Thank You, Body

It’s almost springtime and I am super pumped for the half marathon I signed up for nearly a year ago. Man, life was so different back then! I remember for awhile during the summer, wondering if I would ever be able to train for this half, or even attempt it– or if I’d have to take the financial and mental loss.

I’m happy to report, that not only do I plan on finishing this half, but according to the stats last year and my current pace, I’m likely to place in my age bracket! The only real goal I have for this is to complete it, but it would be frosting on the cake if I placed, and so I’m hopeful, and so very excited.

Sometimes my thoughts ponder on the last year– my biggest growth year– in every way possible. Simultaneously, the most rewarding and most frustrating– the happiest of times riddled with pain and suffering, and I am so grateful.

Boy was I frustrated with my body at times! The end of the school year was tough with my physical ailments. Finally, when school ended, I was able to purposely move my body daily via hour long leisurely walks. I was slow, but so proud to get out there daily. And then my legs stopped working.

I was getting used to, and accepting that my body is the boss. I also had to accept that I was expecting my body to fully heal itself– really a miraculous (but totally doable!) expectation. I took it as a sign, I was still moving too much and needed more rest. And so I rested, and rested, and rested.

I listened to my body, and took proper care of it, for the first time in my 45 years. Just like quitting alcohol, 30 days in felt like eternity, and my brain expected that my body should be back to normal already.

No brain, you drank everyday for like 10 years, 30 days isn’t going to fix it. Realistically, I think my body truly started to heal from alcohol after abstaining for about a year. There are no quick fixes. After 30 days on the autoimmune protocol, I was discouraged to still have pain– and sometimes be much sicker than I had been. This made no sense to me at all. For the first time in my life I was eating the proper nutrients– fresh food, fresh produce with clean protein daily, and I continued to suffer with pain and fatigue.

So many times I wanted to throw in the towel, with the excuse of, “It’s not working. It’s making everything worse!” At least that’s what Betsy was telling me. That little devil was so sneaky, she even tried to get me to start drinking and attempt to drink in moderation. During a time with desperate feelings in June, I came close to relapsing. Thank God I didn’t– thanks to my support system– but was uncomfortably close.

I knew in my heart that drinking would not only take me back about 100 steps, it would be so bad for my physical and mental health. I also knew that giving up on the AIP diet would be detrimental to my health and that regardless of how bad I felt, I needed to continue. I also knew that all of the new flairs and pain were somehow a part of the healing.

I complimented my good diet with spiritual wellness practices. I visualized healing during meditation, did reiki on myself regularly, said daily affirmations, went to sound bath healing meditations, got acupuncture.

I joined new facebook groups and learned all about iron deficiency anemia and how extra iron can cause arthritis symptoms- was this a missing key? I also learned that some people ingest Borax to kill the pain. I would leave no stone uncovered in my mission to heal.

I’m so glad I stuck with it, as there was a stark difference in my health when comparing the beginning to the end of the summer. It was like after 90 days of the autoimmune protocol diet, everything started to click. I was able to correlate problematic foods more easily, now that I had a clean slate to work with. By August, I felt like a brand new woman.

June 2022

My body is the boss of me. Thank you, body, for showing me the way.

I Screamed at God for the Shooting Child

“I screamed at God for the starving child, until I saw that the starving child was God screaming at me.” – Tony Agnesi

It’s 2:30pm and the rain is scheduled for 3:00, and to last for days. This is fine with me, perfect actually. I usually don’t like the rain, but it’s fitting today.

My mental health has been BLAH. I’m in week 6 of the AIP diet and it feels like I’m sicker than ever. I went to get an iron infusion a couple days ago, and my hemoglobin had dropped a full point in four days. I go back on Friday and might need a blood transfusion. I don’t know why this is happening and it’s frustrating. Meanwhile, I feel that my diet is healthier than ever, and “food is thy medicine” so what the heck?? 

My hand is also still in a lot of pain unless I take 4 Motrins and 2 Tylenols. I’m trying to NOT take them, and sometimes go without, but it leaves me in misery and an unusable hand (trust me, you have no idea how much your dominate hand does for you, until it doesn’t).

It would be different if I were living it up, eating pizza, candy and drinking beer. I guess I did do that for years, so now I wait for the healing. Years of abuse doesn’t get erased with a few weeks of doing the right thing, but it’s still kind of irritating.

I also want to touch on the recent school shooting in Texas.

This feels different to me. A cousin posted something about arming teachers with guns. I’ve never wanted anything to do with this idea, until now. We have to do something, and I recognize myself as part of the ‘we.’ Well, I mean, when I get the use of my hand back 🙁

We need gun reform.

I am so sick of people saying that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Or- if they didn’t have a gun, they’d find another way to do it.

Our current society is sick. I read about kids killing kids in America nearly every single day.

A few weeks ago in Wisconsin a 10 year old, walking home from her aunts, with her 14 year old cousin, was murdered and then raped by him.

