It’s been a month since I started the “Year of Me.” The goal is to make this year about nourishing me – body, mind, and spirit. Most of my energy this past month has been on figuring out how to nourish my body. I am choosing to follow an auto-immune protocol diet. The one I’m following most closely can be found at MSHope. This month I have avoided dairy, gluten, legumes and sugar. I am also eliminating eggs and corn. I’ll share some of my observations:
- Weight – I am down 10 pounds since January 1. That is an amazing amount of weight for me to lose in a month. I have been dieting since I was nine years old. I have been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers since I was ten. I know diets and I know what to expect when I start one. This is more than I have lost in a month in that lifetime of dieting.
- Weight isn’t the point – The goal of eating in this new way wasn’t actually to lose weight. Oh, I need to lose some weight but the real reason I’m making these drastic changes is to lower the inflammation in my body and improve my MS symptoms. There are testimonies that this approach has helped others lessen and even take away MS symptoms. Before I started I was having more and more pain. Plus, walking was becoming more difficult. And the fatigue was debilitating. While I’m happy that I’ve lost weight, I’m more excited that my energy level has improved and I don’t hurt as bad at the end of the day.
- It’s never fast enough. It sounds silly but several times during the month, I became frustrated that the weight wasn’t coming off fast enough. It was a slow start but it was steady. And after a month, I still have very numb feet, a weak left leg and numbness in my fingers. Plus, the joy of the MS hug (tightening of muscles around my trunk that feels like I’m in the grip of a boa constrictor at times) was an almost daily occurrence. I was giving up a lot and the changes I hoped for weren’t coming fast enough.
- Perseverance wins the race. I did a little research and found out it can take 6 months to a year to see the results I’m hoping for. Most of the time I stay on a diet for a couple of months. I’d lose some weight and then get lazy. Then I’d be gaining weight rather than losing. I am reminded this time that these changes are not about instant gratification. It’s about eating what my body requires all the time. This strengthened my resolve to do this for the entire year.
- I can’t believe I’m sharing my picture. Originally, I was going to save the pictures for the end of the year. However, when I took the picture this morning, I was surprised that you could tell a difference. It’s not much and some of the difference is the angle and the way the shirt fits. I am sure that some of the difference is because I am not as inflamed as I was in the first picture. And that proves to me that this is doing what I’m hoping it will. I’ll try not to bore you with pictures but it is a good challenge for me to share them with you.
- The work I have to do isn’t just about making grocery lists. It’s also about learning how to not find comfort, rest, fun, love, and a million other things in food. This is the biggest challenge. This will be an ongoing focus.
I really appreciate all the positive remarks and encouragement. I know I’ll need it in a few months when the weight stops coming off. Or when the anxieties and stress of life push in and all I will want to do is eat away the pain. I am strong today, but tomorrow can be a completely different story.