Small Changes to Big Transformations
We often talk about nourishment for the soul. What we eat not only fuels our bodies, but can improve our minds, wellbeing and emotions. In other words, we are what we eat!
Ella Mills (formerly Woodward), eponymous founder of “Deliciously Ella”, tells us about how transforming her diet and physical health helped her in more ways than she could ever have imagined.
“I’m a big believer in the idea that when we’re growing and transforming in an area of our life it helps us feel more fulfilled and therefore happier, as we feel like we’re progressing and going forward.
The biggest transformation I’ve been through was in relation to my health, which ultimately totally transformed my life – first to a negative place, then to an unexpected positive. Back in 2011 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. I spent about four months in and out of hospital and most of the following year in bed. I was suffering both physically and mentally from the symptoms of the illness, and the feeling of isolation and depression that were inextricably attached to the sudden shift in my life.
The illness affected my autonomic nervous system, which meant I couldn’t control my heart rate, blood pressure, digestive system, circulation and much more. At this point the illness transformed me into someone that I didn’t want to be. I was totally overwhelmed by how it had affected me and felt totally overpowered by it, to the extent that I allowed it to fully take control of my thought patterns and began to define myself by it – seeing myself as useless because I could no longer physically do what I was able to before. My self esteem was lower than I thought it could ever be and I began to see myself as an outsider and cut myself off from those around me.
Taking control of the situation and trying to change it was incredibly empowering and was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
After a year of isolation, I hit my rock bottom and I realised that I needed to take control.
I started researching natural ways of supporting my body and became interested in diet and lifestyle as ways of managing some of the symptoms. The moment I decided to do this I started transforming again, but this time in a positive way. Taking control of the situation and trying to change it was incredibly empowering and was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I started learning to cook using natural ingredients and recorded what I was doing online.
Although my cooking was terrible when I first started (I mean really terrible!) and it took almost three years to get control of the symptoms, I felt that I was growing and evolving in a positive direction from day one of making the decision and this totally changed my mind-set, outlook and feelings about myself.
It took a lot of work to adjust the way that I saw myself and my illness, but it’s taken me so much further than I could have imagined and allowed me to grow into a person than I never thought I could be. The blog became something that I never expected either, I put all my passion and energy into it and it grew beyond my wildest expectations to become a business that now employs over 60 people!
I saw how transforming one area of my life – my physical health – could have a huge impact on so many other areas and ultimately the more I pushed for the change the further I got and the happier I became. Each time I feel that I’m learning, growing, evolving and going forward in something I feel a renewed sense of purpose and positivity that resonates in everything I do. We all get stuck in ruts and transforming our lives can feel like an impossible task, but from my experience I couldn’t recommend trying that first small step and seeing what happens from there.”
Find out more about Ella’s life and work, and get her delicious recipes and healthy living tips (and much more) by visiting her website. Or find her on Instagram @deliciouslyella or Facebook @Deliciouslyella.