Faith shares her 6.5 year journey out of post-viral Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
Learn how she went from lying on her bathroom floor in the “pits of despair” to the top of a mountain over her multi-year journey. In our conversation, Faith talks about living a life less toxic on not just a physical level, but a mental level as well.
Written transcript of our chat:
Liz: Hi, I’m Liz and I share recovery stories from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other chronic conditions. My guest today Faith is going to share her six and a half year recovery journey from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which left her housebound and unable to climb the stairs on many days.
She is going to share the wisdom she learned along the way and how she removed the toxicity from her life. Not just the physical stuff, but the mental aspect as well,
Nothing on this channel is medical advice or meant to be prescriptive, but I hope by sharing our stories, we can inspire you on your journey. I hope you appreciate this interview.
It’s so great to see you Faith.
Faith: Thanks for having me here.
Liz: Yeah. I’m so honored to be sharing your recovery story today. So did you wanna share with our audience your purpose for sharing your story?
Faith: My purpose is sharing my story, I guess, is really just so that people know there is hope.
One of the things that I found the hardest when I was really at my worst with chronic fatigue syndrome was the doom and gloom stories. I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but certainly in the UK, all of the charities that are set up to help people like that, all you get from them is these doom and gloom stories of people that have been ill for so many years and hospitalized, and things like that.
And it used to terrify me. I’d be like, “What if I’m one of them?” And one day my now ex-husband, husband at the time, said to me, “Why do you keep reading them?” And he said, “Why don’t you look for people that have recovered?” And I start doing that and I was like, “Oh my God. There are loads of people that have recovered in lots of different ways.”
From, you know, people that were hospitalized to people that just had it mildly, people that had it for like 20 odd years. And it was a massive, massive help for me to know, like, really know that it’s possible, not just like the doctor say to you, “Oh yes, you know, sometimes it just goes away,” or, you know, “Just deal with it.”
But to actually know that there are people every single day recovering from this, even when they’ve had it really, really badly. There are people recovering from this, and I guess that’s why I share my story with other people is just to give them hope.
Liz: Yes, I resonate. It’s not as much doom and gloom here in the US, but I think it was a turning point for me as well.
When one of my coaches told me, “Look for the recovery stories, Liz.” And I had been Googling like cures and things, and then you get all sorts of stuff. . But when I started to look for the recovery stories that not only gave me hope, but that gave me ideas from what actually worked from people who had been exactly where I was.
Liz: So why don’t we take it back and talk about your life before CFS/ME?
Faith: So for many years before I can now look back and see that I had adrenal fatigue first, and I was just like everybody else. I thought you’ll rest when you have a holiday or at the weekend, or you know, this, that and the other.
And burning the candle at both ends and working hard. So then you get to play hard cuz you’ve worked hard, you know, that kind of thing.
And this was made a lot worse by pretty severe depression and anxiety that I’d had since my teenage years.
And always pushing, people pleasing, trying to achieve, never felt good enough, never doing enough, never being enough, and I just felt continuously rotten.
Really just exhausted all the time and stuff, but not to the degree of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at that point, you know, just to like, “Ugh, life is hard” kind of thing. I was just burnt out, I guess, which is I think what most people feel like most of the time these days. And then I was in a quite a stressful job.
I was a HR manager, and people don’t like HR managers unless it’s on the day that they get given the job. The rest of the time they hate them. So that was quite challenging.
Then I went to India, went traveling, and I got a stomach bug, which turned out to be salmonella poisoning.
And then within a few months of coming back to the UK, I got glandular fever, and that was it.
Then there was nothing left to fight with, and so the glandular fever just very quickly evolved into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Liz: And what year was this?
Faith: I’m not actually sure now. I’ve been well for about probably seven or eight years or something, and I was unwell for six and a half, so whatever that takes us back to.
Liz: Yeah. Alright, so you had a life of adrenal fatigue burnout, then you had the salmonella and then glandular fever, which is EBV and in the US we call it “mononucleosis,” and then that knocked you down.
Liz: So can you describe your functionality levels and health challenges in the beginning?
Faith: Yes. So I never really gained anything back after the glandular fever.
.So, you know, people are knocked out by glandular fever, like healthy people are knocked out for weeks. And I just kind of stayed like I had glandular fever, so I had no energy. It didn’t matter how much sleep I had, my mental capacity to do anything was totally gone. I couldn’t focus on anything. I couldn’t communicate properly, everything ached
I remember saying in the early days, it was like having a permanent hangover. Just everything heavy, everything aching, no ability to do anything.
