped another 10 lbs (all the while thanking heaven for my green angel). I had lost 70 lbs and found myself at 152 lbs and a size 12. Whoo, hoo! And my health issues were really coming under control. I felt liberated.
I went back to the doctor and I sat in his office and he just looked at me. I felt like I was in a principals office. He told me that in all his years of being a doctor he had never met someone so determined and so stubborn in his life. He also said that if everyone would be that determined and stubborn, he wouldn’t have to do as many surgeries as he does. He ripped up my surgery papers in front of me and said, “Keep up the good work, I don’t expect that I will see you in this office again.”
The thing I learned from my journey, if you don’t make time to be well, you had better make the time to be sick.
I wasn’t willing to be sick anymore. Today I am a healthy weight and a size 8/10. I don’t really concentrate on the numbers, but I understand how people relate to them. This also taught me that , we all are capable of so much more. Have you ever heard someone say “If I can do this, anyone can” and think to yourself, yeah, right! I am here to say “You can do it and if you need the help, I will do what I can to help you.” The best investment you can EVER make, is the investment in yourself. Like a river, all that goodness that you devote to yourself in feeling well, doing well, being well, will all run down hill and bless everyone.
It is an indescribable joy for me to be a part of this team, this company, these women that I so gratefully call co-workers and friends and helped me turn my health around and the health of my family. I am filled with the greatest of gratitude to be a part of this team. I am finishing up my studies as well to be a ”registered holistic nurtritonalist” and it is an accomplishment that I am very proud of. I love education and I always want to be learning something. That is another great thing about Tera and this amazing group of people. I am always learning something new and if I don’t know something everyone is always so willing to just ‘help’. I feel like I am constantly being encouraged, hugged and appreciated.
It is amazing the path we end up on sometimes, when you look back and think, ‘Wow, how did I get here?’ Every day I thank my lucky stars for all the blessings I have been given, the second chance to get my health right, help my children get healthier, go back to school, to be a RawDiva … I try to never let a day go by that I don’t tell Tera and the people in my life that I am grateful for them all.
Lyn wanted me to share my favorite Raw recipe as well. I have so many, but since we are into Fall and I love Pumpkin Pie, I thought it was a perfect recipe to add.
Fall tastic Pumpkin Pie (note: I published her recipe last Friday on the blog so everyone would have it in plenty of time for Halloween week. Lyn)
Smiles n Smoothies