Finding Optimal Health
Through Your Symptoms
Ep. 113 ft. Amy Denson
“The health journey is just trial and error.”
Hello! I’m Amy, a retired professional athlete who was diagnosed with my 2nd autoimmune disorder in 2016. I went from playing professional basketball all over the world to battling professional fatigue and not recognizing myself in the mirror. From my rock bottom moment, I felt a nudge that told me there had to be a better way & I relied on my mindset built within my athletic career to pave the way to feeling like myself again–and even better! Currently, I’m certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), specializing in thyroid health, striving to support women in advocating for their health, getting their energy back, and feeling like themselves again.
You know your body. You know when something isn’t quite right. Your symptoms have a cause and you shouldn’t accept uncomfortability. Join a conversation on recognizing discomfort and making a change with a certified nutritional practitioner and professional basketball player.
If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!
And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at LesleyLogan.co/subscribe.
In this episode you will learn about:
- The support and lifestyle of women in professional basketball
- Starting before being the expert
- Space and grace in the comparison game
- Your optimal health shouldn’t be a dream
- Identifying and getting over our fear of failure
Lesley Logan 00:00
Hey, Be It listener. What’s up? Okay, so I just love, I love the way the world works. I love that how you can meet people and have conversations with people and learn something you never knew you’d have. And I don’t think we do that enough. So if you are feeling stuck, if you are feeling alone, if you are feeling like uninspired. I want you to have a conversation with someone you don’t know. I want you to ask them questions. So if you’re like, “How do I do that? I’m so scared. I’m an introvert.” Look at the local meetups, look at Eventbrite, look at like opportunities that are happening for a networking situation. And then you’re gonna find someone who makes eye contact with you. And you’re gonna smile at them. And then you’re just going to ask them questions, you don’t have to a… you don’t have to say anything. You can just ask them questions like think 40 Old Virgin just like ask a question, if you don’t know what to say ask a question. And the reason is, people do like to talk about themselves, but also going to learn something about somebody. And I think we underestimate how inspiring it can be to learn another person’s story and what they’re going through. And even if it maybe not inspiring, but maybe you feel seen, and feeling seen as something that we all truly, truly want. And so my next guest for you this week is Amy, Amy Denson, and I am really excited for you to hear her story. And I want you to listen to her story because maybe you don’t have this story. Like maybe you weren’t this like professional and NB like women’s basketball player. I certainly wasn’t. But as I listened to her story, I thought about my health story. And I thought about some of the health stories of people who have listened to the show and written in. And I truly think that a lot of times we think we’re alone, and this is only happening to us. And I know for myself, when I started actually sharing my story about my stomach, I started of find out how many people had stomach issues. And I wish I had started talking about earlier, it was embarrassing. So I didn’t want to but I wouldn’t have felt alone. And so as you listen to today’s interview, I really want you to hear her story and see yourself in it. And I, I really am excited for you to hear what she’s up to, which is excited about next, how she got on this mission that she’s on. And also, of course, you know, I love those BE IT action items that hers are really cool. And they’re going to challenge you in the best ways. So after this message here, Amy.
Lesley Logan 2:24
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guest will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.
Lesley Logan 3:42
All right, Be It listeners I have a very special special guest Amy Denson here. Amy has an incredible story, I’ve be… I’m really excited for you to hear it because I think it’s really easy to think, “Well, it must be easy for them. But I’ve got these things going on or I have this setback or this obstacle.” And we can kind of let those obstacles become just like a reason to not do something. And Amy is certainly not letting that happen. So, I’m excited for you to be inspired by her and hear how she did it. So Amy, tell everyone who you are and how you got here.
Amy Denson 3:42
Well, thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here and to meet you. Um, so my story is, you know, it’s all of ours probably could go on forever. But I grew up playing basketball and I always knew that in my heart. That was what I was supposed to do. And I you know, felt most in my skin and confident and as a pretty tall, broad shouldered, strong young woman who did not fit in in any other scene. Basketball was really home for me. I received a full ride scholarship to Arizona State University. We did some amazing things there. We created history there. We were the first team to make it into the Sweet 16 tournament of the NCAA tournament. (Lesley: Whoa! That’s a insane journey.) Oh, yeah. So. Yeah, yes. And it was really cool because we had a really young team. So for the majority of my career, I got to play with the same people which is very, very special. (Lesley: That’s incredible) Yeah, and then after I graduated, I just wasn’t done and I signed with an agent and then I ended up playing overseas professionally for eight years. So I played in Puerto Rico for four seasons. I played in Australia for three years. I played in Poland, Romania and Spain. And so …
Lesley Logan 5:04
What a life? Like how (Amy: Yeah) cool. I so when we moved to Las Vegas there, I mean, LA had a WNBA team but I’m not going to downtown. So but the Las Vegas team is like (Amy: The Aces) … Yeah, the Aces. (Amy: Yeah) It’s a short stint down the street actually from (Amy: Yeah) where I live, like really close and my Dad and I would go we’d like, “Oh, hey, there’s a game today. Let’s go.” And it was Brad came and it was so fun we get, we actually probably get the worst seats in the house. And most people think but like it’s just the side of this of the of the basket. So it’s like all the action is there the whole game (Amy: Yeah) and it’s like, so fun. (Amy: That’s so awesome.) Those women are amazing. I mean, (Amy: Yeah) as were you but like, it’s kind of crazy. I don’t think people realize that. (Amy: No) So many female basketball players spend most of their life playing for multiple teams at the same time and around the world. Like you’re, they’re not (Amy: Yeah) making NBA wages, which is really annoying.
