One of the things I try to express to every person that asks me for advice on how to eat is this: No two bodies are the same, so no two bodies should be fed the exact same way. Just because I eat a certain way does not mean you should mimic it. We’re all different, and that is one of the things that makes humanity so beautiful.
I believe even people with the exact same health issues should not necessarily be eating the same way. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely things all people with a disease like ulcerative colitis should avoid. Corn, for example, is one of those things. But there are other foods that some people with ulcerative colitis may be able to tolerate that others can’t. And that is OKAY. When I first began eating healthy to fight my disease, I was on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). For those that don’t know, SCD is a very restrictive diet that helps many, especially those with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Within 2 weeks of being on this diet, I saw incredible results. You can read about my full story on my healing journey here if you want to know more. When I went to see a clinical nutritionist about 1.5 months into the SCD diet and he recommended I add steel cut oatmeal to my diet, I freaked out. I was so scared to reverse the healing I had found on SCD, and contemplated not listening to him. If you follow my Instagram feed, you know that I DID listen to him and enjoy steel cut oats almost every morning. My body tolerates them well. They’re delicious. It’s a win win. If a day comes where I no longer tolerate them, I will cut them out. Simple as that.
A few days ago, I started seeing some of my UC symptoms sneaking back up. It was scary and frustrating, for sure. A year ago, this was my normal every single day. So now, when I have symptoms once in awhile, I am almost grateful. Grateful that I don’t experience them every day. Grateful to feel scared and frustrated instead of just accepting the symptoms as my standard of health. Experiencing symptoms now is alarming, because most days I don’t have them! And that’s an incredible thing.
When I was first diagnosed with my disease, the scariest and most demoralizing part was that I felt like I had lost control of my body, health, and happiness. Now, even when I experience setbacks, I know that I am in control. My diagnosis may be out of my control. Finding a cure for my disease may be out of my control. But I am in control of my own eating, exercising, and sleeping habits. My lifestyle change didn’t only result in weight loss and better health. It also resulted in an increase in confidence that I can battle setbacks in my healing journey because I AM IN CONTROL now. Not my disease.
Whether you have a health condition, want to lose weight, or simply want to be healthier, you have the ability to take control of your health just as I have. It is certainly easier to do so when a health condition is the driving factor, but it doesn’t have to be in order for you to succeed. All you need is a genuine desire to be in control of your health, happiness, mind and body. It has to be for you and not for anyone else. You have to listen to your own body, learn about what works for you, and stay in control of your healing journey. I can’t do it for you, but I can promise you that it is 100% worth it.