Karen’s Healing Story
Transforming Your Body and Life
This will be the first of many healing stories to come from the Springs Eternal office. We hope that these stories will help to inspire and encourage you on your health journey.
Karen Jergens was a patient who walked into our office with a long list of complaints. Over time, she has turned her health around. She has incredible before and after pictures, which you can find on our facebook page by clicking here. She has been so brave and open to share her story. I hope she inspires you. This is her story:
When I first came to Springs Eternal I was 39 years old, 241 lbs, had suffered for over twenty years of “incurable” skin conditions (keratosis pilaris), and had variety of other symptoms and health complaints.
Ironically it didn’t occur to me that there was any help for me medically, as I had given up hope for any change. I thought I tried everything, and nothing had worked before, and my physical health and mental well being were getting worse and worse, and I was getting very concerned. I knew I was on the wrong path. I came for EFT (emotional freedom technique) sessions because I was so emotionally distraught over my skin and overall health.
After our first session I felt much better emotionally, and Dr. Nari Pidutti asked to see my skin. She said she could help me. I was never expecting to hear that. That was the first time I experienced hope. She scheduled me for a visit and vega test the following week. In that time I promised myself to keep an open mind and follow doctors orders 100% to give myself a chance.
After the vega test and seeing my results right away, seeing all the foods I was no longer supposed to eat, on my drive home I stopped at Denny’s for my “last” meal, so to speak. I ate, felt terrible, and went shopping on Commercial Drive so I could find alternative foods to eat. My first shopping trip took a few hours and I only got a few things, because I was reading labels. I had just seen a show starving people in Africa that only had leaves to boil for nutrition, so I always kept vision in my mind while shopping. I couldn’t feel sorry for myself looking at all the choices I had. Buying different foods opened up a whole new world to me.
I realized pretty quickly I was going to have to cook my own foods, so I started looking at allergy cookbooks, which had lots of recipes I could use.
I also realized that friends and family might not be supportive so I avoided social gatherings for the first month or so. I spent my time on the computer trying to learn everything I could about candida, LGS (leaky gut syndrome), food sensitivities, and how my skin problems and health problems were all connected.
That Christmas I made a whole Christmas dinner, that tasted traditional, but I swapped out many ingredients for things I could eat. I made some things for other family members, but I even made pumpkin and pecan pie from my allergy books…nobody noticed…the only thing different was no one felt bloated or tired after their meal, so I felt proud of myself.
The first 40 lbs just came off me, I never thought of dieting, I just switched my foods, and gave up things like alcohol. I hit a plateau at 200lbs for some time, so I made an appointment with Dr. John Pidutti. We did some more EFT and some emotional blocks that I had since a teenager came up. In the next few days the scale started dropping again, I lost the next 40 lbs just by eating organic, non- processed foods that agreed with me. I never counted calories or anything like that.
The last 40 lbs was intentional. I started exercising at home, walking, going swimming, and learned as much about nutrition and exercise as I could. I hired a personal trainer for a few sessions so I could learn proper form while doing weights, and so I felt comfortable at the gym.
My incentive was watching my body change, and things like my cellulite disappear, and everything looked different when I stared in a mirror.
What was worse than being a 120lbs overweight was my struggles with my skin. That was emotionally devastating. I had suffered since I was a teenager, and year after year it got progressively worse. Now I realize I had several different skin problems all relating to my body being out of balance. I just thought I inherited terrible skin. The irony of all this is I have always had great skin, I just didn’t know it.
I had bumps from my neck to my ankles, some the size of boils, on my chest, stomach, butt, sides of torso, all down my arms, everywhere. My face had a separate problem, with acne type lesions, and dry skin. My skin had KP (chicken like skin), and inflamed hair follicles that were purple, and ingrown hairs on my arms and legs. My skin wouldn’t shed skin normally so I had multiple layers of skin flaking off. I had premature wrinkling, and lots of white heads on my chin and nose.
In the first 4 months all of this disappeared, except the redness of hair follicles took several more months of healing to return to “normal”.
