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because life is full of twists and turns

Tag: Chronic Illness (page 1 of 10)

I woke up in pain.

I woke up in pain.

It was surprising – breath-taking, even.  I had blissfully forgotten what that was like.

Quickly I ran through the inventory in my head:  Was I stressed?  Was I skimping on sleep?  Had I been making poor food choices?  Had I not been moving enough?  Had I been moving too much?  Was the weather changing abruptly?

All of these questions really just shoots off the big question: why?

Why was I in pain?

Why AM I in pain?

Why, why, why?

Focusing on my sleeping and eating is easy because they are masks, cover-ups for the real questions I’m trying not to ask: Why does pain exist?  And why me?

Is this God, with a divine plan?  Is this a result of genetics?  Is it toxins present in the American diet?  Or the result of living in a too-sterile environment?

I put on comfortable, non-hurty clothes.  I dragged my body (plus the 30 lb toddler) up the stairs to give him a diaper change despite how much my achy joints protested.  

All day long I did the next thing.

Remembering the advice they gave at Mayo, I texted my husband just one line:  I’m really hurting today.

Don’t focus on the pain, they said.  It just makes it worse.  Don’t mention it at all on the normal days and on the very difficult days, just say something short.

So I did.

I texted my one line and he responded with appropriate concern.

And I went on with the day.

I tried not to think about the pain.

Does that work for the rest of life, I wonder?

Is it that easy?

The world is messed up.  We’ve established that.

Can we just suppress and repress the pain of this world?  Can we go on like life is fine and only mention the pain on the very-hard days?  Are we just fooling ourselves into having a more comfortable life?  Can we ignore the discouragement of living amidst a fallen creation?

Don’t focus on the pain, they said.

But what about the days when you can’t see past the pain?

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The Whole30 Challenge — TAKE TWO

Back in September, my husband and I completed Whole30a 30 day challenge of eating real food and eliminating addictions to sugar, wheat, etc.  It was hard, but GREAT!  I had far fewer migraines, hardly any fibromyalgia pain, lots of energy, cut out my sugar addiction, and ended up losing 20 pounds in the process.

We’ve decided to do another Whole30 in January!  We totally splurged on Thanksgiving and I’ve been paying for it the past few days with very achy joints.  So now I’m back to collecting recipes that are FREE of sugar, dairy, gluten, corn and legumes.  Can you say “Hello, Pinterest”?

Although you can start Whole30 at any time, they have three “scheduled” starts throughout the year including January 1st.  But since my husband’s birthday is in January, we’ll be waiting until after his birthday to start meaning we’ll finish mid-late February.

I’m already excited (and scared) to do another Whole30!  But one thing that is giving me extra motivation is that we have friends doing it with us this time!  We might not all start on the same date, but as of right now, we have four friends who are doing Whole30 in January!  My goal is to encourage 10 people to do Whole30.  It really did help me and I think it could do the same for you.  Do you want to join us??

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whole 30 (alternate title: why I haven’t had milk, sugar or bread in 14 days)

My and my husband’s favorite foods include milk, cheese, bread, alcohol, and any form of sugar.

But we’re on day 14 of being gluten free, alcohol free, dairy free, legume free and sugar free.

Thankfully, we’re only going to 30.  šŸ™‚


It would take a long, long time to explain everything about Whole30, so I’m just going to do my best to summarize.  Whole30 is a 30 day challenge focused on eating whole foods and rewiring how your body and brain approach food.  For instance, my body spent a couple days detoxing (not fun).  And my brain is learning that I don’t really need to eat when I’m stressed and especially don’t need to reach for sugar to make me feel better.

I knew I needed to give this a try because I knew I was too dependent on sugar and milk (along with basically every other food on the list).  Also, I was really interested to see if it would help my migraines and fibromyalgia.

For 14 days now we’ve been eating a lot of lean meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits and nuts.  In some senses, it’s easier than I thought it would be.  I was DREADING beginning this, but once we got started, I fell into a routine.  On the other hand, there have been a couple times when I cried over food.  Like this week when Hadden was really ill and I was so busy taking care of him (and falling into bed the moment he went to sleep) that I honestly forgot to eat lunch.  Cue mini-meltdown.

Here’s What I Love About Whole30:

No Cheating
For some reason, this make sense to me.  Maybe because I like rules??  If there wasn’t a “no cheating” rule, I would probably find myself cheating on the first day.  But I’m on Day 15 and, to the best of my knowledge, have been fully compliant.

You aren’t allowed to weigh yourself
I love this.  I love that it’s not about weight-lose, it’s about a healthy lifestyle.  We can already feel our clothes fitting differently, but I like that the focus isn’t on that. 

It’s called Whole30 and not Whole365
I can do 30 days.  I like knowing there’s an end.  Of course, many people say that at the end of Whole30, they don’t WANT to go back to their old eating habits and instead learn to indulge occasionally.  I know myself and there’s no way I’m going to be eating this strictly for the rest of my life.  But I am hoping to be more conscientious in the future and especially consider the way my body reacts to certain foods.  If they make me sick, why eat them? 

I don’t have to be hungry
I’m not doing any counting of calories.  I don’t have to walk around with a growling stomach.  We try to make sure we eat meals with plenty of protein and vegetables.  And if I need a snack during the day, I eat one.

Here’s What I Hate About Whole30:

Losing food as a connection point
Yes, yes, yes, I know that it’s good to eat healthy.  Yes, I’m sure I could learn to cook Whole30 compliant meals for guests (and I did last week).  It doesn’t change the fact that for these 30 days I have felt very anti-social.  I HATE that.  I love to cook.  I love to have people over. for meals  I think food is a way to bring people together.  It is HARD to lose that.  During these 14 days, we have eaten before we’ve gone to someone’s house and, another time, brought our own food.  Of course we explained about Whole30 ahead of time and our hosts were more than gracious, but it was still unpleasant. 

In Bread and Wine, Shauna Niequest talks about her four months of eating limited foods by saying “I felt like I wasn’t living in the same world everyone else was living in.”  That’s exactly it.  Entertaining is one of the major reasons I know I won’t eat this way forever.

Giving up sugar, bread, alcohol and dairy – obviously!
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I hated it!  I know it’s for my good and I know that i chose to do it, but STILL! šŸ˜‰

Have you ever tried a restricted diet?  Did you stick with it or was it just for a season?

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