Six Commonsense Steps to Radical Healing [Podcast with Dani Williamson] - PCOS Diva
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Six Commonsense Steps to Radical Healing [Podcast with Dani Williamson]

“You are enough. You are not broken. And I am living, breathing proof that if a little girl from Gilbertsville, Kentucky can turn around a lifetime of chronic diagnosis, anybody can do it. You can turn it around, and you can live your best wild and well life. I know it.” – Dani Williamson

Join me for this high-spirited conversation with Dani Williamson. She is a family nurse practitioner with a thriving functional medicine practice called Integrative Family Medicine located in Franklin, Tennessee. Dani is proof that there is vibrant health after a lifelong diagnosis is handed to you. She is the author of a brand-new book, Wild & Well: Dani’s Six Commonsense Steps to Radical Healing.

We cover a lot of ground together.

First, we explore the connection between unprocessed childhood trauma and autoimmune disease. She stresses how important it is that we address adverse childhood experiences so we can lessen their impact on the physical body and reverse disease.

Then we discuss her common-sense method of holistic healing which includes the following pieces: Eat well, sleep well, move well, poop well, de-stress well, and commune well.

Finally, she explains how you can AED your life: automate, eliminate and delegate everything you can to make space for YOU and your healing.

You will love her sense of humor and down-to-earth approach!

All PCOS Diva podcasts are available on:itunes-button

 

Dani Williamson MSN, FNP owns Integrative Family Medicine and Wild & Well a Wellness Emporium in Franklin, TN.  She focuses on gut health, autoimmune thyroid (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is her passion) diseases, and hormone and adrenal health with her patients. Her approach embodies a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual process to healing. Dani is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Nurse-Midwifery and Family Nurse Practitioner program. She is on the board of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and believes strongly in addressing issues of adverse childhood trauma and its relation to overall long-term health conditions. Her first book Wild & Well Dani’s Six Commonsense Steps to Radical Healing was released November 9, 2021, by Morgan James Publishing.

 

Resources mentioned:

PCOS Diva Podcast: Childhood Trauma & PCOS
PCOS Diva Podcast: Transform Unconscious Wounds that hold you back
Wild & Well
Dani Williamson

 

Complete Transcript:

Amy Medling:

I am thrilled to welcome Dani Williamson. She is a family nurse practitioner with a thriving functional medicine practice called Integrative Family Medicine located in Franklin, Tennessee. Dani is living, walking, breathing proof that there is vibrant health after a lifelong diagnosis is handed to you. She is the author of a brand new book, Wild & Well: Dani’s Six Commonsense Steps To Radical Healing. And I’m just so thrilled to have her on the PCOS Diva Podcast.

Dani Williamson:

Oh, thank you. Oh my gosh, Amy, I’m thrilled to be here.

Amy Medling:

Well, I met you, gosh, now probably three or four years ago and-

Dani Williamson:

I think yeah. At least three, possibly four. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Amy Medling:

And you have been on my guest list, my short list for years. And when I found out that you had this fabulous new book out, I had to get you on the podcast. So thank you so much for taking the time out to talk with us. And I think as a woman who has been in that battle with a chronic health condition and really understands what it feels like to feel broken and to feel like, “Why is this happening to me?” I think all of us in a chronic health journey has that moment of feeling like a victim, but pulling through that and coming to the other side, that is where the real journey is. And I would love for you to share kind of your health journey and what brought you to write this book, Wild & Well.

Dani Williamson:

Okay. Well, it’s an interesting story. I grew up in complete chaos. Basically, Amy, a shit hole of chaos and just total chaos. My grandfather died by suicide. My mother attempted multiple times. I had two abusive stepfathers. I had chronic, chronic diarrhea, which started my journey. The trauma started it, the diarrhea, four colonoscopies before age 40, endoscopy… I mean before 44,lots of things, diagnosed with IBS, chronic itching. Then given the great diagnosis of lupus when I was 35 and the rheumatologist looking me square in the eye and saying, “Dani, there’s no cure for lupus. It kills women every year. Here’s your pain medicine. Here’s your anti-inflammatories.” And I was like, “What?” And then I was depressed over this. It took 24 years, 10 doctors before a doctor ever looked to me square in the eye and said, “Dani, what are you eating?”

