How Endometriosis started my plastic-free lifestyle
Years of binge drinking, eating highly processed nutrient depleted food (hello, McDonald’s or Burger King at 3am after downing a couple of bottles of wine and whatever else I could get my hands on…. oh and don’t forget the packet of smokes) left me so fatigued I had to drag myself to my marine biology class, where I would fall back to sleep. I had sore pimples cropping up all over my face because my hormones we so out of whack and I felt stressed to my eyeballs. I had no idea why I kept snapping at my boyfriend and my moods were out of control.
My body was struggling, my mind was struggling, deep down I knew something wasn’t right.
I started investigating my symptoms and a few specialist appointments later I was diagnosed with Endometriosis – A condition that affects a women’s reproductive organs and hormones. It was 2007, I was 24 years old and only weeks away from up-rooting my life to Australia.
I had no idea what my lifestyle was doing to my body and the lasting affects it would have on me for years to come.
I had keyhole surgery to remove the Endometriosis, my specialist told me that if I did not ditch my toxic lifestyle the Endometriosis would come back and it could cause infertility. Having the endometriosis was a HUGE wake up call. It was the catalyst for me to get my shit together and learn again what was going to make my body thrive. Since that day it has always been in the back of my mind that if I don’t look after myself it may come back, something I don’t ever want to go through again.
If I didn’t listen to my body and ditch the toxins I was being exposed to everyday (toxins in my food, skin care and cleaning products) the alternative was to live a highly stressful, agonising life with endometriosis. This is when I started on my journey to toxic free living.
I started by cutting out processed foods and adding in more veggies and fruit.
I cooked more at home and ate out less.
I started to exercise again.
I learnt about chemicals in our beauty and cleaning products.
I started using less plastic because of their hormone disrupting properties.
It hasn’t been a smooth ride; there have been major bumps, U-turns and road blocks along the way. But as I kept on going I noticed how my eyes became brighter, my skin started to clear up, and my hair started growing faster and got stronger.
My nails stopped breaking and peeling.
My skin looked youthful and radiant.
My periods became regular and the cramping reduced to nearly nothing.
As I became healthier and my mind clearer I could see that the toxins we put into our body are not only harming our hormones, they are also harming our earth. The plastic we use to store our food are not only leaching toxins into our food but once discarded can make their way into our oceans, polluting our environment.
This journey has taught me how intrinsically linked we are to our Mother Earth.
It wasn’t until I moved to Melbourne in 2011 that I could see the effects of plastic on our oceans and wildlife. It hit me like a tonne of bricks, I remember my first trip into the city and seeing the amount of trash littering the streets, it was one of those images that sticks into your mind forever, over flowing bins, takeaway cups and food wrappers sitting in the drains. I actually could not believe my eyes.
I got used to it over time, it didn’t stand out as much after a while, it became part of the city – but it still pissed me off. It was the same type of trash that I was seeing washed up on Melbourne’s beaches. I was swimming next to coffee cups and plastic bags, I remember watching my dog Gypsy pick up an icy pole wrapper in her mouth as she was doggy paddling towards me, that was the last straw. I cannot remember a day that I haven’t seen trash in Port Phillip Bay when I have been out swimming or just walking the beach for that matter.
I had to do something about this issue. Not long after reganjade.com was created, it was my way of sharing the message about this important issue of ocean pollution and living with less toxins. “Where wellness meets waves” is what I like to call it.
I feel that as a custodian of this earth I need to do what I can to give back and take care of it, I’m not perfect, I look after our earth in my own way. I can improve and make better choices for sure, but I do try my best. I invite you to do the same, do what you can, keep learning about how you can create a pristine planet in your own unique way. We all lead different lives, I can’t tell you what’s right or wrong, but I can share with you my journey and hope that it helps you with yours. If you want your children to have a clean and abundant future, you need to make more sustainable choices now.
Every little bit counts. So don’t be discouraged by the amount of changes you could be making, just make a start, choose one thing like remembering your reusable bags when you go to the supermarket and go from there.
You’ve got this and I’m always here if you have any questions, just pop them in the comments below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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