Amy Denson 5:53
No. And that’s the thing. Yeah. And so really the WNBA I mean, it’s, you know, still probably the best league in the world, but women make their money overseas. And so unless you know, do get some sponsorships here as well as your pay. You know, if you do have WNBA on your resume, you can make pretty decent money overseas and overseas is much different as far as like really even support wise for women. And I don’t think that women, even young women in college, understand maybe they do more so now but when I was in college, how many opportunities there are to play at a next level? And yes, sometimes, I mean, there’s just so many different options, maybe that just means you get paid, you know, a little bit extra, but you get your room and board and you know, a couple of meals, but you you’re basically traveling for free, right, you’re seeing the world for free. I was able to make a pretty decent wage. And I you know, really kind of moved up the ranks and played in some really amazing conferences against some really amazing athletes. And I think, you know, people may not like to, you know, I think put the women’s game down quite a bit as far as pace and athleticism and all that kind of stuff. But I do think, I don’t think people understand the amount of effort it takes to be professional edit anything. (Lesley: Yeah. No I don’t think so.) Right. And then you add anything physical in there. And yeah, physical is a huge part of it. But the once you’re at a professional level, it’s the mental game, right? It’s an emotional game. It’s, it’s a, you know, the battle to how do I, how do I beat my opponent? That’s probably just as good or better than me, you know. So
Lesley Logan 7:27
Right. That might, that you might end up being on the team with in another time.
Amy Denson 7:32
Right. Yeah, so it was a beautiful experience. I actually, I really miss traveling, like to my core right now. I just I lived out of a suitcase and had a laptop for eight years. And it just was the most amazing experience. It was hard. And it was isolating at times, especially (Lesley: Yeah) with language barriers, but I got to get paid and travel in my gift for my gift. And so I was so blessed because I got to live out my first dream. (Lesley: Yeah.) And I don’t know how many people can really, you know, say that when, as you’re growing up, and it’s just something that I always knew that I was going to do. And it was, there was no doubt or question in my mind.
Lesley Logan 8:12
Yeah, I think that thank you for saying that. Because I do think a lot of people make sacrifices or they think, “Okay, I went to college, and I gotta do this, I gotta go be a grown up.” And like, you know, you are one of the few people who’s like, “You know, I’m gonna keep doing my passion.” And, and yeah, it’s not making you the money that’s going to like, put a house on the ground or anything like that. But it did allow you to see the world and experience the highs and the lows from that. And so, you know, I cut you off in your story. Like, what made you leave? Did you just like injure out? Did you age out? Did you get (Amy: Yeah) tired of what was that? What was the next step?
Amy Denson 8:47
I don’t know why, but I always had it in my mind that I would probably retire by around age 30. And I was really, I was just kind of burnt out. I was really tired. I’d been playing year around for a long time. I just needed a break more so emotionally and mentally. And I also was getting into a serious relationship with my best friend who is my now my husband. And I just felt in my heart. It was time. (Lesley: Yeah.) And so when I came back to the United States, it was it was so hard because I hadn’t lived here for eight years. I couldn’t get a job. Nobody would look at my professional history as a job. So it looks like to them I had gra… unless they had a sports background. Like I’d graduated college and then I just showed back up when I was you know 30. (Lesley: That’s so interesting.) Yeah, it was just …
Lesley Logan 9:45
I never would have thought about that. Like it would be so it’s like your resume like doesn’t start and so they’re like, you have no experience except for that you (Amy: Right) like so much experience like what it takes to be (Amy: Right) on a team, what it takes to win a game like you know, like you’re right unless they know sports, they don’t see a talent, skill set there.