Dani Williamson:

Don’t you know your diet controls your symptoms?” I was 44 years old and just graduated in nurse practitioner school. But back up a little bit, talking about the chronic disease, the chronic lifestyle disease, the feeling broken kind of ugh. I was suicidal at 33, 34-ish and knew the day I was going to drive off the foot of Broadway into the river in Paducah, Kentucky. And thinking that there’s no way out. Not realizing that I wasn’t born with lupus. I wasn’t born with IBS. I wasn’t born with itching. I wasn’t born depressed or anxiety ridden. I wasn’t born with joint pain. I turned every bit of that on. And I am living, breathing proof like you, that what you turn on, you can turn off, or at the very least dial back greatly.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

And so when I learned that at 44, after getting out of nurse practitioner school at an old age after having lost everything and went through divorce and all, I practiced for 10 years helping women and men, but mainly women control, heal their guts by addressing childhood trauma as well, and working from the inside out. When I realized that, “Holy cow, we’ve got all of this wrong, all of this wrong.” I was taught to treat symptoms. I was taught to treat… My heartburn that I had for years was a symptom of something else, right? It was not a deficiency. So I worked for years. And then when I really learned about childhood trauma, oh my goodness.

Dani Williamson:

It took my practice and my health to a whole Another level, because my experience has been, until you address the trauma, it’s real difficult to get to the bottom of the, of the chronic lifestyle disease. That was a game changer for me probably four years ago, just four years ago. So all of that being said, I addressed a lot of trauma, and there was a lot of trauma there, child molestation, the second stepfather beating me at my senior year. Just a lot of trauma. When I really started working through that, my health started… Now, I’d already healed the gut. Worked on healing the gut and removing gluten and dairy and all of that. But I really took my healing to the next level when I addressed that. And I really put those demons to bed dealing with my mother and that’s the-

Amy Medling:

Oh, gosh. Yeah.

Dani Williamson:

That’s the honest truth. And I’m an only child and she has Alzheimer’s now. And so it’s really been tricky, but man, I have worked hard and my health and healing has taken a whole turn and I’ve helped patients do that. That’s the reason I wrote the book, Amy. That’s a five minute explanation into 55 years now of my health. But I wrote that book, like I told you before this, so that every single human from small town, Western Kentucky, like where I’m from, not that they’re not smart, but you know what I mean. Just small town to Cambridge, Massachusetts to New York City could read this book and go, “Holy cow.” This is common sense, practical medicine.

Amy Medling:

And I think you’re really brave to be talking about childhood trauma. There’s not a lot of people that are making that connection. I just want to highlight a couple podcast episodes that I’ve done. One recently with Michelle Chalfant of the Adult Chair. And we talked about childhood trauma

Dani Williamson:

Oh, yes.

Amy Medling:

She deals a lot with childhood trauma. And then I also had a great PCOS Diva on the show that went through my programs, but you realized that she had to get deeper and it was the healing of the childhood trauma. And that episode is Nafsheen Luhar  and we’ll put those in the show notes.

Dani Williamson:

Yes.

Amy Medling:

But I would love to… Maybe you could kind of tell us how you coach your patients to kind of dive into healing trauma from your childhood.

Dani Williamson:

Well, let me tell you, I deal with… Majority of my patients are all autoimmune disease. The bulk of the patients are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, have been for a decade. So now, and again, it’s only been the last four years or so that I really dug into adverse childhood experiences because I didn’t know, I didn’t know, Amy. I did not know. I had this huge education and I was not taught about this. Even as recent as 15 years ago, I was in school. So every patient who walks in my clinic now gets the adverse childhood experience questionnaire. Every patient. Every patient. My new patient tomorrow, I’ve just read hers. She’s a zero. No, actually it’s a man tomorrow. He’s a zero, which is unusual to have… And for those of you that don’t know, and you’ve already got two recordings, so we don’t have to talk about this.

