What do I mean by that? I mean removing items from my life that no longer serve me. Whether my body is telling me that a food or beauty product item is no longer meant for me – through a negative reaction or symptom; such […]
You could ask almost any dietitians, nutritionists, naturopaths, urologists, doctors, and other holistic healers what their number one recommendation would be for combating any auto-immune disease and most would recommend a clean lifestyle to optimize health. By that I mean eating fruits, veggies and meats […]
I have found myself obsessing with an image
I don't see myself as. I took on fitness training in a functional fitness gym this last year. As a trainer, I gradually became more and more focused on changes I saw and those that I didn’t see fast enough, in my body. I know trying to come back from complete lack of movement and likely total body atrophy to a more athletic, strong physique isn’t an overnight process, and I get that.
That doesn’t change the obsessive, negative mantra my brain tells me, “it's possible for me to have the fitness trainer body and I must be doing something wrong to not have it yet.”
I eat clean. As clean as I can considering my autoimmune conditions force me into a very specific dietary regimen.
I work out most days, at least 30 minutes of functional movement.
I put in all the gym time effort for over a year, though truthfully I’ve only been focused on daily movement for the past 4-6 months. So why do I still have a tummy? A little extra around the edges?
Exactly 6 years ago I was well over 200 lbs and wearing a size 16 dress. I’ve now spent the last 2 years in a size 4 dress. I have seen multiple, wonderful changes in my body through all my efforts. (Less IC Flares, Less digestive flares, toning in my arms, stronger legs etc…)
Two questions linger
Why do I still hold all my weight in my midsection? And why do I still obsess about it?
I’m working on changing the conversation I have with myself surrounding this topic. I know I need to give my body and my mind the time it takes to heal. But dammit if I’m not so impatient! I want to get there. I want to believe it’s possible, an aesthetic goal I’ve always wished for and never believed was “genetically” for me. Does some part of me believe I deserve to be ugly and fat?
I know I’m working through healing. I spent years inflamed and fueling it before I stopped the process in its tracks and started the long road towards healthy. I know there’s still a raging war internally and it’s why I flare. I have moments where I experience unpleasant symptoms and it’s difficult not to fall apart in the, hopefully, temporary backslide. Frequent whole body pain, headaches, terrible menstrual cycles and the ever looming interstitial cystitis monster, Frank linger, but they come and go. I believe I have more good days than bad days and all of this progress is amazing.
Why can’t it be cookie cutter easy to come back from the brink of the most toxic unhealthy body you've ever encountered? Can I give myself a break?
There’s more thoughts that stick and plague me: How can I train other people looking bloated, or pregnant, or swollen, or fat? Is there some body dysmorphia? Do I really see what others see? My therapist says she’s never noticed a tummy in body rolling classes but, I can’t unsee the negative perception I holdin my mind.
I think I have a funky shape and maybe that’s everyone. My perception of me is skewed by my history of staring at myself in the mirror. I have been 100 lbs heavier. I have been 20 LB lighter.
I sit around 140 at 5’6” with an active job and lifestyle I had to claw my way into. All of it’s received criticism from myself and others. What I haven't been, is happy with where I'm at.
What do I want to focus on next?
Being okay with where I'm at in my journey, wherever that currently is. Knowing that I might be working hard on any number of perceptions I see, or physical things I’d like to change about myself, as long as I’m working towards my goals. I want to be content with where I am.
Whether that be in my IC and gut healing journey. With strengthening my core and how I perceive this part of my body. I want to find a more helpful, optimistic and positive way to look at my progress and my body. I want to be viewed as strong, capable and knowledgeable. Other aesthetics shouldn’t matter. I don’t want my step-daughter to see me obsessing about my figure in a way that makes others insecure or me insecure. I want her to see me as strong. I want her to see me is capable. I want her to see me as determined. But mostly, I want to see myself as these things.
Recognizing that I am at the place where I am mentally is the first step. I know I am capable of doing so much more than I was this time last year. I’m working on a daily gratitude journal that includes one strength I’ve progressed and one weakness. One person in my life I’m grateful for and one event.
I will track with pictures and measurements, but only so I’m not obsessing about a scale. I did track my weight daily for a month to get a feel for where I really sit throughout my hormonal cycle, but I won’t weigh in except for the first of every month going forward. I might still be obsessing, but I’m trying to track health and not so much focus on the aesthetics. I think it’s a great place to start.
I have been telling people this is the best I've felt in a long time, which is true, but I am still fighting for survival here.
I so have a love/hate mental and digestive struggle with food. What I can and can't eat are still very restrictive and sometimes maddening. I have flares of my interstitial cystitis which leaves me crippled and anxious and desperate feeling. However, I am growing, and have grown. I am changing, and have changed. I see light in the tunnel; maybe no end, but at least it’s not dark.
