The REAL Story of Where I’ve Been the Past Year…

by Leisa on October 29, 2014

I’m back! And finally ready to share what I’ve really been doing since I stepped away from Embracing Health – to a large extent – over the past eighteen months.

I'm back

Many of you know me from my Hippocrates days. I spend many years working as the naturopath and massage therapist at ‘Hippos’ – the raw, vegan detox retreat on the Gold Coast that sadly closed its doors in 2008. I built up many lovely relationships with the guests that frequented the retreat, and delighted in hearing their stories of recoveries and about people’s journey through life. I shared much of myself with everyone, and following the retreat closure, set up my own detox retreats where I could bring more of myself, my beliefs and experience into a new and vibrant setting. The success of Embracing Health, and the many life-changing retreats we’ve held has been just incredible, and fills me with gratitude to be involved with such great people, doing very beneficial work.

Over those years I went on a journey myself, going through a very painful divorce, and then entering into a relationship that almost ruined me – leaving me with complex PTSD and a complete relapse of my adrenal and thyroid issues. I soldiered on, loving what I do too much to walk away, but knowing that at some point I would have to stop, slow down, and heal.

Meeting my husband Dan in late 2011 was a turning point for me. He provided the rock solid foundation upon which I could rebuild my life.  Through this time I was still running retreats, building my business, organising massive David Wolfe Tours, starting to write my book on fatigue and generally working way too hard. My stress levels were high, but I didn’t really know how to stop. My health was suffering, and I couldn’t seem to regain the extraordinary levels of health and fitness that I had been accustomed to most of my life.

In April 2013, after spending a week at a Tantra retreat with Dan, deepening our relationship to a beautiful and profound level, Dan asked me to become his wife. During that week we also made the decision that if it was possible to start a family, (I had just turned 42) then we would give it our best shot. I knew that my work and stress levels were not conducive to having a child, so I started slowly moving my workload over to the talented and dedicated naturopath Rhianna Smith who had been working with me for some time, and I also passed a lot of administration work over to my Mum, Trish. This year I even took the massive leap of having a dear friend and colleague Trudy Brooke run two of my retreats, so that I could have the time out that was essential for me.

Even though it was hard for a perfectionist workaholic such as myself to let go, I knew that I needed the space to heal, to finish writing my book, and also to devote myself to the possibility of creating a family. So that’s what I did.

And I fell pregnant the first time we tried.
Pregnancy Test
Fast-forward eighteen months, and three gut-wrenching, heart-breaking and soul-destroying miscarriages later, (four if you count the ‘chemical pregnancy’, five if you count the unplanned, surprise pregnancy that I had in the very early days of our relationship, six losses if you count the twins as two) – and I feel like I’m at the end of this particular journey. Over the past eighteen months I’ve spent nearly half that time pregnant. My body has been through the wringer with the hormonal ups and downs, not to mention the emotional ones, and with two anaesthetics for two operations for missed miscarriages, it is time to have a break and let my body rest.

So far there doesn’t seem to be a reason why our babies don’t make it. I’ve had every test under the sun, spent approximately $20,000 over the past year on every type of doctor, practitioner, healing regime, supplement, therapy and test. I’ve slowed down, reduced stress, taken up yoga and mediation and made space in my life. Just recently I was finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease and a co-infection called Babesiosis which is related to malaria, so that could be an answer. Not just to the miscarriages, but it also could have been underlying my issues of fatigue for a very long time. I’ve started treatment and look forward to another stage of healing.

Right now though, my husband and I can’t face another loss. So I need to do what’s right in front of me and that takes me right back to Embracing Health and the work I love. My book The ‘F’ Word Solution is almost finished (I will be releasing it early next year), I have some wonderful retreats coming up – the next one is in Byron Bay in November that I am SO looking forward to – and I have lots of ideas for the continuation and expansion of Embracing Health.