Dani Williamson:

It’s 10 questions on what happened to you before the age of 18. So we go through that emotional, and the physical, and the sexual trauma that happens to you. And once we start nailing in on… Zeroing down, drilling down on that, it’s unbelievable how people start to heal. And I highly recommend counseling. And I have a therapy list, a therapist tool… A mile long in my toolbox in middle Tennessee to send people to, right? Because there’s not one person that works for everyone. And we really start digging in. And when these people start to do the hard work, like the EMDR work, right? The deep, hard work, the experiential therapy work, maybe some tapping, maybe just regular talk therapy, whatever. It doesn’t matter. Whatever works for you. Boy, I start to see their inflammatory markers go down, right?

Amy Medling:

Oh, that’s so interesting.

Dani Williamson:

Their anxiety go down. Their depression gets better, right? Their weight comes down. They start to sleep better. It’s fascinating to me. And it’s missed. I missed it for almost a decade. And my friends that are doing the same thing that I do, that are nurse practitioners, they’re fascinated by it because they’re not doing this. They’re not digging deep and they’re not talking to of patients about their trauma and their anger and their abuse. And I’m telling you, the body keeps score, Amy. You know this.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

Dr. Van Der Kolk knew that. He wrote the bestselling book. Good Lord, I hope you’re… My book and your book would be up there at number one all the… Several times a year, right? His book is just, it’s a classic, The Body Keeps Score. And it does. And so when you start to address that, I just watch the layers start to peel away-

Amy Medling:

And I think-

Dani Williamson:

And the softness come.

Amy Medling:

Oh, that’s the softness. And I think that that is an issue for so many women with PCOS is that suppression of the feminine. And I’ll share my experience. And I think I have on the podcast in the past, but my parents were divorced when I was really young. And I remember being a very young girl thinking, “Gee, if I was a boy, this wouldn’t have happened.” And I really think that that kind of thought in my psyche potentially could have framed some of the epigenetics of the PCOS genes expressing themselves to a greater degree than they may have.

Dani Williamson:

Yes, yes.

Amy Medling:

It’s so interesting, and I’m so glad that you’re doing this work, and I’ll tell you, nurse practitioners, they’re the boots on the ground. They’re the folks that are really helping women with PCOS in practices.

Dani Williamson:

Yes, ma’am.

Amy Medling:

Thank goodness for all of you.

Dani Williamson:

Thank you. Well I was old when I got divorced. I just went through a mess and lost it all and decided, “Okay, well, I’m going to make a 180 turn,” and left fashion. I have a master’s degree in fashion design. And I owned a maternity store for 11 years and worked with pregnant women, was a doula, was already in the women’s health side of this and decided I’m going to nursing school. And anyway, yes. And I could not have chosen a better career. I am so blessed that I’ve had two careers that I love. This one has taken me just to the top of what… Yes, I’m a big fan of nurses and nurse practitioners. And again, it’s why I wrote the book so that… And there was a minute I was like, “Oh gosh, I wish I’d have become a doctor.

Dani Williamson:

If you have a Dr. Dani in front of you there, it makes a big difference.” No, BS. That’s just BS. No, it’s not. You write a great book that heals, hopefully helps millions of people eventually realize they’re not broken. They never were broken. The body wants to be 150%. It wants to write chip, doesn’t it?

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

And it doesn’t take much to turn it around. It takes discipline and consistency. But it doesn’t take long to start feeling better. And I tell people, “Look, I was 45 years before I ever learned any of this. I was 50 something before I ever really was like, “Whoa, I spent four decades plus creating chronic inflammation in my body. It’s going to take a little longer than four weeks or four months to completely turn it around.” But boy, once you start feeling better, you don’t go back, do you?

Amy Medling:

No. And I want you to talk about your steps for reducing inflammation.

Dani Williamson:

Yes.

Amy Medling:

Because inflammation is one of… I kind of look at the root factors of PCOS as kind of a three-legged stool. One is insulin resistance, one is inflammation and the other is hormonal imbalance, but the inflammation piece is really key. And I just have to tell you, I was so impressed when I was reading your book and you have a forward by one of my absolute favorites, Dr. Josh Axe.

Dani Williamson:

He’s a good one.

