Coach Dia’s story: Overcoming multiple health challenges

Last week’s post was written by Dia Russell, a certified health coach, who will be a regular contributor, so I thought everyone would like to get to know her a little better. She has an amazing story, which I thought she could tell you herself.

My name is Dia Russell and I, like most, wear a few different hats. I am a Christian wife and mom and spend most of my daily energy caring for myself (it’s a real job….more on that in a minute!) and my family. I also teach PE and Health part time to middle schoolers and share nutrition and lifestyle education with my community through classes and one on one sessions.

I’m a bit of a health nerd, but not a Nazi (with myself or others). My personal journey has led me to a deep desire for real health that considers the whole self. I’m drawn to root causes verses symptom focus. I believe food matters, as does appropriate physical activity and a generally happy outlook on life.

My health journey has been like a progressively intense roller coaster ride. What started as a kiddie ride in my childhood and teenage years, grew into a high-stakes adventure ride about five years ago with the onset of chronic disease (Lupus and Lyme), and most recently, a breast cancer diagnosis. Over the years, a downward spiral of health has earned diagnoses that include (chronologically):

  1. Low blood sugar
  2. Low blood pressure
  3. Candida overgrowh
  4. Eating disorder
  5. Depression/anxiety
  6. Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s)
  7. Adrenal fatigue
  8. Pre-diabetes
  9. Lupus
  10. Chronic lyme
  11. Breast cancer

I have spent years seeing doctors and getting various diagnosis, treatments plans, and medication. Nothing seemed to work for long. So I dove into a personal search for full body health with the thought that each body is a whole body…parts don’t work exclusively of one another (right?!?!?!). So the driving question became “What can I do to help my (whole) self?”. That’s when I got real (as in eating real food) with my nutrition and lifestyle choices and was led to an intense desire to learn and share.

I’d be lying if I said I’ve cured myself and that all those issues are now just a dark spot on my memory canvas, but I’m still on that roller coaster ride and continue to search for ways to improve how I support my body. BUT, my story is a success story! My path is heading back towards the kiddie-ride and I now enjoy having the energy to make dinner, do homework with my kids, laugh with my husband…….all REALLY big parts of life that I had dearly missed! Not every day is easy, and sometimes my body is just no fun to be in, but I am blessed to have found something that HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE long term! And the bottom line is I won’t give up….on myself, on my family, or on wanting to share greater health with others.

Maybe your story is similar to mine, or maybe you read it as a cautionary tale and want to prevent health issues before they arise. As health coaches, we are encouraged to “meet people where they are at”….and I think that’s darn good advice – your story is never the same as anyone else’s, and your road to abundant health is never cookie-cutter.

I don’t have all the answers but, I’m pretty convinced that, at least a big portion of the answer is in keeping it simple (KISS – Keep It Simple Silly!).
Simple, real food.
Simple, do-able exercise.
Simple, non-toxic household and beauty products.
A simple, non-toxic mind set.

It’s a pretty good combination, but it’s not always easy. It takes work, it takes grit, it takes grace and patience. Sometimes it comes with tears or disappointment, and sometimes it comes with great joy!

I look forward to working together with Deborah, and continuing to share our passion for health with you!

With blessings,

You can connect with me on Facebook at 4:13 Health Coaching

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  1. Christina

    Hashimoto’s here too. Sjogrens. I wish I could find a medical professional who had a clue. 🙁 I could use some inspiration from you! Please?

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