Byron Retreat

It was last weekend that really bought me back. I was asked to speak on thyroid dysfunction at the annual Integria Health Care conference on Endocrine and Mental Health in Sydney. I was treated like an absolute VIP, and being on stage in front of 250 naturopathic practitioners, lecturing about thyroid issues and fatigue – it really hit home to me how vital it is for me to educate both the general public and practitioners, on this important topic. Fatigue disorders can steal the life from a person. How can someone live the life of their dreams, fulfill their purpose and explore their passion if they are suffering with fatigue? My vision is to see more people achieving their dreams through regaining their health. I have reignited my excitement for this work, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

So you will be hearing and seeing a lot more of me from now on! I will be back blogging again regularly (Rhi has been doing an absolutely awesome job on the blog while I’ve been absent, and you will still be hearing from her), and I will soon be putting out some new videos, and sharing my often strong and controversial opinion on all sorts of health and lifestyle related issues.

For the friends that I’ve made over the years that I haven’t been actively in touch with the past eighteen months, I hope to hear from you on the blog or on Facebook where I hope to resume those friendships and continue to build new ones.

I have an amazing life – an incredible marriage, work that I am passionate about, I live in a beautiful part of the world, have good friends, a loving family, and my health is really pretty good in spite of the Lyme diagnosis. Even though there is a piece missing, and likely always will be, I still have a lot to be grateful for.



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21 commentsAdd comment

Julie-Anne Micheal October 29, 2014 at 3:58 am

Your story brought me to tears as I felt your pain Leisa. You have such a big heart, and I’m sure Dan does too, I’m sure you’d make great parents. There are many children in the world that need a wonderful family to belong to perhaps adoption is an option for you both.

Sending you love, blessings and healing rainbows.


Claudine Menegazzo October 29, 2014 at 6:57 am

That was a heartfelt blog. Thank you for your honesty. You have certainly been through some intensive life challenges. With every negative there is a equal positive.

Kate October 29, 2014 at 6:57 am


What a beautifully authentic, honest post. I attended the brilliant Integria conference on Sunday and was so grateful and inspired by your presentation and honesty on the day so thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge and your own journey. Truly inspirational. x

Jody October 29, 2014 at 6:59 am

Leisa, I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been through especially in the last 18 months. I admire your strength and it’s nice to have you back. (hugs)

Jules Taylor October 29, 2014 at 7:06 am

Dear Leisa, A sad and profoundly moving journey you have been on. Again your honesty and courage to share your life moves and inspires me and so many others. With gratitude, Julesxx

Deb October 29, 2014 at 7:08 am

Thank you for sharing your story with us Leisa. You certainly are one incredible woman……an absolute inspiration! xx

Karakrista October 29, 2014 at 7:26 am

Hi Leisa,
I’m so sorry to hear of the extremely challenging and painful time you’ve been through. My heart is wide open with compassion for your many losses and I am full of respect for your strong and enduring spirit. I’m delighted that your passion is reignited for the wonderful work you do. It’s great to have you back. I had goosebumps reading of your response to being once more on the stage sharing and educating at the recent conference. You DO deserve to be treated as Naturopathic and Healing “Royalty”.
I’m sending you many wishes that you continue to heal from this experience to the deepest layers of your being and that you come through it with unconditional love, complete acceptance and a ‘jewel’… a learning… a newly discovered wisdom … that brings you greater richness, love and JOY in your life and in that of your husbands’.
With much love, compassion and respect,
Karakrista <3

jill October 29, 2014 at 7:27 am

Darling Lisa,

Oh boy, have you been through the wringer. I got so excited when you said you were pregnant and then devastated for you as your story of the loss of so many beautiful babies occurred.

I am full of admiration for you and Dan for your courage and determination to keep trying, and being able to keep, it seems, everything in perspective at the same time.

With love and best wishes. Jill xx

Kristine October 29, 2014 at 7:49 am

Dear Lisa, such a difficult and painful time you have had. My heart goes out to you and your amazing man and your blessed angel babies. I am pleased to hear you are finding joy in your work again and I look forward to your book when it arrives – not finally but when it is meant to. Big hugs xxxx

Vanessa Soper October 29, 2014 at 7:53 am

Well my love, you gave me goosies up and down my skin! Your journey has been nothing short of phenomenal! I know you will continue on with all of your passions, I know you are destined to achieve great things…even greater than before. And bless, bless for sharing your story. With that amazing man beside you, and all the other blessings in your life, you will be fine xxx

Yinarra October 29, 2014 at 9:27 am

Dear Leisa,
Welcome back to the place you belong and where you do your greatest work for the world.