And it got worse because of my mental state of mind about it. Because I believed you couldn’t get well from it. I actually, I went to a lot of private doctors and consultants and stuff cause I didn’t wanna believe the NHS what they’d said, that it was CFS and that basically it might go away and “let’s just see.”
And so I had paid for private doctors and consultants and I had lots of extra tests done for lots of extra things. And everyone was like, no, we think it’s this. So with each one, her kind of built up hope.
I was like, “Oh, maybe it’ll be something else that we can treat easily, something fixable.”
But they kept coming back to CFS/ME.
Faith: And so at every time that happened, I just would find myself in what I call the “pits of despair,” where my husband would find me hysterically crying on the bathroom floor or halfway up the stairs because it’d become too much to walk up the stairs and it was an extremely frustrating and challenging time probably for both of us.
Definitely for both of us.
Liz: So you were mainly housebound at the time?
Faith: Yeah, sometimes I became bedbound, but not for prolonged periods of time, more so cuz I just couldn’t manage the stairs. But even going the bathroom, which was across from the bedroom door, it was only two-meters away or something.
Even going to the toilet or having a wash, or anything, was just so much effort to get off the bed… and to get off the toilet or to even move my arms to have a wash.
That it was quite a regular thing that I’d just be slumped in the bathroom on the floor kind of in pieces, feeling really sorry for myself.
Liz: So I assume you had to give up work. Were you able to get benefits easily over there?
Faith: No, I didn’t want to go down that road. My husband had his own business, so I didn’t need to, and I didn’t want to, I didn’t wanna have to be jumping through hoops. You know, having to go out for appointments, and they make you go and have these checkups every so often and things which, you know, that’s enough energy spent for someone for a month when they’re in that state.
Liz: I know that can give you a bad crash. And with Covid now things are different. and people do offer Zoom appointments. And I remember begging my doctors for a Zoom appointment and they were like, “No, you need to come in and see me.” And I’m like, just to see you, that would knock me out for 10 days. Yeah. They didn’t understand, and I also didn’t go that route (putting myself through hoops trying to get benefits) either cuz I did have the support of my boyfriend, now husband.
But it’s not an easy road to get benefits and what they make you do. Even just like looking at screens and figuring it all out was just way too complicated at the time.
Liz: All right, so you’re in the pits of despair. When did things begin to shift to a new paradigm and to things that you ultimately found helpful?
What was the first thing maybe that you found helpful?
Faith: I was about four years in actually, and one of those things then was stopping reading all the horror stories and starting to. Anything and everything I could find about recovery and not just recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but from anything terminal cancers, people that have been paralyzed from the neck down, all sorts.
I was like, if these people can recover, I can recover from this kind of stuff. I can recover from this.
And that’s what I kept doing. I’d watch, read, listen, anything. I’d just be constantly searching whenever I had the capacity to take it in.
I’d just do that kind of thing. And I was already, by then detoxing, I’d kind of changed what I was putting onto my skin and my hair and the things I’d brought into my home.
And my diet hadn’t changed a massive amount, but it had changed. Because I was already what I thought was quite a healthy eater, but some of that food wasn’t supportive really of the adrenals and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So I’d done kind of all the physical stuff by then, and there was definitely a difference.
Sometimes I could go out, not very long at a time and stuff, and not very often, but I still had a really, really long way to go.
So then I read a book by Dan Millman called, Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Which is also a movie, but I recommend definitely the book, and that made me realize what I was doing with my thoughts that I was fueling this. That I was constantly triggering my nervous system that was constantly in this depressed, anxious, triggered, stressed state about the world, but also about my health.
And I realized that I was making being less toxic become toxic.
Because I was being really hard on myself about, you can’t be around anyone that’s got perfume on cuz you know it might set you off, and you can’t do this, and you can’t do that, and you can’t do the other.
And then if like someone came into the house and they have perfume on or something, I’ll be like, “Oh my God,” insane, because I thought that it was just the physical stuff I had to address. And reading that book made me realize that I had a long way to go with my thoughts, and I was really fueling it.