Amy Medling:

And he says, this is his quote, if he has folks that come across in his practice, they say, “Gosh, my doctor said your labs are normal, you’ll just be fine,” but they know that they’re not feeling fine, he sends them to you. So that is such a wonderful endorsement.

Dani Williamson:

Thank you. He does. He’s here in Franklin where I am. And he does and, and on occasion I’ll say, “Well, okay, how’d you hear about us?” And he’ll say, “Well, Dr. Axe,” or she’ll say “Dr. Axe sent me,” and I’m like… It’s a great compliment. He’s good. When you have another provider referring patients to you, that’s the highest compliment, right? It really is. So it’s common sense. Inflammation, I have a whole chapter titled, Inflammation Is The Devil, in this book. And it is. It’s the root of every single bit of it. I would not have had four colonoscopies, had some gastroenterologist looked me in the eye and said, “Dani, what are you eating? Don’t you know that Betty Crocker canned milk chocolate icing that you’re eating instead of doing drugs,” because it was like my crack, the sugar rush, I suppose, “is destroying your gut and there’s a reason you have chronic diarrhea and joint pain?”

Dani Williamson:

So anyway, that being said, years ago when I didn’t know what I was doing, I got out of school at 40 something, 44. I got a job in a functional medicine clinic. I had no idea what was going on in there. I was like, “What are you people talking about?” These patients were smarter than me. So long story short, I started with food sensitivity testing, because that’s what Dr. Kalb did to me. He did food sensitivity test on me and I was blown away. Oh, my gosh. The things I was eating were killing me. There were some good things on there. So I started just really drilling into, “Okay, I don’t understand in this, but I’ve got a lot of common sense.” What is going to help these people feel better common sense.

Dani Williamson:

And that’s when I developed my own little six steps, which is nothing proprietary of six steps to common sense medicine. Eat well, sleep well, move well, poop well, de-stress well and commune well and it works. And I wrote a book about it because you know what? It works. You’ve got to eat. What’s at the end of your fork is way more powerful than what’s at the bottom of your pill bottle, right? That’s what we hear. I think, I don’t know if Michael Pollen said that or somebody. So we start by cleaning up the diet. I do an elimination diet with patients. I eliminate the top seven foods with people, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, eggs, peanuts. I live in the south. That’s all we eat. Many of us do. Because they’ve said that to me, “Dani, what I’m I going to eat? That’s everything I eat.”

Dani Williamson:

Well, you’re going to eat every fresh fruit, vegetable, nuts, sea fish, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, olive oil. I don’t care. All that you can stand, but we’re going to cut this out. We’re going to eat one ingredient, God made food. And so I start with that and it’s detailed. And I have all that outlined in the Eat Well chapter. Eat well, we start with that and then sleep well because your body heals when you sleep. It’s as simple and as complicated as that right there. When you can’t sleep, you’re not going to eat well, are you? You’re exhausted. You’re going to just choose whatever. So I teach people about sleeping and about how important it is and about how important a mattress is and how important a clean bedroom is. Making your bedroom a sanctuary. We can’t get away from the chaos of life all day, and the electromagnetic fields of our computers, our phones, our lights and all that during the day, but at night, your bedroom needs to be a sanctuary.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

When you step across that threshold into that bedroom, you need to be able to breathe. It doesn’t need to be cluttered and you need to have all the electoral magnetic fields as far away from you as possible. And we talk about nighttime rituals and all of that. So you’ve got to eat well, you have to sleep well. You’ve got to move well, right? You’ve got to move your body. I try not to call it exercise because people stress out over that. I talk all of that in that chapter about Jack Lalanne, he was the best. People who don’t know who Jack Lalanne is because he was the godfather of exercise and he was as simple as anything, right? Don’t eat white sugar, don’t eat white flour, don’t eat white milk.