Amy Denson 10:00
Yeah. And so there was like a major, major identity crisis. You know, I didn’t really understand or know how to introduce myself without saying, “Hi, Amy, I’m played professional basketball.” It was it was just everything, you know, it was my pride, it was my joy, it was everything. And so to now really kind of step back and, and not only not be acknowledged for that effort, but really have to start over not only like career wise, but for my for myself, like, who am I without basketball, (Lesley: Yeah) which was very hard, and I knew it was going to be hard to retire. But it did not know how hard it was gonna be. I didn’t know, I didn’t realize the grieving process I would have. (Lesley: Yeah.) And so I just kind of floated around, I got my personal training and certification so that well, this is obviously the next thing. I still want to be active. You know, I didn’t know what to do. And …
Lesley Logan 10:52
But you know, what all I see is like, of course, like, who wouldn’t want to train with like, I mean …
Amy Denson 10:56
Yeah, why not? I want to work out. Let’s work out together, you know.
Lesley Logan 10:59
Yeah. Who would want to train with a WNBA player or a women’s (Amy: Yeah) basketball player? Like, I like that would be a great calling card. (Lesley laughs) (Amy: Yeah, exactly.) I mean, you’d have to want to do it. So how, so you went and got your training? (Amy: Yeah) And how did that go?
Amy Denson 11:11
It went okay. It was just, it was just a hard time, it was a really hard time, it was a rough transition for a couple years, I ended up landing in a college coaching position for a small division one at college in Oregon. And I thought, “Well, duh, this is what I’m supposed to do, hello.” And I actually, I loved it, I really think that it could have been a really good path for me, it’s just again, for women’s basketball, the money is nothing, which is not everything, but we’ve got to live (Lesley: We got a paying bills. Yeah) We gotta pay. And it’s just, you know, it just, I wasn’t in a very good working environment as far as with the other adults, unfortunately. And this is when I started to really experience some symptoms that I wasn’t used to. So I only knew how to work out one way. If I was dealing with anything stress wise, you know, lifewise, for me working out with, you know, it’s a much as a mental and emotional release as it is a physical, so I only knew how to work out one way, which is like, balls to the wall. Like, if you’re not close to puking, and you push through the wall, all of these things that we had, like we did to (Lesley: Yeah) stay in shape, right. But I noticed like it wasn’t really quote unquote, “working” like it used to, I noticed, like I was just so fatigued, I was really, really high stressed. I just felt like, emotionally a little out of control. And (Lesley: Yeah) I wasn’t sure I don’t know how to describe that I just did not feel like myself. And …
Lesley Logan 12:45
And I can resonate with that though, Amy because it’s like, a you like you’re already in a transition of some kind anyways, like your life as you knew it has changed. And you’re, it’s not like it was like easy to step back into the world. And so then you’re like trying different careers out. And then also the way you train isn’t working the way it used to. And also like, our bodies are getting older, like there is this weird thing because I was an athlete too. And then like, you hit 30 and you’re like, “Wow, I can’t do two a days anymore. Should I be doing two a days?” (Amy: Right) But like, I also don’t know a different way. (Amy: Right) So, (Amy: Yeah) you know, you’re kind of going, like, in, in your health and your workouts in every part of your life. Everything is different and out of control. So of course you’re gonna feel stressed. (Amy: Yeah) And all these things, and it’s hard to articulate when you’re in it.
Amy Denson 13:31
Absolutely. And so I started to go to a couple doctors for some help. And, you know, just kept getting the all, “Eat less and workout more,” duh. (Lesley laughs) Cool. (Lesley: Okay thanks.) I just really felt like in my experience. You know, after seeing multiple doctors, I started to lose my hair. I started my hair was thinning. I just noticed all of these things. And I was like, “My God I just …” I just feel off, right? I just feel off. I went I was just you know, as we do, I was like on Google and this and that. So I I read that a dermatologist could help with hair. So I went to a dermatologist who told me I was prematurely balding at 33 and I was like, “Are you sure? Like is like really?” And so I ended up going to an endocrinologist who one of the top and in the field for Oregon. And I had gone to the ER because I had I have nosebleeds or I had nosebleeds that I couldn’t get stopped. So I had to go to the ER. And when I leaned back for them to, to basically cauterize my nose, I have two huge nodules on my neck and the guy was like, “Have you gotten those checked out?” And I said, “No, I didn’t even know that they were there.” So I went to this endocrinologist. We did an ultrasound and she’s like, “Yep, you’ve got Hashimotos.” And I was like, “Okay, what, what’s Hashimotos?” And she’s like, “Well, it’s an autoimmune disorder where your body is attacking your thyroid tissue” because it thinks that there’s a foreign invader, something’s going on. I’m like, “Okay, well, does this explain, you know.” Because a lot of times Hashimotos and hypothyroidism go hand in hand. “So does this explain me having cold hands and feet?” So poor circulation? “Does this explain me losing hair? Does this explain me gaining weight specifically around my midsection? Does this explain me feeling like I’m losing my GD mind?” She said, “Yeah.” And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, great. So like, what do we do about it?” She goes, “Nothing. (Lesley: No) We wait, we wait until your body attacks your thyroid so much that it doesn’t work anymore. And then we will start hormones.”
