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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Finding Wellness

 Garden tours, taking pictures, landscaping our yard, and working on DIY projects are some of my favorite things to do. But if you've followed this blog at all, you'll have noticed that I've wandered off the garden path. In fact I haven't posted here in about 4 months, and even then, my focus had changed...for good reason. 
 After years of ignoring my health, as well as my doctor, I finally realized I had to listen to my body. There's something about a chronically sore mouth that gets a person's attention...or at least it got mine. 
And that put me on a new path...one to finding wellness.



 The past several months have been a continuation of that wellness journey. 
You may remember I went to the doctor back in the spring to find out if my suspicions were correct...I had self diagnosed Oral Lichens Planus, an autoimmune disease. I was given a referral to a skin specialist, with a 6 month wait. I did see the doctor in November, and he did confirm the OLP, but didn't feel a biopsy was necessary at this time...thankfully! He also prescribed a steroid medication to apply inside my mouth. After doing some research and hearing from others in my OLP FaceBook group, I decided not to use it. Right now, I'm able to manage my OLP by avoiding triggers such as spicy foods, citrus fruits, and tomatoes. I also find coconut oil and essential oils helpful in relieving some of the discomfort. Thanks to the supplements I've been taking, I haven't had any big flareups, and my general health has improved immensely.

"I firmly believe that when my body started getting the proper nutrition, it went back to healing itself."
Although this is a quote from someone else, it's exactly what I believe! As much as I would like to be able to get all the nutrients I need from the food I eat, clearly I wasn't. Since starting on nutritional supplements, there's been a dramatic improvement in my quality of life. I continue to have more energy than I ever had in the past, my sleep is better, and I wake up more refreshed. My joint pain is almost nonexistent, and I'm able to walk without pain. I honestly have never felt better!
 The proof that there has been a real physical change is in my blood work. My cholesterol came down enough that my doctor is no longer talking meds, and I'm no longer pre-diabetic! I'll be returning this month to have my blood work done again, and judging by the way I feel, I expect to see even more improvement. 

Finding Wellness

Nutritional supplements have made it easy to change the way I eat.
Intermittent fasting has become a way of life for me. I discovered intermittent fasting through Dr. Eric Berg's website and videos. Contrary to what most teach, Dr. Berg does not endorse eating 5 small meals a day, nor does he agree with the prevalent teaching that we must have a big breakfast. I can't tell you how happy this makes me...I`ve never enjoyed eating breakfast, and now I don't feel like I have to! 
Since implementing this new way of eating, I usually have my evening meal between 5-6 pm, and break my fast between 11 am and noon. This gives my body a much longer rest period, and increases it's ability to heal itself. It's amazing how getting the proper nutrition during a smaller window of time has made such a difference! I'm satisfied with so much less than before...in fact I rarely feel hungry between meals. I don't crave junk food or snacks, not even chocolate! And I seldom eat bread...something I used to have daily, and I don't feel at all deprived.  I do have one crazy craving...peanut butter! I never could figure out how my kids could eat peanut butter every day, now here I am putting it in smoothies, and even using it for dip with apple slices! 

Apple slices and peanut butter


My weight loss is now at 30 lbs; Brian has lost 50! 
I've said in the past that weight loss was not our main goal...regaining our health was. But once we started to get proper nutrition, the weight just started to come off. Most of our weight loss occurred in the first 4 months, at what I believe is a very healthy rate. For me it was 1-2 lbs a week for the first 20 lbs. I then plateaued for a while, and the last 10 lbs came off much more slowly. 
I have about 5 more pounds to lose, but I still need to firm up some muscle, so hopefully some of that fat will turn to muscle! I'm still doing the walk at home videos and have added a few other exercises, as well as some work with hand weights. Brian's goal is to lose 10 -15 more pounds, which will put him at a lower weight than he's been in years. We just bought a family membership at our local gym...another step to better health!

What a difference from last year! I hardly recognize those tired old people!
What a difference a year makes. 75 lb weight loss

Five years ago we decided to go for a hike in our local provincial park. We chose a trail that we had enjoyed hiking in the past. It starts out as a nice leisurely walk through tall grass and shrubs with boardwalks over the wetlands. But gradually the path takes an uphill turn, winding through the trees toward the top of a hill. The final stretch is a steep path leading to a beautiful view of the park below. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see it. We only have the photo taken by our son, as we decided to turn back. In our defense, it was an extremely hot day and we had three puppies with us...but enough excuses!
Eight months ago we took that first step to finding wellness, and with each step along the way we've regained our health and strength. This summer, we're going back to that trail, and this time there will be no turning back. 


This year we're going to the top!

Finding wellness

7 comments:

Kate said...

Well done, you!!

Deborah said...

Thanks, Kate! Glad you stopped by!

Debby Keathley said...

Glad to hear you are on the path to a better life - fit and feeling better. ;)

Char | ChronicallyHopeful.com said...

What great progress you've made! I have had great improvement with diet change and coming off meds too.

Just one thing I'd suggest - peanuts are inflammatory, I'd switch to another nut butter, specially if using it frequently, might find even more improvement. I use almond butter instead, and have even used tahini for dipping apples etc, but there are many varieties available these days.

That trail looks beautiful! I can't wait till I'm well enough to go walking again. So happy for you both!

Deborah said...

Thank you all for stopping by.
Char, I hadn't realized that about peanuts...that would be a hard one to give up!

Tracy Roberts said...

What an inspirational post! As an older mom & grandmother, I'm trying hard to regain my health. I'm so happy to see your progress! Congratulations!

Deborah said...

Hi Tracy! I'm glad I can be an encouragement in your own wellness journey!