Yesterday I came across this photo of my husband, his mother, and I from 2011. This was 7 years ago. I would have been 24 or 25. Still a youngin’ by any reckoning. I was taken aback though, because I seriously look younger now, at 31.
Yes, I know, my husband is really tall. It leads to awkward hugs and a constant battle over the driver seat settings in our cars!
At the time I was dealing with severe chronic fatigue. It was starting to dawn on me that I had celiacs disease. But it took a long time to give up wheat. It took time to grieve the fact of all that I had to give up. I loved pizza and pasta and sandwiches…and just eating like a “normal” person. Plus, at the time, the gluten free options were limited and pretty gross.
I knew my potential future though. I come from a very large Irish Catholic family and virtually all of my dad’s 10 sisters had MAJOR auto-immune health problems. Lupus, celiacs, hashimotos, R.A. just to name a few. I didn’t want to live sick and die young.
I gradually made changes as I learned. I went from eating a standard american diet to a more natural anti-inflammatory diet. I cut back on sugar (I was a major sugar junkie!) till I eventually cut it out together. I also have to avoid preservatives, MSG, carageenan, nitrates and soy lecithin. If I eat any of these triggers I will feel like absolute death. My body is just hyper-sensitive to inflammation.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I have to eat a very limited diet, I choose to see it as a gift. It forces me to be accountable and eat well. I mostly embarked on my health journey in order to feel better. I’ll be honest, I’m not there 100%. I still have days were I feel exhausted. I still slip up and eat food I shouldn’t. But I’ve come so far. My health issues started me on a path not only towards healing, but towards optimized health. The journey has been tough at times, but I’ve learned so much along the way. For that I am grateful.
Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe a little!) but I think I look younger now then I did then. When you take care of yourself, it shows. Especially as you get older.
Make smart choices to feel better today. Make those smart choices into your habits and routine. Those smart choices will have a cumulative effect, one of them being a more youthful appearance, and who doesn’t want that?!