Liz: This is so similar for me too, because once you first start reading about all the toxic stuff in our homes, then you’re like, oh my gosh, there’s fumes from the couch and there’s the perfume and all these ingredients and are cleaning products, and you’re just like, “Why are there all these neurotoxic chemicals?”
So you get rid of everything. You get all the green eco-friendly stuff. But then the bubble starts becoming smaller and smaller because now you’re more aware about it. So it might have been helpful in the beginning, but then we become so aware of it, and then our tolerance becomes less and less so that anyone’s cologne will be enough to set us back.
Some of it can be subconscious, too. I know for me, I had mold as a trigger, so I developed chemical sensitivities after we had cleaners who cleaned the attic, and then (looking back I realized) my brain linked it. But then again, it was my thoughts that then became hyper-vigilant about all of that. So yeah, it’s our subconscious, it’s our conscious.
And then you read this powerful book, and you’re like, wow. “Trying to become less toxic was feeling all these toxic thoughts.”
Liz: And that the nervous system, whether it’s the thoughts about the perfume, are equally stressful or more stressful than the actual perfume.
Faith: A lot of the time, yeah, we create these sensitivities in ourselves because our nervous system is on high alert.
And yeah, there are obviously some things that are super toxic and perfume is not good for us, but a lot of the time it’s our thoughts that is creating the problem and not the. Or at least it’s fueling it.
Liz: Yeah. It’s fueling it. And I know we both, we’re not wearing perfume all the time. We both live cleaner lives, but being around someone like at a party or at a gathering… yeah, it’s about balance.
Liz: So you did mention cleaning up your diet, and I do wanna hear what small shifts you did make that your body found helpful for you.
Faith: So there were a few things. One is I’d switched a long time ago cuz I had a lot of food intolerances to free from foods. So dairy free, gluten-free, wheat free, that kind of thing.
And then I realized that they’re absolutely jam packed, full of rubbish. So although I wasn’t having the things that I’ve tested positive to intolerances with, I was then still having sugars and preservatives and additives and just those sort of rubbish really. So they had to go.
And then I was eating a lot of white carbs, I think, cuz we kind of search for energy. So I wasn’t like having dizzy drinks or you know, sodas and things like that. But I was eating a lot of white carbs. So I reduced that greatly. I hardly had any. I shifted it to slow releasing carbs.
Liz: What are slow releasing carbs?
Faith: Like sweet potatoes and vegetables and things like that, like brown rice, quinoa, and things like that.
And then I’d started on fermented foods and drinks as well.
Liz: Oh yes. You are a fermentor. Yes. So can you tell me a little bit about your journey with ferment?
Faith: Well, I realized that one of the big things with what was going on was that my digestive system was totally screwed, and it had been for many years.
Like I said, I had over 50 food intolerances when I got tested, which made my diet quite limiting for quite a while.
Liz: So you had food digestive issues before CFS/ME? And it just got worse then with your CFS?
Faith: So I had the bloating and the upset stomachs and gurgling and weird things going on, and I had done a very strict… I’d cut out the foods that I was intolerant to and felt great for like the six weeks that you have to cut them out.
It didn’t heal me like everywhere else, but the digestive system was one thing that seemed to start working properly again. Then every time I try to reintroduce even not even the worst culprits, like the gluten and things like that, just some of the basic things I would find that I would start to get bloated and uncomfortable again.
So then I realized that you can’t just cut stuff out. You have to actually heal the digestive system. You have to heal what’s going on. You can’t just avoid things cuz it’s an indicator there’s something wrong.
So I had started researching how to heal the digestive system, and one of those is dealing with your stress. And the other way was dealing with yeasts and parasites in the digestive system. And then having a lot of fermented foods and drinks because they’re high in probiotics.
They’re detoxing you and they’re allowing you to absorb nutrients much easier from them and the food you eat them with. And even if you have bad food, if you have some fermented food, like a takeaway or something, you could have like sauerkraut on the side.
It would help you digest that food easier as well.
Liz: Yes, and so for you at least it was helpful to first take away some of your culprits and then add in the fermented food.
So what I did was the yeast and parasite cleanse first because as with a lot of people, it seemed like I had some sort of histamine issue.
Which then means it’s quite hard to have a lot of the fermented foods and drinks, and I was pretty sure I had a yeast problem, and if you’ve got a yeast problem, you’ve usually got a parasite problem. So I just did a really strict yeast and parasite cleanse.
Liz: What was that?
