As some of you may have seen on social media, my mom and I are getting into speaking! My mom, who actually has a background in inspirational speaking, has been trying to get me to team up with her for a long time – and we are finally doing it! I’ve shared my story a few times on my own over the years, and while it’s still something I’m not that comfortable doing, it’s extremely important to me. As an introvert, and as someone that has permanent damage to my vocal cords, getting on stage to talk is a little scary. But spreading awareness for GBS, and reminding others that you can overcome the impossible too, is a passion of mine. And you know what they say, a comfort zone is a beautiful place – but nothing ever grows there. Sometimes we have to face our fears in order to become a better version of ourselves. So I’m excited to be doing this! You can check out the video below to hear our announcement, (or click here if it doesn’t load properly :S)
Other updates in my life: I attended my first board meeting with the GBS/CIDP Foundation in February, and it feels so incredible to be getting more involved with patient advocacy and support for those affected with GBS and CIDP. You may not see it but there is a lot going on in the background and the Foundation is working very hard on numerous things. It’s ran by volunteers, so if you live in Canada and would like to help us out, please shoot me an email! One thing I am personally working on right now is the NERD Run, which is in Edmonton on June 9th. We partner with the NMHI (U of A) to raise money for research on various conditions – including Guillain-Barre Syndrome. If you are in Edmonton it would mean so much if you’d join me, but if not, please consider donating to my team! I am just doing 5km this time (the 10km nearly killed me last year), but once our team page is up, I will be sure to post it!
For a fitness update, I am doing great! I’m actually at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been (other than when I was pregnant), and for the first time in my life it was 100% on purpose! After my set back in November, I lost a lot of strength and muscle in a short amount of time. I wanted to regain it the right way this time. Looking back on my case of GBS the first time, I made the mistake of going straight to cardio and body weight workouts after my recovery. It was a really good way to introduce fitness into my life, but it definitely wasn’t the best route. I should have spent my time doing weights first, rebuilding the muscle I lost (I lost 30 lbs in 2.5 months). So this time, that’s what I did. I’ve been eating more calories and lifting really heavy. I’ve gained 10 pounds (muscle and fat) and everything’s jigglier than usual lol, but I’m officially lifting the highest amount of weight I’ve EVER lifted at the gym. And that feels pretty darn good considering where I’ve been! Im proud of my hard work and look forward to scaling back the calories and leaning out for summer!
I’m also happy to share that my fatigue and nerve pain are much more manageable these days, from working part time. I’m learning that stress management and sleep is KEY to managing Guillain -Barre residuals, and I feel like I made the absolute best decision for myself and my family. I still have bad days, and it’s a tough balance – still trying to do so much, but not push myself too hard… Somedays I’m stuck in bed feeling sorry for myself, but I pick myself up again and again. I will not let one bad day stop me from reaching my goals.
I have also partnered with a CBD company called Healed+, because I get a LOT of questions about CBD oil. CBD and cannabis in general are known to improve neuropathy (nerve pain), so I thought I’d collab with a brand I could actually get behind. Healed+ oils reduce pain, anxiety, and promote better sleep. Their oils are actually more than just CBD, their full spectrum hemp oil contains both CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids – but without THC – so ZERO psychoactive effects (the high). If you’ve been wanting to try a CBD oil, check out their products. They also have gummies, CBD infused body butter and freeze pain relief lotion. All products are organic, THC free, and non-GMO. And a portion of every purchase goes to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Their website is healedplus.com, and you can use my code hollyaftergbs15 to get 15% off!
And can you believe I celebrated my 8 year GBS anniversary last month!? Where has the time gone ? I celebrated that day as I do every year, by doing something I’ve never done before. I painted a piece of pottery for my home – a heart eyes emoji coffee cup. It wasn’t as exciting as dogsledding or mountain climbing like ive done in past years, but living life to the fullest doesn’t always have to be extravagant or expensive. Sometimes it’s just about trying something new !
Thanks for following along and talk soon ♥️