Lesley Logan 15:31
That is not an option. That is, so you just have to suffer?
Amy Denson 15:34
And I think, I think it’s really interesting because, you know, the way that I was raised to is like, well, she obviously knows more than me, right? Because she’s a doctor. (Lesley: Yeah.) And so I walked away from that feeling, obviously very defeated. And also, the way that I approach things as an athlete is like, I’m going to control it as much as I possibly can. So what can I do? What can I do? Not knowing the things that I was doing, were probably escalating it. (Lesley: Yeah) Um, and so it was about two years later that I, we had some people over for Memorial Day, and I got incredibly sick. And I literally remember, like shutting the door that like saying our goodbyes, and as soon as I shut the door, I just started crying. And I just said, “I can’t live the rest of my life like this. Something is wrong, something is off. And I need help.” (Lesley: Yeah) And from that day forward, that has been my mission. And now that I have more information, because Hashimotos is my actual life, my second autoimmune disorder. And with thyroid related disorders, illnesses, whatever, it’s so common, and there’s just so much that goes into it. And a lot of it kind of goes against the grain of like our diet culture, workout culture, and all of that. So there’s so much mental and emotional stuff that’s tied up into that, you know, the two a days or the, you know, anyway, working out, eating less all of that. So, once I kind of started on my own health journey, I’ve now made it my mission to help other women not feel alone, and really to feel like themselves again, because I really think the biggest thing that’s missing right now, in like, our standard medical care system is that we’re just there’s no empathy. I don’t think we’re even being heard. (Lesley: Yeah.) And of course, you know, I think a lot of times, which is okay, I’m not saying anything is wrong with medication, but I do think we have to also be aware of everything else that goes into the healing process, besides support for medication. (Lesley: Yeah) I have absolutely nothing against it, if it if it helps people, I am on it. But that’s not the only thing that we can’t just pop a pill and it be okay, we can’t just pop a pill and not address our stress levels.
Lesley Logan 17:58
You’re… (Amy: You know) that’s just it and like, I think, you know, some… one of my, my previous assistant was amazing. And she actually teaches people on how to be their own health advocate, or how to be an advocate for others. (Amy: Yes.) And I think we all like I’m sure, maybe generations younger than us, maybe they they are wise and all knowing that the doctors … (Amy: Probably, they probably. Yeah) they’re they come out knowing that no one knows what they’re doing. (Amy: Yes) We, I grew up like the doctor knows they knew everything. (Amy: Well, yeah.) They went to school. They’re the most educated person. (Amy: Absolutely.) And I had similar, like health issues where like, they literally like, “Well, you have IBS, so just, you know, eat like this, don’t eat these things.” I mean, those are very nutritional things. I think I’m probably supposed to eat those. You know, and I wasn’t my own advocate, I probably wouldn’t, I probably be dead right now, to be honest, because I was just like, suffering so much. And it was I my nutritional levels were so bad that I like had no B 12, no vitamin D, all these things. I think I would probably be divorced. And, and (Amy: Yeah) and a shell of a human. So I want to go back to something though, because you’ve made it this mission to like really help women who are going through this? Because you’re going through this, I think the question is like, how do, how, what were the first steps or what the steps that you took to help other women go through something that you yourself, were still learning? Because I do think a lot of listeners get stuck in that they’re like, “Well, I’m not the expert yet. So I can’t do the thing that I’m feeling called to do.” And you were like, “I’m being called do this.” How did you do that? How did you kind of wrap your (Amy: Yeah) head around that?
Amy Denson 19:32
Well, I think you know, it really started with obviously my own, getting my own ish together, and I don’t have it together. But I do have a lot of knowledge around it. I do have a lot of knowledge around what works for me and what doesn’t, which I feel like provides a lot of I don’t know security, or when we feel out of control and we don’t know what’s causing what. It’s like we just go down this rabbit hole of symptoms or what did I eat? What did I not eat? How did they move? What did I do different here? And that’s all I used to do. And it was just so time consuming and energy sucking and defeating. So I think really, for me, the first step was, if anybody is out there, find some a doctor of some sort that’s going to support you and has experience in whatever if you do know your diagnosis or don’t know, I found a naturopath that it like changed my life, and I’m still with her today. I think that’s your first step. I think me going on my own health journey, and then feeling a little bit better, always helps to like feel like I have capacity to help other people. (Lesley: Yeah) And I really think that the health journey is all it is, is a trial and error, I think we get so stuck in doing the right and wrong things. That it just, it’s just like destabilizes us. And it’s just trying this, see how this works. How does your body feel in this? Hey, if it doesn’t feel good here, let’s, let’s tweak it and try try this and like just keep continuing to do that along the way with the intention of healing your body or with the intention of supporting your journey supporting your body in that. I think we just we’ve got to be a little bit more flexible in our thinking, and what we are willing to try it and not try or you know, really not get stuck and what diet worked for for your best friend. And it’s not working for you now. I think we really get stuck in food specifically. (Lesley: Yeah.) Where I think that we don’t always need to be, we don’t need to always label how we eat as a diet. It’s just how we eat. (Lesley: Yeah.) You don’t need to be in a specific lane all the time. And I think that so, (Lesley: Yeah.) I would just say just being a couple steps ahead. Those couple steps make a really big difference for somebody else. And I (Lesley: Yeah.) always tell myself, “If I could help this person feel 10% better? How would their life improve?” Because when I was at my rock bottom, when I shut that door and said goodbye and started crying, I would have given anything to feel a little bit better. Or I would have given anything to have a little bit more knowledge around, “What the hell is going on with my body?”