Dani Williamson:

He talks about that. There’s some videos about that from the 60s and the 50s. Move your body. I don’t care what you do, Amy. If you want a hula hoop, if you want to ballroom dance, if you want to do pushups on the counter while your water’s boiling or you’re doing whatever, I don’t care. Just move your body. We are designed to move and you’re not going to move well if you don’t sleep well or eat well. It’s all connected.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

Eat well, sleep well, move well, poop well. It’s real important. I’m sitting here looking at a six month old poodle, standard poodle here. I’ve got, we need to poop like our poodles, I’ve decided. Poodles. Well, all dogs. Poop like your dog or your cat, right? They eat and they go and poop not much longer. And they’re real happy about it. So your body has got to eliminate what you eat. It’s one big tube from the mouth to the anus. That’s it. What you eat today should be gone tomorrow. We don’t chew our food enough. We inhale our food. We don’t chew it, we don’t break it down, we don’t masticate it. We don’t produce enough digestive enzymes to break down fats, proteins and carbs. We don’t take our probiotics right? We don’t exercise our body. The more you exercise most of the time now, not always, the better you’re going to poop. And so you’ve got to poop. And we’re dehydrated. Some people, if you would just drink the proper amount of water a day, you actually would poop.

Dani Williamson:

So it’s not rocket science. And again, I’ve got a whole thing on maybe you need some magnesium. Maybe you need some extra vitamin C. Maybe you need a few things to help you poop. Maybe you need more fiber in your diet. We don’t know that until we figure all that out. Eat well, sleep well, move well, poop well, de-stress well. Well, if you are so stressed out and look what the last two years going into three years have done to us, well, you’re not going to do any of those other things well. Because stress will kill you. Stress darn near almost killed me as a teenager and as a young woman and up until my 30s. So we’ve got to learn to manage stress. And boy oh boy, is this not a hard time? As we were talking before this, we’re so stressed right now. But I talk in here about cutting the soul suckers out of your life, the people that are dragging you down.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

The ones that are sucking the life out of you. You don’t have to have those people in your life. They do not have to be in your inner circle. If your job is killing you, guess what? You need to find a new job. That’s what I did seven and a half years ago. I opened my own clinic. If your marriage is killing you, well, you’ve got to make a decision about that. I’m not going to tell you to get a divorce, but I think also… I’m not an advocate for divorces, but I certainly believe that there are worse things than divorce. Sometimes you need to get out of a marriage or a bad relationship, right? You may not be married. Stress is killing us. With me, I had to set boundaries with my mother. And then it all fell apart when she got Alzheimer’s. But I was working on that. So stress, I think it’s like 80% of the people say that their stress affects their physical health. That’s crazy.

Amy Medling:

Yeah. And women with PCOS, we already have elevated cortisol.

Dani Williamson:

Yeah. I was just getting to say the cortisol, yes.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And you add this stress that you cannot handle and it just wreaks havoc. It’s like adding fuel to the fire.

Dani Williamson:

You bet it is. I teach my patients about automate, eliminate and delegate everything you can in your life, AED your life. Like automatic, external defibrillator in case you go into cardiac arrest.

Amy Medling:

Oh, that’s a good one.

Dani Williamson:

Yes, it’s pretty good. It’s in the book, AED your life. Automate everything you can, Amy. Everything. If you don’t like going to grocery and you’ve got three small children and your whole world is chaotic, then order your groceries in, right? Do a click list or whatever it is. I like to go to the grocery. My kids are grown so I go to the grocery. Automate everything you can. Your bills to be paid, everything, everything you can do, automate it. And then eliminate the things that are totally unnecessary but you’ve got your hands in. You don’t need to be involved in everything. You don’t have to be the room mom. You’ve got permission to say, “I can’t do this.

Amy Medling:

I know. And one thing that I was going to just point out is, so I’m running my, well as we’re recording this, my free winter wellness course. And so today we were talking about slowing down. And I can’t tell you how many women commented, giving themselves permission to let the house go a little bit so that they could have an hour to themselves. And just being okay with the clutter and not having to have everything perfect.

Dani Williamson:

That’s right, that’s right.

Amy Medling:

So they could have a little time for self care.

Dani Williamson:

Right.

Amy Medling:

And something I feel guilty of, and I have to work on, but I think that’s… I think most women can probably relate with that.