This week a couple teens robbed and shot a 20 year old and a 16 year old in a neighboring town.

I work at a pretty affluent school, and even there we have some family horror stories, kids of the family baring the brunt of the disfunction and toxicity.

The cycle goes on and on.

It seems like the insane is starting to outnumber the sane.

I don’t understand why it is harder to adopt a puppy than to buy a gun in America.

Maybe it wouldn’t be an awful idea for someone to have to take a class, like a six month- or year long class- before purchasing a gun.

Perhaps we need to consider the mental health of each individual..

Mental health is also an area that needs some changes, mainly acknowledging the problems society faces when trying to get help. That’s the worst part, and we somehow need to make this a priority.

When my son sent me this text yesterday, I felt responsible.

All I could think of is Tony Agnesi’s quote, one of my favorites. I don’t think I ‘got’ it until this text conversation.

Actually, that’s a bit presumptuous- I’m sure I have a lot more learning to do around it, but I love it and can’t say it out loud without crying.

Only yesterday, it was a ‘shooting child’ I was screaming at god, or the world for.

But all I heard was the world screaming at me.

Prayers and love for Texas ❤️🙏🏻

Day 1146 and AIP holy S*&%

I’m on day 1146 alcohol free and about day 43 of the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet. I felt pretty great in the beginning of the diet, but then felt continuously lethargic and kept getting sick and then had a crazy experience last week that I’m still getting over.

It was Wednesday and I had to drive out to my niece’s award ceremony after work, about an hour away. Let me just say that the entire situation was identical to me talking myself into moderating my drinking- or giving myself an excuse to relapse.

I thought I would skip dinner after the ceremony- or just bring my own food. OR, worse case scenario, I would eat restaurant food but keep it healthy with low fat protein and veggies.

The whole week was busy. I had to drive the same niece and her boyfriend to the airport after work on Monday, then had to drive far again on Wednesday, plus I hadn’t been feeling well so I was dreading the chaos. I didn’t do as much meal prepping on the weekend as I should have so my meals were lame. By Tuesday night I wasn’t so stressed about packing a ton of food for Wednesday and had pretty much decided that I’d just eat at the restaurant (thank you, addictive voice).

Only problem is, we ended up at a bar/restaurant and the menu basically had bar food, plus salads, which I was 1000% NOT in the mood for.

I chose a cheeseburger and onion rings. So I had gluten (only ate half of everything), dairy, sugar (in the ketchup, and probably everywhere else), and probably a ton of other chemicals/antibiotics/etc.

I felt fine there and I felt fine after I got home. I put my leftovers in the fridge thinking maybe I’d eat them for lunch the next day.

I hate to admit this, but part of me was scared of not reacting.

What if this is all for nothing?

What if I’m just making myself worse?

Does abstaining from these things really matter?

It was a long day and soon after getting home I was absent mindedly zoning on my couch. After a little bit, my back started hurting. The chairs at the ceremony, and the restaurant weren’t very comfortable, so I assumed when I went to bed and stretched out, it would feel better.

Only it just got worse. By the time I laid down for bed, I had a cramping like pain in my upper right shoulder and it hurt to take deep breaths. It reminded me of when I got pleural effusion and I wondered if maybe for me, pleural effusion was a result of an RA flair and maybe this food made it flair again.

All I can say is that it was pretty awful!! I was in agony for a bit, ended up taking Motrin and finally going to sleep. The next day was also pretty bad, but the Motrin seemed to help. I had to give a student our state’s standardized test the following morning. Usually testing students is super easy, but not when you’re in agony. My breathing was okay, I just felt so exhausted that I couldn’t wait for him to finish so I could lay in the back of my room and take a nap. And I did, a nap so deep that for a moment I woke up wondering if I overslept.

I can’t say for sure that it was that meal that caused it, but I can tell you that the rest of that meal went straight into the trash! I had reached out to other AIP peeps and got lots of suggestions that it might be a gallbladder attack from all the fat. I guess my worries of this diet being all for nothing is null.

Each day my back/breathing pain has gotten better, but last week was a rough one. I’ve been eating healthy since.

I finally started working out again yesterday, with just a short walk. I got up early before work today and ran for 30 mins (2 min run/1 min walk). Its been a few weeks, so it feels SOOOOOO good to get back on my machines! I hope my energy doesn’t disappear again- that really stunk!

When I was home sick last week I signed up for a half marathon, so I do have a little flame under my bum. Although its not until April 2023, so I have plenty of time. It’s at my favorite local park, so I am VERY excited!

Alright, I think that’s it. Now let’s all have a great week!!

My AIP Life on the Couch

It’s been an odd week.

On Sunday, I picked my youngest up from an overnight birthday party at noon. The mom, a good friend of mine, warned me that he might need a nap that day.

