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Guest Blog - How I found my way to health...

What was life like for you in your twenties and thirties? Well for me, I was the unhealthiest person I have ever met. I was living life to the fullest but not in a good way.

So you get a really clear picture of how bad it was, here goes. I was smoking lots, sleeping badly and drinking too often. My diet was was a total joke. Breakfast was coffee and Marlborough lights, lunch would be McDonalds quarter pounder meal with chicken nuggets as a side! This was followed swiftly by a dinner which mostly consisted of vodka and lemonades and a Pizza Hut order around 10pm with friends ! Wow just typing this I am laughing, it’s extraordinary how bad it was. I never ate vegetables or fruit, rarely drank any water and did no exercise at all, ever!

My job back then was in highly targeted sales role and I traveled around the country all day by car so I was entirely sedentary and somewhat chubby to boot.

My skin was subsequently pretty bad and I rarely saw a blemish free day. I suffered badly with PMS, anxiety and regular low moods.

Today I am a Health & Wellness coach, so what on earth changed!? These days I help clients be in the absolute best of health. I help people do all of the things that I was clueless about in my younger years.

To fully explain I have to go back to early childhood. I grew up in a family of seven children with just my mum after our father tragically took his own life when I was 11. My self esteem looking back was pretty bad and although I had bags of determination I didn’t have a clue how to look after my health and wellness.

So it literally hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard at age 35 that I had a precursor symptom of Multiple Sclerosis. I was shocked to the core, what I knew about MS was awful and potentially life changing.

After a while of completely trying to ignore my situation, followed by denial for a while, I decided to face the situation head on. I did not want to accept any fate of living with a life threatening auto immune disease.

I decided over the following weeks and months that instead of googling symptoms and prognoses to instead spend my time learning about how to be healthy. I researched relaxation, nutrition, exercise and overall wellness.

I started changing the way I lived from that day on, little by little, tweaking small things which I know helped me bit by bit.

I didn’t want to dwell on any illness or what might happen so I took a positive view on the situation and headed for a much healthier lifestyle.

During the coming years I quit smoking, exercised loads and even ran several events like half marathons etc, I became mostly plant based, drank gallons of water, and really learnt what self care means.

I had a few more symptoms along the way but today I am one of the lucky ones. I live mostly without symptoms but do also believe my lifestyle changes have helped so so much when dealing with MS.

In 2020 when I was made redundant from my now even more stressful Head of Sales role, I grabbed the opportunity to become certified as a Health & Wellness Coach.

So today I support women and men to improve their health and reach their health goals in all aspects of health and thank my lucky stars everyday that I was given the chance to change my health for good.

Guest blog:

- Sarah Stannard

Health and Wellness Coach

Sarah Stannard

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