Lesley Logan 22:13
Yeah, um, I thank you for sharing that because I do I do believe like, people think that they have to be 15 steps ahead, the people that they’re going to help. And it’s like, you just have to be a couple steps ahead. Like, you know, because 15 steps ahead is like, you know, I know like, well, look like, well let’s just talk about we’re on a podcast, you’re listening to this. Some of the people I look up to have like, a thousand episodes. I’m like, “That is overwhelming. That is like, yes, it’s yes, inspiring. Yes, it’s showing me the what’s possible.” But also like to think of it from, I don’t know what episode this is going to be while we’re recording it, but it’s at least 100 and I don’t know, eight. And, (Amy: Ah, that’a awesome.) you know, and so that that feels like a big gap. But I was just talking to somebody yesterday who has 300 episodes, and he was giving me some tips. And those felt very doable. He’s only a few steps ahead of me, right. So I love that you share that. And I also think it’s like not to underestimate like the power that you can help someone even if it’s a couple percentage, you know, a little bit, (Amy: Yeah) and then you’re because you’re working on yourself, you’re getting a couple more steps ahead. And so you’re bringing (Amy: Right) everybody with you. (Amy: Right.) So thank you for sharing that. And I also think, you know, and I don’t know, you’ll have to tell me how long was for you. But I don’t think a lot of people give the things that they’re trying out enough time. (Amy: Absolutely not.) You know, like, Jenn Pike has been on our podcast before. She says, “When it comes to your hormones, it’s 100 days. So the things we’re doing, you’re like, you don’t get to even tell me anything for 100 days, like maybe you’re gonna feel better right away. But the reality is, is like, it’s going to take some time because the you know, like, the stuff we did has already affected what’s happening right now.”
Amy Denson 23:51
Right? You know, it’s taken us, you know, for a lot of clients or people that are around me, or that I work with, it’s probably, you know, mid 30s, 40s. It’s taken, we’ve been through a lot of shit by now. It’s taken us a while to get here. And I don’t think we realize just like you said, our habits and actions and everything. It’s all led up to this. So in, you know, thinking back, we didn’t necessarily get away with eating and drinking and moving a certain way. It’s just where we’ve kind of caught up to this moment. And in this moment, and so, yeah, in our 20s we I feel like we’re always in this comparison mode, but you have a family now, we have responsibilities. It looks different now, you know, our stress level is so incredibly high. And we keep addressing everything as, well, it’s not mean it’s not too high. It’s probably normal, right? No, it’s absolutely not and we don’t realize that, all of that that how that is affecting our health. And even you know, my clients I work with 1 on 1, 6 months is probably the baseline. And that’s just getting started. And I think that people feel like at the beginning at the starting line, like six months, like, “Oh my gosh, that’s so long.” But we’re talking about the rest of your life. Six months is nothing and, and I’m not trying to, like, (Lesley: It’s like, diminish or…) If you feel bad. Yeah, it make you feel bad, but like, we’re just getting started. (Lesley: Oh, yeah.) We’re just getting started this and I think that we just have this, you know, I think getting ready for a wedding or getting ready for a vacation or whatever, there’s always a start and an end and a start and end, which is creating this yo yo dieting, culture mindset. And it literally like indicates it like as a, our blood pressure’s going up and down, up and down, up and down, which is so hard on our body, we’ve got to instill some consistency within our, our health, within our life. And that comes with time, we never give anything enough time. And if we would just do really tiny things like tiny steps, and did them consistently for 90 days, for 100 days, for six months, for a year, we we discredit the amount of momentum we could build by (Lesley: Yeah) just doing small things, we think we have to start the diet on Monday, we think we have to, you know, start working out five days a week, no excuses, all of this kind of language, which yes, it worked for us at one time, and I was a part of all of that. But if we are going to be sustainable over a life, and you are dealing with health issues, and you have stress in your life, and and and you’re a woman, (Lesley: Right) we have to, we have to find a different way.
