So I might have MS. Big whoop right? Well yeah, it kind of is (I’m kind of a big deal you know). Considering how many times I’ve posted on this blog about “new ways of life, man!”, you can sort of imagine that this is, I guess, a theme in my life. I’m fat, have been pretty much my entire life. My life is a revolving door of diets and failed “lifestyle changes.” It sucks to say it but I have a history of not being able to stick to a plan. Even when I’ve been successful, been seeing results, I screw up once and that’s the end of it all. It sucks even more to say that a health issue might finally make me buckle down and stick to something. If I’m on a diet or something and I mess up or cheat, it’s not that big of a deal. Yeah it sucks that I screwed up my diet but it’s not going to really hurt me.
But what if screwing up my diet DID hurt me? What if I discovered that I have a condition that’s exacerbated by alcohol? What if I decide to have a pizza and then the next day I can’t freaking walk? That’s kind of what’s going on at the moment. I haven’t seen a doctor yet so right now I’m just researching and speculating, but I can say with certainty that whatever is going on in my brain does NOT play well with alcohol. So I stopped drinking.
I also stopped eating gluten and dairy, and I’m trying to avoid soy. The dairy… I have a theory that I’ve actually been sensitive to dairy my whole life. I’ve been getting migraines since age 8. From ages 8 through 20, I suffered through frequent migraines. When I moved out of my parent’s house, the migraines mysteriously stopped. When I lived with my parents I drank a TON of milk – probably 2-3 huge glasses of milk EVERY DAY. When I moved out, I was a broke ass college student and I couldn’t afford to drink that much milk… so I stopped drinking that much milk. Is it a coincidence that the migraines stopped when I stopped drinking so much milk? Maaayyybeee… I chalked it up to moving out of my parents house and being less stressed by family life, but since I really never picked the milk habit back up, the (frequent) migraines never really returned, and I have DEFINITELY been more stressed than I was in my parents house since age 20.
Gluten is easy to cut out when cooking at home, but eating out is more of a challenge. I can’t just walk into a Subway and pick up a sub anymore. I would say I’m completely off of soy, but soy seems to literally be in EVERYTHING. So, I’m mostly just avoiding it whenever possible. Why gluten, dairy, and soy? Gluten and dairy because they’re common allergies and generally inflammatory things to eat. Soy for the same reasons, but also because it sometimes mimics different human hormones when consumed frequently.
So basically, I’ve become your quintessential whiny Californian with lots of dietary restrictions. I think I’m OK with this – at least for now. It forces me to take a closer look at my food intake and what’s on the labels of packaged/processed foods. Does this mean I’m never going to eat bread again? No. Does this mean I’ll never quaff beers while out with friends or on vacation? Nope. I am definitely going to be strict the next few months while I deconstruct my life and rebuild, but I’m not outright banning anything. Maybe I don’t have MS. Maybe I do but I can mostly avoid dealing with it by being careful about my diet most of the time.
I do need to learn to manage my stress better. I have a tendency to push myself and keep pushing until I can’t take it anymore, then my body steps in and lays me out on my ass. Clearly I can’t do that anymore. Fitness has been, so far, the best stress relief I’ve experienced. Focusing on fitness forces me to take a half hour or an hour to shut off my brain and concentrate on intervals, times, or sets/reps. Pushing myself back into fitness will have the dual benefit of stress relief and keeping my muscles in shape. Keeping my muscles in shape is more important now, because if I have another flare-up, muscle weakness will hopefully be lessened by keeping more active, stronger muscles.
I’ve also been thinking about taking some meditation classes. You jerks can laugh all you want about that one. #california