Plagued by debilitating migraines, severe stress and suffering the effects of the menopause, Audrey arrived at the retreat feeling like she was “dangling by a thread”. In the seven months since, her health and her life have made an incredible u-turn, and she has kindly offered to share her story in the hope that it might inspire others.
Towards the end of last autumn I welcomed Audrey to the retreat. At this point she had been plagued by debilitating migraines all her life, but was now suffering from them every few days. And the menopause had been hitting her hard for the last two years: hot flushes, night sweats, disturbed sleep, aching joints, weight gain and feeling exhausted all the time... the list was pretty endless.
Emotionallyshe had been through the wringer with a very stressful and demanding job, having just moved house, a strain in her marriage, and all on top of the usual family-life demands.
Everything had come to a head and Audrey felt strongly that she had to get away for a while. So, for the first time in twenty years,she decided to book a break*just for her*, and thankfully she chose to visit me at The Body Toolkit Retreat.
Seven months on, this is Audrey’s story:
“I’ve been meaning to message you for some time now, to let you know how I’ve been getting on since your retreat in October 2018.
Well.......where to begin?
I feel a-maz-ing. That is basically the shortest way to summarise everything: amazing. At the end of the retreat, yes I felt good, but nothing compared to what I feel now. Amazing, energised, youthful, happy, healthy, unbelievable.
As you know, when I arrived at your retreat, I was dangling by a thread.
- The night sweats have practically disappeared.
- Migraines are all but gone – I have had one bad one since the retreat, and two very minor ones, but considering the fact I was getting about three severe migraines a week, it’s a miracle.
- I had lost 6lbs on the retreat, but I am now two stone lighter, and have never felt hungry.
- Hot flushes – I still have one or two a day, but that’s a huge improvement on the 22 a day I was having.
- All other menopause symptoms - gone !
What have I changed?
I have continued to juice regularly since the retreat, but I have also cut down on dairy (drastically, but not completely) and also cut down on sugar and artificial sweeteners (again drastically, almost completely, with an odd blip here and there). I was always a keen ‘veg’ eater, but I now put much more veg on my plate.
I now think about everything before I put it in my mouth, and I try to buy whole foods, plant based as far as I can.
I drink more water too, and have continued with the glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning. In fact, I have continued with everything from the retreat apart from the enemas... No need for them as that department now works like clockwork (!) and I was never very regular at all.
I feel like a teenager. I feel like I’ve woken up from a very, very long sleep. My friends think it’s wonderful, and those who have known me for a very long time say they are glad to see Audrey back. I look back at the “me” pre-retreat, and think “who was that person?”.
I have been spreading the word about juicing and healthy eating and have converted several friends - that’s been easy - after all, they see the change in me, so they know what it can do!
I never thought I would ‘buy in’ to the vision board and mindfulness side of the retreat - that has never been my ‘thing’. However, the five year vision board was a big eye opener for me. This made me think more about what I really wanted out of life, and where I was going - mainly with regards to my marriage. If I’m completely honest with myself, while putting together the vision board it dawned on me just how bad my marriage had become. And that really the vision of spending the next five years like the previous 15, was really depressing.
However, when I arrived home, and in the next week or so, when I realised how revived I was from the retreat, I tried to convince my husband to go on one. I thought this could perhaps improve things between us. However, he refused. As the weeks continued to pass, I realised that he did not like the new me. The happier I was the more miserable he seemed to become and he wasn’t complimentary either. Meanwhile, everyone else I knew was full of compliments and could hardly believe the transformation. By Christmas time, I therefore made up my mind that there was no future in our marriage and that I did not want to spend the rest of my life with him.
I had hoped that I could continue with the marriage for another couple of years, and that would see our son through school. This was not to be, and in the beginning of March this year he asked me if he still had a place in my five year vision board and I told him no. The release and relief was immense.
During all this, my Dad took unwell and was in hospital for two months, so I was having to try and divide my time between helping my mother (who has severe mobility issues), staying at the hospital, trying to look after my own house and son and oh, of course, work.
Sadly my Dad didn’t make it, and he died on the 7th May. We spent almost two weeks at his bedside and during this time my husband was sending numerous texts with various threats. So, you see, not having any migraines through this has been nothing short of a miracle.
Another miracle happened during this time as well- I fell in love. And, I mean love. My first, and turns out really, my only, true love found me again. He had been searching for some years it turns out. We had dated about 26 years ago, but he finished it back then and I never knew why. I now know. He thought he wasn’t good enough for me! Anyway, it’s early days but we are both astounded that all the feelings are still there, and more.
Thank you, Katrina. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the tools to get my life back. It’s making me tearful, I’m so grateful and happy. And I know I still have a lot to overcome and deal with, but I have the tools to enable me to get through it. I know that a better future waits for me at the end of it."
The Body Toolkit award-winning retreat programmes share simple, yet powerful things we can all do to nourish the body, reduce stress and help ourselves to thrive. For dates, availability and prices for upcoming retreats: www.thebodytoolkit.com/book-a-retreat