Lesley Logan 26:53
There has been a lot, there’s like space and grace, it’s like, I think you men… you mentioned it before, like there’s comparison in there, we’re comparing ourselves to like other people, even our own age, and it’s like, like, specifically specifically for you, you have two autoimmune diseases, you said, just like two up two that’s a lot. Like one’s a lot. Two is different, right? So you can’t compare yourself to somebody that have any, just like, I can’t compare myself to somebody who never who never had an injury or never like, and I think we’re wasting a lot of time there. We’re also not giving ourselves credit for what we did do to get here. (Amy: Right. Absolutely.) And, and, you know, you said earlier, like six months sounds like a long time. But like, I dealt with some issues for 10 years, 10 years. And so I can say now that I am like, six years post, like actually got the diagnosis actually figured the thing. Now when I have a flare up, I’m like, “Oh, I know exactly what the trigger is.” (Amy: Yes.) I’m stressed out. I’m stressed out and I am not being kind to my body. I need to bring everything all the (Amy: Yeah) cortisol down where and you know, I am I ended up even using this tracking app for my cycle, because I filmed for workout. So I’m there are some weeks where I’m filming 14 workouts, which in the grand scheme of things, it’s like an hour of workout. So I so I, it’s like the workout for the day, right? But I should not be doing that one of the weeks of everyone, that week, (Amy: Yeah) I should not be doing that I should be like, “Okay, I can go for my walk” I can do you know, like run, but I’m not going to like push myself, that needs to be low impact really kind in my body, stretchy stuff. And so when they changed once I had that information, I changed when I was working when I was filming, my inflammation and my stomach issues also went down. And so (Amy: Yeah) it’s this thing that like we sometimes we take things like that’s just how it is. And other times we think like, (Amy: Right) “Oh, that’s too long, I don’t have that kind of time.” But to your credits, like once you have the information you start to have the healing process, then you have your whole life ahead of you and like that’s gonna be a lot longer than the six months of like, (Amy: Yeah) having to trial and error and figure things out.
Amy Denson 28:56
Yeah, I think there’s just so much reassurance and, and really getting to know your body. And I you know, I think we talk so much about things that are common, but they’re not normal. So your body is talking to you all the time. And we’ve got to start listening. We have to, we cannot push it aside and just keep pushing forward. I’ll sleep later all, I’ll put myself first later right or when when this ends, then you know when summer starts, whatever that is, because if you are having awful periods, your body’s screaming at you. If you are having bloating, gassing, women if you are not pooping every day, your body is telling you something. So so many things that I think that you know, for a long time I just thought well, my cramps feeling awful for for the first day or two my period or the week up to, it’s just how my mom experienced it. That’s just how it is for me. Absolutely not. We are not meant to feel in this comfort most of our life. (Lesley: Right.) And so I think really starting to listen to your body and that is the information that we can work with.
Lesley Logan 30:09
So can we talk about that? Because I think that that is a really important thing that some people like, “Now I like, I listen to my body.” And then there’s the perfectionist and overachievers listen to like, “But wait. Like, what does that mean? How do I do that?” So you mentioned, we gonna poop everyday ladies. You also mentioned like, serious cramps, like, yeah, people like, “Oh, I have PCOS or I have this.” It’s like, yeah, but even people with that don’t have to have the worst cramps, there (Amy: Right) are still things you can do. So, (Amy: Absolutely) you know, because I used to have a friend, I had a friend of my practice, I remember, she was only going to the bathroom once every two weeks. And she was (Amy: Right) going to the doctor for this. And the doctor was like, “You just have a really lazy colon.” And she’s like, “I got that, you didn’t, I don’t need your medical opinion for that.” She’s like, I (Amy: Right) she did not have a lazy colon, though (Lesley laughs) (Amy: Right) like rolling faster.
Amy Denson 30:56
My colon is not inherently lazy. It’s not a choice. It’s not on the couch watching Netflix like what do we need to do here?
Lesley Logan 31:02
Yeah. So what are some others like, what are some? It maybe they’re not easy, but what are some ways that people could listen to their body? Do they journal? Like, is there an app? Like what tool did you use to start listening to your body and paying attention to signs?
Amy Denson 31:16
Um, I think my I mean, my awareness is pretty high. I’ve been listening to my body for a while, as an athlete, I had to, to make sure we’re good to go, you know, all of that. But I mean, I think journaling is is a great form. I think really listening to podcasts, listening or books information. Alisa Vitti has a great book in the flow about women’s cycle, about even like you were saying, how do you, how can we move within our cycle to really support our cycle? How can I eat within my cycle to really support my cycle? So I think if you’re experiencing any discomfort, I would just note that or even imagine like, if, if I imagined my health is like, optimal, though, you know, I imagined myself like, walking through a beautiful field and, you know, the sun shining, and I just feel my absolute best. What does that look like? It does that look like I don’t have heartburn anymore? Does that look like I don’t have awful periods? Does that look like you know, my hair isn’t thinning? Does that look like I don’t feel cold all the time? Or I feel like I’m in control of my body. And I’m not just gaining weight all of a sudden, I don’t know why? You know, what is that, what is that perfect ish health look like for you? And what symptoms are you experiencing that you would like to either reduce or eliminate?
