One year ago, I started a journey that, in all honesty, scared me. I knew that changing my diet would cause reverberations throughout my life. But the thought of Multiple Sclerosis to continuing to progress and threaten my mobility caused more fear. I did my research and I was confident that following the Best Bet Diet was my best option. Today, I can say that I have kept to the diet for a full year. This included no dairy, no gluten, no legumes and low sugar. I added some other things as the year went on – no corn, no eggs, no beef. All in the effort to reduce inflammation and give my body a chance to heal and to become healthy. Here is where I stand: 45+ pounds lost, no cane since March, 450 miles on my exercise bike, less pain, less fatigue, 5.2 A1C, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol. There are more positive markers but these are the easiest to list.
I would have liked to lose more weight. I would like to be able to walk better. But I can’t argue with the progress that was made. It wasn’t the year I expected but I guess that is true of most of us. Not only did I learn about taking care of myself but the worldwide pandemic and an empty nest added to the changes in my life and the lessons learned. Here is a brief list of what I learned:
- I am a food addict – I knew this before and I knew that making drastic changes to my diet would wreak havoc to the equilibrium I had in my life. And it was a struggle. And it is a daily battle. I will always fight the desire to seek comfort and pleasure in food.
- Change brings loss and grief. Even if it’s a good thing, change brings about loss and leads to grief. This has been a year of change and loss for most of us. For me it has been trivial things like not eating french fries and chicken strips. And it has been bigger things like my youngest moving out and leaving my nest empty. Dealing with all that change while also not relying on food was a challenge.
- I am worth being taken care of and the best person to take care of me is me. I spent many years taking care of others. But last year, I made the choice to put my own health at the top of my list. Even though things aren’t where I had hoped they would be I can confidently say that none of my efforts at taking care of me were wasted. I would like everyone, especially the women in my life, to understand this truth. The energy put into taking care of yourself is never, ever wasted.
2020 was a year that will be remembered by all of us. It’s a year that hasn’t turned out exactly how we would want it. It has definitely not met my expectations. I am learning to be grateful in the midst of trials and appreciate what I have rather than longing for what I want (so much easier said than done). And it is that gratefulness that I will take into 2021 as I continue to take care of myself and encourage others to do so as well.
May 2021 be all that we had hoped 2020 would be and more! What are you looking forward to in the upcoming year? What did you learn from 2020?