I’m a marketer by trade so I should know better than to leave 18 months between blog posts but the truth is I’ve been busy living life and haven’t felt the need to write a post.
If you recall, I had a massive life overhaul. I upped sticks from the city (and living down south) and moved back to Worcestershire with my husband and children. The move also resulted in me seeing a new gastroenterologist and trying a new course of medication, this time to combat Bile Malabsorption, not Crohns. However, taking the Cholestyramine didn’t last more than six months as again the side effects were as unpleasant as the symptoms it was preventing so instead I decided to ditch all the meds and go it alone.
Overall it’s been fine, I haven’t had a flare-up but there have been times where I’ve pushed my body too much by eating and drinking the wrong things by being lax and I think subliminally, testing myself to see what my body could and couldn’t take. The upshot is that after going around the houses of trying to reintroduce dairy and wheat and experimenting with different foods I’m happily back to a wheat free and dairy free diet. That combined with a daily dose of vitamins and exercise has got me to a pretty good place where I’d say the good days far out way the bad.
For the last month I have seen a personal trainer/nutritionist who has really helped focus my mind on what I put in my body. Not just in terms of nutrition, but also how to fuel it correctly for maximum energy and health. For years I have suffered with nail psoriasis which has meant I’ve constantly worn polish to hide the hideousness of what lies beneath (yellow and black detached nails), but now I’m proud to go au natural and wear nothing – the time and money I’ve saved is a bonus in itself!
I also didn’t realise that I was adding to my woes by cutting out carbs. Since 2007, a year after my son was born, I started a diet with SureSlim (a tailored blood test related eating plan), and ever since I’ve been in the mind-set that carbs are the enemy. However, after throwing myself into fitness I started to feel fatigued, nauseous, dizzy (with brain fog), and suffered from circulation problems which would see the ends of my fingers turn white and be agony. Now fellow Crohnies will know all of those could be attributed to IBD so I didn’t look for another root cause. I was happy to accept that I was no longer glued to the loo and in comparison these issues were the lesser of the evils until they went on and on and on. After various routes of investigation – hormones, thyroid and diabetes my doctor and PT suggested I reintroduce good carbs – healthy grains (brown rice, quinoa), sweet potato and squashes etc. and hey presto it’s worked! It just proves excluding certain food groups, in certain circumstances can have dire consequences. I’m now eating clean – nothing processed, no refined sugar etc. and going great guns. Please take a look at my Facebook page Eat Clean Nadine if you are interested in diet and fitness.
The other revelation is after taking a 12 month career break I’m now back at work. My firm agreed I could return part time (three days), two of which I work from home and on reduced hours. This has enabled me to be with my children – a luxury I never benefited from before when down south, still have time for myself (to do household chores and workout), and I’ve near enough eliminated my travel – an activity which on a daily basis caused me maximum stress.
I now feel I have achieved the Holy Grail which is the ultimate work/life balance. I have the luxury of time and have irradiated all the stress which gives me time to focus on my health and prioritise family. I’ve thought about this long and hard and believe this is my own personal formula for happiness.
Health + family + time.I know, as I’ve been there, affecting a change is massive. It’s scary and in itself stressful but if you can identify what are the triggers and get shot of them you are winning.
I now realise stress is a massive contributor to my condition but by recognising and managing it my stomach now has a fighting chance especially when you add in decent food, nutrients and exercise. I think that formula is a no-brainer for everyone.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on your formula and hopefully I’ll see some of you over on Eat Clean Nadine too 🙂