Work-Life-Family Balance: The Real Reason You’re Sick

Aug 01, 2022

Do you LOVE your life? Like really, do you LOVE it? 

Having worked with thousands of mums, juggling all the things, work, business, kids, household, self-care, cooking (...the list goes on), and being in this position myself, I know that many high-achieving mums actually don’t love their life. They are living reactively. They feel like they are constantly on the go. They are getting sucked dry by everyone else and all the demands in their life. And even if they do get a chance to be still, they are constantly feeling guilty and agitated in this state, and all that beautiful, white empty space, gets filled up with more doing.

Do you relate to this?

If yes, your lifestyle could absolutely be one of the root causes of your body burnout and your energy, mood and gut issues. 


Science is Clear: Poor Lifestyle = Disease

Poor lifestyle is strongly linked to a rise of chronic diseases in western countries. Many people are eating quick, convenient processed foods, sleep deprivation is rampant, sedentary living is high, and there are also higher levels of reported stress, especially associated with long work hours or the stress of running a business, and juggling parenthood. Even in the last 25 years, chronic illnesses have risen steadily from 44.7% of the population to 48.3%, and this is predicted to increase with time, as indicated by this graph, and other research. Interestingly, data reports that 75-90% of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments. But the thing is, lifestyle medicine is rarely used in conventional medicine. One research article even goes so far as saying: “by ignoring the root causes of disease and neglecting to prioritize lifestyle measures for prevention, the medical community is placing people at harm”. 


Client Case Story: The Juggling Working Mum 

I want to tell you a story about one of our clients Jane (name changed for privacy). She was struggling big time with a chaotic lifestyle. She was Mum of two, and Boss Mum of a very busy marketing company. Let’s just say she was doing crazy late nights trying to keep up with deadlines in her business, and really struggling with convenience eating and binge eating to keep her energy levels - and her sanity - up. While she had some very serious imbalances in her body, based on her lab tests, which pointed to a lot of genetic issues, at the root cause of many of her ailments (i.e. anxiety, fatigue, weight issues, IBS, chronic pain) were partly due to her unhealthy lifestyle (which was created from dysfunctional patterns of thoughts, feelings & behaviours, which became more prominent the further her body systems were out of whack). The vicious cycle continues - the more out of whack she physically and mentally felt, the more ingrained the healthy lifestyle habits became. Poor lifestyle causes you to feel sick, and the sicker you feel, the poorer your lifestyle can become as you turn to quick-energy sugary of caffeinated energy hits, staying up late to get stuff done because your productivity isn’t what it used to be, and just getting stuck in the hustle and grind of work and life, which causes more stress and physical, emotional and mental burnout. It’s what we call the ‘snowball’ effect. 


Let Living Purposefully Be Thy Medicine

Hippocrates (we love this bloke!) has famously said the following things:

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”

“Walking is a man’s best medicine.”

Holistic Coach Paul Chek also said, in his book The Last Four Doctors You’ll Ever Need: “the last four doctors you’ll ever need are Dr. Quiet, Dr. Diet, Dr. Happiness and Dr. Movement”.

Having more quiet in your life, having more joy and happiness, nourishing your body with good food and movement, and living a life with permission, rather than with hurry and worry, is the pathway to healing. 

When it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle and living your life BY DESIGN (rather than reactively), the first step is to get really clear on what you really want - what type of life do you really want? What does your business or work look like, what does your family life look like, what do your lifestyle habits look like? And what are the obstacles standing in your way? You need to create a vision for yourself and get really clear on what your lifestyle looks like, and the blocks you keep coming up against.

Having a vision is all nice and well, but if you don’t have a game plan for carving out the lifestyle that you want, it will always just be a dream, a wish. Because as you are probably very aware of, you are likely noticing work competing with other important things like family and a healthy, happy lifestyle. So you need to get really clear on how you’re going to create the life you want, so that it includes all the important things that make you thrive - work, family, hobbies, etc - and so that you are living in FLOW, not trying to FORCE healthy living, and causing more stress and burnout inside you. 

Let’s go back to our client Jane. Here are some things she said, when she got clear about the type of lifestyle she wanted, and was given a gameplan, tools and support to carve out that lifestyle:

“Chris & Filly’s program helped me make significant changes to my lifestyle and health. I honestly can't believe the shift I feel in my thinking and am so proud of the changes I've made because of doing this program…I am happier and healthier than I have been in 2 years and do not regret even one second of doing this program! There's still some work to be done but Chris and Filly have given me the courage and confidence to move ahead - happily!"


Willingness To Change

Now in order to HAVE something new, it’s very likely - indeed necessary - to LET GO of what you currently have. Hippocrates said: “before you heal someone, ask him if he’s willing to give up the things that made him sick?”

Are you ready to change your life? Are you willing to let go of the things that are poisoning you (that you may love, that you may be addicted to, that you may feel safe doing), and are you ready to add in the things that will help you to thrive?

If yes, I’d love to invite you for a (free) 15-min discovery call to see how we can help you make the type of transformation you know you need, in order to deep heal and have the lifestyle you really want! Click here to book in.


Filipa Bellette is Co-Founder of Chris & Filly Functional Medicine. She is an accredited Clinical Nutritionist & Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is also a Ph.D. thought-leader, award-winning writer, and regularly published as a guest blogger & in the media. Together with her husband Chris Bellette, Filipa has worked with over 2,000+ busy, burnout clients in the last 10+ years, and specialises in producing healthy, balanced, and happy Mums & Dads...or as she calls it, a Power Parent! Filipa’s own passion for producing high-performance Power Parents came from her own personal experience of Mummy Burnout, after having babies and juggling the demands of business, family, and her failing health.

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