Dani Williamson:

You bet. And I have it in here. I can’t find it. Don’t know what’s page it’s on, but I’ll talk about it here. Just put socks on, Amy. Put the socks on in the house. If your floors are dirty, who cares? Put the socks on. You don’t have to stick to the floor then. So give yourself permission to not have to be perfect. You can’t do it. You cannot. I’m 55 now, I tried to do it. You cannot do it all and do it well. It will kill you. So automate, eliminate and delegate. Delegate everything you can. If the kid are old enough… I had a lady today with a 10 year old. She’s getting ready to be 11. The girl is so overwhelmed. She cried in there. She also has another child, but she’s just completely unorganized. Cluttered house, everything’s a mess.

Dani Williamson:

And I said, “Is that 10 year old doing laundry? She’s going to be 11 here in a minute.” She said, “Well, no.” And I said, “Hello, there are five year olds in Bali when I went to Indonesia and Haiti who are washing clothes in a Creek. Five year old, six year olds. A 10 year old can do the laundry. Teach the kids. Delegate everything you can. Everything you can. Now it may not be done the way you want it, so you have to loosen some strings there, right? And you have to say, okay, whatever. It doesn’t matter. As it gets done, it gets done.” But I am a big believer in building a life, Amy, that you don’t have to escape from. Build your self care in your life. It’s nice to go get a pedicure, right? Those are things though we need to add in.

Dani Williamson:

They don’t have to be self care like, “I need a day of self care.” We need to work on creating and building our world, structuring our worlds so we have some margin in our life. We have some air to breathe. We have some breathing room in our life. And that starts with us. Nothing gets on my calendar or Amy Medling’s calendar unless you agree to it. So we have the right to say no. It’s huge. And I think as women, we need to know that. We have the right to say, “I can’t host Thanksgiving this year. It’s not good for me. It’s not a good thing. I can’t do it.”

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

And so automate, eliminate, delegate everything you can. Set some margin in your life so you have some breathing room and just stick to it, stick to it. And the people that are destroying your world, stressing you out, you need to put some boundaries there, and you need to put some room in between, or maybe just let them fade out. And then you need community, community. Eat well, sleep well, move well, poop well, de-stress well and commune well. Community is key. It’s key for me as an only child who grew up in chaos, who didn’t feel protected at home, had a lot of childhood trauma. My community was my saving grace and my lifeline. And it’s more important now than ever. We are not designed to live in isolation, period. And what have we done for over two years? And now we’re seeing and ramping back up again. We have a mental health pandemic on our hands like there’s no tomorrow. I sit on the board for the American foundation for suicide prevention, phone calls to suicide crisis lines are up 800%.

Amy Medling:

Oh my goodness. Wow.

Dani Williamson:

Since the pandemic started. The fastest growing rate of suicide age-wise is 10 to 24. That age group, age 10, inside that, it’s 10 to 13.

Amy Medling:

Oh, that’s so sad.

Dani Williamson:

So we need community. Do whatever it takes to be the person who cultivates the community in your world. And I’m not talking a text, I’m talking eyeball to eyeball somehow. If you have to do it outside and you don’t want to sit by each other or whatever, we need community. It doesn’t take many people, right? Doesn’t take a lot to hold up an Oak tree. Only a couple of roots. Doesn’t take much to hold up a big old Redwood Sequoia tree. They’re real shallow, but they spread out wide and they hold each other’s roots. Did you know that? Sequoias reach for other trees?

Amy Medling:

Oh, that’s interesting. Well, I live here in the Northeast. We don’t have sequoias, but-

Dani Williamson:

Well, we don’t here either.

Amy Medling:

That’s interesting.

Dani Williamson:

Yeah. It doesn’t take many people. And if you do believe in Jesus, Jesus loved community. He had community and he had them surrounding him. But inside his community, he had a deeper community.

Amy Medling:

Well, I recently moved to a new community this past year and we got involved with a group and we take turns hosting potlucks.

Dani Williamson:

You bet.

Amy Medling:

And it’s so nice to just sort of come together once a month in community. And sometimes they’re outside if the weather allows and even when the weather doesn’t. I know we had one in the winter around a bonfire and it was lovely. And I think that’s something to say during these times, sometimes your community may change and you need to build new community and that’s okay.

