Ten years ago, I remember feeling like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. It was just after my eighth year of medical training, and I’d just found out I didn’t pass my second medical boards. I was absolutely mortified. To some people, that might not seem like a huge deal, but I couldn’t have felt more low.
Before that, I thought of myself as a leader in medicine, and my identity had become intertwined with my prowess in science. But at that point in my life, I was also mom of two and a business owner, so I had immense pressure to perform.
However, every time I would sit down to study, I would not be able to focus—my mind was going at 1000 mph. I was skipping on sleep so that I could expand on my practice, spend time with my children, and then I would pick up my books at 10 o’clock at night.
Basically, I was wildly overwhelmed and sleep-deprived. Anxiety was a big part of my life, along with as fatigue, poor gut health, and all-day fatigue. My identity, health, mindset, and mood were all in desperate need of repair.
In any case, when I learned that I would have to retake the exam, I used this as a motivation to change my whole life approach. I made a goal: By the time I took the exam again the next year, I would be a healthier version of myself. As a physician, I started to dig into the research, and use my nutrition degree as a jumping-off point.
Here, three changes that I implemented from that point forward: