First I would like to say, Welcome! If you know me at all you are probably aware that 1.) I hate writing and 2.) I REALLY like to rant. So of course I have a love/hate relationship with this new project of mine. If you haven’t caught on by now, my new project is a blog. This blog. Why am I starting a blog when I hate writing? I have realized over the past four months that I have learned so much about myself and my interests, and on top of that, I have a lot of insight that I have gained throughout my short twenty-one years of life that I want to share with you and with everyone. I hope that in the next couple minutes, while you read this, you will get to know me just a little more and hopefully we can all learn from this.
It’s only fitting that I start at the beginning. As a child, I was full of energy. My brothers and I would run around the woods surrounding our neighborhood fighting “evil spirits” and training our imaginary dragons. I swear, from dawn to dusk we were outside trying to drain every last bit of energy from our tiny bodies. Sadly, around the age of 6, once my energy was drained, I couldn’t really get it back. After two years of mysterious weight loss and stomach pain I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I am not going to give you a description of general Crohn’s, because everyone’s body is different and even those of us with the same illness have an entirely different story to tell. But please Google it if you’re interested to know more!
Between the ages of 8 and 17 I spent every spring in the hospital with feeding tubes, steroids, injections, infusions, and a resection. Since I was diagnosed I have dealt with severe stomach pain, food intolerances, extremely low energy, among many other things. To this day, eating one wrong meal can either keep me up all night doubled over in pain or even send me to the hospital. Luckily, I haven’t stayed in the hospital in about 4 years (praise the Good Lord). Though that did not mean that I felt normal again, whatever that meant.
Left: Me on the left, on steroid Prednisone. Right: Me on the left, coming off prednisone with a feeding tube in my nose going to my stomach.
In May of 2016 I got married (to the most wonderful man), but my memories of our first summer as a married couple are not the greatest. While my husband worked to support us, I spent the summer indoors, napping at least 3 hours a day (on top of getting 8-10 hours of sleep every night) and had almost no energy to go out and explore the city. I went to see an alternative doctor this past fall, and she put me on new natural supplements (I am not exaggerating when I say I was and am taking 30+ pills a day). Through this, though, I continued to feel fatigued, grumpy, and overall unhappy. I tried to follow a gluten free diet, but would often cheat on breaded chicken and cheesecake crust, and though I wasn’t in pain, I didn’t feel good.
Left: Drinking nasty prep fluid for a colonoscopy a year and a half ago. Right: In the clinic about to get the colonoscopy.
In January of 2017 I decided that I was done with being weak and tired and having to make excuses for not exercising, eating well, or being overall lazy. I made my first goal: I was going to start working out. I wanted to be able to walk up the stairs without being out of breath. I wanted to be able to carry groceries across the parking lot. I wanted to be confident in my body that I swore hated me for 21 years of my life. Finally, I wanted to be someone who ate salads and enjoyed it. What a joke that was.
Here came my second goal: eat better. I started incorporating salads and raw vegetables into my diet. A week or two into this, I ate a large meal with nearly all raw broccoli, and the next morning began a week where I couldn’t even stand up straight my stomach hurt so bad. Goodbye salads and raw veggies. To be honest, I wasn’t all that bummed about that. Praise Jesus for powdered greens and smoothies, though. During this same week I was trying to be healthy, yet again, and snack on nuts and seeds, rather than chips or candy. That night I was up many times doubled over in pain as my body tried to digest rough food through an inflamed digestive system. Every time I started to cry, my husband asked if we needed to go to the hospital, which was something he has never experienced with me before. But I was more than determined to not go down that road again (I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a steroid called Prednisone, but it’s my doctor’s #1 drug of choice and it’s actually satan. I’d rather have ten colonoscopies and another surgery, to be honest). Note to self: don’t eat nuts.
Now we’re pretty much caught up. I finally got my diet under control (pretty much no gluten, no dairy, no red meat, no raw vegetables or leafy greens, and no nuts. Am I missing anything? Probably). I have found joy in cooking and baking again and finding recipes that taste great and that will be good for my body. I have been consistently working out for almost five months, and seeing actual progress in my muscle definition. I have maintained my weight, which is a GREAT thing (thank you gluten free pasta). And I have been much more productive and happy. There is so much more to my story, but maybe we can save that for another day.
Most recent picture of me, happy and healthy, with my adorable little brothers.
Now to the whole point of this blog. I feel like my life has turned upside down this year. I have been changing so many habits, and it has made me feel amazing, mentally and physically. But I still have so much I want to accomplish, and I just want to share my journey with you all. I want to be held accountable and help keep you accountable. Though I am convinced that my body hates me, I still love my body because I can move, I can dance, I can run, and I am determined to gain the love from my body in return. Our lives are a blessing, we should be able to feel great, use our bodies in cool and crazy ways, and live in a way that we can be proud of. I have an entire life ahead of me still, and I want to make the most of every minute. I want the energy to do all the things a 21 year old should be able to do. So here’s to having big goals and dreams, treating our bodies well, and enjoying the gift of life.
Here are my goals. Keep me accountable. Download the list and pattern and set as your phone wallpaper if you want to make these changes in your life too!