Dani Williamson:

Yes, yes. And give yourself permission to do that. I think there was a hashtag during the lockdown, hashtag alone together. I know there was in fact alone together. What? We’re not alone together. There’s no such thing. Alone is alone, but community is life giving, life giving. And it’s common sense. So we have to be intentional about cultivating community. And when you have community, when you laugh with your people, community is encouraging, community… Oh, my gosh, it just fosters so many things. And guess what? It boosts your immune system and lowers your cortisol levels when you’re laughing with your people, with your community. So it’s all tied together because with your community, you’re eating right, you’re de-stressing better. You may be moving.

Dani Williamson:

I don’t know. You eat well, sleep well, move well, poop well, decrease stress well and commune well. It’s all connected. You can add a ton of other things on there, but I chose six and it works for me. And I think that never, ever, ever do we have all those balls in the air at the same time, right?

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

Just working right. But you just got to know when to kind of push back and reset and you have the right to reset. You have the right to say no. You have the right to build your… Set your boundaries. But when you sleep better and move better and all that, you will make better choices, eating wise, what’s at the end of your fork.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

It all works together. And again, I don’t think it’s rocket science, but it’s hard. It’s hard as women because we feel like we are never enough. We are broken. We’re never enough. I’m telling you right now, you are enough. You are not broken. And I am living, breathing proof that if a little girl from Gilbertsville, Kentucky can turn around a lifetime of chronic diagnosis, right? “There’s no cure, Dani.” “What? What do you mean?” Anybody can do it. Anybody can do it. I grew up eating pop tarts and cap’n crunch and frozen pizzas and Betty Crocker icing and chicken pot pies. I couldn’t eat a chicken pot pie right now. It’d kill me. I would die if I ate it. It would probably kill me. Man, I loved them. And cap’n crunch. We can turn it around, and you can live your best wild and well life. I know it. And your tribe is… You’re teaching them this exact same thing.

Amy Medling:

Yeah. Something that popped up while you were talking, is that so many women with PCOS struggle with cravings. And I always say it’s kind of about finding the sweetness in life. When you’re craving sweetness, you’re often lacking that community piece in your life and you have to find other ways to bring in sweetness. Dani, I love your holistic approach, which I think, unfortunately, it’s such a rare approach in the medical community, because it’s so much more than taking a pharmaceutical drug and trying to lose weight or taking the latest, greatest supplement. You cannot out supplement a bad diet, not moving, not pooping well, not sleeping well. There’s no magic pill. You are the magic pill. And that’s what I love about your book is it’s very empowering and it teaches you, as your title says, how to become well again.

Dani Williamson:

Yes, wild and well.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Wild and well.

Dani Williamson:

Because we all want to live like that. We all want our best life and we want that. And here’s one other thing I want to tell your tribe, your PCOS tribe or anyone that happens to be listening even if you don’t have… I work for you. Your doctor, your nurse practitioner, your physician’s assistant, they work for you. We work for you. I don’t have a paycheck if it weren’t for you. And if I’m not helping you, not enabling you, if I’m not helping you live your best life, if I am not digging deep to figure out what in the world is going on with you, then you need to fire me and you need to find a new healthcare provider who’s on the same page as you are.

Amy Medling:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dani Williamson:

You have the right to fire your healthcare provider. I don’t think people realize that. And they just stick with the same old doc or healthcare provider over and over who’s doing nothing. Who says, “Amy, your labs are fine. Your D3 level’s 31. You’re normal. Everything’s normal.”

Amy Medling:

Yeah.

Dani Williamson:

“What? What about my diet? I’ve got high CMO or I’ve got PCOS. Is there anything I can do diet wise to change it now?” “No, no. Well, I hear it has something to do with insulin.” “No.” Then you don’t find a new healthcare provider. And that maybe needs to be a goal of somebody who’s listening to this in 2022 to find a provider who’s going to fight for your health. Who’s not tired, who’s not overworked. It’s hard to find one of us is not overworked, but who’s not burned out with what they do.

Amy Medling:

Right.

Dani Williamson:

Do you see that? Do you do your people complain to you about that?

Amy Medling:

Oh, gosh, yeah.

Dani Williamson:

Yes.

