I suppose a new blog deserves to begin with the story about how it came to be. And so I shall share a bit about myself and why I felt the need to start another blog.
I could go all the way back to puberty, when in the span of one year, I gained 30lbs, and suddenly found myself on the chubby side.
Or how after high school, I slowly began gaining weight. Every year. 150 . . . 170 . . . 190 . . . 215 . . . 240 . . . until one day I woke up in my 40s and weighed in at 295lbs.
I could also tell you about all of the diets I’ve been on — Weight Watchers should give me a lifetime membership just for the fact that I’ve joined no less than 20 times.
I’ve lost (and gained back) hundreds of pounds over the years. I’ve had periods of intense and regular exercise, and periods of none. I’ve eaten well, and not so well.
Overall, I’m seemingly not that unhealthy. If you looked at my blood work, you’d never know. Blood sugar is good, cholesterol is good. Even my blood pressure is normal. But if you saw me when I first wake up in the morning, or when a rainy cold snap hovers outside, you’d know the truth. I am far from healthy. I am in pain. Real, physical pain. And the fatigue is often worse. Overwhelming really.
I’ve suffered with chronic pain for years. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 12 years ago. But over the years, what began us muscle pain and fatigue became joint pain, anemia, IBS, asthma, and migraines. The fatigue has worsened as well, to the point that there are many days I can barely get out of bed.
About 2 1/2 years ago, the Lupus diagnosis came, along with some prescriptions for steroids, Plaquenil, and anti-inflammatory meds. I took them faithfully for 6 months with little improvement in my symptoms. Then something really difficult happened — in a 2-month span of time, I had 2 episodes of bronchitis (causing asthma attacks), strep throat, and shingles. I think in that 60-day period, I had maybe 5 when I was not sick.
My rheumatologist, lovely as she is, insisted that the immune system suppression from the meds I was on was not enough to cause this. But what else could it be? I immediately began the process of weaning myself off of all medication, and began researching what I needed to change to help improve my symptoms in a more natural way.
A couple of months later, I tried going vegan. Over the next few months, I was able to lose 30 lbs, on top of the 20 I lost while I was sick. But I didn’t feel well. I don’t think I was a good vegan. Did you know you can still eat a pretty unhealthy diet and be vegan? Yeah, me either.
I remember the day I broke my vegan ways. I was at McAlister’s with a friend and was about to order my favorite Greek chicken salad (with the cheese and chicken on the side for my son to eat), when I suddenly had such a craving for that chicken. I couldn’t resist the urge to add it to the salad this time. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Once I ate that chicken (and the feta, too), my vegan days were over. It was ok, I didn’t feel that great anyway, and I had not realized much improvement in my pain.
I gained back all but 20 of those 50lbs in the next year as I spent some time wallowing in self-pity and denial about needing to change my diet for healing. If vegan hadn’t helped, what would? Plus, it’s very difficult to maintain your weight when you’re spending so much time in the bed or on the couch. Exercising had become a pipe dream.
Then a few months ago, I began thinking about it again. Changing my diet, I mean.
I’m not sure where I first heard about juicing as a way to heal the body of autoimmune diseases. But I did read several articles, and grabbed a few free Kindle books to read more. I became convinced enough that this is what I should do, that I requested (and received) a juicer for Christmas. It sat in the box until 3 days ago.
On Monday, I am beginning what I hope will be a 40-day juice fast. I’m only committing to 10 days at first. I’m going to take it 10 days at a time, since this is the first time I’ve ever attempted anything like this, and I have no idea how my body will respond.
I’m so tired of being fatigued and in pain. It has warn out not just my physical well-being, but my emotional and spiritual well-being as well. I was recently sharing with my 12-year-old son my desires for his life — to be able, willing, prepared, and equipped for whatever God’s plan is for his life. Funny how I had grown so complacent in my self-pity that I forgot about the need to be able, willing, prepared, and equipped for whatever God’s plan is for mine. I’m pretty sure this is not it.
I think I have finally hit rock-bottom. I am crying out to God to heal my body. Believing that He desires to, I am claiming these Scriptures:
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. ~Psalm 103:2-5
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
I’ll share more soon about the significance of eagles in these verses. The significance to my journey overwhelms me.
When she heard I wanted to fast, a friend invited me over for a juicing demonstration. Another friend recommended I watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I did and boy, was that life-changing!
I feel strongly that this is exactly what I need to do to heal my body (and mind and heart).
Two weeks ago, I eliminated gluten, dairy, sugar and caffeine from my diet. Three days ago, I began juicing 2 meals a day (while eating one and snacking as needed) to begin preparing for the fast. My kitchen is well-stocked with more fruits and vegetables than it’s ever seen.
I am excited to get started reclaiming my health, but I know that the “honeymoon” period will soon be over and the reality of not eating solid food for 40 days will set in. That’s why I started this blog. I want a place to share what I’m doing, how I’m feeling, and the results of this radical change in lifestyle.
In the interest of being totally transparent, I will weigh in on Monday morning and share that figure with you. I want to be held accountable, even though losing weight is not my primary purpose here.
I would appreciate your prayers, especially for the coming week. I’ve heard the first few days are the hardest.
Thank you! And if any of you juice, I’d love to have some recipes.
(No, you’re not on the wrong blog. All of my posts from JuicingMomma.com have been migrated over here!)