For the past 4 yrs I’ve been fighting an autoimmune disease called Ulcerative colitis, going from being a healthy (though stressed) 23 year old who could eat anything to someone who became intolerant to like 80% of foods has been a huge challenge physically but mostly mentally.
I am lucky to only have a mild case though I have avoided medication pretty much since I was diagnosed and have been searching for a way to cure myself naturally through alternative treatments and diet.This is where my mental battle becomes my biggest challenge, accepting my disease and its limitations and living my life to support my health. Like many whom struggle with smoking, drinking and eating junk I struggle with not eating what some would consider a healthy diet. Gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, red meats, fats and really anything that is processed, that leaves me with fruit and veg. Ironically I do enjoy this kind of diet I ate 70% fruit and veg before anyway but its like in my mind saying I can’t have something even a little bit makes me want it more and the rebel in me comes out argues why i should be able to have something “just this once” or “you deserve it” or “fuck it I can’t be bothered to fight it anyway” then there are times where I don’t even have a second thought about giving in.
“You need to change how you think to master a new way to be”.
Why is it I can fall so easily or just breeze through. How do I keep that effortless control? A big quote for me this year was “You need to change how you think to master a new way to be” but this does not happen over night as the last 4 years have taught me.
I am constantly changing my thought patterns but at times its painfully slow. They say one of the biggest problems with this disease is the mental struggle we face including depression, anxiety and stress. I find many people cannot understand what it is like to be surrounded by people who’s main challenge with food is whether they will gain weight or not (even though it does a lot more damage).
So many social constructs are built around food and when your a lover of food like I am having worked in hospitality most of my working life including as a chef. Going out with friends to places that might have one thing or nothing you can eat on the menu or a party where there is amazing food provided and hardest of all theres traveling where trying foods is a big part of the experience.
I’ve found myself really understanding addiction and disorders like bulimia I am in a constant battle to do the right thing for myself though find myself going against it even unconsciously. There are triggers like, stress, lack of sleep and alcohol that cause me to forfeit control.
I believe we are what we eat and always notice a huge improvement to my symptoms when I do adhere to a restricted diet, stress less and exercise more. My biggest battle is against myself and being able to build a life around me that supports the lifestyle I need for optimum health. I spent the last 4 years constantly researching my disease and the natural treatments people have found successful from extreme vegan raw diets to Paleo diet but with all my knowledge and understanding I still lack the ability to fully see any of these diets through for more than a couple weeks to a month the only alternative therapy that has worked in Bowen therapy which I highly recommend but money gets in the way. As of February I have decided to see someone to help me on my journey to be a healthy me, to guide me on the GAPS diet which I hope along with guidance the diet will be part of the cure to a challenging disease.
Here I intend to share my progress in hope that if it helps me it will also help others.