Do you tend to “fall off the wagon?”

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Do you tend to “fall off the wagon?”

Or for you is it that you can’t quite get on the horse? For others it might be “hard to stay on track” or “tough to dive in.”

As I was working on this article, a patient (I’m going to refer to her as Carol in this article) who was describing herself to me for the first time said that she “tends to fall off the wagon” and I was so intrigued to find out more what that is like for her.  

Carol explained that she can be the “best patient” ever, do everything right and get great results…and then a few months later…stop doing everything and gain all the weight back that she just lost.  

“Falling off the wagon” happens to me too!  I love dairy products and oh do they tempt me!  Sure enough, when I have it, I start sneezing, my nose starts running and I’m way more likely to get a headache.  It happened last week!  I tend to look at it as a learning experience.  : ) 

Talking this through with one of my colleagues, Dr. Rick Brinkman, creator of Conscious Communication, we noticed that when we look at health and healthy choices as “denying” ourselves pleasure, then we are on a sure path to “falling off the wagon” because inevitably, from the outset, we’ve already determined that in the future, there will be a time that different choices will be made.  At that point we will be “in denial” that our choices affect our health.  

I find for myself and from what I hear from patients that there is another option. A different way of looking at all this that does not involve denial of the truth or of pleasure.

So I asked Carol “how do we want to approach your recommendations? Do you want to approach it knowing your tendency to see yourself either on or off, understanding that the steps may be temporary…Or do you want to work toward a lifestyle change that keeps you on a healthy path for life?” 

Carol chose option 2! and then went on to tell me what I find to be quite an insightful realization: that there are messages within her body that keep pulling her off the wagon.  

That is exactly it! It is those “messages” – from neurotransmitters, hormones and cytokines – that create either the vicious cycle of unwellness, or the synergy of vibrant health. 

I can hardly wait for her to avoid her food intolerances (gluten, dairy and eggs) to decrease the cytokines, to decrease her carbohydrate intake (which will help lower insulin levels) and to get her adrenal and neurotransmitter results back. 

Cortisol, adrenaline and neurotransmitters are key messages that I find to be the determining factors in patients’ ability to stay “on the wagon, on the horse, and on track to health!”  

I mean, how can anyone make healthy choices when every message from within the body is saying to eat more carbs, sugar, caffeine and foods that create the same inflammatory response that the body is used to having. 

That is exactly why I find that supporting cortisol and neurotransmitters levels with nutrients and herbs*—as well as decreasing inflammation by avoiding food intolerances – helps people “turn the corner” or “get over the hump” and on their way to healthy messages from within, which result in a healthy way of feeling. 

It can definitely take diligence, especially to start, but the gain…is extensive!  

To be off medications, have time and energy to do what you enjoy, and to feel good is not denial at all – that was the illusion!  

What does it take? 

  1. High motivation from a severe diagnosis: Click here to read a story from a patient who had cervical cancer in January, and is now cancer-free!
  2. Knowing it’s possible to feel better: Click here to read a story from a patient simply knew she didn’t feel well, despite “normal” blood tests, and now, 4 months later, she feels great!
  3. Understanding your tolerance for change: Some people like to “go cold turkey” and make major changes abruptly; others do better with small, gradual changes.  Knowing that about yourself will help you to be successful with implementing healthy changes.

Easy ways to step up on the wagon:

Start with small steps, which over time add up to big steps.  Here are some examples: 

  • Contrast shower: turn your hot shower to cold for 30 seconds at the end.
  • Add a walk around your neighborhood after dinner.
  • Add protein every time you eat (even snacks and dessert).
  • Switch one meal each day to gluten and dairy free.
  • Go to bed early enough to get 8 hours sleep.

“So how long am I going to be doing this?”!!!   

Once on the wagon, and feeling better, it is possible to lose the perspective of being on or off the wagon.  It’s not about the wagon any more, or the restrictions. It is about how great you feel through the choices make.  When you get to that point, the wagon ceases to exist. 

The Stress Remedy Program is a way to get (back) on the wagon, and continuing to follow the recommendations in the cleanse is a way to make it ‘your’ diet for life!

That is what Sarah did!  When I spoke with her yesterday, this was her report:

“It is a lifestyle choice that makes me feel happy, that makes the most sense, the most satisfying way to live my life – versus feeling restricted to a diet.  I’ve felt that way about other diets in the past, but this time I think I was ready for a way of living.  I enjoy all the food I’m eating; and I enjoy knowing that it is all positive for my body. It is the way I want to live my life.  I am passionate about it and tell everyone what a difference it has made for me.”

The reality is that our bodies are effected by our environment (food, air, sleep, toxins, etc). When we respond by giving our bodies what they need – which in some cases is a prescription medication or surgery – and avoid that which challenges our health, then we are most likely to feel well.  

I’m interested in your experience with making choices that support your health, “falling off the wagon” and finding that balance point where choosing doesn’t feel like work. 

I compare it to learning to ride a bicycle.  At first we all wobble, swirve and fall down.  Then, with practice and determination, we find our center of balance and no longer have to think about keeping it…until we hit a bump (stress!) and then we adapt and rebalance. 

As you feel better, and with awareness of where that balance point is, it is easier to go through a stress, even on purpose (that looks like a spoonful of ice cream for me) to find out how much it makes you swirve, knowing how to get back on track again. 

Either way, it is my passion to help you find your balance point.  

Healthy regards, 

Dr. Doni

Note: Patient names used in this article have been changed to maintain confidentiality.


*Please keep in mind that any and all supplements—nutrients, herbs, enzymes, or other—should be used with caution. My recommendation is that you seek the care of a naturopathic doctor (with a doctorate degree from a federally-accredited program) and that you have a primary care physician or practitioner whom you can contact to help you with individual dosing and protocols. If you ever experience negative symptoms after taking a product, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor right away.

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Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health by Dr. Doni Wilson



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