Lesley Logan 32:54
Yeah, I like that, I think because that’s like, that allows every single listener to choose it for themselves. And you’re not comparing my loves because that’s not going to get you, (Amy: No, no, no.) you can’t like everyone’s going to have something that’s a different optimal health. But I do think that like, you know, like, so if you’re listening to this, if you heard any symptoms that she mentioned there, you’re like, “Oh, the I have heartburn.” Like, you don’t have to have heartburn. And you don’t have to take the Prilosec or whatever it’s called to like, get rid of it every time you eat. Like, there are things you know, and holistic doctors, like I love mine. She’s she’s been on the (Amy: Right) podcast before and like, there’s things I’m like, “Oh, I just live with this.” And she’s like, “No, you don’t, actually.”
Amy Denson 33:34
Not necessary. (Lesley laughs) And it’s just it’s just really, it’s about what can we do in specifically with heartburn, your body is just telling you, there is a need for some functional support there. We are, you know, and so what can we do to get your body to start performing digestively a little bit more optimally, so that we are not only reducing you taking any like, you know, Prilosec or PPI or anything like that. But we want to reduce the heartburn because it’s just an indication that your body is not properly digesting, which (Lesley: Yeah) is everything. (Lesley: Right and that’s all your nutrition and all the things. Yeah.) Yeah, just another, it’s just another symptom. It’s just another way of your body’s saying and it. You know, there’s no shame around our symptoms. (Lesley: Yeah.) And I think we really need to step away, step back from that. Even weight gain, that’s a symptom of something. Right? Weight loss is a symptom of something. So let’s figure it out. And you know, I don’t think, you know, a lot of time we keep going back to, “Well, I ate this, I didn’t eat that. I can’t eat this because this causes that.” It’s a matter of function and really supporting that, rather than having to pick out which foods that you can and can’t eat for the rest of your life. (Lesley: Yeah) We really need to get down to the root of what’s going on and just say, “Hey, this is what I’m experiencing. I’d like some relief in these areas or more knowledge around these areas. And let’s make a plan to move forward.” But because you’re experiencing something, you are not doing anything wrong. We just need to get more knowledge around what the heck is going on. And I understand that there is hope for some relief. And for a long time, I didn’t feel like I had a lot of hope it was something that I had to deal with. (Lesley: Yeah) And so I would get so hard on myself for doing this or doing that, and then my symptoms would pop up, or symptoms would pop up. (Lesley: Yeah) And I felt like I would personally attack myself for, for doing this and that. So let’s, let’s try to take that off of there as well. And just look at it as information. And that can direct us on where we need to go.
Lesley Logan 35:50
That’s… Yes, all the yeses, because I, you know, I was like you’re talking, I was thinking like, so many of these listeners are moms and 100% if their kid was saying something hurt or burned, or they’re tired, they would be like figuring out all the things (Amy: Yeah) that would go on to make sure that that was not there. But when it comes to our own bodies, we excuse it away, or “Oh, it’s just because I ate that,” or “Oh, I shouldn’t have ate that. And I know I shouldn’t eat that.” And that’s why it was it’s like we’re not taking the same care to to make sure that our bodies which are the vessels that you need to continue to be the parent to your the person you love for as long as you can as seriously and I think like we that, that we all could bit change that. And also, I hear you saying a lot of things like being kind. I mean, really kind of yourself because your body’s just trying to tell you something, and it’s not like you did anything and you’re wrong. And I love what you said about the symptoms like think it’s amazing. So currently, Amy, before we wrap this up, what are you? Right now, is there anything that you are being it till you see it like? Are you taking new steps, new leaps? Like how are you, how is this mission going for you? And what are you doing that maybe you’ve never done before but you’re working on figuring it out?
Amy Denson 37:04
Yeah. Well, I mean, I literally just yesterday found out I finished my restorative wellness practitioner certification. You guys, I can test poop now. And I’m so excited. (Lesley laughs) I know not many people would be like, “What are you talking about?” And I actually I have nothing to do with it. But so …
Lesley Logan 37:25
You can ask, you can get the test for the, (Amy: I can now…) people to send the poop to the place. (Amy: Yes) Yes.
