If you don't know my story, then sit tight because you're in for quite the ride! Actually sorry to disappoint but it isn't that terribly riveting 😂. But it is real and it happened not only to me but it also happens to many women, many of whom know my story and have reached out to say that they too have suffered like I did from PCOS, infertility and hormonal roller coasters that are enough to make you scream (as though you're at the top of the Wildfire ready to plunge at Canada's Wonderland!).
I was in my late twenties, a newly-wed woman, ready to finally ditch the birth control pills I had been on since 16 when the doctor put me on it because of brutally heavy periods. I was 27 and we were ready to have a baby...but alas my body was so messed from being on the pill that the period never came and apparently baby-making wasn't going to happen.
I was diagnosed with PCOS, Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Basically I would never ovulate on my own and my hormones were a mess. Conceiving a baby could never happen in a body like mine. All those years of trying NOT to get pregnant as a teenager (sorry Mom if you're reading this 😇). Who knew!?
Well that just wasn't an answer I would accept.
What did I do, you ask? It started with me buying a book called "Getting Pregnant Naturally" or something along those lines (sorry I tried to find it to post the link here but can't find the exact book, although there are lots on this topic online). I followed every single suggestion in the book which meant radically changing my nutrition, taking supplements for all the baby-making vitamins and minerals I was lacking, I started exercising, and I started taking a hard look at all the personal care products I was using on my body.
To sum it up, in my teens and twenties my body was really unhealthy and the way that I fed it garbage (basically fried foods, chips & pasta), treated it with disrespect (no movement or very little), smoked cigarettes (and maybe a few other things...sorry again Mom 🥰), drank a lot, was nutrient deficient, and used lots of toxins in my body and face products...caught up with me. I was fortunate though. I was able to turn this around with some lifestyle choices that changed everything (but it is a different experience for every body). I was very lucky. I cleaned up!
To be clear, if you are suffering from infertility I am not suggesting you are unhealthy as I was or even that there is an underlying health issue, for that you should seek out a medical expert. Every woman's experience is different. I just know in my case that I created an unhealthy environment in my body that was a perfect storm for PCOS.
I didn't overcome my infertility alone (ok aside from my husband playing a part in it all, obviously). I worked with both a Fertility MD and a Naturopathic Doctor to tackle this infertility issue. Back then, in 1998-99 infertility was not often talked about and was a huge source of shame and embarrassment for me and other women.
I felt like my body was a failure.
That's why I am sharing my story with you today. Infertility is nothing to be ashamed of. You are not a failure or broken. You may need to change things to heal thyself (note: heal thyself put together differently is healthy self, just saying), but you are not broken. Your body is not wrong.
I am no fertility expert or doctor but I know what worked for me. I know that once I got clean in my nutrition, rid my body of toxins in personal care products, and started treating my body like a temple ~ it changed everything. I had my babies in 2000, a singleton daughter, and in 2004, fraternal twin girls. I am truly blessed.
Fast forward to 2014 and my clean journey continued with eating whole foods, being pretty much plant-based for years, and using toxin-free personal care products (finding natural products a decade ago was pretty hard btw, this industry has only blown up truly in the last 8-10 years).
I was getting pretty sick and tired of trying to find a natural deodorant that wouldn't make me stink like a skunk by noon! I went to the gym every morning and then would head straight to work, the licensed child care centres that I owned and operated (and only opened so that I could take my babies to work with me everyday). Living a clean and healthy lifestyle was important to me. It was also important in the child care centres that we were using natural cleaning products and toxin-free there too!
I decided to create my own natural deodorant, mostly for fun and personal use at first, and thus Clean Kiss was born with our flagship product that started it all. I created natural deodorant to help other women to make their first step towards ditching aluminum and choosing to use deodorant without toxins. I call it the "gateway" to natural products, the first product that most will try when they are making the switch-er-oo to a healthier, clean lifestyle.
Here I am demonstrating giving my armpit some self-love while I rub it in!
Since that time of starting Clean Kiss I have expanded to offer a whole range of small-batch body care (natural deodorant, body butters, body sprays), plant-based skincare for face, acne products for face, and natural curly hair products for optimal nourishment and frizz-free curls.
Personally, I went back to school to study Organic Skincare Formulation and I also sold those child care centres when my girls were no longer there anymore and they had run their course in my life.
Know What I Learned From All This?
You need to trust and honour your body.
You need to seek help and advice from experts.
You should never be ashamed of your body.
You need to treat your body like your temple.
Mostly everything you need, you can get from mother earth.
You need to follow your passion and heart.
You need to tell your story so that others can learn and be inspired too.
So what were the BIG Rewards?
In case it isn't obvious my big rewards were my three beautiful daughters; my healthy body that got cleaned up and just got healthier over time; and finally my fun business of creating natural skincare, Clean Kiss. What more could I possibly ask for?
Of course my incredible husband is still my support and anchor after all these years, and for him I am forever grateful.
I hope you find lots of wisdom in my clean journey story and can create your own path forward to finding your healthy self (remember: heal thyself).
About the Author, Jodie Pappas ~ Founder, Clean Kiss:
Join Jodie's upcoming Masterclass launching July 19th: Embracing a New Approach to Aging: Pro-Aging. This masterclass reveals Jodie's FREEDOM FORMULA and is designed for women in their midlife, 40s+, to feel acceptance of their body, to appreciate the aging process rather than fighting it, and to learn all about nutrition, intuitive eating, mindful movement, positive mindset, stress reduction techniques and improving your sleep to be able to enjoy your midlife now and forever.
Jodie also offers private Skin Health Coaching. If interested, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire if this coaching is right for you.
Learn more about Clean Kiss.
Clean Kiss makes natural, clean skincare for women over 40 that promotes pro-aging beauty and radical acceptance of the beautiful aging process, in mid-life.
Clean Kiss was founded by Family Natural Health Expert, Jodie Pappas, out of her own personal quest to find natural products for herself and her family that ACTUALLY worked. After first creating her signature natural deodorant, she went on to produce a full line of 100% plant based skincare and body products.
Hypoallergenic, Cruelty-free, Vegan, No Petroleum-based ingredients, No Parabens, No Silicone, No Phthalates, No Toxins, No Fragrance, No Alcohol, No Plastic.
Each product is created in small batches using chemical-free formulations that have been recognized with several awards, has developed a loyal customer base of Clean Kissers, and has gained some international media attention by Business Insider, InStyle Magazine, The Toronto Sun, Breakfast TV Toronto, CHCH Hamilton, Global TV and more!