I woke up this morning thinking about where I was just a few years ago and where I am now. I opened an old blog post from Novembdr 2012 and saw pictures of what my psoriasis on my hands and elbows looked like. I had been eating fairly clean for seven months, and my skin was still suffering dramatically from sugar and gluten slips.
I have been so free from this for years and I pray I don’t suffer from this in the future. I have the tools, I just need to remember to use them.
Damn you Starbucks and your delightfully perfect holiday coffee drinks.
In better news, my husband is an amazing source of inspiration and encouragement. He got up this morning and cooked me a meal so I could keep my food healthy and delicious and not make poor choices because I tend to run unprepared…all the time. I might have had some for breakfast too because this shit was too good to not eat fresh from the oven. How the hell did I get so lucky?
Since my last post on Wednesday I have stayed on course with reducing my sugar intake and gluten free eating. So in 5 1/2 days this happened:
So hooray! Success from simply following the diet my doctor and nutritional coach suggest I followed. But then there is this lovely photo of my right elbow:
I am banking on this as a visual reminder to keep on track with my Anti-Inflammatory dieting ways. It’s really not easy to stay away from gluten and sugar since it’s so readily available in the foods that have brought me (and I am sure many of you) comfort over the years. There are days like today that I just want to eat a bunch of yummy food that is like poison to my body, but these visuals will keep me on the right path.
Today I am mad at myself for so many reasons, but the main thing I am upset about is how I keep letting myself down. I finally climbed back on this scale this morning and saw what my lack of planning, exercising, food journaling, and lack of commitment to a healthy diet has done to me. Sure I whined about my psoriasis and said I would make changes. I said I was totally inspired and back on board after Rachael made her commitment. And yet, I somehow find a way of sneaking CRAP into my mouth. It’s never too much. Just enough to let my spiral begin. I AM SO DONE with doing this to myself. It’s like when I was drinking and I would binge and act a fool and then wake up the next morning swearing to god and all those that are holy that I will never drink again. Well, we all know that took me to my bottom and Alcoholics Anonymous. Thankfully I was able to finally see the effing light and I have over three years of sobriety. Sobriety is something on which I hardly waver. I am always reminding myself the food that I am addicted to is food I don’t need to survive. It’s like poison to my body, and yet, I have a difficult time accepting that fact. I need to EMBRACE this as fact. I can’t scoff at it whenever I feel like eating popcorn or pasta or bread or sugary sweets.
I commit to myself, and to all of you, to make some changes. I commit to finding a middle ground until I can reach my goals. I don’t want to be whining and negative. I commit to finding joy in every day. I commit to be here to listen and to help you make your own personal life commitments. I commit to open my eyes to what I am doing to my health by ignoring my bodies warning signs. I commit to doing one new thing each day and sharing it with you on my Facebook page, no matter how trivial it may be.
Why Commit Now?
In one month I have gained seven pounds. It took me over a month to lose just FOUR of those pounds. Why would I let it just inch it’s way right back onto my belly and thighs? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer. But I do know that I am not about to let it happen any longer. I had rid myself of those pounds and I am done with them. It’s time to burn them back off and send their friends (the additional 48 lbs I intend to lose) right off my body with them.
I will own and acknowledge my successes though. When I first started, even way before Project Muffin Top, I weighed in at 233.4 lbs. The highest I have ever been in my life. Even higher than when I was pregnant with either of my children. So, I am happy to say I have lost and kept off 28.2 lbs. Also, if I compare my inches lost, I have lost the following:
Chest – 1″
Bust – 3″
R. Upper Arm – 1″
R Thigh – 1″
Waist – 3″
Hips – 5″ Total inches lost – 14 inches!
So, those are my wins in regards to my weight and size. There are other wins, such as the fact that I have found an answer to my life long struggle with psoriasis. Because I stopped listening to my body and started eating poorly again, my body is screaming out at me and showing me how angry it is.
I am feeling good again, now that I have acknowledged what is happening. I came home and made a meal that I could eat as well as a meal that my family wouldn’t moan and groan over. I am looking forward to a great workout tomorrow that I will push myself to start and finish. I am looking forward to getting myself back to feeling as good as I was just a few short weeks ago. Things are going to be great.
P.S. (For those of you who recognize the title of my blog entry, yes it is the title of an Emily Dickinson poem. I heart her. And, you can read this poem to be about reaching the end of life, but I read it today as being about a crossroad and saying goodbye to old habits.)
Our journey had advanced;
Our journey had advanced;
Our feet were almost come
To that odd fork in Being’s road,
Eternity by term.
Our pace took sudden awe,
Our feet reluctant led.
Before were cities, but between,
The forest of the dead.
Retreat was out of hope,–
Behind, a sealed route,
Eternity’s white flag before,
And God at every gate.
(I guess I had something to say about diet and it’s effects on psoriasis and other inflammation disorders. Very long post follows.)