And so it would seem …. from every painful and traumatic experience we go through …. a more profound wisdom and an inner strength not felt before, surfaces from deep within!

Love & Blessings for your journey ahead. xx

Saya October 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Oh Leisa, what a big story. So sorry to hear that loss and pain – and what a brave gal to be sharing it. Hope that the love & support coming your way from this blog is helping to ease that a little. Sending much love & hugs – good on you for taking time and chasing down answers and being so grateful for the blessings. Dan sounds like an amazing guy too – both lucky to have each other. Good luck with the final throes of the book and getting back into stride of your valuable work. Many appreciate your wisdom, care & advice very deeply and at the same time respect where you’re at if you can’t be always hands on.

Laurien Wells October 29, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Leisa I send you all my love and wish you and Dan much happiness. Your other baby, Embracing Health, is a wonderful creation and a gift to all of us who seek answers to health issues that mainstream healthcare cannot resolve.

Linda McNair October 30, 2014 at 1:48 am

My heart goes out to you Leisa and I have heard of miracles happening when all else was given up. You are truly inspiring and I loved that you shared your very personal story with us all. I’ll be one of the first to get your book when it is released and am constantly passing on the important information you taught us about Adrenial Fatigue. You bring enlightenment, love and knowledge to all those you associate with and I’m sure the Universe will be returning it back to you in bucket loads. I look forward to catching up with you again and wish you a speedy recovery.

Donna Leigh October 30, 2014 at 5:37 am

Thank you for sharing your story, I’ve been reading a lot about lime its the new epidemic swooping the globe.
Blessings to you Leisa.

Barbara Habner October 30, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Hi Leisa thanks for sharing my heart goes out to you so sorry to hear the loss of your angel babies. You are such an inspiration to everyone I wish you all the best on regaining your health . Take care my dear love Barb Habner xx

Raina fielding October 31, 2014 at 9:13 am

You are an amazing woman Leisa – always have been & always will be. Missing you xxx

Leisa November 3, 2014 at 1:04 am

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment on my story. I really am blessed to have such wonderful people around me to offer such support and kind words at such a difficult time. I really appreciate everyone’s good wishes and am humbled by your generosity and giving spirits.

I look forward to being much more active and in touch with everyone over the coming months,

Christine November 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

My heart reels triumphant awaiting your book. Awaiting a chance to survive this horror show of immune deficiency and fatigue ..Nobody including Heath Professionals really understand an acute Thyroid condition, an acute immune deficiency..let’s conquer this! :)

Pamela McAuley November 24, 2014 at 6:59 am

Leisa – you may remember me. You organised some saliva tests for me about 7 years ago as I was perimenopausal with growing fibroids. Tests indicated extremely high oestrogen levels. Well I battled for another 7 years (10 years in total), with anemia and horrendous bleeding with over 11cms of fibroids in wall of my uterus. But I persisted with acupuncture and chinese herbs and various other western herbs. Nothing seemed to be working as fibroids grew…..then a miracle – I made medical history prolapsing 5 fibroids one after another – extremely painful. So 5 curettes later I have no fibroids. My body, with assistance of a caring gyno, expelled them.

I have had 2 miscarriages myself so I can share your pain and loss. The first was a blighted ovum. But I was blessed to have a lovely 21 year old daughter who I adore! My advice to you if you still wish to conceive, and 42 is still not too late. Lots of Vitamin C and zinc (both parents). Chinese herbs are also worth exploring as the Chinese are particularly skilled in this area. Years ago I recommended Chinese Herbs to a friend of mine who was trying to conceive with endometrium thicking with extreme pain – it only took a couple of months on Chinese herbs and she was pregnant. The endometriosis was also resolved and she went on to have a second child.

Warm Regards

scottsmith December 7, 2014 at 4:04 am

nice story really heart touching.
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