Gut health, and how it shows my progression

16th August 2015: Melbourne, Australia

I have walked away from the two day Wellness Summit focused on researching the benefits of improving the health of my gut through the use of fermenting foods and traditional broths. The information absorbed throughout the time has introduced me to the microbiome specific within all of us. My reading this morning only reinforces the seemingly build of momentum on the topic within the world of health. Basically, the limited knowledge I have suggests the microbiome is a collection of biomes that drive genetic expression to either turn genes on or off depending on which microbes are present. Therefore, the use of fermented foods and traditional broths will hopefully both combat and restore the havoc caused by antibiotics, chemotherapy and other chemicals exposed to in the environment.

Admittedly, the health of the gut was an area I overlooked till now. In the past, my main emphasis was directed to the broad areas of nutrition, movement, and a shift followed to centre upon my mind. On reflection, the expansion into the area of the gut appears to be the very reflection of an organic evolution into my wellness journey, and fortunately, I had the opportunity of being completely immersed in an environment to facilitate such growth. Furthermore, possibly I was more inclined to focus on making changes to my nutrition and movement, namely, due to the familiarity I have in these areas compared to other more complex matters. Similar to other areas, it seems more advantageous to reach an end point from building blocks at a starting point where some connection can initially made. Otherwise, a compete and utter sense of being overwhelmed could easily cause a halt to any progression. As noted, the starting point for me were the areas of nutrition and movement, and honestly, some fairly difficult times are still experienced in these areas, however, a greater understanding of these areas has allowed the space in my mind to expand into other matters relating to my health and wellness journey.

Why the hair?

11th February 2014: Sydney Australia

A year of my recovery has been visually tracked. Honestly, I would have envisioned a more pronounced transformation, particularly in regards to further muscle definition, however, in saying that, I recognise some degree of strength was regained when looking at my body as a whole. Other notable differences include the healing of the scar, differing in colour as my recovery progressed and the continued difficulty with my alignment. In addition, the ridiculous facial hair is hard not to observe. There are some aspects to dissect when reflecting on all points mentioned above, even including the hair!

Firstly, I am happy with the scarring, with apparent improvements shown in the last half of the year, especially bearing in mind no oils were used. My colouring is seen to resemble the progression of my continual health, particularly when making a comparison from the first picture to the one taken today. My alignment is another area to discuss. A fracture of my right collarbone when I was 20, followed by a lack of rehabilitation resulted in my body already skewed, with my feet evidence of the continued work still required, however, it seems yoga and strengthening exercises are all working to rectify this. Lastly, the hair. Both the beard and general length of my locks can be discussed.

The significance of my hair predates any sign of illness by approximately six months, starting at a period prior to a job interview. The job was internal, thus, a familiarity existed with the panel members. My thought process was that a haircut was needed to show a commitment to a senior role whilst hopefully indirectly influencing the decision of the panel members. I didn’t have the haircut or obtain the position, so thought to continue growing my hair. The next job opportunity arose approximately five months later, and again I didn’t get a haircut. A difference existed this time, and didn’t relate entirely to a correlation between a job and haircut. Instead, I held a belief of a haircut providing a temporary sense of bliss, and the bout of illness I was suffering didn’t feel like a short lived solution was required. Therefore, I would only arrange a haircut once I regained full-health. The story unfolds with me being successful in the position, however, my health deteriorates to the point of discovering the illness I had was Cancer. Now, on chemotherapy, I am still yet to see myself as completely healthy, so am committed to upholding my pact of not cutting my hair till I am no longer receiving treatment. I acknowledge it may seem absurd, yet a level of strength is gained from this story, especially in regards to how my hair is so untypical of the stereotypical image of an individual receiving chemotherapy, and this very elementary piece of my story elicits a sense of uniqueness, a factor, if looking at the statistics for survival is essential in my life.