If you read my last post you know that I am starting on a path of healthier living. I went into this knowing that I am not going to be perfect, and that it’s all about learning and putting forth a conscious effort. And, as expected, week 1 was far from perfect.
Saturday I got up and hit the grocery store with my shopping list. I bought everything I needed for my meal plan. When I got home and unloaded everything I realized that I maybe over-planned. Which I did. Luckily, I can roll some of last week’s ingredients into this week.
Next hiccup: waking up Sunday morning with a migraine. Not planned. Not fun. I still managed to prep 2 meals, but due to the migraine I didn’t eat too much.
Here are some of my favorite meals from week 1:
So, am I feeling drastically improved after week 1? The week of decreased pain? Definitely not. I didn’t expect to after just 1 week of a semi-improved diet. I know I wasn’t 100% by-the-book on week 1, but like I said before, I knew I wouldn’t be. I don’t want this to be a quick fix, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself.
This week I have some simpler meals planned. But, ironically, due to another fibro flare-up, I haven’t gotten to the grocery store yet. But, I guess that is part of why I’m doing all this. Trying to not get frustrated and listen to my body and rest it when needed. It’s just as tough mentally as it is physically. I have so many ideas, goals, and things to do, and it’s so hard when my body has other ideas. It’s hard not being “normal” sometimes. It’s hard asking for help. It’s just hard some days.
So, week 2, I’m ready for you. Just as soon as I pull myself off these heating pads…
Good Shit. Don’t worry. Exciting, optimistic shit is finally happening.
For the first time in what feels like forever, I am optimistic about my fibromyalgia. Honestly, I never thought I’d get here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all ideas that are causing this optimism, but, it’s optimism nonetheless. Let me tell you why!
The other night I stumbled upon a documentary on Hulu called “Can we cure”. (Surprisingly I watched something that isn’t about true crime and murder.) If you deal with chronic pain of any kind, or are close to someone who deals with it, I highly recommend you watch it. It’s only a few episodes, so you’re not dedicating a ton of time to it. Here’s the overall gist: 2 girls, around my age (31) both dealing with different types of chronic pain, and trying to manage a normal life (work, dating, friends, exercise, etc.). They live in LA, and found a clinic in Boca Raton, FL that specializes in a new treatment for chronic pain. Basically, the treatment is 3 parts: Detox, Laser beams, and Mental Therapy. All necessary. First, they do a cool test to find out what toxins are in your body causing the chronic pain. (IT’S NOT MADE UP. IT’S NOT “JUST FIBROMYALGIA”. THERE IS A CAUSE!). I’m getting ahead of myself here, but I’m now convinced that my pain isn’t just my pain, and there is something in my body breaking me. Once they detox you of the shit, they essentially start zapping you with lasers. Fact: Every minute, 96 million cells in your body die, and 96 million cells regenerate. (Where are my Doctor Who fans?!). So, muscle memory. If you have bad cells, that’s all your body knows. So, bad cells die, bad cells are born. It all makes so much sense. But, with lasers, your cells are being treated and healed as they regenerate, which helps with your pain because you are then creating healthy cells. MIND BLOWN. (The documentary explains this so much better, I swear. Watch it.) Next, you need to get your mind right. When all you know is pain, it’s hard to snap out of it and realize that you can actually feel different. You need to forgive, and move on. Forgive the doctors, the friends, the strangers, everyone who doubted, questioned and belittled your pain. Which is hard. And not easy. Especially for those who have their chronic pain caused by some type of trauma. But necessary for overall healing. By the end of the treatment, the girls were improving drastically.
And let me tell you, I was inspired.
So, what did I do? I looked up the place! Obviously. The place is Carmen Care Laser. Them being in Florida, and me being in Pennsylvania, it’s clearly not the most realistic situation. But I decided to reach out. What could it hurt? I sent an email, just asking about their experience with Fibromyalgia, gave my backstory, and even let me know that I’m in PA and this was more of just a curiosity email so if they had paying business to tend to, please do not waste their time on my questions. Even so, I immediately got an email back, which turned into the best phone call I’ve had in a very long time. Leslie is so nice, caring, real, and informative. We talked about what they do and what I’ve tried. We talked about my medical history and possible toxins that could be causing my pain. She gave me so much advice and insight. As we were talking, my writing came up. This is where things got even more exciting. She gave me one of the the MOST GENEROUS offers I’d ever received. She offered to treat me on their full 21 Day Program FOR FREE. All I had to do was get there, get lodging, pay for some food, and write about it. Is this real life? Unfortunately, she can only offer that until mid-September, because then they are fully booked up again. So, right now, that isn’t in the cards for me. I can’t imagine going into work and suddenly being able to work remote for 3 weeks in Boca Raton. But, she still offered to be a resource for any questions I have and said if I can’t get there now let’s stay in touch and see what the future holds. Hero.