Faith: It’s taking away all the foods that they feed on and adding in lots of natural kind of antibiotics like or oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract, and some herbs and things.
Some of it tastes absolutely vile, it’s quite hard going, but it made a huge difference. The bloating stopped. I dropped quite a lot of weight and I felt like it’s a bit weird to say I felt like I was absorbing my food better as well.
Liz: Then you brought in the fermented foods?
Faith: So after I did the cleanse.
Faith: And then I continued with fermented foods. To keep a good balance after that, and I still to this day have tons of fermented foods and drinks cuz I love it.
Liz: And you ferment yourself.
Liz: Were you working with a herbalist or some type of guide?
Faith: I tried various different people along the way. Some big companies in London that deal with almost completely just with people with CFS and stuff.
I hadn’t found any of that very helpful. None of them and all. For all the people I saw, none of them had actually talked about healing the digestive system.
They just wanted to put tons of expensive supplements in because “You’ve got this illness, so you must be low in this, this, and this.” And I’m like, “Yeah, but I’m also sensitive to this, this, and this.”
And the supplements are very expensive. Upset my digestive system. I’m not the only one. I’ve heard, I’ve listened to dozens and dozens of people that have had the same experience.
Cause nobody, nobody was actually saying we need to heal the digestive system first. If you’re just shoving in loads of supplements, what you do is just create expensive urine.
Because you don’t absorb it, it’s just passing straight through. So I kind of didn’t get anywhere with any of those kind of people. So what I did was just research myself and then basically put a plan together myself, which I then a later date turned into the book, one of my books Cleanse. It’s a six week strict program, but then the whole thing is for 12 weeks and after.
I definitely felt a shift in things. Again, it was all still physical, but there was definitely a shift in that. So then, yeah, I started having lots of whatever I could tolerate from entered food wise.
Liz: And I just wanna put a disclaimer that nothing on our channel is medical advice, and it’s for information only.
And we also all gotta trust our gut, too, because I just don’t want someone going out “Let me just down this oregano oil,” like go easy, and maybe talk to a trusted professional, and also do your research. And you have your book, too, for consideration.
So as I know about your story, just doing cleanses in itself isn’t gonna get you out of CFS?
Liz: So around this time, you’re doing the cleanses and you find some relief in your digestion. You’re starting to absorb more food.
You come across that book about our thoughts and our health. When did things begin to shift in that regard?
Faith: I guess I was about, I got to about 80%, but I stuck at that 80% for quite a long time, and that’s when I started focusing almost completely with the mind.
Like I was still, I wasn’t going back to doing any of the bad physical stuff, as it were. I was still doing all that, still, you know, eating right and all of that kind of thing, doing body brushing and things like that.
But I really tried to focus on the mental cause I realized that I was…I’m trying not to say mental. Though I felt mental (laughs).
So yeah, I kind of focused more on that. So I was doing tapping, so that’s the EFT. And I was meditating and journaling and just really trying to work through all this stuff in my head every day, which was quite tiring in itself.
Liz: Yeah. So can you tell me about your journaling and what were you journaling about?
Faith: Mainly shitty things. Mainly to just get the stuff out my head. I realized that the stuff had to come out. It couldn’t just keep going round and round in circles and thinking, you know, just this, “I’m a shit person, and I’m not enough, and I’m this and I’m that, and why even bother?” And you know, all these kind of things.
Liz: So you’re getting it out on paper.
Faith: Yeah. And then during tapping sessions as well, you know, just going for it.
Liz: Yeah. And for the audience, can you just give a quick overview on tapping?
Faith: So tapping or, it’s also called Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT works in a very similar way to acupuncture or acupressure, or even reflexology, as well, where it’s working on meridians in the body to release a mental and physical blockage.
So it’s an amazing tool to use by yourself because you can get the crappy things you’ve been thinking about yourself and the world out, and then you can put in kind of more positive thoughts in their place instead.
It feels a bit weird to start with because everyone’s saying think positive, be positive, and tapping is actually getting you to just be real.
And I think we need to do that because if we don’t get it out, then that’s when we find ourselves in the pits of despair on the bathroom floor, hysterical. Cuz it will come out somehow.
It has this ability to break the cycle of the way we think, the stories, the victim mentality, and shift it.
Liz: So you’re getting it out and you’re shifting it in this process versus just going right to the positive.