If we listen to this old adage, it raises the question, So what are you? Tacos? Cheeseburgers? Veggies? Donuts? Self hate? Attempting perfectionism? On a cellular level you really are how you’re nourished. If you’re feeding your cells sugar, GMO, pesticides…you’re toxic, sluggish, and weighed […]
What could ultimately ruin any day, but especially a holiday, for someone who has food allergies and sensitivities?
“Just one little bite.”
This phrase is often forcefully injected into conversation when I politely decline trying someone’s carefully crafted kitchen creation. I promise it’s not your food, it’s my gut, but you don’t seem to be buying that as a legitimate reason to decline your invitation to taste what might poison my system.
You see, the ‘perk’ of my autoimmune diseases is that I likely react negatively to eating food - almost any food. I have a list of 25 foods I stick to and when I do, I feel my best. Veering from that can have consequences ranging from digestive discomfort to straight vomiting for 3 days. With too many leafy greens or the wrong fruit/vegetable, I’m blessed with a rash that feels like poison ivy on my insides, while reflected in hives and veiny lines wrapping my midsection in a fire ant hill of fun. When I eat chocolate I will puke for 3 days - while my insides are dissolving in acid. When I eat corn, every inch of me aches like the flu and this one always requires a detox which is equally flu like, but 2 weeks long. When I eat dairy or gluten, I feel as though my insides are scorching and hell fire is searing out of every orifice. Some things cause hives and others chills. Some headaches and body aches.
Each item I put into my mouth I’m hyper aware of. Each bite I’m not certain about riddles me with anxiety and fear. Food is necessary and you are what you eat. I refuse to be plagued with discomfort - which for my home and body means a strict diet and patience while I seek out it’s needs to heal.
I get that I can come across as a zoo animal and you’re either confused by a lifestyle you can’t relate too, you’re baffled with disbelief, or likely suffering yourself and too daft to admit it.
You don’t have to believe a thing and you’re entitled to live in whatever reality you’ve created and denial you hold close. What I know is what I feel, and when I eat something I shouldn’t, I feel like dying. That’s no way to live
I have Celiacs, so if you cooked that in your gluten filled kitchen I’ll say, “No thank you.”
I have Interstitial Cystitis, so I gave up alcohol. I’m still the same me, just sober; but don’t ask me to come out drinking. I don’t want to go.
I have IBS, so the wrong thing will leave me in your bathroom for hours, sometimes days, waiting for the devastated gut to get itself together and cut me some slack.
So, even if you can’t understand what “just one bite” might do, or why someone passes on an offering of snackage….give them space and be okay with a “No.” When you tell me just one little bite - and you’re adorable with your almost suffocating peer pressure - I break into a crumpled mess of shame and insecurity. When you ignore my requests for self care, for what I know works for me, I feel insane. That’s no way to live.
I spent a lifetime fighting for myself. I hate that someone’s pushy presence can make you feel so ostracized. I get it, I’m the freak with the food restrictions. However, I’m learning that kindness is always an easier route. Can you try a bite of that?
Interstitial Cystitis -an autoimmune xxperience, I flare, pelvic floor tension, low back and hip pain – all engulf my body much more frequently than I’d like. Some days I am able to manage symptoms, but at other times they are terribly unbearable. Sensations to the […]
I have been diagnosed a suspected celiacs.
Suspected sounds peculiar but I refused
To be subjected to being the subject of
Further testing. My mother cannot imbibe,
It makes me regurgitate the protein. I’ll choose
To believe I’m positive in my diagnosis, purely
Due to feeling better when I don’t giving-in to the
Sweet tooth lurking within. I’ll choose gluten
Sensitive positive versus hell scoped invasion.
What they forgot to tell me when I chose,
A gluten free lifestyle is I’ll feel alone. More
Alone than lonely. Alone in my decision,
Rejected as strange. I’ll be the odd piece of
Person in any room. I’m now the freak.
A zoo animal prepared to face an inquisition
Of my outlandish need to nourish myself
Appropriately. Temptation is now going to
Sit at my side doing what she does best
Tempting me towards taste and desire.
She’ll attempt to sway me back towards
Her land of delicious misery and sweet
Suffering. I’ll be strong and resist her.
I’ll miss dearly the delight of giving into
Her. Saying no will be my biggest challenge.
How it feels to be gluten free in a glutenous
World: A display of sharing is no longer
A restoration of my faith in humanity
But the makings of torture. A potluck
With all my favorite enemies lined up
And staring me down. Ash fills my mouth.
It absorbs any moisture and leaves me
breathless and wanting. I’m unsure if the
Sponge sucking the space from my throat
Is jealousy or fighting the impulse to imbibe.
I know I must practice constant will power,
Be good to my insides. I cannot further
Inflame the damage years of giving-in has done.
A little scream slips out of my lips as a hiccup.
Everything I can’t touch surrounds me.
I hold my breath scared of what the
smell brings with it. Desire, the insatiable kind.