Today I am completely a different person, not just physically, but emotionally too. I have worn a bikini and summer dresses for the last 2 summers, which I haven’t done since I was 15 years old. I remember staying indoors every summer because I was too ashamed to show my skin and my body to the world.
I almost can’t even remember how that felt anymore. Working on my emotional state of mind was critical to my whole body healing, I appreciate so much what Dr. John and Nari have done for me.
Last year I suffered a severe emotional upset that affected my health. I started to seek help again from Dr. John and within weeks I started to feel “normal” again. Dr. John gave me some great counseling along with some homeopathics to assist me.
People ask me how I stay motivated. My top number one tip is to focus on over all health rather than weight loss. I could never lose weight if I focused on a goal outfit, or looking good at an event. But I could make good choices if I pictured myself 5, 10, 20 years down the road if I followed the same path I was on. Picturing my parent’s fruit basket that is full of thousands of dollars of medications is enough for me to stay on the straight and narrow. Picturing myself with a dribble cup, being fed in a hospital dependant on others for basic function keeps me making good choices today, and tomorrow. I picture myself 60 years old, active, playing tennis, traveling, looking healthy and vibrant. This picture in my mind is vital to today’s choices.
John gave me the best advice too when I was first saw him and we discussed weight loss. He told me that they did a study on thousands of people who not only had lost weight but kept it off, year after year, they all had something in common: they planned their meals. I took that to heart, and planned my meals from the beginning. I have become a pro at cooking and freezing, and cooking several foods at once so I’m not a slave in the kitchen. I also made a portable fridge, by using frozen water bottles at the bottom of insulated lunch bags. So if I spend all day out, I have good healthy food to eat. Things like this severely limit the urge to cheat.
I also talk to people all the time about triggers. Identify them, who they are, what they are, the times, events, situations, and prepare yourself, so you don’t get stuck. I used to ask people what events are coming up? What is your plan? What are you going to eat? Can you be strong around these people? Can you bring something healthy? I find this is the number one setback for people who are trying to change eating patterns. Not planning ahead, giving in, feeling guilty, then giving up.
I would tell anyone who wants any kind of change in their health, to make health their number one priority. Don’t focus on weight or skin, or anything else. Just think of trying to support your body the best you can, give your body what it needs to heal. Give your body the best food, made with love, from yourself, knowing exactly what you are eating and where it came from.
I always gauge how I feel after food. What is my mood? Do I have energy or do I need a nap? Do I feel stronger or weaker? Does my body feel better to exercise with no food, or with some food? Do I feel gassy? Do I feel sick? I have felt depressed after eating as well as euphoric, so I take mental notes.
It turns out after years of studying myself, and listening to my own bio feedback, I cannot digest certain carbs, mainly complex carbs. I am moderate with good fats, and excellent at digesting proteins. This is good stuff to know about yourself. I also realize that I feel weak or strong around certain individuals. I make better choices or worse choices depending on who might be influencing me. The key is knowing this so I can be prepared to make the right choices for me.
Take my mom for example. If we are going out for lunch she lets me pick the restaurant, she lets me order first, then she orders usually the same as me (she says I am a good influence on her) and she doesn’t order a dessert, which is her downfall. We both end up feeling powerful and good at the same time.
I have the opposite experience with some people in my life, but I am aware of it, so I try to be strong, and prepare myself for it. This way I don’t end up feeling guilty if I falter.
I use self help books, EFT, exercise and some good counseling from Springs Eternal for my emotional state of being. I trained my mind to recognize faulty thinking patterns so I could challenge them, using CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and strive to live a balanced life. “Balance” is my mantra, for just about everything. This is how I feel my best, physically and emotionally.
I don’t believe in the magic pill. Healing and losing weight can take time, patience, understanding, commitment, and great rewards too. I have learned so much about my body along this journey, that I have learned to listen to subtle clues, and not so subtle clues. I am a much better person today than I ever could have been without my experiences.