While talking to her, I told her about the 4 week fibromyalgia diet I am embarking on starting tomorrow. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s quitting diets and exercise plans. So, like I said before, I am going into this not as a diet, but as a lifestyle change. I know I am not going to be perfect, and I’m fine with that. I went grocery shopping today and got everything I need for my week 1 menu. This is definitely the most grocery shopping I’ve done in a very long time.
My body will be shocked. Not only will I be eating breakfast, but I’ll be eating 3 healthy meals in a day. Yes, I’m still going to drink coffee. Yes, I’ll still be enjoying a few beers. I’m human. As I’ve proven time and time again, I’m not perfect. I am walking into this with balance and the mindset that small changes will add up over time. (So please don’t @ me with “you’d see more results without coffee and alcohol”). Again, I’m not planning on this being a short-term diet, but a long-term lifestyle change. So, I’m keeping the things I enjoy. Black coffee and craft beer. (And PBR, because, come on… it’s me.)
I’m going to be sipping my beer and continuing to make shit happen on this hot-ass Saturday. I’m going to get my mind ready to head into Week 1: Pain Management. Foods all designed to help reduce inflammation. I’ll be tracking what I’m eating, and how I’m feeling. I’ll update the end of week 1 while I prep for week 2! Stay tuned!
I don’t have the best track record for sticking with things. Diets, exercise plans, TV shows… I just can’t seem to get my shit together long enough to really see things through. Maybe I haven’t found “the one” in that aspect, which is why. Or maybe it wasn’t working? Or maybe I’m full of excuses and bullshit? (Likely the case). If I’m being honest, I’m shocked that I’ve made it this far with my writing (Hey! Maybe I did finally find my thing!… If only it would solve ALL of my problems!)
Over the years I have tried approximately 69,420 things to cure, maintain, and manage my physical and mental health. A few things have helped, but nothing really gave significant results. Granted, a lot of this is due to me not following through on things (like diet and exercise). But, mainly I’ve had many failed doctors and medications. Since modern day medicine isn’t helping, I decided to start from basics. My diet. I hate the word diet. As long as I can remember, I’ve hated the way I look. I’ve never been happy and comfortable with my weight, so mentally when I tell myself I’m on a “diet”, I immediately just tell myself I’m going to fail. I’m my own worst enemy.
That’s why I’m going into with a different mindset this time.
I’m not going on a “diet”. I’m not doing this for the sole purpose of losing weight to look better in my jeans (although, I won’t be mad if that happens). I’m doing a lifestyle shift. I’m not telling myself I can’t have anything, but I’m going to remind myself that there are some things I probably am better off without. And, the golden rule…. everything in moderation. I’m doing this knowing that my life, my health, and my future depends on making small, conscious, healthier choices.
Not only am I banking on this to increase my physical health, but also my mental health. By eating better, I know mentally I’ll feel sharper and hopefully get rid of some of that “fibro fog”. The book I’m using as a guide even breaks the weeks out:
Week 1: Pain Management
Week 2: Gaining Energy
Week 3: Fighting the Brain Fog
Week 4: Promoting Healthy Digestion
My life will benefit greatly from improvements in these 4 areas, so I’m actually excited to give it a shot. Nervous, and terrified, but excited overall. I’ve been to countless doctors and have had so many procedures and tests over the years for these 4 areas, that I don’t only want, but need to make positive changes. I need something to work. I need a miracle. (I need to be my own miracle, really.) I need to prove to myself once and for all that I am capable of generating my own happiness. And, becoming healthy is the place to start.
*Shout-out to my friends recently who have been talking to me about your own journeys with changing your diet for better health (for various reasons) – you guys really inspired me to really tackle this!*
My plan is to start Sunday. I already have my week 1 menu planned, and even made an organized shopping list. I really don’t even know myself right now. If anyone else wants to join in for accountability, let me know! I’d love to share my menu! (There is more per week than I’m doing, but I’m one person so I’m planning more leftovers than the guide calls for).
I know I won’t be 100% with it. And that’s fine. But, I plan to be conscious of what I’m eating and drinking, which is a huge change for me. I’m also going to track what I’m eating, and note any changes in my symptoms.
So, please hold me accountable. Encourage me. Cheer me on. Pray I finally get some sleep.