Liz: So did you have any other epiphanies along your upward trajectory?
Faith: Any which way I could reduce my conflict was going to help with my health. And I now realize that’s the same with any illness that anyone’s got for anything.
But I thought I was like special at that moment, when I thought about it. But it really is like we have all these physical symptoms which are truly horrendous, but they are fueled by our thoughts and our triggering of our nervous system. And you can feel it every time that you are stressed and worried.
And you know when you have to go to the doctors for some stupid appointment or something, and a lot of us think that it’s the going to the doctors, that is the bad thing for us, but it’s actually our worry about going to the doctors, about being at the doctors. Will they tell us we have to do this or will they take our benefits away, or, you know, it’s all that stress around things.
It’s like fuel to the fire. And that’s why I think that so many of us, or all of us, have so many what we call crashes, particularly in the last couple of years of recovery.
It can feel like you’ve got so far, you are like up here and you’re like, it’s so close now. And then like, the following week, you are back in the pits of despair.
How can this happen? I did too much. I, you know, all of this kind of thing. But actually I think a lot of it is our thinking.
So I realized that when, if any which way, I could reduce my conflict.
Whether that be about myself or having to do something or whatever, it really seemed to move me along that road to recovery.
Liz: Yeah, so it’s like after, let’s say we exerted a lot. How are we going to then react? Do we go into that blame, self blame, blaming the other person, or do we go into a meditation, or can you describe that? How did that shift for you?
Faith: I’d started to see the good in things instead.
So instead of focusing on what is wrong all the time, I would try to focus on what is right.
So what is wrong is now I feel a bit of a crash because I’ve had to go to the doctors. But actually what is right is I managed to go to the doctors and I managed to actually tell him what I thought, and I managed to get him not to prescribe more pills for me, and I managed on the way home to see some, I don’t know, squirrels playing in the park or, whatever it is, that you know.
All these things I managed to do, and when I started doing that and focusing on everything I could do each day, then a few months had gone by and I realized I’d actually walked to the post box and I’d actually gone to the corner shop.
And it’s so easy, particularly in those latest stages of recovery, to think I’m not getting anywhere or have gone backwards. But if you keep a note of what you’ve been able to do or you’ve got a loved one that can reflect it back at you, you can actually see.
Actually, three months ago, I could barely leave the house and now I’m able to walk to the end of the road, or I’m able to go and pick some flowers in the garden.
Liz: Or just what you noticed, like I noticed the squirrels. And I think being proud of yourself for what you’re able to do, but also how you approached it.
And so writing down all those wins or all those things you’re grateful for and you’re proud of yourself for. That’s just pretty amazing, and I’ve actually heard that quite often, too, with other stories. People have started acknowledging what they can do and being proud of themselves for those shifts and perspective and also the small wins.
So it, yeah, it can have a powerful effect over time, but even if it doesn’t seem like much on a day-to-day basis.
Faith: Mm, definitely. And remembering some basic things like, you know when you start to do more and you do feel tired the next day or something, that’s not a crash, that’s just that you are unfit, you are not used to walking to the end of the road.
You know, you spent the last three years, six years, 10 years, whatever it is, mainly in your house. So if your next door neighbor who is probably fit and healthy went and did a 5k, they would be tired the next day. Well, it’s the equivalent of that, and I think people forget that, that you are actually not fit.
So a lot of that tiredness that you feel in the latest stages of recovery is actually your body just starting to get fit.
Liz: Yeah. And I know even now on the other side you can get tired, too. Like when I had a big party, and then the next day I’m tired. I’m like, oh yeah. Cause it’s a natural thing.
Liz: And is there anything else that you think had an impact on your health recovery?
Faith: Yes. It’s only something I’ve realized more recently. So I didn’t realize this at the time so much, but one of the things that I notice, quite a lot in myself and in the people I work with and stuff as well, is that I was in a very masculine energy before I got unwell and during a good proportion of it as well.
I was in that pusher, that achiever, need to be more, do more, have more. That kind of thing. And that’s not healthy for us.
It’s not a natural energy within us and it creates conflict, and it creates this thing where we never feel enough because we’re not doing what we think we should be doing.
We’re not doing what society tells us we should be doing.
Liz: Which is everything.
Faith: Yeah, exactly. Having high flying jobs and earning lots of money and traveling and having big houses and maybe knocking out a couple of babies and have a couple of dogs and, you know, do it all.
