Foster Friday: Overcome Life’s Challenge

Part III:  How to Overcome and Becoming Kitchen Vixxen

It’s Foster Friday, my favorite day of encouragement to overcome.

Foster Family helps overcome

Today’s inspiration demonstrates how a wonderful Foster family helps a young teenage girl’s overcome. Although Marilee’s life has real struggles, she has certainly overcome the statistics. [Here is our story of challenges we overcome.] Many – if not most of us- have health issues, but as Marilee works through hers, she has been given tremendous support through a continued relationship with her foster family in addition to extended relatives.

Here is Marilee!

Life After Mom

After my mother passed, I finished the school year in the care of my foster parents. They had graciously agreed to take me until the school year finished so I would not have to move to a new city and school halfway through the year. Once I moved in with my Aunt and her family, things were not very easy dealing with the loss of my mom and having to adjust to a new life. I made some friends and got into some school activities. Despite all of that I felt like the odd one out with my family, and everyone else for that matter.

After I graduated high school, I went on to the local junior college for a while. My family had broken up at this point due to divorce, and I had to go out on my own as an adult for the first time. I moved back down to the desert and stayed with my foster parents for a little while. It didn’t last too long though as we didn’t necessarily see eye to eye at that point in my life.

After a year I came back home and managed to survive on my own. I didn’t have a lot of direction in my life at this time, so I got a job as an administrative assistant working with engineering firms. This lasted for about 5 years before I changed paths and went to school for massage therapy. I graduated from massage school in November of 2005, going to work for a spa and chiropractor full-time. I enjoyed the bodywork, advancing in sports, deep tissue and rehabilitative massage. I practiced massage for the next 6 years before embarking down another path into the legal field. I went to school full-time while working full-time for a law firm as well.

At the time I was dealing with Hashimoto Hypothyroidism, managing it as well as I could. When I went back to school to pursue the legal field I didn’t realize I would be doing more harm to my body. I was killing my adrenals, and I didn’t even know it. I performed at a high level for three years before my body just burned out.

A New Healthier Start

A couple of years before a friend of mine had told me about the paleo lifestyle. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t understand how much it would really mean to me. When my body finally burned out, I didn’t understand that it had to with my adrenals. I just knew that I wasn’t able to function like a normal human being, and it was affecting all areas of my life. I started losing jobs because of erratic behavior, spending my days in a complete mental fog. I felt like I was going crazy because I just didn’t understand what was going on with me.

I started to do my research, and things started pointing me to adrenal fatigue. It was then that I started to follow a paleo lifestyle. Trying to manage one’s own health without the right medical practitioners is not easy. It’s especially frustrating when the doctors you do have access to won’t listen to you. Becoming my advocate for my health has since become my biggest passion and biggest battle.

As a result of my journey dealing with my health issues, I started to follow all the popular paleo bloggers. Eventually I started working with some of them on the side as a virtual assistant. I never expected any of this to happen, but I was definitely intrigued by it all. As I began helping them with their Facebook pages and blogs, I found myself wanting to start a blog of my own. Kitchen Vixxen was eventually born and now I am slowly entering the paleo blogosphere.

Giving Back!

As intriguing as blogging is, it’s only one part of my life. I mentioned before that I am 38 years old, single with no children. I often think about whether I will meet someone amazing, have children, have a life bigger than what I have lived thus far. I often wonder if I will foster a child/children myself. It seems natural given my experience. Hopefully one day that will be an option for me. Until then, I will try to live the best life I can, and continue to love the family that I have.

And I hope some of my story can help you in some way. Please feel free to ask questions if you have any. I would be happy to answer anything anyone would like to know.

Don’t you love Marilee! I certainly love how she has overcome and now encourages others. Be sure to check out my friend, Marilee on her page, Kitchen Vixxen.

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Mandy is the force behind the advocacy portal Real Food Recovery. Since losing a 4 yr old to cancer while fostering to adopt, Mandy founded a nonprofit organization recovering children at-risk using real food, real discussion, and encouragement. As a Wife, Mom of birth, foster, and adopted children, author, Nutritional Therapist, & NRT, Mandy shares simple food tips while volunteering in a local Orphanage to create a model for change. Connect with Mandy through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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