The New Year is always a time of reflection and goal setting; and why would this year be any different? This year my resolution was to be kind to myself and to treat my body and mind with respect. What does that mean? Well……I have always had a love-hate relationship with food. Depending on how my stomach is feeling, if I am in a flare, if I know I have to be somewhere, doing something for a period of time with no bathroom close by, if I have to slip into a dress and am bloated and uncomfortable and/or if I have been feeling well and just going on doing my thing. These physical symptoms dictate what, where and how much I eat and can spoil a great meal or social gathering.
As a nutritionist, I know food is medicine and food is fuel. I know what to eat and what not to eat to manage a flare. I have tried different diets, different food combinations and sequences and believe after much experimentation, I know what works for me and what I need to do. And for a chunk of time, I do the anti-inflammatory nourishing diet. I am diligent about planning my meals, prepping ahead of time, not cheating and being on track. And then when I start to feel good again, I self-sabotage. I’ll taste test my baking, I’ll munch on some of the snacks at work or I’ll enjoy popcorn or nuts with the rest of my family. And for a little while, I feel okay so I continue sneaking in bites of gluten and dairy here and there. And then slowly but surely, my symptoms creep back in and before I know it I am back in a flare. Those benign little indulgences alone are not the issue. It is the continuous insults that cause inflammation and the immune reaction in the gut. I get frustrated with my body and myself for falling back into a flare but know exactly what I have to do – and so, the cycle begins again.
I am not sure why I self- sabotage and have thought about it a lot over the last while. It may be out of deprivation or it may be testing the waters to see if miraculously I have completely healed my gut. Change is hard but suffering a crohn’s flare is harder. I am a better mother, wife, friend and nutritionist when I am healthy. I notice these changes in myself and will use this as motivation to stay accountable. Having willpower is a skill that takes time to master but 2016 is my year to do so. I know what to do – I coach clients on this every day. But even for me, this is difficult. So this year, I will stay accountable to myself and next time I go to the movies with my husband, his bag of popcorn really will just be for him!
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