I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much my life has changed over the last several years. I have gone from sickness to health, from obese to normal weight, from stressed out to more mellow. It didn’t happen overnight and it took some work – consistent work to achieve those changes. And I know change is hard but it’s not impossible.
For the longest time, I felt that nothing in my life was every going to get better. The pain that I experienced from fibromyalgia was crushing me. At one point, even taking a shower was too much for me. It felt like needles piercing my skin all over. Being in constant pain is exhausting. And when you are exhausted you don’t feel like doing much – especially anything that is going to be hard work. So how to make this change without working hard?
For me, I enlisted my husband, Charlie, as my primary support. I told him that I didn’t want to get old and feel this way every day of my life – fat and frumpy. There was so much more that I knew I had to do. But I was never going to achieve it if I stayed the way I was. Since I had been so ill with autoimmune diseases for almost five years, my husband been doing the cooking. For a while, I even had someone come in to clean my bathrooms and kitchen because it was just too hard for me. Looking back now, I don’t recognize the woman I used to be. I spent my time reading as much as I could on nutrition and alternative therapies. I was tired of taking medicine that didn’t really seem to do anything but keep in the same place. So with his help, we started developing new strategies on how to eat.
With so many food allergies (I have been diagnosed with about 20 different food allergies), I knew I had to get them out of my diet ASAP. I had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and had already gone gluten-free but with so much else going wrong, I felt it was in my best interest to go grain-free and eliminate the chance of “molecular mimicry” – where the proteins in other foods, like oats and rice, cause the body to react the same way as eating gluten. So now we had the task of making the best of what foods were left to eat – vegetables. Yup, it boiled done to I could mainly eat vegetables. I had no real problem with vegetables but like more people eating a standard American diet, they were few and far between, especially is you were eating out or a social gathering. Fortunately, it is far more prevalent today, to attend a social gathering where many food choices are available. When I was starting down this path, it was rare to find anyone who even knew what gluten was!
Although eating vegetables makes up a great portion of my food intake, I do eat meat and some fish. I LOVE fish, don’t get me wrong. I could eat fish every day of the week. But unfortunately some of my favorite mollusks are on the allergy list. It takes time and patience, but I hope to work foods back in that have not been favorable for me. It may be that I can only have them as a treat once in a while but it’s better than not at all. Other foods, I know for certain that I can not eat again. And I am okay with that. It’s a process that you go through when you decide that you want to heal. Is it better to have that ice cream cone for a few minutes of taste pleasure and then have hours of stomach pains and worse later? It’s easier now for me to be with my friends who don’t have food allergies and have them eat whatever they want and not affect me. I realize if I go there, I am going to make myself sick and it just isn’t worth it.
How do you know that food is making you sick? It’s fairly simple: 1) Get a very expensive blood test to determine your food allergies OR 2) Eliminate the food from your diet for at least three weeks. When you reintroduce it, see if it bothers you – gas, bloating, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, headaches… (you get the picture), that food should probably be removed from your diet. maybe not forever,but at least until you heal. It’s not easy to do it alone. That’s why I share my experiences with you. I want you to know that I understand and I am here to help you. I invite you to schedule a free consultation with me. If we are a good match to work together, great! If not, I may have someone to refer you to. Health coaches are a collaborative group of practitioners who are dedicated to helping others and providing service. I knew I had more to do with my life than just be sick and I am so glad I took the chance to get well. And you can too!