And that had a huge impact on my mental and physical health because it was the drive behind me now always trying to be more, always trying to have more.
And I realized recently that that, like I say, is very common. And I wonder whether that’s why a lot more women, a lot more women, have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome than men do.
I don’t know. That’s just a wild yeah guess.
Liz: And I also do see with men too, who a lot of achiever, or overachievers, and the difficultly with men who get CFS. Ladies, we have so much pressure to succeed and be beautiful, but men are like, you’re supposed to succeed and be strong!
Faith: And look after everyone else.
Liz: Yes. Yeah.
Faith: It’s a huge amount of pressure, but I really recognize these days that the more I let go of that kind of masculine kind of energy, that kind of driver or whatever, that the much, much easier life is.
Liz: Do you think you would’ve been listening to this own message 15 years ago?
Faith: Maybe not.
Liz: No. I just need to achieve.
Faith: Yeah. I need to be more. That’s when I’ll be happy, when I am more.
Liz: Ooh, yes. And I see that so often. Like I will be happy when, and it’s usually tied to an achievement or tied to being able to do more. But I noticed, and it sounds like you had this realization, that when we’re happy, then we could…, you know, it’s not about…it’s the other way around.
Faith. It’s the other way around.
Liz: When we’re happy, then we could do more. But yeah.
Faith: Yeah, totally.
Liz: So, alright. You had a six and a half year journey. The turning points really came around year four, and then, a two and a half year upward trajectory.
How did you deal with setbacks along the way? Any advice for dealing with setbacks to our audience?
Faith: Uh, to start with, I didn’t deal with them very well,
And then I realized I was just making a situation worse. So it really is kind of having more conscious conversations with yourself and saying, you know, it’s not helpful to give myself a hard time for having been lost for the last hour, or day, or week.
Just let it go and move on. And keep doing that and keep coming back to the moment rather than kind of dwelling the past and how bad a recoverer I am, or, you know, I should have done this, or I could have done that kind of thing.
Just let it go and come back to now and start afresh now, and then just keep doing that.
And the more you do that, the less you’re in this conflicted state, the less long and the less intense the triggers, or the blips, or the crashes or whatever you wanna call them.
And eventually you realize you haven’t had a crash in a long time, and then eventually you think, “Oh, I might actually be able to do a long walk or something,” and then eventually you realize you’re actually recovered.
Liz: So it sounds like it was a gradual process, and all of a sudden you’re like, I guess “I’m recovered.”
Was there any, like, I guess there wasn’t a top of the mountain moment or did you have something that felt like a milestone or is more just, “Hey, I went on this long walk and I haven’t had a crash in a while.”
Faith: There was a mountain moment.
Because during, actually I didn’t say about this during my recovery, in the later years, I was doing a lot of visualization.
So rather than spending all day dwelling on being stuck in the house and bed and things like that, I was actually visualizing myself on top of mountains.
I was living in Scotland at the time. They call them munros in Scotland rather than mountain.
So I was visualizing myself on top of mountains. I’d actually look up online what the top of the mountain looked like, what the view would be like. So it was really, really vivid.
I could feel the sweat on my skin, the clothes I was wearing, that kind of thing.
And I was also visualizing myself walking the Camino in Spain. And both of which I did. And when I was thinking I was recovered, I invited two friends to walk up this mountain with me. It’s one of the easier mountains in Scotland, and one of them was super fit, you know, she run marathons and things and the other one was a walker.
And we walked up this mountain and in the days afterwards I felt achy, but I was fine. But both of them really suffered in the days afterwards, and then there was me.
I knew I was recovered then. I pretty much knew anyway, otherwise I wouldn’t have walked up a mountain.
But you know, that was the line.
Liz: Oh wow. Oh, that’s amazing. And you had visualized it like for a long time, and then you were here, and then your friends struggled, and your body was able to easily repair itself.
That’s amazing. And I also love that you…You knew it wasn’t like, “Hmm, I’m feeling okay today. Let me hike up this mountain.”
You had that trust in your body by now, and you had gotten to that place and you had visualized it, and it was here. Oh my gosh, that’s just so amazing, Faith. That’s so wonderful.
Faith: It was.
Liz: And then you went and you did El Camino, a walk in Spain. That must have been beautiful.
