In Blog, Health Professionals

Today I am sharing a guest post from Wahls Protocol® Health Practitioner, Shannon Lea Pickering:

One thing I hear almost universally from people who have successfully reversed symptoms of chronic disease or autoimmunity is that the journey is not easy. Despite our bombardment with messages that this gizmo, gadget, pill or potion is all we need to successfully heal from illness, I’ve yet to meet anyone who miraculously healed with a quick fix.

The good news, however, is that I have met an extraordinary number of real people who have recovered or are recovering from illness with nutrition and lifestyle changes – myself included. I’ve successfully reversed a number of autoimmune diseases and I am a cancer thriver. One of the most important lessons I can share is this: Shift your mindset into a mentality of healing as you start your journey to wellness.

Here are my top 10 tips to transform your health by shifting to a mentality of healing:

  1. Shift your focus. When we focus solely on long-term outcomes, it’s easy to grow impatient (e.g., “When will I feel better?,” “When will I heal?,” “How long will this take?”). It’s the classic, “Are we there yet?” frustration.

Instead, it can be helpful to concentrate on long-term healthy behavior. For example, commit to adopting a health and wellbeing nutrition and lifestyle protocol for a period of 3 to 5 years. This gives your cells a good amount of time to really start healing in a meaningful way. Of course, this doesn’t mean you won’t feel better for 3 to 5 years. (I hope you start to feel better in the first 90 days!) But, committing to healthy behaviors for several years will shift your focus from arbitrary expectations and timelines to a focus on daily choices that you will feel empowered to maintain.

  1. No one regrets being well. In fact, what most people say when they regain their health and wellbeing is that it was well worth the effort and the sacrifice. Health and wellbeing is priceless, as anyone who suffers from chronic illness well knows. Commit to a wellbeing journey… I promise you won’t regret it!
  2. You’re worthy of this journey. You are precious. You have gifts and a unique purpose. You want to live a life you love. You want to serve your family, people and causes you love. You were created for contribution and you are worthy of the journey to health and wellbeing. You’d likely sacrifice just about anything to help someone you love get well, right? Well, I want you to decide right now: You are someone you love and you are going to love yourself to health.
  3. Don’t let fear be your leader. Fear is natural. We’re fear-based creatures or we wouldn’t have survived. It’s normal to feel afraid that you won’t be consistent with your health plan, or that you won’t heal. But fear doesn’t have to lead you. Decide today that you’ll lead yourself to health. Think of it this way: Fear can be a passenger on my journey but it can’t be the driver!
  4. You’re not an ostrich. There’s so much information on health and wellness out there; it can be overwhelming. Every time you turn around, you learn about another toxic thing, right? But avoiding isn’t the answer. Remember: Knowledge is power.

For example: Let’s say you read that EMF can be harmful. You feel overwhelmed by the process of trying to reduce your exposure. Instead of sticking your head in the sand, go ahead and acknowledge the overwhelm. Then, make an intentional plan to deal with it. Use knowledge to empower you to turn fear into action by making choices that promote your health!

  1. Let go of excuses. We all make excuses and most of them are fear-based. We deeply fear trying something new, so we make up reasons why we may fail. But, excuses can become self-fulfilling failure scenarios. Instead, focus on real obstacles you may face, such as limited time, energy, emotional and financial resources. Ask yourself: Am I clear on the real obstacles I face? Am I taking steps to work through them?
  2. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, self-care is an act of service. Why? If you don’t take care of your health, your health will slow you down (and eventually shut you down), without asking permission. So, put your oxygen mask on first and remind yourself it’s an act of service: By taking care of myself, I can continue to serve others.
  3. Healing is not linear. Healing is a journey. And journeys don’t unfold as planned, no matter how well-planned they may be! Think of the journey to health as a hike up a lovely mountain: Some days will be delightful; sunny and warm, easy and joyous. Some days you’ll encounter obstacles, like fallen logs, rock slides or muddy patches. And some days will be downright difficult; cold, dark, and raining. On these days, remember that your journey didn’t end completely… you simply took a few backwards steps, or paused, or lost the path for a moment. Rest assured, the path is still there. You’re still on the mountain. The weather will clear and you’ll find your way. Don’t let these days derail all the work you’ve done.
  4. Focus on realistic and sustainable changes. Short-term changes to your nutrition and lifestyle plan will result in short-term results. Instead, try to adopt one change that you can maintain forever. Once that becomes easier, adopt the next change. That might be one change per week, one per month, or one or per year. But, even one change that sticks is better than a slew of changes that don’t.

Don’t feel rushed to make every change at once. (I’m nearly 7 years into my journey and I’m still making changes!) All journeys unfold one step at a time. I promise, these smaller changes over time will equal big results!

  1. You may be a threat. When you adopt healthy habits, some people may experience your choices as threatening.. If this happens, it’s not your fault. You’re not actually hurting anyone else with your choices and you don’t owe anyone an explanation. I simply say, “This is part of my plan to heal. It’s working for me.” Acknowledge to yourself that your behavior was some type of trigger for that person and move on. Or, if you like, you can say with kindness, “I sense my healthy behavior feels frightening to you? Do you want to talk about it?”

Feeling excited to adopt a healing mentality of your own?

Follow me at and connect with me on IG and FB @AutoimmuneFoodie. I’ll be posting my next 10 tips soon!

Shannon Lea Pickering (Brown), M.S. Psychology, Positive Psychology & Health Restoration Coach, Certified by Wahls, Bulletproof, Gallup, Strengths Strategy, The Human Potential Institute and Irlen.

Shannon Lea Pickering is a certified positive psychology and health coach and a former psycho-therapist. She successfully reversed autoimmunity and chronic Lyme disease and is a cancer thriver. Her mission and purpose is to inspire others that hope for healing is always possible. She helps others design customized, healing nutrition and lifestyle plans. She accepts private coaching clients and is launching an online wellbeing program later this year. She is the co-founder of the Lead Yourself To Health, Love Yourself To Health and The Roadmap to Leadwell programs. She is also a Certified Wahls Protocol Health Professional.

My life has truly been a journey. Coaching is my third and final profession, the career where my talents and passion collide. I bring 20 years of clinical and corporate experience to coaching from my two previous careers, first as practicing psychologist/career counselor/ adjunct professor of psychology and second as a sales professional/national trainer/manager at a Global Fortune 500 company.

I was very successful AND by the time I was 44, I had been diagnosed with 7 autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus. By 2014 I was disabled, lupus was attacking my heart and lungs and DNA and I was facing a lifetime of chemo and steroids to stop its relentless progress. What I discovered the hard way is that if you don’t take care of your mind and body and soul, your body will shut you down for maintenance. And by 2014, my body was trying to shut me down permanently. Well, I accepted the call to heal and I am happy to say that I am now free of autoimmune disease and living my purpose. I don’t even have autoimmune antibodies, which is truly a miracle. I’m proud to be featured in the newest edition of The Wahls Protocol as a Wahls Warrior Success!

My passion and purpose is to now help others achieve holistic wellness so that they are free to pursue their passion and their purpose – because the world craves each of our unique contributions.

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