“You never know what you have until it’s gone but you never know what you’ve been missing until it happens.”

I’ve always loved this quote. I heard it years ago on a show some of you may or may not remember called “Temptation Island.” Let’s just say that this quote stuck with me. The rest of the show did not.

Last week under the guidance of one of my doctors, I was asked/nudged/highly recommended/strongly suggested that I make a lifestyle change. As a Lifestyle Designer, I am no stranger to change. In fact, I like change. This change however was one that was a little unexpected. See from the outside looking in, I am perfectly healthy. I eat well. I take care of myself. I exercise. Check. Check. Check. On paper, everything looks good…well except for a tiny little thing. It was recently brought to my attention that there is a slight issue with my thyroid. Who knew? It’s not severe, but it’s enough that a slight shift in levels in this butterfly shape gland can wreak havoc on the body.

And so here I am learning to take better care of myself. Up to now, I thought I was doing a pretty good job. And then I learned of this small thing. This small, significant thing that can make a big difference between feeling good and being great. It’s always something small that can go unnoticed. Not this time. It was caught.

Under docs orders, I, Joann Lim Lesiuczok, am now dairy-free. That’s right, no milk, no cheese, no grilled cheese, no boursin, no bocconcini, no ice cream, no yogurt, no dairy. It’s amazing when you are told you can’t do something or not to do it, we (or atleast I) start(ed) thinking about all the things I would miss. It took me some time to even consider how beneficial this change would be. How many of you can relate? Were you ever asked/challenged/ordered not to do something, and you a) wanted to do it or b)started thinking about all of the things you’d miss.

…going from being a serial dater to waiting for “the one”

…making a change in the way you eat (sugar to no sugar)

…making a change in your daily activity (no exercise to daily exercise)

…making a change in the way you think

…and the list can go on


Going d-free reminds me of another “d” addiction that can often be hard to shake. It starts small and can sometimes go unnoticed (because many of us do it so often that it becomes “normal”). We’ve been asked/challenged/ordered NOT to engage in this behavior but some of us (atleast those of us who are being honest) still do. A slight change in levels can wreak havoc in our lives and the lives of others. It’s disruptive and destructive. Untreated, it has the ability to destroy relationships, dreams and aspirations, confidence/self-worth, and more. The D-Word. 5 letters: D-O-U-B-T. Unlike the butterfly shaped thyroid gland, doubt is more like a tiny mosquito who finds us in the dark. Before we know it, we’ve been bitten and are left with these irritating, itchy bites. Or if you’re like me, swollen limbs that are itchy, irritating, and painful (I’m allergic to mosquitoes..and mediocrity. Both illicit the same reaction).

Photo Credit: Atalwin Pilon, basicgoodness.com
Photo Credit: Atalwin Pilon, basicgoodness.com


The good news is, this our unknowing addiction to doubt is highly treatable-though the treatment for it is not a small pill we pop 1/day. It’s a lifelong condition that requires daily attention…sometimes throughout the day attention.


Lifestyle Gamechanger


Whether you find yourself embarking on a journey of being dairy-free and/or doubt-free, change of any sorts is not always easy and the road is not always smooth. The SECRET of change is within. ChANge. Focus on what you CAN do, not what you cannot.


Friends, change often requires us to give up stuff that we’ve been accustomed to yet opportunities to be better, live better, love better comes when we are willing to Let Go (of what may be holding us back knowingly or unknowingly).

let it go-st elsa


To all of you who are going through a change, a challenge, whether it be with dairy, doubt, or anything else, may the words from Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” inspire you and get you riled up. It’s time to fight.

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
-Rachel Platten, “Fight Song”