Amy Denson 37:29
So I can now offer it’s called the GI-MAP. And I can now offer an MRT, which is not a food sensitivities test, it’s a test to see what foods are causing inflammation in your body, which is really what we want to get that inflammation down. So with that GI-MAP, we can, we can see the good bacteria, the not so good bacteria, we can see information, we can see auto immune activity. And we can we can really pair that with that MRT test so that we can have a plan to see, “Hey, this is what’s going on inside of your gut. Everybody wants to talk about gut health. Well, let’s look inside your dang, gut.” And this really, really will help with them. I mean, everything lives in our gut. It’s our second brain. It has a ton to do with our thyroid functioning, our you know, HPA axis, all of that. So I, I I am pursuing a deep dive into really finding out what’s going on for people. So we can try to get to some root causes and really see where we need to support overall function and digestively to (Lesley: So cool.) and I think that that’ll just be kind of a waterfall effect for most people’s symptoms. So I am so excited. I think this is going to be a game changer.
Lesley Logan 38:41
I cannot (Amy: … feeling) I cannot even wait for my husband to listen to this. And he (Amy: Yeah) like, he’ll be like, “All of a sudden it’s like all this stuff and health. It’s great and be kind. And it’s like I’m excited because we can test poop now.” Like he’ll laughs so hard.
Amy Denson 38:54
Lesley Logan 38:55
Oh my gosh, this is amazing, Amy. I’m really excited for our listeners to hear this and I can’t wait to hear how they take away but before we let you go we have to hear your BE IT action items after this brief message.
Okay, Amy, how can people find you, follow you, get to know you more?
Amy Denson 39:14
Sure. I’m on Instagram at @coachamyrae and you can email me at [email protected] The website is getting a beautiful reboost which will be done in a couple of weeks. And yeah and then I also have a podcast as well called The Chronic Athletes and really just featuring stories of resilience inspiration and all things wellness just to you know show proof that it can be done in exactly what you’re doing as well. So
Lesley Logan 39:44
Oh, I love that so much. Okay, well that’s cool because we definitely have some some athletes that are listening and also I had a girl on I’ll have to connect you, I have to look it up. She actually was a D1 athlete as well. And then she wrote a book on like, how do you like go into life …
Amy Denson 40:01
Oh my gosh, that’s so needed. The transition is so yep, (Lesley: Yeah) that’s so cool.
Lesley Logan 40:04
I’ll I’ll, I’ll find (Amy: Oh great) her episode and I’ll connect you two because like, yeah, it’s amazing. (Amy: Thank you.) So okay, before we let you go, bold, executable, intrinsic or targeted steps people can take to be it till they see it. What do you have for us?
Amy Denson 40:17
Yeah, you know, I was thinking about this and I just listened to, to a message the other day. And I think, really identifying and getting over our fear of failure. And I think really just going, just going after it, right, whether it’s your health, whether it’s your career, whether it’s your family, whether it’s just getting to know yourself, and understanding that if we are in pursuit of something with intention, there, there really is no failure, right, there’s only going to be maybe learning lessons along the way. But if we’re not ever pursuing anything, obviously, we’re not going to be growing. But I think the pursuit is something is really what starts open more doors in your life, it starts to create that momentum. And I think if we can look at it as more of an opportunity in our pursuit, rather than the lens of failure of something, and really focus on the process, rather than the outcome, right. So a lot of people come with the goal is weight loss, which is great. But what else can we get out of the process? (Lesley: Yeah) What else can we get out of, of you taking that step forward for yourself and your health? Just just, you know, in that pursuit of intention, so I think really letting go of that, that lens of fear of failure, (Lesley: Yeah) and pursuing everything with with that lens of opportunity.
Lesley Logan 41:49
Oh, I love this. I love those so much. Thank you. That another amazing and unique and I love them. Y’all, how are you use these tips in your life? Co… you’re gonna tag @coachamyrae and the @be_it_pod and let us know. Post this on your socials, so we can see your takeaways, so we can shout you out, so we can share it. So we can also just see what you’re up to and also what’s resonating. If you’re like, “I don’t know how to do that.” Then text this message, send this podcast to a friend. And that is not only how we get Amy’s message, it’s also how podcasts get heard. And the you have no idea how every single download matters. So every single one of you listen to this, it really does matter to all of us because we can’t do this without you. So we want to know how you’re using this in your life. Tag us both. And until next time, Be It Till You See It.
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast! One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over at the @be_it_pod on Instagram! I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of ‘As The Crows Fly Media’.
It’s written, produced, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell. Our Associate Producer is Amanda Frattarelli.
Kevin Perez at Disenyo handles all of our audio editing.
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.
Special thanks to our designer Jaira Mandal for creating all of our visuals (which you can’t see because this is a podcast) and our digital producer, Jay Pedroso for editing all video each week so you can.
And to Angelina Herico for transcribing each of our episodes so you can find them on our website. And, finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.
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