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I grew up in a small town in the Czech Republic. As a little child, I watched my own Mum ruin her life with alcohol, smoking, and antidepressants in order to “feel better and escape her problems”. This quite quickly led to my parents’ divorce with my Dad being given custody of my older brother and I.  My Mum was unable to cope and continued to suffer through a serious illness. She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and died quite young.

“Once you say you are going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”

 John F. Kennedy

Another family member who was the closest to my heart was my grandmother – she raised us and was like a mother to my brother and me. She was such a caring, sacrificing, and hard-working woman who unfortunately died of cancer just two weeks before my 20th birthday. Her husband, my dearest grandfather, then died of prostate cancer. I was, unfortunately, unable to attend his funeral as I was pregnant at the time. Then, just three years later my other grandmother died.

“Health is not simply the absence of sickness.”

Hannah Green

So many other people that I grew up with have had poor health from a young age. Sadly, they know what is causing them to be ill, but they just carry on regardless, rather than stopping the ‘bleeding’ and improving their lifestyle. Many people do know what to do, but don’t do it and would rather pin their hopes on the discovery of a wonder drug as the easiest and fastest solution to their problems.

Unfortunately, most people are only aware of a few ways to change their current state. They either eat too much of the wrong foods, smoke, drink alcohol, take drugs, etc. These will not empower them and will instead have tragic consequences. The main problem is that many of these consequences build up slowly and we are unable to see the danger until it is too late – just like I did when I took my life for granted, abused it with the wrong foods, and negative thinking.

Breaking Point

That was in 2002. I was a full-time student at Palm Beach Community College in Florida, and I was working on my degree to be an Associate in Applied Science Hospitality Management. I was in my third year in the States and I had unfortunately already ended up in the hospital twice that year. The first time I was suffering from dehydration. The second time I had a kidney infection, which temporarily caused paralysis on the way to A&E. I ended up in intensive care. I was afraid of dying. I was very close to kidney failure and losing my life! Luckily they were able to save me and the ‘only’ bad thing that came out of it was my $11,000+ bill for the hospital treatment.

“Life begins at the end of  your comfort zone.”

Art Roy Remy

Then in 2004, just a few months after my wedding, I got ill again. My diagnosis was Multiple Sclerosis (MS). What? I was only 26 years old! I did not fully understand why I had been diagnosed with this. I thought I was eating a ‘healthy’ diet. I was following the advice of professionals and media and eating what I was “told” I “should” be eating. Still, I had got seriously ill! How could this be?

I struggled to come to terms with my diagnosis and as if that wasn’t bad enough I also began to suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and had dangerously high cholesterol levels. I was falling apart. My poor husband tried to be strong and did have some understanding, but it was not easy and our marriage began to suffer. “God, please help us! I feel so stuck. I do not know what to do.”

At that time I was only focusing on my studies and paid work which took up most of my time. I was mainly eating tinned food (beans, peas, soups) and ready-made meals prepared in a microwave or processed food such as muffins, doughnuts, cheesy pizzas, fish, and chicken burgers, processed meat, lots of chocolate and ice cream. Actually, I was addicted to chocolate – I could easily eat one or two bars every day. I found it too hard to give it up ;-(

“Half of getting what you want is knowing what you have to give up to get it.”

Bill Phillips

Turning things around

My excuse? Not enough time and money to eat better. My focus was not on eating healthily and that is why I paid the price with my precious health. Unfortunately, this is a common problem when people do not treat their bodies well. They, unfortunately, treat it as an enemy. Abusing themselves with the wrong foods and negative self-talk and then when things go wrong they wonder why they feel as they do.

It hit me so hard during my time in the hospital that I made a decision to drastically change my lifestyle. I had no other choice unless I wanted things to end badly. So I started researching online, read some books and articles, spoke to several people who knew something about alternative medicine, and tried some treatments as well. And several weeks later, I found what I was looking for, in fact, it was even better than I could have hoped for.

My search took me to a Chiropractic office where I was already being treated for neck and back problems following a car accident. It was there that I met Anita Koch who taught a healthy lifestyle course. She was to become my Holistic Health Coach. I did not hesitate and enrolled the next week. I was fascinated by what I learned there. I made changes. I actually made drastic changes and I incorporated them into lifestyle instantly.

I invested in myself. I finally had started to appreciate that my health is my biggest wealth and in order to grow it, I needed to protect it. And that is what I did. I reconnected with my body and started to treat it with the same love and care as I would treat my best friend.

immediately changed the way that I saw things. I immediately changed the way that I looked at food. Food had to give me nourishment and energy. I ate healthy meals that I had usually prepared from scratch. I learned to distinguish what ingredients were healthy and what were not. If I came across an ingredient I never seen or heard of before, I researched it.

I made a habit of reading food labels on packaging, making sure not to be fooled by marketing jargon. I learned to resist tempting food that was harmful to my health. I read whatever I could about nutrition as I wanted to understand the real facts about healthy food as much as possible. And the result? A few months after adopting a healthy lifestyle, I was cleared of all my health problems including MS and IBS.

“The care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Lots to Learn

Soon after this, I trained to become a holistic health coach myself as I wanted to share the powerful knowledge I had attained with others so that they could also overcome illness. They would need to be prepared to fight and step out of their comfort zone – which can be challenging at first, but you reap the rewards afterward.

The following year (2007) I went to India to learn yoga and to become an Ashtanga certified yoga teacher. Then 2 years later I was certified as a Fitness Coach in Improving Personal Exercise and Nutrition and then a few months later I completed Level 3 (PTLLS) to be able to teach as a tutor at adult education centres. In 2013 I became certified in Kids and Family Yoga. An NLP course helped me to understand how our minds work and how it’s possible to replace unwanted behaviour. It was all awesome stuff.

Since 2007 I have taught yoga and a healthy lifestyle in leisure clubs (Village Hotels), fitness centres (Fitness First), nursing and residential homes, churches, temples, nurseries, colleges, adult education centres, private homes, and outdoors in parks. This includes people of different ages and health conditions, from pregnant mums and children to adults, people with disabilities and the elderly because yoga is suitable for everyone.

Also, I am very grateful for studying with these extraordinary teachers – Tai Lopez, David Key, Tony Robbins, Lisa Nichols, and Marisa Peer.

It’s been 15 years since I recovered from my illnesses and thanks to good nutrition and regular exercise I am better physically and mentally in my forties than I was in my twenties. I love to inspire people with my story and let them know that they have always a choice.

Yes, I did overcome a serious illness and so have many others. What was the magic formula? You need to make the decision, apply the learning to your life, and try to be consistent because consistency is the key to any success!

You are in charge of your own health. Remember, your health is your wealth! Choose wisely! 🙂

With love,

Lenka x