Faith: Yeah, so that was probably a couple of years later when I started it.
Maybe it was even more than that. Maybe it was three years later. I don’t know. It was all of a sudden I thought, “Oh, I haven’t done this yet.” So I started planning it, but I started it, and then I actually hurt my leg and had to stop after nine days.
So then about 6 months later, I started it again from the beginning, and that time I finished it.
And the finishing of that, cuz it’s 500 miles or 800 kilometers, was really incredible.
Liz: Oh my gosh. That’s amazing.
Liz: I’d like to talk about your life now. You are no longer an HR manager. (We both laugh.)
Yeah, I’d love to talk about your life now.
Faith: Yeah. So I left Scotland five years ago and moved to Central Portugal to live rurally on a monro here, and I have a growing number of animals and a garden.
I’m attempting to live as self sufficiently as possible, or going in that direction slowly. It’s harder than you would think.
And growing my own veg and things like that and teaching fermenting here.
I do fermenting workshops, and I self ferment and stuff cause that really is my passion. And I also am doing coaching online with people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and IBS issues and general fatigue and hormonal stuff and things like that.
So yeah, kind of anything and everything that I struggled with, I now help other people with.
Liz: Yeah. And I know you told me you also have some free materials as well.
Faith: There’s a 30 day free program for CFS that you can follow. So you get a video every day for 30 days, and they’re quite short on purpose. So there’s that.
But there’s lots of other content on my website you can click on. Most of it’s free content, and there’s the odd link to, you know, one of my books or something.
Liz: That’s so wonderful. So let’s talk about your books. I think you have four.
Faith: Yeah. And a fifth on the way. [It’s out now.]
Liz: Ooh. So yeah, you wanna talk about those?
Faith: Yeah. So the first one I wrote, which I’ve got another edition out of it, as well. So it’s been redone, and that’s Living a Life Less Toxic. And that was really kind of everything that I used to recover in there.
So anything from gratitude to tapping to recipes for food, recipes for making your own cosmetics, cleaners, anything and everything I could think of in the one book.
And then, like I said earlier, there’s the Cleanse book, which is more a program of how to address yeast and parasites and do a healthy detox, rather than like one of these quick fixes that doesn’t really fix at all. And then there’s Loving Yourself Inside and Out, which was kind of my journey.
That I guess, that was a big part of my kind of mental state of mind. What was going on inside me was this dislike and dishonoring of everything. That was me.
And then the last one is Freedom, and that’s feeling your way through Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
So that’s a quite short, thin book in small chapters that are kind of like hints of where we could be going wrong. And I also think it’s quite good to use as an oracle, you know, when you’re having a really rubbish day, it’s sort of just like open around to a page and go, “Ah, yes, that’s what I’m not doing anymore.”
Uh, that was my idea with it anyway. And then I’m working on one called Fermental. About the art and obsession of fermented foods and drinks. So that should be out later this year.
[Liz note: It’s out now, and it contains lot of fermenting recipes. I got a copy myself, because I want to become a fermenter, too.]
Liz: I love it. I wanted to get into fermenting. I had this idea, I don’t know if I’m gonna keep this in the video, but I had this idea, you know how there’s like the great British Bake off, it could be like a spoof on it called the Furious Fermenters Face Off.
And it’s like the opposite cuz you know the bake off, they have like five minutes. Like it’s over six months and it just shows them like waiting. And then you hear about their interesting, or strange, or weird life and that’s the purpose of the show. And it’s like a spoof on the British Bake Off.
Faith: I love it. That would be awesome.
Liz: And then you meet these people from all over the world because that’s the fun part, right? Learning about the people while it ferments. Cause it takes a while.
Liz: So do you have any final message for people watching today?
Faith: It may feel like that you are never gonna get there, that you’re never gonna recover, that you are one of those people that is gonna be ill forever, kind of thing.
But it’s not true. You’re just having a blip.
Brush yourself off. Start afresh tomorrow.
You can do it.
Liz: Thank you Faith, and I’ll include links to your website and your books so people can find those. This was just so wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing all the things that helped you, diet, mind, soul, I really appreciate it.
This was so wonderful.
Faith: Thank you. I’ve really appreciated being asked to be interviewed as well, so thanks.
Liz: Yeah. I hope you have a good rest of your evening over there in Portugal.
Faith: And you.
Liz: This was so great, Faith. Alright, take care.