Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Empty Shelf

I must be feeling pretty optimistic heading into this new year. I've taken on another challenge.
Though, truly, this one shouldn't be all that challenging for me. (With the exception of reading more on Kindle now.)

Jon Acuff issued a challenge this week called the "Empty Shelf Challenge". 


The assignment is rather simple: Clean off a shelf somewhere in your home (or office) and fill it with books you read throughout the year. (Toughest part for me was getting a clean shelf - mine are all filled!) 

You will see that I've already got four on my otherwise empty shelf. But, these are all books I've purchased in the past several weeks that I am very excited about cracking open at the first of this year. 

So, any readers out there... if you haven't already... feel free to join in! Should be fun!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lessons in the Descent

Back in October, I discovered a few documentaries on Netflix concerning food. How what we eat really does affect our whole body more than most of us realize. I was just coming to the end of yet another flare with my Colitis and ready to try whatever I could to lessen the toll this stupid disease has on my body and hopefully avoid any further medicinal measures. Next up being bi-weekly injections of a drug that strips your entire immune system down. 

There's got to be a better way.

So, I spent the next several weeks spending every spare moment of my time scouring the internet, for information about any holistic options that were available out there. And I was SO encouraged! It was a great comfort and surprise to me, to come across so many folks out there who have actually been able to manage their UC simply with their diets. 

I was desperate and just determined enough to follow suit.

I purged my entire kitchen of all its glorious contents, save a bottle of olive oil and jar of cashews. Ordered a few cookbooks to further guide me. And I indulged in one last heavenly breakfast from Chick-fil-A. 

I went all in.

And I did pretty well, too. For the most part. I enjoy cooking, so though it was a challenge not to have my usual go-to items to work with, I was still able to enjoy many dinners at home. And a smoothie every morning was not all that bad. 

But then, just a few weeks into it, I felt overwhelmingly deprived. And incredibly frustrated.

I hit a wall.

Chicken broth for lunch while co-workers walk in with Wendy's bags. Passing up on all my favorite sides at a holiday get-together. Going out to lunch and coming away dissatisfied because although I had a perfectly fine meal, I couldn't get my 'usuals'... my favorites. Turning my Dad down for dinner because I couldn't take the blatant reminder of all my new restrictions. 

I broke down. Couldn't take anymore. 

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I had had enough and went to Publix after work and quite shamelessly purchased a family-sized bag of fried chicken, mac-and-cheese, a sack of Tastykake donuts  and a bottle of Moscato.

And it was good.

Man, was it good. And thus began my slippery descent back into all that was processed and Specific Carb / Paleo illegal.

From there, I just decided to 'ride the holidays out' and get a fresh start in the New Year. Like so many of us do every year. And, as such, have been completely gluttonous (funny, how that sounds so much like glutenous). All my favorites. Sausage and rice. Fajita nachos. Teriyaki Salmon. Lasagne. Donuts. Cheesecake.

And although I don't see the immediate repercussions, I know my body is paying a price. With every self-indulgent decision that I make.

Funny how weariness and a sense of deprivation can lead us away from what we know is the absolute best for us, isn't it? And leave us shamelessly wallowing in a place we don't belong?

And I can't help but notice the spiritual parallel in this struggle. 

It resonates all too clearly for me to miss.

Time to get determined once again.

But, you'd better pray for me. Those Tastykakes sure are good.