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Female Feature Friday #1

I am grateful to be able to share my story and most of all I am grateful for my health.

Maddie of @maddiesmarket

Maddie

Hi! My name is Maddie Doan. I am 24 years old currently living in Costa Mesa California & this is my wellness journey 🙂
I grew up in Maryland and went to Virginia Tech on a lacrosse scholarship. During the first semester of my Freshman year I ate like crap, consumed way too much alcohol & gained 15 pounds. Like I am talking ice cream cookie sundaes EVERY single night. Drinking both Friday and Saturday nights religiously. I legitimately gained 15 pounds in three months. 
You might be thinking, “But Maddie, you were playing a Division I sport, some of that had to be muscle, right?” That’s what I thought. Nope. I was actually in the worst shape I’d ever been in. Our team Dietitian was shocked. She measured my body fat composition & when she told me by body fat percentage had gone up 7% in 3 months I started cracking up. I remember saying, “That might explain why literally none of my clothes fit me!” 
At the end of the day I wasn’t overly upset about the weight gain, but I wasn’t performing well in the classroom or on the lacrosse field. So when I went home for winter break, I knew I needed a reset. I have never been one for diets (clearly), so this was the first time in my life where I was fully conscious about what I was putting into my body. I completely stopped drinking alcohol and tried to spend that entire month of January eating real foods & less sh*t. (Not drinking was A LOT easier for me than not eating cookies). The extra weight came right off and I truly believe our bodies give us signs, we just need to listen. 
Fast forward two years later to my winter break Junior year. I was sitting at my kitchen table back home complaining to my mom about how expensive natural skincare products were.The conversation probably went a little something like this:
Me: “Mom, why won’t you buy me some fancy shampoo and moisturizers like all my friends.” 
Mom: “Oh yes Maddie I just feel SO bad for you! Let’s go buy out the Skincare section for you at Whole Foods right this instant!!!”
In other words, if I wanted super fancy organic body products, that was on me. And as a broke college student, I was not going to go spend $50 on lotion. No way Jose, not happening. So later that night while I was laying in bed, I started searching homemade body lotion recipes. I have always had super dry skin and I hate the smell of super cheap fragrance-y lotions. I looked up what feels like hundreds of recipes and tested out a couple of different batches with ingredients that I liked when I got back to school. I knew I wanted coconut oil, shea butter & cocoa butter; I just had to play around with the quantities of each until I found a consistency i loved. Once I made a recipe I loved, I started using it every day. I was obsessed. 
I brought my new concoction into the team locker room and gave samples to my friends and family. It was a hit! I was officially the lotion lady. So I figured if I could make a bomb lotion, why not experiment making other products too? So i began making different coffee and sugar scrubs. Those shortly became a hit as well and I was just having so much fun making products in my tiny one bedroom apartment.
The next step was applying to the local farmer’s market. I knew it would be a big leap but truthfully, I didn’t think I would be accepted anyways. So when I was, I kinda freaked out. I had about 5 days to make as many products I could for the upcoming Saturday Market. I went into it with no expectations but I ended up selling out of everything and I remember it was such an amazing feeling being so supported by everyone around me. I loved doing farmers markets because I got to connect with so many people in the community. I was able to share my story and also hear the stories of everyone else, whether it was the customers or the other amazing vendors I was surrounded by. By the end of my Senior year I thought maybe I was actually on to something with Maddie’s Market. 
In June, one month after I graduated, I contracted Lyme disease. However, I wasn’t diagnosed until August. Within those three months I suffered from extreme hair loss, chronic fatigue, joint pains in my hands and legs, headaches, digestion issues, light sensitivity, memory loss & back spasms. At the time I thought I dying. I was so scared and I had no idea what was wrong with me. I had to quit my job and move back home in July because some days something as simple as driving down the street or looking out the window would cause extreme headaches and forgetfulness. 
I got my blood test results back on August 28th and had my flight booked to move to California on August 29. At the time I was still hopeful and not fully aware of what having Lyme disease truly entailed. My doctor gave me a prescription and sent me on my way, so I thought after the three week course of antibiotics I would be back to normal and enjoying my new life in sunny southern California. The Antibiotics didn’t work and just made me sicker. I was practically bedridden the first three months I was in California. 
Chronic Lyme disease is something I will have for the rest for my life, but fortunately my symptoms are much less severe now. I adopted an all natural supplement regimen and started eating better and really listening to my body and the signs it would give me. I used to be upset and try to fight it when my body would get easily fatigued, but now I have learned to listen to the signs and take it easy sometimes. Lyme disease also feeds off of sugar, and I have the biggest sweet tooth out of anybody I know so that has been a big learning curve as well. 
I also had to put Maddie’s market on pause when I initially moved to California because of Lyme disease. I was in a pretty dark place during those months because I was living in a new state where I didn’t know anyone and I couldn’t do anything of the things I loved like being outside, exercising, and working on Maddie’s Market.
Although I wouldn’t wish this disease upon anyone, I have learned so much from it and everything else that has played a role in my wellness journey thus far. I am still at the beginning of it all and have much more to experience and grow from. From gaining all that weight at 18 to starting Maddie’s Market at 20, to getting diagnosed with Lyme at 22. I love being able share any wisdom that I have gained and help anyone in any way that I can. I am grateful to be able to share my story and most of all I am grateful for my health. 
If you have any questions about Maddie’s Market or Lyme disease or would just like to chat, please don’t hesitate to reach out! My email is maddie.maddiesmarket@gmail.com. You can find me on Instagram @Maddiesmarket and the website is is www.maddiesmarket.net.
Xoxo,Maddie

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