On the way home he told me his whole body was sore from playing Ghosts in the Graveyard. I am truly sorry if you don’t know what this is, it’s a staple of my entire childhood and I feel immense joy whenever kids these days get to enjoy it.

He crashed right when we got home and didn’t wake up until 7pm that night when we got him up to eat. He had the body aches/chills/etc and it was apparent that this was more than just exhaustion.

He stayed home on Monday, while I got ready and drove to work.

It was a weird morning. I had to cover another teacher’s class for a few minutes because her son was sick and she had to wait for her mom to come and babysit. She got there earlier than planned and I was able to see my first group for almost the entire time.

The next session was fine, but I got suddenly sick during the following group. I hung around for a bit- thinking it would pass– but it did not. I left and all I could think of driving home was how badly I wanted to go to sleep. And I did. And now it’s Wednesday, and I’m still on the couch achy and exhausted.

The weird thing is that since I got diagnosed with RA, I rarely get sick or catch bugs that are going around. Even working in a school, where it’s so common to get sick every fall with every new germ- that was never me.

Maybe my immune system was too busy being in overdrive? Maybe as my gut heals, my immune system will level out a bit and while it sucks to get sick, maybe just maybe this could be a good sign?

I’m feeling lots of hope with this. Feeling anything but hope cannot be an option. I have to keep my mental thoughts high- or else I know this won’t work for me.

So, yay!!! It’s working!!! Now if I could just get off this couch 😉

Day 1131 & My AIP Life

This coming week will be week 4 of being on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet.

On one hand, I can’t believe that I haven’t had caffeine & sugar, and gluten & dairy for this long. On the other hand, I can’t believe I’m not really feeling any different 😬 I would have thought that I’d feel amazing by now.

I keep telling myself that my gut’s been leaky since at least 2013/2014 & that it’s just going to take time to heal.

On the flip side, I’m eating some super delicious foods. I think my tastebuds have changed and I highly enjoy the most simple things like chicken soup.

Eating meat has been fine. I’d still rather have beans. But health comes first.

I think my favorite thing in the world is fresh spinach leaves. I eat them with everything & in smoothies. I love to steam the leaves with cauliflower rice & coconut amino/ginger seasoning. But really, they’re good with everything, and delicious hot or cold.

My workouts these past few weeks have been few & far between. I’m spending a ton more time in the kitchen preparing meals. Also, since I love sweets, I usually spend hours on the weekend making AIP approved goodies. I know that if I don’t have them on hand, I’ll end up cheating, so it’s mandatory.

I’m not hating my time in the kitchen. It feels good to cook & eat fresh & I’m loving all the produce on display.

It’s easy to see now, how my struggle and subsequent abstinence of alcohol has helped me with this diet (Geez I hate that word, protocol, instead maybe?). The alcohol journey has taught me to be more receptive and respectful to my body when examining how things make me feel. No more dragging myself through horse shit- that ship has sailed.

So it helps to be honest with myself and that’s a big part of what I’ve learned.

So thank you, alcohol journey. You truly are the gift that keeps giving.

My AIP Life

If you don’t know what AIP is, consider yourself lucky 🍀

Autoimmune Protocol is what it stands for and I talked a lot about it in my last post.

I haven’t been fully on it yet. I’m waiting for all my supplements to get here, so just kind of practicing until then 🤷🏼‍♀️

I ate meat for the first time in 3 years. I was kind of anxious about it all day (had to put the whole chicken in the crockpot. Pulled out bags of organs and actually considered saving to cook and eat, organ meats are highly recommended when healing the gut😵‍💫😬), but it wasn’t that bad. I had leftovers the next day and actually enjoyed it.

I’m going to eat leftover chicken & avocado on an AIP approved pita. I started thinking about my meals and taking pics and sharing them.

So I guess now it’s time to make a YouTube channel?

It’ll be all about my AIP life and by 2023, I’ll be sharing my successes with my RA and PsA inflammation and cheering on those affected by autoimmune crap.

I’ll tell them how it took me nearly 10 years to accept and embrace the AIP lifestyle.

I’ll tell them how I could quit drinking alcohol, after decades of abuse, but couldn’t bare the thought of quitting caffeine or sugar.

I’ll show them how easy it is to make delicious AIP approved meals and snacks.

I’ll show them my workouts stats, that appeared to BOOM after starting the AIP.

I’ll share how much more healthy my family is now that our meals are less processed, and more balanced.

I’ll share how well my body likes AIP and how years of loose skin finally settled and is now tightly formed around robust muscles- all without surgery, of course.

I’ll share how clear headed I am and how my memory went from dull to wonderful.

As I write this, I’m realizing that the AIP life might be alright.

It’s easy for my stupid ego, or Betsy, to get loud when my doubts pop up.

Fortunately, the past ten years have prepared me exponentially for this. I am so ready for my body to heal.

Namaste ♥️

This was lunch after I posted this. Hubby had some and said, YUMMMMMMY!!!! ⬇️