Amy Medling:

There’s a lot of gas lighting. It’s a very difficult task to find a provider that really gets to the root cause, that really cares, that has the time to spend. So you are one of those rare providers, Dani. So tell us how we can find out more about your work and how to find your new book.

Dani Williamson:

Well, the book Wild & Well is available anywhere you buy books. I would prefer you go to Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million online. We’d like to get it in the stores as well. It’s everywhere. Amazon is great. And of course, people want to click right on Amazon. But you know this, you have a book. If you get it from a place who actually has book stores, you’re more likely to get it on a book shelf somewhere. But you buy it wherever you want. I don’t care. If you want to click off Amazon, it’s everywhere. The website is daniwilliamson.com and it’s got everything on it. It’s got every link to my Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, which is all Dani Williamson Wellness. And just like you, I put out so much free content and education every week. It’s just not even funny.

Dani Williamson:

So there’s constant Instagram, YouTube, Facebook videos and content going up. So that’s the best. We have a great newsletter. If you sign up for the newsletter at daniwilliamson.com, make sure you click the link or when it comes to you that you actually did because otherwise you’re not going to get the newsletter. It goes to your junk. So it’s easy to get in touch with us and to find out what’s going on. If you’re in the middle Tennessee area, I have a great supplement store that’s connected to the office, but it’s open to the public. And so you can come in to Integrative Family Medicine and come see us. And yeah, we’re all over. And if you need somebody to come speak at your event or your whatever, I would love to come talk about common sense practical medicine.

Amy Medling:

Oh, and I’ve heard Dani speak so you would be an awesome speaker.

Dani Williamson:

I love it. I tell you. I love what I do as a nurse practitioner and I am good at it, but let tell you, I was born to be on a camera just because I love, I love to teach or a stage. It doesn’t have to be on camera, but you know what I mean? Or radio, I don’t care. I wasn’t voted most talkative 1984, Marshall County High School for nothing. I have a lot of words. And when I’m passionate, just like you, I love to teach and put the word out there because I feel good. And my gosh, I want everyone to… I feel better at 56 next week than I did at 36. And I know that you can as well.

Amy Medling:

Yeah. It’s just such a hopeful message. And I can say the same. I know I just turned 50 and I feel so much better than when I was diagnosed with PCOS at 31.

Dani Williamson:

Yeah.

Amy Medling:

So to think that that aging is a bad thing for us women and perimenopause, menopause, you can live like you said, wild and well. Way beyond.

Dani Williamson:

I saw my second oldest patient today, she’s 87 years old. And she looked at me, she was the funniest thing. And she looks amazing. And she had her hormones with her. She brings her hormones with her every time. I’m like, “Mary, you don’t have to bring hormones. I know what you’re taking. I can refill this.” She goes, “I just don’t want you to forget.” She said, “Dani, I will die with these hormones in my hand. You will bury me with my hormones.” She’s so hormonally balanced at 80 and still on her hormones. 40 years, I want to be like that. I want to be the Ms. Marys of the world who’ve got their hormones in their hand. Their brain is sharp. Their skin looks good. And they’re still driving around doing their thing and we can do it. She’s wild and well. She bounces around. Yeah.

Amy Medling:

I know. And thank you so much for-

Dani Williamson:

Thank you.

Amy Medling:

… for living your soul’s purpose.

Dani Williamson:

Thank you.

Amy Medling:

That’s what this is about is healing women, right?

Dani Williamson:

Yes.

Amy Medling:

So that they in turn can do what they were… God meant for them to do in this world.

Dani Williamson:

Yes. So they can be 100%.

Amy Medling:

Yes.

Dani Williamson:

Not so they can take better care of their family or their job or any of that. No, no, no. You are worthy to be 150%.

Amy Medling:

Yeah.

Dani Williamson:

You are. Not so you can do better things for everybody else. When you are 150% and your oxygen mask is on first and you’ve set your boundaries and you’ve done all the things, it’s a trickle down effect. Everybody else is better by default, but you deserve to be 150%.

Amy Medling:

Exactly. And what a great place to close out this podcast episode. I’m so happy that you joined us, Dani. And thank you everyone for listening. I look forward to being with you again very soon.

 

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