I just looked high and low for the old 1980’s psoriasis commercial with a young girl who says “and nobody wants to hold my hand.” Sad face. While searching for the video, I saw hundreds of videos and links to medicines and tinctures and other “cures” for psoriasis. I grew up with psoriasis, and when I think back to how much time and money my
grandparents spent trying to find a cure for me I just shake my head and want to cry. I remember sitting at the table, head bent over, while my grandma dabbed Sea Breeze Astringent on my neck. IT BURNED SOOOOO BAD. But she did it because someone told her that would help. It didn’t. Not one bit, but for months I would sit with my head bent over letting my grandma dab that shit all over my neck. I am sure it broke her heart, but she didn’t know any other way. There was the creams that they found at the fair that smelled like poop, there were the shampoos the doctors had said were the answer, that smelled like tar. NOTHING worked.
As an adult, I had just given up and accepted it for what it was, itchy, dry patches of scaly skin that cracked and bled often. Then it started showing up on the palms of my hands a couple years ago. Nothing big at first, but still pretty painful when it would crack. I didn’t really associate it with psoriasis, just thought it was from the super cold weather and constantly washing my hands. I noticed it wasn’t going away and then saw it was showing up in small patches where my thumbs and pointer fingers meet. Then it started up on my elbow, and then a big patch showed up on the bottom of my shin right above my foot. WTF?! I went to the doctor and was given a new cream. The cream took the itch away, a little, but the palms of my hand itch so bad my daughter would get ooked out and beg me to stop scratching. Saw the doctor again, and his answer was to increase the times I apply the cream.
During this time I was still working out with Dawn, my personal trainer, who would listen to me piss and moan about my various ailments. At one time she suggested maybe visiting her naturopath doctor to see if they had any tinctures they could recommend. Obviously to me, this just seemed like another “Snake Oil” I had already used on various other occasions, so I never followed through. Then when I was finally at my wits end with the other crap my doctors couldn’t help me with , and I was willing to try anything, I made an appointment to see her naturopath. When I walked in his office I was there because of my problems with the peri-menopause, consistent low-grade fever, and weight gain regardless of the fact that I was taking anti-depressants and ADD medication which should have acted as appetite suppression. OH and the fact that my blood pressure was suddenly borderline even though I have ALWAYS had low blood pressure, yet that didn’t alarm the doctors or nurses. (That is just a small list of the CRAP I was dealing with at the time.) Psoriasis wasn’t even really something I had considered talking to the doctor about, but when he did his exam he looked at the condition of my skin and obviously noticed I had several patches of the crusty ass crap. We started to discuss a plan of attack for dealing with the big issues. He said he thought I would benefit from an Anti-Inflammatory diet because almost ALL of my issues were inflammation issues.
(From this point forward I am only going to discuss the diet and how it affected my long history with psoriasis)
I started off small, adjusting just a few foods at a time, and within a week I was seeing results. I stopped itching as much and the redness of the patches was reduced. I was so excited I made a few more changes to my diet, and within a month my skin was clear, except the back of my neck and head which had a significant reduction in size. What had I done different? There were no magic medicines, a few vitamins and supplements, but those weren’t necessarily for my psoriasis. No, the only thing I had really changed was my diet. I cut sodas, and diet sodas especially! I cut out pastas and breads. High sugar foods, gone. And last, I cut out those dastardly Nightshade foods! Tomatoes are part of the Nightshade family, and so my beloved pasta sauce had to go.
38 years of my life I dealt with “moderate to severe plaque psoriasis”. 38 years of pain, itch, and embarrassment. 38 years of money wasted on “cures” for something a change in diet could have easily fixed. Gah! It makes me sooooo mad. But now that I have the answer, I need to stick with it. I have been horrible recently and have enjoyed a few too many slices of bread and a few too many treats. Yes, I gained some weight back, but the worst is my hands are dry and horrible again. And the patch that was on my elbow and leg are coming back bigger and worse. All because I turned my back so easily on the answer to my life long prayers. Why? Because I am a food addict. I need to treat those foods that create distress in my body like I treat drugs and alcohol. If I can be drug and alcohol free, why the hell can’t I be gluten and sugar free?
To those of you seeking the answer to your own issues with psoriasis or inflammation, I would almost bet an anti-inflammatory diet would help. But, everyone is different, so you would need to adjust the diet to work for you. For me, I need to cut all Nightshades. I am highly sensitive to the alkaloids in them, but not everyone is. I used to be the person who poo pooed alternative medicine and made fun of it saying it was “voodoo”, but I allowed myself to be open minded and found that I was ridiculous for not trying. So here I am again, facing the changes I need to make to be a healthy, happy woman, who is free of psoriasis. I invite you to join me. The worst that can happen is you decide it’s not for you and go back to eating like you were.